Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to make copies? Even though you may not have a copier machine at home, you may occasionally need copies for a tax return, to sell a home, to apply for a loan or anything else where the digital paper trail is just not quite enough.
Or maybe you simply want to make a Word doc or PDF into a laminated, covered spiral bound book, or you need to make a copy for your child’s school project. Whatever the case, there are many places you can get copies made for cheap so you’re not stuck purchasing an expensive copier for the once-a-year you need one.
How Much Does it Cost to Make Copies Near Me?
I can’t necessarily tell you what the costs are for specific stores in your area (although some sites are specific), but I can give you an idea of what copies might cost in your area.
Black and white copies are relatively inexpensive to get made; you can plan on spending between 3 cents per page up to 25 cents per page.
Color copies will be a bit more expensive. You can plan on spending roughly between 30 cents a page up to 75 cents a page. And then of course you’ll pay more if you want them spiral bound in a book of some sort, or laminated or some other type of additional service.
Now that you have a rough estimate of what you’ll pay, let’s talk about some of the places where you might be able to make copies near you.
Make Copies at an Office Supply or Shipping Store
There are stores that exist for the purpose of providing office supplies and services, and those stores will often have copy services available for customers. Here is a list of some of the more well-known office supply stores.
Office Depot (also known as OfficeMax) has approximately 1,400 store locations in the U.S. They provide a wide variety of office services including copy making.
You can get them made in a store location or order online and have them ready to pick up at a location near you. Or you can have them shipped to you. Shipping from Office Depot is free on qualifying orders of $35 or more.
Online prices via their website are currently running at 9 cents per black and white page and 42 cents for a color page.
Prices may vary if you go directly into a store location to order. When we use Office Depot, we prefer to go directly to the office to have them scan the document and copy it, simply because they have much higher quality scanners than what we have at home.
We’ve had the local Office Depot scan and copy dozens of documents for us – even color documents that need to be super high quality – and they’ve always done a great job, at least at our local store location.
FedEx (also known as FedEx/Kinkos in some locations) is another popular chain store to use. They have over 1,800 available locations.
FedEx will also let you make copies online and pick them up at a store location near you, or they’ll ship them to you. You can plan on paying for shipping unless you have an order of $100 or more, in which case they’ll ship for free.
The FedEx website didn’t list prices for basic black and white or color copies online anywhere that I could find, however in our area I’ve found that they tend to be more expensive than what the local Office Max charges.
You’ll want to call your local FedEx location for more information before heading to their store, especially if you’ve got competing office supply stores close by. It’s always good to compare prices.
The UPS Store is primarily a shipping store but many locations also offer copy and print services. There are currently over 5,000 UPS Store locations (independently owned via the franchise system) in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.
Because UPS Stores are franchised, the cost varies by location, so your best bet is to stop in or call a location near you to get prices.
They also offer laminating, binding and other special print services. Again, because the store locations are independently owned it’s best to call or stop in to a location to get the full scoop on services and prices.
The Staples office supply store chain has over 1,500 locations in the U.S. They offer color and black and white copy services at all locations.
They also offer presentation manual creation and other services. Pricing depends on your preferences. You can contact your individual Staples location for more information, or check online to design and order copies of documents you upload.
Other Local Print Shops
Besides national chain print shops such as Office Depot and Staples, you might be able to find copy machines at local, franchise and mom and pop print shops near you.
You can do an Internet search for these types of places if you’re not familiar with ones in your area. Just search “copy services near me” or “make copies near me”.
Other Local or National Brand Shipping Stores
There are also other shipping stores besides FedEx and UPS that may offer copy machine services for you.
One that comes to mind is PostNet. PostNet is a smaller franchised shipping store that also offers copy services at many locations.
In fact, when I was running a non-profit group several years back we got all of our copying done at the local PostNet franchise store. They gave us a super competitive price and had great service.
If you do an Internet search for “shipping stores near me” you should be able to find other stores besides the well-known UPS and FedEx stores.
