I was only repeating what they told me when I visited the store. I also thought it odd that they would get new cartridges from Minox that didn't have the felt applied. My impression was that they meant the cartridges were brand new, but empty. Although I have been into cameras for almost 50 years I came to Minox 8X11 only recently, about 4 years ago. I bought a IIIs at a photo show on a whim for $40. Of course I've spent far more on cartridges than that. I've got five NOS color films off of ebay and just discarded the film and reloaded with some slit down Pan F, I've also bought two preloaded cartridges from BMC. I almost always build all my own photo accessories due to either they are unavailable or I am too cheap to buy them premade. So I made a slitter and cut down and modified an old Yankee plastic reel to develop film. I usually carry the IIIs in the case but without the chain, fairly bare bones you might say. As I mentioned in a earlier post my pull through slitter has been fine for my limited use, in four years I've probably only cut film and loaded cartridges 25 to 30 times.