Average cost of color copies

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The average cost of colour copies depends on whether customers have the copies made at a copy shop, through an online service or on a home or office colour copier. Many copy shops do not publish price lists online but offer free quotes for specific jobs.

These quotes take into account the type and size of paper, whether the copies are single-sided or double-sided, the number of copies required and how soon the customer needs them.


For single-sided colour copies on standard 20- or 24-lb. letter-sized paper, copy centres such as FedEx Kinko's, Office Depot, Office Max and Staples generally charge approximately 49 cents to 79 cents per page. Double-sided colour copies on standard letter-sized paper cost about 98 cents to 90p per page. The price may vary depending on the particular location, any business, student or membership discounts the customer receives, and any special sales the copy shop is offering.


Online services generally offer significantly lower prices than local or chain-store copy shops. However, online copy services have minimum orders and set-up fees, as well as shipping charges, which only makes them cost effective for large orders. For example, Docucopies.com offers single-sided colour copies for 8 cents per page or double-sided colour copies for 15 cents per page with an order of at least 1,000 copies, or 6 cents per single-sided page and 11 cents per double-sided page with at least 5,000 copies. Docucopies.com also has a £4 set-up fee for all orders, a minimum order of at least £32 and offers free shipping on orders of at least £97. The total cost of an order of 10 colour copies would be about £3.90 per page, but an order of 5,000 colour copies would cost about 6 cents per page.


The cost of making colour copies with a home or office copier or all-in-one depends on the price of the colour ink or toner and other supplies, as well as the cost of buying and maintaining the machine. For example, the HP Deskjet F4280 All-in-One costs about £52, and colour copies cost about 19 cents per page with standard inkjet cartridges and 16 cents per page with high-capacity cartridges. A high-end inkjet such as the HP Officejet Pro L7590 All-in-One costs about £195, with colour cartridges costing about 5 cents per page. A multifunction laser printer and copier, such as the HP Color LaserJet CM1312nfi MFP, costs about £325 and about 20 cents per page for colour toner cartridges. A high-end small office laser copier like the Xerox Phaser 8560MFP costs $1,500 and about 10 cents per page for colour toner and supplies.


The average cost of colour copies also depends on the type of paper the customer wants to use. Most copy shops quote prices based on standard 8 1/2-by-11-inch white paper but also offer card stock, glossy paper or coloured paper, as well as larger sizes such as legal (8 by 14) or tabloid (11 by 17) for an extra fee. For example, Docucopies.com charges approximately 5 cents more per page for legal-size paper and 6 cents more for standard tabloid-size paper. In standard letter size, coloured paper costs about 1 cent more per page, while glossy paper costs about 6 cents extra per page, and heavyweight card stock costs about 7 cents extra per page. For home or office copiers, coloured paper costs about 2 cents per page, card stock costs about 5 cents per page and glossy paper can cost up to 15 cents per page.

Time Frame

Most copy shops have self-service machines for small colour copy jobs or will complete the job within 1 to 2 days. Online services such as Docucopies.com ship orders within 24 to 48 hours and offer shipping speeds of 3 to 5 days, as well as rush or next-day shipping for an extra fee. Although home or office copier or all-in-one can be cost-effective for small amounts of colour copies, they generally take longer to produce the copies than commercial copy machines and require more time from the user. For example, HP Deskjet F4280 All-in-One prints up to 20 pages per minute in colour, and the HP Officejet Pro L7590 All-in-One prints up to 34 pages per minute. The HP Color LaserJet CM1312nfi MFP prints up to 8 pages per minute in colour, and the Xerox Phaser 8560MFP prints up to 30 pages per minute in colour.