It’s 3 pm on Friday and you need to get a document into the mail by 5 pm before the mail lady collects everything from the send box. There’s one slight problem, however. You don’t have a printer to actually print your document. What are you going to do? How are you going to get the document into the mailbox on time? Today we’re going to show you how to print if you don’t have a printer.
Disclaimer: prices within this article are subject to change based on location and time of year.
Go to an Office Supply Store
Your first and best option, if you’re in a pinch, is going to be to go to an office supply store. Most towns or cities have at least one office supply store within a reasonable distance. If you’re unsure where the closest office supply store is in your area, you can go to Google Maps and conduct a search for the 2 most popular in the United States: Office Depot and Staples.
Both Office Depot and Staples have the option to physically go in the store in order to initiate your printing project or you can order your printing job on their website and pick it up once the job is complete.
If you decide to go in person to conduct your order, they might require you to bring a USB memory stick with your files you want to print or they might require you to email the files to a specified email address. Make sure you have your files you want to print either on your cell phone with email capabilities or on a USB memory stick that you can plug into their system.
The cost to print at Office Depot varies. They use a sliding scale, meaning the more copies you print, the cheaper each copy will be. However, even if you’re only printing one copy or page it should cost you 50 cents for full color and 14 cents for black and white. Remember, the more copies you print the cheaper each copy will be.
To begin your order online and pick it up the same day at your local Office Depot location, click here.
Similar to Office Depot, the more copies you print at Staples the cheaper each copy will be. Staples charges 14 cents per page for black and white printed copies. For color copies, Staples charges 56 cents per page.
To begin your order online and pick it up the same day at your local Staples location, click here.
Go to a Shipping Store
You may be familiar with these two little companies called FedEx and UPS. They both have branches all over the nation. They both offer printing services that are pretty conveniently located, depending on where you live. These locations might not be as affordable as the office supply stores above, but they’re cheaper than buying a printer! Although, if this is something that you have to do often, a printer might be worth looking into.
Like the other options listed above, UPS offers a variety of print services. They offer black & white printing, color printing, different paper types, orientation, etc.
UPS has an online portable where you can upload your files and pick them up once they are done printing. Click here to view the UPS Storefront.
UPS charges $2.70 for the first black & white page printing and $3.19 for the first color page printed.
FedEx also offers an online portal to upload your documents and pick them up in store once they are completed. You can view the portal by clicking here. They charge 54 cents for the first color page printed and 14 cents for the first black & white page printed.
As with all the others so far, the more you print the cheaper each page will end up being. You can play with the prices yourself on each of the sites by increasing the quantities and viewing the price accordingly.
Other Shipping Stores
FedEx and UPS are the two most popular shipping stores in the United States. This does not mean they are the only shipping stores available. There are many other shipping stores available. The odds are that they offer similar printing services as those listed above. Most of them are essentially a storefront and they ship their packages via UPS, FedEx or USPS.
Go to Your Local Library
When’s the last time you went to your local library? If you live in the United States most areas will have a local library. Libraries typically have pretty limited hours, but usually they do have computers and printers available for use. In my experience, the computers are free to use, but the printers are not.
In order to use the computer at the library you will most likely need a library card. Library cards can be free, however some might charge you a few bucks for the physical card to cover the cost. Once you have a card, you should be able to use the computer for a limited amount of time.
To use the printers you will generally have to pay per copy. They will most likely be very affordable, but it will vary depending on your location. If you are going to print from the library, make sure you bring cash. A lot of libraries are still behind the times and only have the ability to accept cash. I have even seen printers at the library that accept coins, like a vending machine.
Go to Your University
If you take classes at a university, printing is typically covered within your tuition. You probably have access to a library or study hall at your university which has computers and printers.
This is a great option for those of you that are in school. Depending on your school policy, you may have limitations on the amount you can print in a single day, week or semester. Make sure you know this number so you don’t go over your printing limits and not have enough copies left for when you need it next. If you run into this challenge, see if one of your friends or classmates will allow you to use their ID to print a few copies.
You Can Try a Hotel
I DO NOT RECOMMEND DOING THIS.
I advise this option as a last resort. Yes, pun intended.
Most hotels have some kind of office or business center. These centers generally have computers and a printer. From my experience, they aren’t really regulated either. This means, in theory, you have the ability to walk into the hotel and use the computer and printer to print as you’d like.
I’m not sure if this is legal or illegal. You could potentially be fined or trespassed. There can be consequences to this action.
If you are staying at the hotel, then there shouldn’t be any problem. Speak with the front desk to see what their policy is for printing and make sure to abide by those rules.
Things to Remember
There are plenty of methods above that show you how to print if you don’t have a printer. Make sure if you decide not to order your prints online or the method you choose doesn’t allow you to create your order online, that you bring your file you want to print with you. This can be on a USB memory stick, having the document on your phone or having it in your email on your phone. The last thing you want is to show up to the store and not have the file to print. If you do that, I don’t think you’ll be able to get that document in the mail by 5 pm!