US Service to send my mom a printout?
July 15, 2021 3:14 AM   Subscribe

Occassionally, my mom needs a hardcopy of things. She doesn't have a computer nor does she want to deal with printers anyways. Is there a reliable service I can email a document to and have them (postal) mail a printout to her. Is there another solution I am not thinking of? In this case its an airline ticket she wants printed.
posted by vacapinta to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does your mother live near a Kinko's or other similar pack-and-ship type of place? There was a period when I didn't have a printer, but there was a pack-and-ship place up the street where you could print things out for like a buck for three pages or some similarly cheap option. I would go there, pull things up on my webmail account on their computers, and print.

Your mother doesn't have a computer, but it may be worth signing her up for a gmail account or something, and then you could email things to the Gmail account and she could go there, pull it up on their computers and print it there. If she's computer-averse, she could enlist help from the staff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:24 AM on July 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

If she is OK picking something up, a lot of public libraries will do free printouts of up to ten pages a day, and in my experience (I’ve been a bit nomadic recently) many don’t require you to be a library member—many just have an email address you send stuff to, and librarians have been pretty friendly about it to me. (To be clear, you’d email the library and she’d pick it up.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:27 AM on July 15, 2021 [4 favorites]

a reliable service I can email a document to and have them (postal) mail a printout to her. Is there another solution I am not thinking of?

It seems simpler for you to print it and mail it yourself. Unless you’re not in the US and it would take unacceptably long?
posted by showbiz_liz at 4:00 AM on July 15, 2021 [9 favorites]

Her local UPS store will do this, although she’d have to pick it up. You can upload it or email it directly to the store.

If she can’t pick it up, I bet they can mail it or maybe you could get Taskrabbit to get it over to her.

Good luck! Printing is a pain in the patoot.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 4:11 AM on July 15, 2021

Seconding needs more cowbell - if she’s able to go pick it up, check to see if her local library offers “wireless printing” or “remote printing” service.

Sending the print job can be sort of confusing. It usually works via an app, or with a website you can upload a file/document to, or by emailing a file/document to a particular address. But if you can handle that part, then it’s just a matter of having her visit the library to release the job and pick it up and pay for any fees.
posted by kittydelsol at 4:11 AM on July 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I forgot to add:
-I am not in the US.
-Several people could do this for her as a favor but I'd rather have something that is independent of always asking for favors.
-She does not drive.
-There are places within driving distance that do this as pick-up (not delivery) but I'd have to figure out how to get it to her. She knows how to use Uber so I guess she could get it herself this way or pay someone to get it for her. Just wondering if there are other options.
posted by vacapinta at 4:12 AM on July 15, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks for the library recommendations, though! I hadn't considered that. She is walking distance from a library and I am checking to see if that is possible.
posted by vacapinta at 4:14 AM on July 15, 2021 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Yup. Letter Stream does exactly this.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:16 AM on July 15, 2021 [21 favorites]

Yep, some (Most?) mom and pop copy shops will do this - either deliver for a fee or pop it into the mail for the cost of postage. If you have trouble finding one in her town, message me and I can give you the one in my town (they'll ship across the US).
posted by Toddles at 4:30 AM on July 15, 2021 [2 favorites]

My Mom always got her bank to do this kind of thing.
posted by james33 at 5:05 AM on July 15, 2021

If she's in a city a courier company might both print and deliver. They would definitely be able to pick up from one place and deliver to another. It's not as expensive as you'd think. Architecture firms regularly send drawings to be printed at one place and picked up and delivered by the courier.
posted by sepviva at 5:53 AM on July 15, 2021

FedEx Kinkos seems to do this. I know you can upload files online, and it looks like you can ask them to deliver said printed product instead of picking up yourself.
posted by ellerhodes at 6:46 AM on July 15, 2021

I think most print shops will have online ordering and will deliver although you will have to pay a delivery fee. For the large national brands, Kinko's does, as well as Staples. Office Depot will also print and deliver.

I just looked at Office Depot for example and it is 14 cents a page to print a black and white document plus a $10 delivery fee.
posted by muddgirl at 7:49 AM on July 15, 2021

That's my guess for the FedExKinko's price, as well -- their lowest for black&white's going to be at least 10¢ a page. I'd go to the library for the printing, but unfortunately there's no way they'd mail anything for you.
posted by Rash at 8:01 AM on July 15, 2021

You might consider buying her a fax machine, if she still has a landline
posted by grateful at 8:57 AM on July 15, 2021 [3 favorites]

I've used Mailform for this.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:09 AM on July 15, 2021

Libraries are a terrific resource, so if getting out of the house is a goal, a trip to the library is usually a nice thing. A helpful librarian would assist with using a computer and printing. I worked in IT, so I hate printers, and use the library's. I am envious of anyone in walking distance to a library.
posted by theora55 at 11:53 AM on July 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

Another recommendation for the public libraries. The county system where I am (Los Angeles) has free printing of 10 pages per day. The nearest library (walking distance) however is a separate city one and charges 15 cents per page. It's probably easiest to use the computers available at the library, but you can also set up the print software client on a laptop and send it to the library printers directly from your own laptop.
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:59 PM on July 15, 2021

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