Help me get rid of paper on the cheap
November 10, 2007 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Where do I go to rent a ScanSnap scanner? (Specifically, in the upstate of South Carolina?)

I would love to get rid of most of the paper I have accumulated, from college notes to bills to magazine articles, and store them on my laptop in PDF format. My research tells me that the only efficient solution for this problem is the ScanSnap series of scanners.

Unfortunately, the lowest price I've seen for one is $380 after rebate. While I would love to be rid of paper, it's not worth nearly $400 to me if I can avoid it.

What I want to do is to rent a ScanSnap scanner for a few days, scan the several boxes of paper that I have lying around, and then rely on my old flatbed scanner for the new stuff that comes around.

But I don't know where to go for this service. I've checked the big box store websites (OfficeMax, Office Depot, Circuit City, and Best Buy), and they don't even sell the ScanSnap, let alone rent them. Does anyone know how I could find a ScanSnap for rent?
posted by JDHarper to Shopping (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's kind of new, so I doubt people would rent them. You'd probably have better luck borrowing one off someone in a local Macintosh user group or something.

I just got one a couple days ago and it's amazing, and yeah, I could see how you could get everything done in a couple days, but I'm finding more and more uses for it (using it as a fax machine to scan in signed documents that I email to others as a pdf) so it might be worth buying one in the long run.

Maybe if you bought one, you could offer bulk text-based scanning as a service to others as a way to offset the costs?
posted by mathowie at 11:56 PM on November 10, 2007

If you go to a printer or copy shop, 90% of them will have high volume scanners that can zoom through two boxes of paper in maybe a half hour. Although it might cost you a hundred bucks or so - mostly depending on how many individual PDFs you need - it would be pretty cheap if you just had them scan a giant ass PDF that you later split up.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:01 AM on November 11, 2007

How about buying, using then reselling (on ebay, amazon or elsewhere)?
posted by kureshii at 1:46 AM on November 11, 2007

Best answer: When I can't rent an item that I need to use one time or just a few times, but can't afford it or don't want to tie up that much capital long-term to buy it, I buy it new, then sell it on Craigslist, Amazon, or eBay to recoup most of the cost. The advantage is that you can keep it a lot longer than a few days, too. You could buy one, keep it for a month or two, then resell it for 85-90% of what you paid. Better yet, although slightly riskier, you might buy a used one, use it, and resell it. Your effective "rental cost" will probably be even lower in this case.
posted by evariste at 3:27 AM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Evariste's answer is probably the best solution. If I discover it's work the money, I can keep it, and if I end up just using it for a few days, I can sell it for cheaper than whatever the probable rental fee would be.

posted by JDHarper at 10:54 AM on November 11, 2007

Newegg is currently listing one as "open box", i.e., no software or documentation, for $385. That might be enough of a discount that it's worth it to buy & resell. I'm sure you can track down the driver software online.
posted by felix betachat at 11:47 AM on November 11, 2007

Response by poster: Holy crap is this ever an awesome scanner.

Darn it. Now I'm probably gonna have to keep it.
posted by JDHarper at 8:28 PM on November 14, 2007

Heh. Sorry dude.
posted by evariste at 11:46 PM on November 14, 2007

yeah, seriously. i innocently started reading this thread, and now i'm out 400 bucks. sorry to hear it is so awesome, i was also hoping to sell it off! oh well. i cant wait for it to show up.

thanks a lot, askmefi.
posted by prophetsearcher at 1:35 AM on November 15, 2007

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