In a world where practically everything is moving towards being digital, you will still need paper copies from time to time. Whether it be an important document you need a physical copy for, or just something you want to have for a later date, it does happen
While a lot of people have printers at home, there are still people who live without a printer, and if you only need copies a few times a year, it can be cheaper to go have copies made at a store than it is to actually buy a printer and everything that comes along with it. After all, having to buy new printer ink cartridges isn’t cheap.
Best Places to Make Free Copies
1. Apartment Complex
If you are currently living in an apartment complex, they might have some form of a business center in the leasing office with a copy and fax machine. They’ll usually let tenants make black and white copies for free.
Since you’re already paying a monthly rent, the business center is usually a paid amenity. So, while this option isn’t necessarily “free”, it isn’t going to cost you more to use. Taking advantage of complimentary services such as this is one of the perks of renting. Even if you do have to pay for additional copies, (since there might be a limit to the number of free ones your apartment complex will allow), the rate is usually cheaper than the local copy centers. Plus, you won’t have to drive to any stores.
This can be another free option, since pretty much any workplace environment has a copier for work purposes. You should certainly check with your boss first before using work property for personal usage. If you only need a few copies, they probably won’t mind.
3. Friends and Family
If you have a family member or friend who has a printer/copier machine, you can always ask them to use their machine as well. This way, you still have to make a drive somewhere, but you’re not having to pay for any copies and get to pay them a visit at the same time.
Places to Make Cheap Copies Near Me
4. Local Library
Unless you live in an extremely small town, chances are that you have a public library near you. Most libraries have a copier area and will let you make black and white copies for a small fee that will change from library to library. The local library near me, for example, charges 12 cents per page to make black and white copies.
If you’re not sure where your nearest library is, you can always google it to see if this option makes sense for you. Besides a public library, a local college library should have a copy machine as well.
5. Local Post Office
While it’s more rare, a few US Post Office locations still have copy machines for public use. The USPS doesn’t say this on their website since it depends from location to location, so this would be rather difficult to know if this is a viable option for you without doing some additional work. To save some time, you can always call ahead to your local post office to see if they have a copy machine available for public use.
6. Local Community Center
Most communities have local community centers that are operated by the government that can offer services to the public, such as printing and making copies. This can be a great second option to look besides your local library if you want to make copies at a public place. Just be aware that each Community Center is going to offer different things depending on the community that they serve, so it might be a good idea to call ahead to check that you can make your copies before making the drive over.
7. FedEx Office
Formerly Kinko’s, FedEx offers copy and print services as well as shipping. To save yourself some time, you can also submit your copy orders online and pick them up at the nearest FedEx Office location near you. Since FedEx is a large company, finding a location in your area shouldn’t be a problem at all. While the prices will vary depending on what you need, you can typically expect to pay around 12-15 cents for black and white copies and 55-60 cents for color.
8. UPS Store
The UPS Store also offers copy services much like FedEx Office does. With over 2,600 locations across the United States, finding a location wouldn’t be a problem. The appeal to using UPS is that it is another large company like FedEx but is typically cheaper. Black and white copies typically start about 9 cents each, while color copies start at around 49 cents each.
While this doesn’t sound like a big difference in price, if you need to make a large number of copies, this price difference can really add up and save you some money. UPS also runs promotions that allow for discounted prices for larger jobs as well. You can also rent a PO Box if you need to and ship via UPS.
9. Local Copy Store
If you’re currently living in a small town, you might not have a larger company like UPS Store or FedEx Office that is readily available. If this is the case, you can usually find a locally owned copy and printing store that can fulfill your needs. You just need to google it and find where they are at. Just keep in mind locally owned and operated businesses such as these can charge more, so don’t be surprised if the price is higher than that of a larger company.
10. CVS Pharmacy
While not all offer copy services, some CVS Pharmacy locations also offer additional services such as copying. You can call ahead to make sure the local CVS near you is one of the locations that offers this service. If they do, then you can expect to pay 19 cents for every black and white copy and 99 cents for every color copy. While this is higher than some other services, if a CVS Pharmacy is the closest location to you, then it might be worth the premium fee.
11. Office Depot and OfficeMax
All Office Depot locations offer print and copy services among others. They also offer custom printing services if you need something past just your standard photocopy. A Standard, single-sided, black and white copy starts at 9 cents per copy, and color copies start at 42 cents per page.
Recently, Office Depot and OfficeMax merged companies, but the names didn’t change at every location. Since the merger, you can expect to pay the same rates for copying at an OfficeMax that you can get at an Office Depot.
