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Staples: Online Black & White Printing


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10 July 2007page first published

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You asked for it... so I looked around to find a mostly non-color rulebook, to see how the cost compares. My eye fell upon Chaos in Carpathia, an 82-page B&W rulebook plus color covers (inside and out).

I uploaded the PDF on the Staples website, then selected my print options: black & white printing, standard white paper, double-sided, collated, plastic comb binding (black), no covers. There didn't seem to be a way to specify in the options that I wanted the front and back covers printed in color, and laminated - so I added that in the notes section.

The online estimate - which, unfortunately, isn't itemized to show what the options cost - came to $8.81 USD. It would be ready for pick-up at 10am the next day.

A few hours later, Mackenzie from Staples left a message on my answering machine. She said that I might get an email that my order had been canceled, but not to worry - because of my additional requests, they would have to resubmit my order.

The next morning, Mackenzie again spoke to my answering machine: the "machine" was down, and my order would not be ready on time. She said I could call to check on it, or she would call me when it was ready.

Two business days later, when I had neither called nor been called (I've been a little under the weather), I decided to swing by Staples. My order was ready, and the total cost came to:

$7.35 USD - 42 B&W copies ($0.17 USD each)
$2.49 USD - 1 ½" comb binding
$0.98 USD - 2 color copies ($0.49 USD each)
$2.00 USD - 2 laminated covers ($1.00 USD each)
$12.82 USD TOTAL
The printed book

Everything turned out fine (they even got the double-sided printing right this time). The binding doesn't go the length of the spine - I think the necessary margins on the laminated covers throws things off.

Inside front cover and title page
Inside spread