Looking for a cheap printer in DC..
August 10, 2009 7:59 PM   Subscribe

I don't own a printer, and don't work in an office - where do I go in the DC area to get some very long (but not fancy) documents printed on the cheap?

Hate to waste a question on this, but it's near impossible to Google. I have a project for which I'll need to check off edits on a physical copy of PDF documents.. but a place like Kinko's is going to charge about 50 cents a page.

I expect to have several hundred pages of plain text that I need to print. The company assigning me the work is midway across the country so I can't use their offices.

Anyone know a place that could just run off a black and white text document for me, on cheap generic paper & not charge $75 to do it? I'm by Court House, Arlington but have a car so if it's not near a metro that's fine.

(Project is a one time thing so no, not willing to buy a printer, I don't have the space.)
posted by citron to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Arlington County libraries and Fairfax County libraries charge $0.15 per page for black-and-white printing from their public computers.
posted by candyland at 8:11 PM on August 10, 2009

You may also want to check places like freecycle or place a want ad on craigslist. People often just want to get rid of old, but still functional, printers.
posted by 517 at 8:22 PM on August 10, 2009

Response by poster: I'll try the library.. I had a printer that I got from freecycle, but then I gave it away because I didn't have the space for it & would've needed to buy a different cable to connect to the ports on my pc, not worth the headache of dealing with that.
posted by citron at 8:25 PM on August 10, 2009

If the library doesn't work out for you, Basecamp near Dupont Circle is less expensive than Kinko's (though not as cheap as the library), and the guys who run the place are really nice.
posted by EvaDestruction at 8:57 PM on August 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Mimeo if you can wait for shipping.
posted by mullacc at 10:33 PM on August 10, 2009

FedEx/Kinko's is cheaper than the library. If you submit your job online FedEx/Kinko's charges $0.10 per page to print black & white PDF documents. You don't have to pay for shipping -- they'll let you pick up your print job in person.0
posted by RichardP at 12:00 AM on August 11, 2009

Best answer: You could also try calling your local Office Depot or Staples (which have locations in your area -- including an Office Depot on N Courthouse Rd/Clarendon Blvd). Let them know that you have PDF files and want to print X number of black and white pages on plain copier paper, and see if they'll tell you the per page rate.

I'm not in the DC area, but in the past I've had b&w laser printing done at Office Depot (about 800 pages in one visit) and it was cheaper than FedEx/Kinko's rates (pretty sure it was less than 10 cents/page, not including sales tax, but keep in mind that this was about five years ago). At the time, Office Depot had separate rate brackets depending on the total number of pages printed (generally the more printed, the cheaper the rate). Basically, I called ahead of time and checked to make sure they were able to print what I needed, and then asked how long the wait would be if I showed up in an hour. Then I went to the store with my documents on a CDR and the staffer printed everything out almost right away. YMMV of course.

(Similarly to RichardP's suggestion -- it also looks like you could upload documents on the officedepot.com website and have them print it that way, but I haven't tried that. Also didn't spot any rates right away...)
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 1:07 AM on August 11, 2009

Also try a few local UPS stores, sometimes the owners will give you a discount. I've had to fax a couple of 20+ page documents a few times and they only charged me for 1 page ($2) instead of the whole lot which would have been like $40-$45. In turn, I make sure to take my business to those stores when I can.

Talk to them, maybe they will cut you a break.
posted by SoulOnIce at 2:25 AM on August 11, 2009

Response by poster: The Office Depot said they'll do it for 8 cents a page, which is totally fine. thanks all! much appreciated!
posted by citron at 11:32 AM on August 11, 2009

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