Once or twice a year you might need to make a photocopy of an important document before it gets mailed off to the insurance agency, government agency. Or, maybe you need copies more often because you’re launching a business and printing on an inkjet is too expensive or time-consuming to do at home.
Maybe you have a special job that needs to be copied in color or spiral bound–two features your printer at home can’t do.
No matter the reason why you need to make copies, there are plenty of locations near you to make copies for cheap, even in our ever-increasing digital world!
How Much Do Copies Cost?
The biggest factor in determining how much it costs to make a copy is if you print in black and white or color.
Depending on where you make your copies, you can expect to pay the following rates for single-sided copies:
- Black and White: Free to 25 cents per page
- Color: 10 cents to 60 cents per page
You shouldn’t have to pay any more if your document is stored on a USB drive, but you will need to make sure the copy place has USB printing capabilities. Most places do but still ask before going if you’re unsure.
Some places offer a discount when you have a bulk order (1000+ pages) that you won’t receive when you only need to make a couple copies. You can also save money by making duplex (double-sided) copies too because you use half the paper.
It doesn’t matter if you are printing for personal or business reasons, making copies is an expense many of us don’t factor into our monthly budgets.
When you are just beginning to pursue a side hustle and you’re making copies to advertise your business, money spent on copies means less money you can spend on advertising or buying the necessary equipment or software to expand your business.
Look for Free Copies First
Before you go to your local copy store, you might be able to get copies for free at these places first. Free copies can be just as good as paid copies.
1. Your Apartment Leasing Office
If you live in an apartment complex, they might have a small business center in the leasing office with a copy and fax machine. They usually let you make a handful of black and white copies for free.
Even if you do have to pay for additional copies, their rate can usually be cheaper than the local copy centers and you don’t have to pay for gas to drive their either.
Since you’re already paying monthly rent, the business center is one your paid amenities. When I still lived in an apartment, I took advantage of this complimentary service as I would have to periodically copy and fax documents for insurance claims and work.
2. Your Place of Employment
Check with your boss first, but you might be able to use the office copy machine for a personal use. Since it’s only a few copies, they shouldn’t mind.
3. Your Friends or Family
If you have a friend or family member with an all-in-one machine, you can make copies and pay them a visit at the same time.
Make Cheap Paper Copies Around Town
When you can’t make copies for free, you will have no problem finding a place in town that offers copying services. Rates can vary widely, so it pays to compare prices if you have a large job to complete.
4. Google “Cheap Copies Near Me”
Unless you absolutely have to, you don’t want to drive to the other side of town to make photocopies because that’s the only business you know of that makes copies.
Before leaving home, google “cheap copies near me” to see a map and list of places that advertise black and white or color copies. You can save time and gas money which make your copies even cheaper!
5. Your Local Library
Almost every town has a public library and most libraries let you make black and white copies for a small fee. My local library charges 15 cents per black and white copy.
You can find your local library by googling “Your City or County Name Public Library” or you can also check out the Public Library Database as well.
Besides your local public library, your local university library should have a copy machine as well.
6. The Local Post Office
A few US Post Office locations still have a copy machine. The USPS doesn’t publish this information online so it might be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. To save time, call your local post office to see if they indeed have a copy machine available to the public.
7. Local Community Centers
Local community centers operated by the government or non-profits might have a public copy machine too. This can be the next best place to look besides your local library when you want to make copies at a public place.
8. FedEx Office
Previously known as Kinko’s until a few years ago, FedEx Office offers copy and print services plus FedEx shipping.
You can also submit copy orders online and pick them up at your local FedEx Office location which can be more affordable than just walking in.
9. UPS Store
The UPS Store (formerly Mailboxes Etc.) also offers copy services with more than 2,600 national locations.
Black and white copies start at $0.12 and color copies sell for $0.49 each. You might be able to get a discount for larger jobs. In addition to copies, you can also rent a PO Box to earn mailbox money and ship via UPS.
10. Your Local Copy Store
In my small town, we don’t have a UPS Store or FedEx Office, but we do have a locally-owned copy and printing store that prints photocopies, banners, business cards, and even packs and ships your packages for you.
These locations might be located near your town’s university or business district.
11. CVS Pharmacy
Select CVS Pharmacy locations also offer copy services. Call ahead to make sure your local CVS does indeed offer copy services. If they do, you can expect to pay the following per copy:
- Black and White: $0.19
- Color: $0.99
12. Office Depot and OfficeMax
All Office Depot locations offer print and copy services plus custom printing services when you need more than a basic photocopy.
Basic single-sided black and white copies start at $0.09 each and color copies cost $0.49 per page.
If you have an OfficeMax store in your city instead of Office Depot, you can expect to pay the same rate. These two companies recently merged and offer the same products and services despite having two different brand names.
The other large office supply store that might be near you is Staples. They also have rates as low as $0.021 cents per page when you need to make more than 100,000 copies in a single job.
