Not everyone has a printer in their home and even if you do, your printer isn’t much use to you when you aren’t home and need to print documents. Some companies know this and provide services for those that need it, whether it’s a copy of your cat, a copy of your skills, or copying mundane documents, there’s a surprising number of locations you can roll up on to get what you need.
The methods might surprise you. From public places to the Halls of Knowledge, here’s several locations where you can print documents that might be near you. However, prepare your wallet because none of these locations provide printing services for free, the likelihood of that is laughably low. After all, you are draining someone’s resources.
Head Over to a Friend’s House
This is, by far, the easiest solution on the list and, chances are, your friend will gladly let you print a number of documents (within reason) without spending a single dime. However, as a courtesy, perhaps you should consider helping your friend purchase their next ink cartridge. Remember, they scratched your back, why not scratch theirs, right?
The Halls of Knowledge: Libraries and Universities
Just about every town and city has a library for you to use. They’re so abundant, they should be your second option for your printing services. What? You thought they were just for books and, occasionally, movies? Well, now you know they offer printing services, too.
However, as a word of caution, don’t use a library for a large number of copies. While many won’t stop you from printing a lot, nor is “illegal” to print a lot of pages, but you will be paying for it. In fact, libraries will usually charge you for using their printers. The prices are, of course, varied among different libraries. One library might charge you $0.10 per page, another might charge you $0.08 per page.
If you’re just looking for a couple pages to print, then hit up your local library. It’s usually cheap, easy and rarely will you actually need to be a part of the library. As a bonus, some libraries even offer cloud-based printing services. You can find out which libraries offer which services by searching your area and visiting a library’s website. Lastly, if you’re in need of scanning or faxing, libraries tend to offer that service as well.
As for universities, your results may vary. You probably have a 50-50 chance of getting access to their printing services. Some universities are open for public use, while many are only accessible to the students attending the university. It’s hit or miss. However, that shouldn’t scare you away from at least trying. The worst that happens is they say “No.”
For pricing, the prices vary. You might land a university that has the same cheap prices as your standard library or you could get charged twice as much simply for the reason of it being a university.
Any Office Supply Stores Nearby
Who would’ve thought that office supply stores also offered printing services? You don’t have to buy office supplies in order to use their printing services, though you might run into the occasional office supply store that does want you to buy something first.
Office Depot / OfficeMax
One such place is Office Depot. Their same-day printing can be a lifesaver as long as you order a printing job during the day on any of their business days. The cutoff is 2 PM, so any order after that won’t be available on the same day.
Office Depot doesn’t stop at regular old documents, either. You can print posters, business cards, even large printing jobs like canvas prints or yard signs. Office Depot has a rather exhausting list of different printing options.
Office Depot’s prices are, at the writing of this article, sitting at $0.09 per black and white page. For a fully colored page, you’ll be paying around $0.42 per page. And if you don’t have an Office Depot around, try looking for an OfficeMax, instead; OfficeMax is actually owned by Office Depot, so their services aren’t any different.
Another office supply store you should try out is Staples. At Staples, you can copy, print, scan, fax and even print your documents straight from the cloud or your email.
Their selection of various printing types, other than your standard paper, are just as extensive as Office Depot or OfficeMax. You can print yourself some business cards, banners, posters, cards and invitations, even print out blueprints. However, what Staples has going for it is it’s impressive list of options to truly customize the documents you’re printing.
With that being said, you’ll be paying a little extra for the documents you print. Regular documents, standard issue black and white, are running at $0.14 for a single page. As for fully colorized pages, you’ll have a bill of $0.56 per page. Ouch. To be fair, the options you have available to you are definitely worth the increased price. It’s something to consider. But if there’s nothing but a Staples near you, well, then you have no other choice unless there’s another alternative.
Look For Cheaper Options
Don’t be afraid to hit up any nearby local supply stores. Oftentimes you’ll find their prices can be just as good or even better. And, as a bonus, you’re helping a local store in your community. What’s not to like about that deal?
Any Shipping Stores Near You
Yes, that’s right, shipping stores don’t have any problem helping a customer print documents. Besides their day jobs–sending packages from one side of the Earth to another–walk into one of their shipping locations and they’ll gladly provide printing services to you. Of course, you’ll need to pay for it. That’s the price of doing business.
The UPS Store
UPS has a rather extensive list of various printing types like door hangers and envelopes. And, surprisingly, if you needed any 3D printing done, you can do it through UPS.