Make Copies at Other Types of Stores
Your local grocery store may or may not offer copy machine services. Note that Walmart and Target do not offer these services, at least not at any of the stores I’ve researched or visited. Walmart does offer some check cashing services.
Here is a list of some of the grocery stores that may offer copy services.
Okay, so Costco is more of a warehouse club than a grocery store, but they do offer copy services at many locations. And the prices are super competitive. They charge 3.5 cents for black and white, and 29 cents for color.
Bonus: there’s a little asterisk on the Costco website denoting that volume pricing is available, meaning you could pay even less than that if you’ve got a large number of copies to make.
*Note: Sam’s Club now has a business center along with their photo center, but it’s not clear about whether or not they offer basic black and white or color copying services. Check with your local Sam’s Club for details.
Some Hy-Vee grocery stores also offer copy services, although all of them don’t. Prices and services vary by location, so call or stop into your local Hy-Vee grocery store location for more details on what they offer as far as office services and how much they charge.
Coborn’s grocery stores are located primarily in the upper Midwest. Some stores offer these services and some don’t, and of course prices and services vary by location. Check out their store locator to find a store near you, and call or stop by to see if your local Coborn’s offers copy services to the public.
Fiesta Mart grocery stores are located primarily in the south, and some of their store locations offer copy services too. Again, services and pricing vary by location. Check out their store locator to find a Fiesta Mart near you, and call or stop in for more information.
Your Local Pharmacy or Drugstore
Some local pharmacies and drug stores have copy services too. It’s important to note that some of the larger, national pharmacy store chains, such as Walgreen’s and Rite-Aid, do not. However, there is one national chain that does.
CVS stores do offer copy services at many locations. While these services are not available in all locations, CVS is working to establish copy services at select locations.
You can stop in to your local CVS to find out if they offer this service. Note that copies at CVS aren’t cheap: their website says (as of this writing) it’ll cost you 19 cents to make a single-sided black and white copy and 99 cents for single-sided color.
Make Copies at Government Offices
Some government office may also offer copy machine services, but that all depends on your local city’s individual venue.
Your Local Library
Some public libraries have machines available for use. Most of the time you’ll find a coin operated copy machine if there are these services at your local public library. Call or stop in to your local library to find out if they have a machine available for public use.
Some post offices also have coin operated copy machines available in their lobbies, although this is not a service available at all post offices. You’ll need to stop by your local post office to find out if they offer this service.
Make Copies Through Online Copy Websites
If you’re not in a huge hurry, you may be able to use one of the online websites that will allow you to scan or upload a file and have the copies delivered right to your door.
Many offer expedited shipping options too, so you could potentially have them at your home or business within just a couple of days. Here is a list of some of the more popular websites.
Best Value Copy will make copies for just 9 cents and black and white for 2.5 cents each. They also have coupon codes on the site that can get you even more discounts depending on how many you’ll need.
Know that you’ll pay for shipping with these guys unless your order is over $125.
DocuCopies is more expensive than Best Value, with prices starting at roughly 11 cents for black and white copies and 28 cents for color copies. You do get deep discounts on these prices if you’re making 1,000 or more copies.
As with Best Value Copy, DocuCopies will ship your order free of charge if you spend $125 or more.
I don’t know that I’d use this site for making just a few individual copies as they have set-up fees as well. However, they could be a good choice if you’re printing manuals, books, etc.
Don’t let the name fool you: Color Copies Today makes black and white and color copies, and they’ve been in business for nearly 40 years. The prices given on the website are for bulk orders, so it might be best to use this company if you need a lot of copies.
Shipping costs for these guys depends on the size of your order and is calculated during checkout.
Other Places You Might Be Able to Make Copies
There are a few other places you might be able to make copies as well. Here are some ideas.
Most employers have copy machines available somewhere in their offices. Of course, you’d have to get permission first, but many employers are fine with employees making copies at the office.
Some employers will charge a small amount for making copies in order to make up for ink and paper costs, others will let you make them for free as long as you’re not doing so on a regular basis and using up an inordinate amount of ink and paper supplies.
