USPS offers limited printing services related to shipping, such as printing shipping labels and forms. However, not all USPS locations have printing facilities. USPS does not offer general or full-fledged printing services, as it is primarily a logistics company.
For general printing needs, alternatives include local libraries, office supply stores, shipping centers, and print shops.
As a part of the main service, USPS allows you to print shipping labels. There are two ways to utilize the USPS printing services. When you can access a printer, you can print the shipping label directly from their website and apply it to your parcel.
Alternatively, you can visit the nearest USPS facility and ask them to print the label. The USPS staff will print and stick the label for you. Since the printing will be done at the post office location, you can ship your package right away.
It’s important to know that not all USPS locations have printing facilities. To find out if a certain center supports printing services, you can visit www.USPS.com and click on the ‘Find Locations link’, https://tools.usps.com/find-location.htm.
Once you visit the page, you can select the desired location from the drop-down menu. The search results will show you the timings of the location and the services that can be availed at the designated USPS facility.
Only basic printing services associated with shipping are accepted by USPS facilities, such as printing shipping forms and postage labels. You cannot print general stuff at their centers. Here are a few reasons why USPS does not offer full-fledged printing services.
USPS is a logistics company. Their main expertise is package delivery and not printing. Since all their customers may not keep a printer at home, the company offers limited printing services for the convenience of their customers. So, printing is just an extension of their existing services. Diversifying completely into the printing business can affect the company’s core mission.
The printing market is overly crowded. It would be difficult for USPS to compete with other established players who already enjoy a good foothold in the market. Furthermore, it would take the company a lot of resources to diversify fully into an unrelated business, which may not prove to be a financially healthy decision for USPS. Also, only certain sections of the printing industry have high-profit margins.
USPS lacks the necessary infrastructure and industry experience for the printing business. Their current operations are geared toward logistics. Incorporating full-fledged printing services would require several adjustments to the existing setup, which may potentially disrupt their existing operations. Since the printing business has different laws and regulations than the logistics business, USPS may also face regulatory and legal constraints.
The fact that USPS does not specialize in the printing business, it will take a long time for the company to create goodwill in the printing industry. Venturing fully into the printing business can also harm their existing reputation if they fail to live up to the expectations of the masses with all the new printing services.
There are options beyond USPS for printing services, which you can consider.
Libraries are not just for reading and exchanging books. Depending on your location, they can be a great resource for your printing needs because it’s easy to access a computer and a printer in a library. If not free, printing at a library will usually cost you far less than printing documents elsewhere.
You can also use a nearby office supply retail store for your printing needs. Office Depot, Staples, and similar organizations have offices that provide all sorts of printing solutions. Prices are also cheap, beating even library prices at times. Moreover, the prints are usually of high quality.
Used by both individuals and businesses, shipping centers provide a wide range of printing and marketing services. This isn’t to say that printing is a universal feature at shipping centers. However, most centers provide printing services these days. Having said that, it’s a good idea to verify the services available at the designated shipping center before your planned visit.
Copy and Print Shops, independent or a part of an established chain, offer high-quality printing services. Usually found in major cities, you can use the Google search engine to find a shop near you. Although the printing prices at Copy and Print Shops are on the higher side, the print quality is unmatched.
5. FedEx Locations
FedEx offers a versatile range of printing services suitable for both personal and professional needs. Their services include the printing of documents, marketing materials, business cards, banners, photos, calendars, invitations, and more. They also offer additional services like laminating, copying, scanning, faxing, binding, and finishing.
With competitive pricing and the ability to handle various file formats, FedEx provides a convenient and efficient solution for all printing needs.
By preparing your documents, you can get quick and best results from any printing service. Here is a short and useful guide on preparing your documents for printing elsewhere.
To begin with, you should ensure that the document to be printed is properly formatted. You should also inspect the font size, margins, image resolution, color modes, and bleed area.
Before the print, double-check the content of the document for potential errors. Once you correct the errors (if any), you can print the document on the intended paper orientation and size.
Additional pointers to remember is to save the document in a high-quality version without compression. This will match the print output as close to the original document as possible.
You can also keep a backup of the original document for further adjustments. If you have a printer at home, take a test print to fix any neglected issues before sending the document to the printing service.
When unfamiliar with the printing process, you can take assistance from the printing facility. They will have guidelines regarding the use of printing facilities for optimum print output, such as the accepted file formats, available printing orientation, etc.
When choosing appropriate alternatives to printing at USPS, you must consider your specific requirements because printing services can be used for various purposes. The good news is that there are many alternatives that you can consider.
From online printing services, third-party printing software, office supply stores, hotel office centers, print-on-demand services, universities copy centers, photocopy shops, local community centers, and co-working spaces to locally owned drug stores, you can utilize any of these resources for your printing needs.