Unfortunately, UPS’ prices on printing varies on your location; there is no set price. However, they do offer the ability to upload the documents you need printed online, but not all options have that opportunity. They’ll throw you an estimated project completion and you can pick the documents up afterwards.
FedEx advertises their printing services differently by breaking up the various printing types into categories: personal, small business and corporate. For personal use, you’ll find options for canvas prints, photo posters and generic documents. Under small business, you’ll find options like banners and business cards. Lastly, corporate options actually don’t have printing options, but rather, shipping options.
But, to be frank, the separation of the different printing types only makes it more organized. In reality, FedEx offers much of the same as UPS.
You’ll find printing options for documents under the “Small Business” section. However, you can also choose to upload documents. Unfortunately, FedEx’s prices also vary. You could be paying $1.99 or $2.99 or more. It depends on the project itself. You’ll also tack on an extra cost if you decide you want the documents sent to you.
Look For Cheaper Options
Before making your choice on big names like UPS or FedEx, consider stopping by a local shipping company. You might be surprised by their prices. All things considered, their prices can run along the same line as places like UPS and FedEx or, in many cases, run cheaper, especially if they’re near big named companies, just as a way to compete with them. And hey, you’re helping out your community, too. It’s a win-win.
When You’re Staying at a Hotel, Motel or Apartment
If you travel frequently, or you just happen to be crashing at a hotel or motel, most businesses have an office, usually at the front desk, that give you the opportunity to print a number of documents. Most employees are happy to help you, especially if you aren’t technologically savvy, and you ask politely. Have your wallet ready, though. It’s unlikely to be a free service for buying a room.
And if you live in an apartment complex, there’s usually an office or a service center, that offers its residents the opportunity to print a few documents.
Stopping By a Copy and Print Store
You’re forgiven if you’ve never heard of a “copy and print” store. Think of an office supply store, but smaller. In fact, some copy and print stores only copy and print. You might even get the occasional one that can fax documents, too.
The main focus–the only focus–of a copy and print store is to copy and print. They offer a wide variety of printed documentation, enough to provide a service in towns and the occasional major city. The great advantage of copy and print stores is staff is able to work with their customers one on one. However, they can get pricey, but again, it depends on the store.
Copy and print stores are, basically, dead. You’ll find them, sure, but their numbers are dwindling. In this day and age, their service is far too niche to keep their numbers strong, considering many businesses that offer printing services tend to have their hand in something bigger while the printing service is something done on the side, like Office Depot and Staples.
Pharmacies and Drug Stores
If you have a CVS near you, congratulations are in order because you have the option of stopping by for printing services. Stores like CVS used to be relegated to mere photo solutions and printing pictures out, but have since changed their tune and offered more than just a sleek picture of your dog.
As of the writing of this article, CVS offers a single sheet of black and white at $0.19 per page, while colored copies are running for $0.99 per page. And if you want your scanned documents placed on a CD, it’ll cost you $3.99. The downside to using CVS is their selection of printed documentation is rather lacking; it’s pretty barebones compared to places like Office Depot or Staples. But that won’t matter if CVS or any other drug store and pharmacy is the only nearby option you have. It’s not a bad choice for simply printing documents.
If you do plan on printing documents at a CVS, call ahead of time. Get the scoop on their process and take a flash drive with you with your documents ready for printing.
Use an Online Printing Store
This method is best left for large quantities of documents. If you’re looking to bulk buy, then by all means, use an online printing store. Prices do vary but their price points are tallied in a way that encourages bulk buying. So, if you decide to use one, but only need a few copies, you could end up paying more than you would, say, at your local library or local drug store.
By the time you start paying just as much as, say, a library, you’ll have tallied several dozen pages when all you wanted was two or three or five. Not worth the hassle for a few documents. Definitely worth considering if you plan on printing 100 copies or more.
However, take this as a warning, be careful of the places you choose to buy from. You could be buying from a website looking to scam an unsuspecting victim. Just think, if someone bulk buys documents, they’re probably in business.To a scammer, if someone’s in business, then they’re a target.
Walking to Your Local Post Office
This solution is, yet another, method that is hit or miss. Post offices do offer printing services, but some might only offer it to residents using their postal service. However, it’s unlikely since many tend to partner with other companies in an effort to offer printing services. Walk into your local post office and, chances are, they’ll gladly print a few documents for you.
As you can see, there’s a plethora of locations near you that will be more than happy to print documents for you, some with far more options than others. Head over to Google and search for any of the locations listed above and choose the one that works for you.