Photocopies for 4 cents in Las Vegas

Posted: August 3, 2012 in Living
PCM (printing) in Las Vegas by eric.louie
PCM (printing) in Las Vegas, a photo by eric.louie on Flickr.

By Eric Louie

LAS VEGAS-A photocopy store run out of a garage.

That’s where I went Thursday morning to make packets of my resume and clips on my way to the Unity 2012 journalism conference’s job fair. The 4 cents I paid per page was a fraction of what it could have cost me, and I also got to meet Ann Schenker, a grandmother who runs the business with an attention to service.

The background to this story starts the day before heading to Las Vegas, with me trying to handle a number of loose ends including making sure my unemployment payments will continue. While at the East Bay Works One-Stop Center in Hayward, which provides a variety of unemployment and job search services, I made several of the 20-something-page packets for free until staff told me there was a 15-page per day limit. Oops.

So I headed to a FedEx Office, where the cost was 11 cents. I only made a few, hoping to go somewhere else cheaper. However, with a number of other tasks including putting grout sealer on my bathroom tile, making copies was put off until after the late night, nine-hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area. I figured copy stores are everywhere, and there were. There is a FedEx Office inside the Mandalay Bay casino where the convention is being held, though customers pay a premium 22-cents per page. There are also a number of Office Depot locations in Las Vegas, which at 9 cents is a little cheaper.

But in the phone book was an ad for Printing Copies & More, PCM, with their black and white copies being four cents. I called to get an address, and to ask about conditions such as a minimum order, before getting directions to a peach-colored, one-story, late-1970s house a little east of the airport where I’m staying.

“Don’t worry that it’s a residential neighborhood,” said Schenker, who also asked how long it would take me to get there. “Fifteen minutes,” I said. There was no minimum.

I wasn’t expecting much, fearing that the machines would not be fast enough to quickly make the order, or some other sacrifice for the price. But it ended up working well. The first couple attempts had issues with toner smears that gave the copies a small imperfection. Schenker quickly noted that, firing up another machine for another test before sending the whole order of 20 packets through. While waiting I asked Schenker how they opened in the home and she explained there was a store. Then her husband got sick and needed to be cared for. Then her daughter had a baby. Needing to stay home more, the business moved there. Most of their work is large orders from businesses, but they’ll serve anyone.

The total came to $19 and I gave a $20, figuring I would have paid twice that at a normal FedEx Office, and close to $100 for the one inside the casino. So if you find yourself in Las Vegas needing some photocopies, don’t have much money and want to give your business to some really nice people call PCM 702-312-0922.

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