Photostat Center 101 : The Unofficial Survival Guide


Human Friendly: This guide is available to any human
Unofficial: This guide contain unofficial information
Unreliable: This guide contain minor unreliable information

This guide may contain unreliable information to others, but overall it's 100% reliable to me and the townsfolk around me, and it's totally based on my personal experiences. This guide is written for human and have no intention to cause harm to any particular individual, if you feel this guide has caused you any discomfort, please refrain from continue reading this. Read it at your own risk, thank you.


You can read it chapter by chapter or skip to specific chapter.

Tips for the noob:
You can use CTRL+F and type the BOLD code before the chapter to jump to the specific chapter

UPDT 0. Update History
ITDC 1. Introducing The Basic
PSOP 1.1 Photostat Option
TPAP 1.2 Type of Paper and Price
FSBD 1.3 Finishing, Sorting And Binding
TSSM 2. The Secret To Save Money
S01-----Difference Between Photostat And Print
S02-----Paper Size And Quantity Does Matter?
S03-----Self Prepared Paper?
S04-----Tips For Printing
S05-----Secret Of Binding
S06-----Understand Price Calculation
S07-----Things They Never Tell You
S08-----Pro Tips
SOTP 3. Services Other Than Photostat
CCSN 4. Conclusion
PREF 5. Preface

*I move the Preface to the very last of this guide for some reason, if you want to read it in a more formal way, please go to the very last of this guide for the Preface first. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.


:::Update History:::


:::Introducing The Basic:::
Most of the photostat center provide Photostat, Printing, Laminating, Fax, Email, Scan and Binding services.
And most of the photostat center only have A5, A4, A3, B5, B4 paper.
So, an A3 paper = 2x A4 paper
An A4 paper = 2x A5 paper

If you need any size other than A5 A4 A3, you gotto combine or cut from A5/A4/A3 to get your desired paper.

The same theory apply to B5 and B4

B5 is smaller than A4

But B4 is larger than A4

Source : Wikipedia

And this is how the photostat machine look like from the above
Konica Minolta C350
Comparison of the size of A5 B5 A4


Photostat Options

As for photostat, you can choose from various option below:

While you didt tell the shopkeeper any special option, they will simply photostat just like the original
Even if your master copy comes with colour, but you just tell the shopkeeper to photostat # copies, they will do it black and white for you, which is original/default option when you didt tell them any

This is when you have a smaller size master copy, and you want to photostat it on a larger size paper, do tell them you want to enlarge, and to what size of paper.
Example : You want to photostat a B5 book to A4, so this is "Enlarge to A4 size"

There is certain bank need the photocopy of your identity card in 200% enlarge option, so you should tell them the %. Almost all photostat machine can directly key in the enarlge %, do tell them if your bank ask for exactly how many % for the enlargement.

is just the opposite of Enlarge~LOL
This is when you have a larger size master copy and you want them to be in "pocket edition", so Reduce is your friend. Or maybe when you have an A4 size book and you want it become A5 (which is half size of A4), just tell them to reduce the size to A5.

Enlarge and Reduce work from A5 to B5 to A4 to B4 to A3. Just tell them what is the size of the outcome you want and you will get it right.

2 in 1


2 in 1 is reduce the size of 2 page and fit them into 1 page of a paper
This option is quite similar with Combine, which is the option when we photostat identity card.
You can use this option for identity card or book.
As for 2 in 1 option for book, we usually reduce the size to A4, since a book is usually in B4 size when we open up(2 page = B4), but photostat 2 in 1 in original B4 will hype up the cost a lot (will mention later), so A4 is the best option for 2 in 1, low cost and still readable.

Brighter / Darker
When the colour of your document is just too dull in colour, you can always ask them to adjust the brightness. If you didt tell them before you let them photostat it, and the outcome isn't what you want, you still have to pay for it.
Single Page / Double Page
Single Page is just photostat on 1 side of the paper
While Double Page mean both side of the paper
Depend on what kind of master copy is your document, tell them to photostat it in single page or double page option.
As for certificate is usually Single page
As for book is usually Double Page
Do make sure you tell the shopkeeper to photostat in single or double page, or they will do in the way that they can earn the most $$ from it.
You can combine the option above when you request service, example:
1-Enlarge B5 book to A4 and do it in Double page
2-Photostat this book in 2 in 1, which is reduce to A4, and do it in Double Page, and please make it darker so I can read the text easier

Yea~ It's totally legit to say that~

Type of Paper and Price
Most of the photostat center use the 70gsm paper as the default paper, and only use 80gsm or higher when customer request thicker paper.