For your first 100 pages, you can expect to pay the following per page:
- Black and White: $0.085
- Color: $0.42 (First 50, then $0.37 each for pages 51-100)
Staples is cheaper than most of the other “national” copy and print centers so it does pay to check them out first if you have one nearby. As the largest office supply store, there’s a good chance that a Staples location is close by.
Costco also offers copies at their copy and print center in addition to the other bulk shopping opportunities for your home or business.
To qualify for their best rates, you will need to order a minimum of 1,000 black and white copies to pay 3.5 cents each and only 50 color copies to pay 29 cents each.
Costco is one of the most affordable places for color prints because the 50-page minimum can be easy to reach when you’re trying to launch a business and will be handing out flyers to potential customers. An additional service you might also consider is their binding and laminating options to create a professional-quality booklet.
Besides photocopies, you can also use Costco to print business cards, letterheads, and even banners or posters. Plus, you can even design promotional products like hats, travel mugs, magnets and t-shirts.
If you regularly order online from Costco, don’t forget to sign up for Paribus to receive cash back when a product price drops after you make a purchase.
Get Copies Made at Your Grocery Store
Some grocery stores also let you make copies in addition to buying food. Not only can you save money on groceries, but you might also make cheap copies as well.
Coborn’s offers copy and print services. Copy prices vary by location so you will need to check with your local store. In addition to copy and fax services, Coborn’s will also take care of your dry cleaning, bus passes, and recycling bags too.
16. Fiesta Mart
Select Fiesta Mart locations in Texas offer copy and fax services. You will need to call or visit your local store to find out for sure.
H-E-B stores in select locations offer copy services too. Visit your H-E-B business center to find out.
Select Hy-Vee locations also have a copy machine. Ask the next time you shop or call ahead before you go.
19. Your Favorite Grocery Store
It’s possible your local grocery store offers copy services too. They might advertise them online in the “in-store services” tab or you can always call or ask them. Almost every business, even grocery stores, have a copy machine on-site for their business copying needs and they might let their patrons use it as well.
Order Copies Online
How do you make copies from home without a copy machine?
By ordering copies online.
When you don’t need copies made immediately, you might be able to save some money by ordering your copies online and either picking them up locally or even having them delivered to your front door.
Online copies can be cheaper than going in-person because they have fewer overhead expenses.
While many of the places above can make copies from a USB drive, in addition to scanning your paper copy, you will need to upload an image of your document to make copies online.
Besides some of the national retailers mentioned above (UPS Store, FedEx Office, Staples, and Office Depot/OfficeMax), consider the following copy services too.
Ebates is a cashback portal that can help you save money on copies you order online that can be ordered online and either delivered to you or picked up in-person.
For our business, my wife and I have periodically order copies online and pick them up at our local office supply store when we don’t have time to wait around for a bulk job to be completed. Instead, we upload our documents, choose the quantity and formatting, and drive to the store when the order is ready.
We pay the same amount as we would in-store, but it’s more convenient and we get bonus Ebates cashback too!
To see if your copy order qualifies for Ebates cashback, type the name of any of these recommendations into the search bar to find out. Otherwise, you can always enter “copy” or “print” into the Ebates search bar to find other online copy shops.
21. Best Value Copy
Best Value Copy is one of the best online print shops for black and white or color copies. Unlike some of the other online-only copy shops, you won’t pay a setup fee and you pay the same flat rate for each copy, regardless of quantity.
Here’s what you can expect to pay for each page copied:
- Black and White: 2.5 cents each
- Color: 9 cents each
There are no order minimums and all orders ship within 24 to 48 hours.
If you have at least 1,000 copies to be made, DocuCopies offers black and white or color copies that are mailed directly to your home or office.
Black and white copies cost 6.4 cents each (1,000 copy minimum) and 7.7 cents each for color.
They even offer next-day delivery when you submit your order by the daily cutoff time.
ColorCopiesToday offers black and white or color copies at the following rate per page:
- Black and White (500-page minimum): 4 cents per page
- Standard Color Copies (150-page minimum): 15 cents per page
- Glossy Color Copies (200-page minimum): 11 cents per page
Prices drop as the size of your order increase. in addition to copies, you can also print a variety of other business products including brochures and customized envelopes.
Vistaprint is one of the largest printing services. You can’t order black and white or color copies, but they can be used for the following print media:
- Business cards
- Door hangers
- Promotional materials
If it can be printed, Vistaprint will do it. We’ve used them in the past and have been happy with their service each time.
In a world where everything seems to be going paperless, we all still need to make copies from time to time. Whether you only need to make one copy or 10,000 copies, it’s easy to find a place that can do it for a few pennies per page and save you money. How awesome is that?
Where do you find the cheapest copies?
Save Money Using a Robot
How would you like to save money without having to do much effort? Well, now you can.
There is a free tool called Trim which will cancel your unused subscriptions, find you cash back, and renegotiate your bills for you. All you do is sign up, connect an account and their robotic assistant will email you ways that you can save money.