Another large office supply company that might have a location near you is Staples. They have extremely competitive rates, going as low as 0.021 cents per page when you need to make over 100,00 copies in a single order, which is great if you’re looking to print things for your business. For smaller orders, you can expect a different price. For black and white copies, you’ll be 11 cents for the first 250 copies, then 10 cents for every copy after up to 500 copies. For color, it’s 53 cents for the first 100, then 47 cents for each page after up to 500 copies. Since Staples has been the largest office supply store for some time now, there’s a good chance that there is a location near you.
While it might not be the first place you would think of, Costco does offer copies at their copy and print center at their various locations in addition to the other bulk shopping for your home or business. To really get the most bang for your buck, you will want to order a minimum of 1,000 black and white copies to pay only 2.5 cents each and only 50 color copies to pay just 15 cents per copy.
At only 15 cents per color copy, Costco is one of the most affordable places for color printing/copies. A 50-page minimum is easy to reach if you’re doing a project, trying to launch a business, or anything else that would require a bulk order. Besides photocopies, you can also use Costco to print business cards, letterheads, and even larger things like banners or posters.
14. College Campuses
If you’re a college student, your campus might have an area where you can print and make copies of things for free, whether it’s school related or not. If they don’t offer free printing, it’s still typically a cheaper option than most major companies since you are a student after all. Just make sure that you have a valid student ID, as most colleges have to verify that you’re taking courses there, and not just trying to make some copies for free.
15. Hotel Business Centers
If you’re on the road, you can always check to see if the hotel that you’re staying at has a business center where you can make copies. Sometimes these services are free for guests to use, so if you’re traveling and need to make copies, then this could be an ideal solution for you.
Some hotels might charge a small fee for this service, so always check with the front desk before beginning. If the hotel doesn’t have a business center, you can also just ask the hotel staff if copy services are available since they may be able to use their copier to make copies for you.
Order Copies Online
Rakuten is an online cashback portal that can help you save money on copies that you order online. You can other your copies online through Rakuten and have them either delivered to you or set them to be picked up in-person.
If you have a business, this can be a great way to save money on orders without needing to take the time out of your day to wait for a bulk order to be completed. You can just create the order online, and either pick the copies up when they’re ready or have them sent to you. You’ll normally pay a rate that you would see in more stores for the same service, but Rakuten makes the process much more convenient and gives you cashback for anything that you might use Rakuten for.
17. Best Value Copies
Best Value Copy is one of the best online print and copy businesses for both black and white copies as well as color copies. Unlike other online-only copy/print shops, you won’t have to pay a setup fee, and you will pay the same flat rate for each copy, no matter how many copies that you might need.
Best Value Copy charges 2.7 cents for each black and white copy that you make, and charge just 9 cents for every color copy. They also don’t require an order minimum, and all of their orders ship within 24-48 hours of placing the order.
Docucopies can be a good online option if you’re looking to have at least 1,000 copies made. Docucopies offer black and white or color copies that can be mailed to your home or office directly, so once you place the order you won’t need to go pick them up anywhere.
Docucopies offers black and white copies at 6 cents per copy (1,000 copy minimum) and 7.7 cents for each color copy (1,000 copy minimum). They even offer next-day delivery when you place your order by the daily cutoff time, so you get your copies extremely quickly once you decide to use their services.
ColorCopiesToday is another online service for copying and printing. ColorCopiesToday offers various copies. Black and White copies can be bought for as low as 4 cents per copy (500 page minimum). Standard Color Copies go at a rate of 10 cents per copy (150 pages minimum), and Glossy Color Copies can be bought at 11 cents per page (200 page minimum).
Their prices do drop as the size of your order goes up, so bulk copying can be bought here at a great rate. You can also print a variety of other business products such as brochures and customized envelopes.
VistaPrint is one of the largest online printing services out there today. You can’t order black and white or color copies, but they can be used to create a variety of print media, such as business cards, flyers, signs, and brochures. If it can be printed, VistaPrint will most likely be able to do it. Having used them personally in the past, the quality of their work is great, and I have been happy with the service each time. Prices do vary depending on what you’re wanting to have done, as well as the quantity of what you’re needing.
In a world that is moving closer and close to being entirely digital, it’s still good to know that when you need copies made, there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether you need 1 copy or 10,000, it’s easy to find both physical and online stores that can cater to your needs. Just make sure to do your homework to make sure you’re not overspending, and that the company you’re going to use suits your needs as best as possible. You can search for terms such as “Where do you find the cheapest copies?” to help aid in your search