Using the machine at work is probably best if you only need to do so once in awhile and if you have permission from the powers-that-be to do so.
Your Local Bank
Your local bank – the one you do business with – may be willing to make copies for you on occasion. I wouldn’t expect them to do so on a regular basis, however they might be okay with it once in a while, especially if it’s a smaller, local bank.
Many of the bigger, national banks won’t make copies for customers anymore (when I worked at the bigger banks years ago they’d always make copies for customers) but it wouldn’t hurt to ask next time you stop in.
Many of the smaller banks, however, are still very customer service oriented and happy to provide that service to customers on an occasional basis.
Your Rental Leasing Office
If you lease an apartment or townhome with an on-site leasing office, the leasing office may be able to make copies for you occasionally.
As with your bank, I wouldn’t expect to be able to use them to make copies on any kind of a regular basis, however once in a while may not be a problem. Check with your leasing office to see if they have a copier available for tenants, and how much it costs to make copies if they do.
Local Colleges and Universities
Local colleges and universities often have copy machines available for use – by students, faculty and/or alumni. Very rarely will you find their machines open to the public.
If you (or your kid) are attending a local college or university, you may be able to get copies made at the student office.
Again, I wouldn’t use this source on any kind of a regular basis (unless it’s specifically related to your schooling), however the option may exist for students, faculty or alumni. Check with the school’s office staff for more information on whether or not you can use their copier and how much it will cost to do so.
Hotel Business Centers
Copy machines are also often available at hotel business centers. Many hotel chains – and even some smaller hotel companies – have a business center that includes one or two desktop computers, a fax machine and a copy machine.
Some hotel offer this service at no charge, some cost money you pay to the hotel concierge or are coin operated. Copies at hotel business centers are generally reserved for patron use only, but if it’s a coin operated copier you may be able to get permission from hotel staff to use it.
Most larger airports have business centers. If you have to go to the airport you can time it so you can make copies while you’re there. Expect to pay some type of a fee to make copies at an airport business center.
Public Office Buildings
Besides a post office or library location, you can occasionally find coin operated copy machines at other public office buildings such as a courthouse or city hall building, or potentially a school district office.
Usage rules may vary, so you’ll have to check with your city hall or other public building employees for more information on whether they have a machine and what the rules for use are.
Tips for Making Great Copies
Before you go into any store or other location to get copies made, keep in mind these tips for making great copies.
Have a High Quality Original
One of the reasons people use copy stores instead of inexpensive home copiers is that the quality of the copy is so much better – especially if you need to make color copies.
One of my daughters is an artist, and for her getting color copies that match the original is of the utmost importance to her. Unfortunately, while our $59 home copy machine is great for basic copying, it’s horrible at mimicking the detailed colors on Madelyn’s original artwork, so we always use the local OfficeMax.
However, a copy will only be as good as the original you have, so it’s important to have a high quality original when you go in.
High quality originals consist of:
- A digital file. This is best as there is the least chance of damage to the original.
- A paper copy that is totally free of smudges, dirt or damage to the paper. The more interference your original has in terms of dirt or wrinkles, the more chance you have of the copies not looking their best. Try carrying paper originals in a manila folder or envelope for extra protection on the way to the copy store.
Be Specific About What You Want
Copies can come on a variety of different types of papers and inks. Be clear with the store employee about exactly what you are looking for.
For instance, if you’re making copies of an artistic endeavor for selling to the public you’ll want to be sure to use high quality paper instead of the typical 20 pound weight stuff you would use for basic black and white copies.
Be sure to talk with the copy center employee and let him or her know specifically what you need in terms of copy quality.
Ask for the Expert’s Advice
If you’re doing a specialized print job such as a manual for your business or brochure for your business, ask the copy employee’s advice about paper style, binding information and so forth.
These guys and gals are the printing experts and often have valuable advice on how to get your job done with the best results and at the best price.
If you need copies made, there’s no shortage of places you can go to get the work done. Luckily for you, copy services are in abundant supply in most metropolitan areas.
Where do you go to get high quality copies?