-Cheapest and standard quality for multipurpose usage
-Most of the photostat center doesn't have 70gsm colour paper
-NOT recommended for double page inkjet printing
-It's OK for double page laserjet photostat/printing
-DO NOT use it for thesis

-Slightly higher cost than 70gsm, between 30% ~ 50% more expensive than 70gsm
-Higher quality and brighter paper
-Available in multi colour
-Good for single or double page inkjet/laserjet printing/photostat
-MUST USE 80gsm for thesis

-About 300%~500% cost of 70gsm paper
-Available in multi colour
-Recommended for using it as cover page of book, cover page of thesis

-About 1000% cost of 70gsm paper
-Available in multi colour but the selection of the colour isn't as variety as thinner paper
-Usually come with vector shape on the paper
-NOT recommended for cover page of thesis

260gsm Art Card:
-About 2000% cost of 70gsm paper
-Most of the photostat center don't want to print/photostat on this paper 'cause this is too think for the machine, they just use it as blank cover
-Less variety of colour
-Usually come with vector shape on the paper
-NOT recommended for cover page of thesis

Rigid Sheet:

-It cost about RM 0.50/pcs  if you buy from photostat center
-Transparent PVC cover for extra protection of your book
-May come with vector/border


Price List

*Price May varies in different region
**Price survey from Pulau Pinang state

***Price list breakdown for 70gsm only, as for thicker paper just add RM #.## per page to 70gsm price
-The smallest formal paper you can get from photostat center
-Most of the photostat center trim A4 paper to half size and use it as A5, they didt ship in A5
-Highest profit among all type of paper
-The size may be inaccurate due to they trim it manually with a trimmer
-A5 is actually trim from A4, so they are available in any thickness
-Even though it is just half size of A4, but the price is same as A4
Price for 70gsm:-
Photostat Single Page : RM 0.04 per page
Photostat Double Page : RM 0.03~RM 0.035 per page
Print Black And White Single/Double Page : RM 0.10~RM 0.50 per page, price depend on total number of pages
Print Colour Single/Double Page : RM 0.90~RM 1.50 per page, price depend on total number of pages
Price for 80gsm: +RM 0.02~RM 0.10 per page
Price for 120gsm: +RM 0.20 per page
Price for 160gsm: +RM 0.40 per page
Price for 260gsm: +RM 0.80 per page
PVC Paper: RM 0.50/pcs

-Available in any thickness
-The standard size paper for all document
Price for 70gsm:-
Photostat Single Page : RM 0.04 per page
Photostat Double Page : RM 0.03~RM 0.035 per page
Print Black And White Single/Double Page : RM 0.10~RM 0.50 per page, price depend on total number of pages
Print Colour Single/Double Page : RM 0.90~RM 2.00 per page, price depend on total number of pages
Price for 80gsm: +RM 0.02~RM 0.10 per page
Price for 120gsm: +RM 0.20 per page
Price for 160gsm: +RM 0.40 per page
Price for 260gsm: +RM 0.80 per page
PVC Paper: RM 0.50/pcs

-Mostly available in white and 70gsm only
Price for 70gsm:-
Photostat Single Page : RM 0.30 per page
Photostat Double Page : RM 0.25 per page
Print Black And White Single/Double Page : RM 2.00 per page, price negotiable when you print in bulk quantity
Print Colour Single/Double Page : RM 3.00~RM 4.50 per page, price negotiable when you print in bulk quantity
Price for 80gsm: N/A
Price for 120gsm: N/A
Price for 160gsm: N/A
Price for 260gsm: N/A
PVC Paper: N/A

-The standard size for book
-Mostly available in white and 70gsm only
-Usually photostat center don't ship in thicker and various colour of B5, they just trim A4 to B5 when customer ask for thicker paper or colour B5
-Even though B5 is smaller compare to A4 (and cheaper when they restock), but the price is same as A4
Price for 70gsm:-
Photostat Single Page : RM 0.04 per page
Photostat Double Page : RM 0.03~RM 0.035 per page
Print Black And White Single/Double Page : RM 0.10~RM 0.50 per page, price depend on total number of pages
Print Colour Single/Double Page : RM 0.90~RM 2.00 per page, price depend on total number of pages
Price for 80gsm: +RM 0.02~RM 0.10 per page
Price for 120gsm: +RM 0.20 per page
Price for 160gsm: +RM 0.40 per page
Price for 260gsm: +RM 0.80 per page
PVC Paper: RM 0.50/pcs

-Mostly available in white and 70gsm only
-Even though B4 is smaller compare to A3 (and cheaper when they restock), but the price is same as A3, usually
Price for 70gsm:-
Photostat Single Page : RM 0.30 per page
Photostat Double Page : RM 0.25 per page
Print Black And White Single/Double Page : RM 2.00 per page, price negotiable when you print in bulk quantity
Print Colour Single/Double Page : RM 3.00~RM 4.50 per page, price negotiable when you print in bulk quantity
Price for 80gsm: N/A
Price for 120gsm: N/A
Price for 160gsm: N/A
Price for 260gsm: N/A
PVC Paper: N/A


