In the 1980s and 1990s, fax machines were all the rage in the business world. Just about every office had one, especially in security-conscious industries like legal and healthcare.
While fax machines can still be found in many offices, they aren’t as common as they used to be. Many businesses don’t want to spend the time and money it takes to maintain a fax machine — not to mention the physical space it takes up in the office. That can make physical fax machines hard to find when you need them the most.
Even in the age of digital faxing, there are still traditional fax machines available for public use, if you know where to look. Want to know where to find a fax machine? This guide will point you in the right direction.
5 Most Common Places Where You Can Find a Fax Machine
Now that traditional fax machines aren’t the common office staples that they used to be, it’s also harder to find them in public spaces. Maintaining a home fax machine — even if it’s a small fax machine — can get expensive very quickly, even beyond the significant up-front fax machine price.
To send paper documents without your own fax machine, you may need to borrow the services of a public fax machine. These machines can be found in convenient locations across the country, from travel agent offices to customer service desks.
Here are the five most common places where you can find a fax machine.
Office Supply Stores
Many office supply stores like Staples and Office Depot also offer public fax services for customer use. With affordable rates and self-serve machines, these locations are worth visiting for a quick way to send a fax.
However, most stores charge a fee of between $1.50 and $10 per page, depending on where you’re sending it. While this is a cheap fax machine option for a one or two-time fax, this can add up if you have more demanding fax needs.
Most post offices and shipping stores provide faxing services, including USPS and other shipping services like FedEx and UPS. These stores often provide a variety of services like printing, copying, and faxing.
Whether you choose a U.S. post office or an independent courier service, shipping centers can be found almost everywhere. Just like with office supply stores, the faxes typically cost a dollar per page or more. Larger documents with more pages can become expensive, especially when faxing internationally.
Local libraries often offer access to their printers and fax machines to the public. Using the fax machine at a library can be very affordable — if not free. Just keep in mind that only toll-free and local numbers can be used to send most faxes at the library. In most libraries, faxes can only be sent and not received.
Unfortunately, some libraries have discontinued their faxing services. Others may have fax machines for personal use but no longer offer public fax services.
Banks or Credit Unions
Many financial institutions like banks or credit unions have their own faxing machine. Some will offer use of this machine to the public, but their services can vary. Some institutions only send faxes on behalf of clients and won’t offer self-service access or send faxes for anyone who isn’t a client of that bank. Other banks offer faxing, but only for VIP customers.
If you’re not sure whether your local bank offers faxing services, it’s best to check online or call ahead. Even banks that do offer faxing services often have limited options, as they don’t specialize in faxing services. Large file faxes or international faxes may be out of the question.
Any physical location known as a “business center” should offer faxing services. This can include business hubs, serviced offices, coworking spaces, internet cafes, and convention centers.
Business centers almost always offer services like printing, scanning, and faxing and often have copy-fax machine combos visitors can use. However, some faxing services may be limited to customers, like those with a membership to a particular coworking space or a ticket to an event at a convention center. The services may also be slightly more expensive than at other locations — usually about $2 to $4 per page.
Faster and Convenient Alternatives to Fax Machines
These days, you won’t see as many fax machines in the office as you used to. However, that doesn’t mean that faxing itself is obsolete.
Thanks to the introduction of digital fax machines, faxing is just as important in modern businesses as it was in the past. The only difference is that the most convenient and reliable way to fax is now with an online faxing service, not a traditional fax machine.
Online faxing combines the reliability of faxing with the convenience of digital communication. With online faxing, you won’t have to ask: “Where can I fax something?” Instead of chasing down a public fax machine with affordable page rates, take the power of faxing into your own hands and start sending faxes without a fax machine. All you need is a compatible device and an internet connection to start faxing from anywhere.
Cheaper and Easier Faxing With eFax Online Fax Service
Getting hold of a fax machine nowadays is no easy task. If, like most individuals and businesses, you don’t have the capacity to own your own fax machine, you’ll have to turn to public fax machines and other public fax services to send your official documents and other paperwork.
But what if you could send a fax without a fax machine? Using online faxing means you won’t have to rely on someone else’s office equipment to take care of your personal or business faxing needs. It also means no more traveling to the local Office Depot or signing up for a coworking space just to get access to reliable fax services.
Now, you can access faxing services with the click of a button. With eFax, you can start faxing with the best fax machine out there — one that’s entirely online. Forget the landline phone and start faxing from anywhere in the world today.