I had my first Office Max printing experience this week and I thought I'd share some thoughts. The closest office supply store is 45 minutes away from me, so I was very new to this whole printing thing and I had questions. I couldn't really find the answers to my questions, so I found out for myself and wanted to share them in case someone else was wondering the same thing.
I love the classroom decor sets that are sold on TPT. They are original and created by classroom teachers, so you know they are going to include what you really NEED for your room set up.
I only had one problem - how would I print it all and get it to look as beautiful as it does on my computer screen? I decided professional printing would be the best way to get the results I was looking for. I was just a little unsure about the cost and how I would like the finished product compared to materials bought at the teachers supply store.
I had 81 color pages printed on 80# card stock.
It was a total of $53.46 for the color printing. I had a coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase, so that really helped to lower the cost.
The first thing I noticed when I picked up my order was how vibrant the colors are! They are much brighter than what I was able to reproduce at home and they are an exact match to the colors on my computer screen.
Here is a little color comparison for you. The big card on the left was printed at Office Max and the little card was printed at home, both of them on card stock. You can see the color on the left is a lot more vibrant.
The card stock quality is also much better than what I had at home to print on. This card stock had more of a glossy finish.
What did $38.46 buy me?
alphabet line cards
number line cards
Was it worth the cost? I absolutely think so! I now have unique classroom decor and the exact pieces I need, not a lot of extras from a kit that I won't use. I did some comparison shopping and determined that this was actually cheaper than purchasing the same items at a teacher supply store.
I also tried out the 11x17 poster prints while I was at it.
The 8 posters I got were for VBS and they turned out great! I just had the images printed on a white background so they would stand out, but this would be perfect for printing classroom posters. They were at steal at $1.18 each.
My tips for printing at an office supply store:
- Call first and talk to someone at the print desk. I found it much easier to get prices for products and services over the phone than online.
- Email your order. When you call be sure to get an email address. I first tried uploading my order online and the system said it wouldn't be ready until next Monday, but the lady I talked to at the store said an order that size order would be ready in 10 minutes!
- When I emailed I was able to give instructions on which pages I wanted printed from each file. That meant I saved a lot of money because I didn't have to print cover sheets or credit pages. With the online upload there is a way to do page exceptions, but I found the whole process to be very slow.
- Look for coupons. I chose which store I printed at based on who had a coupon this week. When I paid for my order I got another coupon for $10 off a $40 order that starts on Sunday. That's a good thing because I'm hooked on this! I don't want to print anything at home now!!
Do you have any tips to share with me?