Best place to print small batches (Kinko's, Staples?)

I need to print 15 one-sided, full-color menus on uncoated paper with a full bleed, trimmed to 8.5x11. I’ve found Kinkos to be overpriced and incompetent (my local store). I’m leaning toward Staples. Can anyone recommend something else on a short notice?

Look to local small printshops

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Can they print super-fast? Like I can show up with my drive, and they can print?

Without having experience with those specific individual small-run print shops, it’s anybody’s guess as to how good they might be.

When I run into situations like that, where I need to hire most anyone for something, I’ll check out their online Google reviews.

You sort of have to read through them with a grain of salt, but if the reviews seem legitimate and a pattern emerges, like this place is great or they always miss deadlines or whatever, I’ve found it to be fairly reliable indicator of what to expect myself.

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Staples is a hot mess too. At least for competence. IMO.

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For walk-in, on-demand service, you may be stuck with the chains where a “copy shop” function is installed, like FedEx/Kinkos, Staples, Office Depot, etc. It’s possible some of these won’t be properly equipped for certain types of finishing. Check your local listings for Minuteman Press locations. I’ve had some good experiences with them.

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Yeah, it can be a crap shoot in those places. They don’t really pay their people well enough to attract any level of expertise. Getting salable output could be a matter of applying some of your own leadership to the process.

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I’ve had the best luck with Fedex. And have found better service in branches in the higher income parts of town.

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In my experience the small shops that run digital and wide format are usually quite accommodating, especially if they know you’re in an industry where you can continue to feed print jobs to them. You might have to pay for the convenience though.

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I know we have a couple of small local shops that do quick runs for a good price and are accommodating. It may help even to do a basic web search and talk to some smaller shops in your area.

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See if there’s a local Minuteman Press or Alpha Graphics - these franchises are independently owned, and if they’re not crazy busy - could probably squeeze you in. However the finishing costs of printing full bleed may give the illusion of a high cost - they’ll have to impose it 2-up on a 12x18 sheet, print, and then cut.

If they’re double sided you may end up paying $2 a sheet or more.

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It all depends on the quality of people. You can have one Kinko’s that great and another one be not so great. Or you can have a Staples that’s not so great and another one that’s really good.

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Hey Guys. Thanks for the feedback. I ended up with a local printer who did a killer job. Just wanted to let you know what I ended up doing, and thank everyone for the help.

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Awesome. Glad everything worked out!

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