Finishing, Sorting And Binding

To request services like a boss, you need to learn about finishing.
Let say you hand over 10 paper to photostat, and you want 5 set of it.
You have 2 finishing option to request:

"Sort" is usually for things/documents that comes in set
Example: Certificate, you will need to include your whole set of cert with your resume

"Group" is usually for when you want to distribute it 1 page by 1 page later
Example: A teacher want to distribute the question paper to his student for 1 page per week

Make sure you tell the shopkeeper the right finishing method before he/she do it by their common sense

You can request them to staple it set by set for you too.
Usually for 2~20 paper with single staple is free of charge
As for more paper with larger staple, you will be charge for RM 0.10++ per staple theoretically

And as for book, you have 2 option to bind it:-
Staple Tape Binding

Comb Binding
This 2 options is the most common among the market, while there is actually a lot more like Wire Comb Binding, which is not available around the town where I live

Staple Tape Binding
-The book is bind with 2~5 staples and then cover up with cloth tape
-The cost is from RM 0.80~RM 1.50 depend on the thickness of the book and number of staples
-A more economic option is to just bind with staples and don't use the tape, which is about RM 0.30 only
-The tape mostly comes with black colour
-It's cheaper compare to Comb Binding
-Compatible with a PVC paper
-NOT recommended when your book has more than 350 papers or less than 10 papers

Comb Binding
-Price from RM 0.70~RM 6.60 depend on the thickness of the book
-The comb mostly comes with black colour
-Recommended bind with a PVC paper to protect the book, but this will hype up the cost from RM 0.50~RM 1.00
-Recommended when your book has less than 10 papers and you don't want staple tape binding
-Strongly recommended for using this binding option for music sheets/book
-NOT recommended when you need bulk quantity of book with very less page number per book
-NOT recommended when your book has more than 450 papers


The Secret To Save Money

After you learn the basic, it's time to know how to save yourself some photostat $$

Difference Between Photostat And Print

Let say you want to print out your resume, and it's a 5 pages black and white resume, you want 5 set of it:

Print 5 set:
-RM 7.50 (25 x RM 0.30)
-The text is crystal clear
-The clipart/picture in black and white look good

Print 1 set, and then Photostat 4 set:
-RM 3.50 [(5 x RM 0.50) + 20 x RM 0.05]
-The text is crystal clear too
-The clipart/picture in black and white is slightly dull compare to print quality

OK, and now some of you realized that you keep wasting about 100%+ of the photocopy money all those years. Well, thank me later.

Let see, when you print out all 5 set, it's 25x and the printing price per page will decrease from RM 0.50 per page to RM 0.30 per page, so it's RM 7.50 in total.

When you just print out 1 set, the printing price per page remain the same, which is RM 0.50 per page and it's RM 2.50 for print out 1 set of it. OK, then cast the spell~ Now photostat it for extra 4 set, it's 20 page and the price per page is RM 0.05 when it's single page photostat and doesn't have a lot of quantity, result in RM 1.00 for the 4 set. So you got the same things for RM 4.00 cheaper, which is more than 100% save in cost, and you can actually drink a coffee at Old Town with it~ :)

But then you worry about the quality. No worry~ A black and white photostat machine were design to photostat the text in almost the same quality as the original, so the text has almost no difference between a photostat and a print copy. The only difference is that the picture of photostat quality will slightly dull in colour when you compare to the printing one. Because the machine isn't colour laserjet, so the picture will slightly loss the quality of picture. But overall it is no problem at all.

What if your resume has colour?

Well, if it's just the first page with your picture has colour, then print out 1 complete set, and the first page with extra 4 copies, and the rest still do in photostat. Since the text has almost no difference so this tips still stand at that scenario.

If every page of your resume has colour, well, if it is just the border comes with colour, you can print it out black and white and photostat them, since there is no point to have colour border for every page of your resume.

You can use this method to save money for not only printing resume, but thesis or any documents that you will need multiple copies.


Paper Size And Quantity Does Matter?

Maybe some of you ever wonder about why every photostat center keep using the word 3₵ to attract eyeballs but when you go inside to photostat 3 pages, they charge you 30₵ but not 9₵.

Well, there is actually some customer argue with me about this, but it's like a hidden rules that everyone know, maybe just 0.0001% people don't know about this :p

While you photostat 1~10 copies, the price is about RM 0.10 or RM 0.05 per copy, and it's quite random since we didn't set in stone. 11~25 will be RM 0.04 or sometime still RM 0.05.
So just let them know how many copies you want, ask them how much is that, then play with math to see if it worth or not.

A5, B5, A4, any price difference?

Well, the answer is, NO.
This is because most of the photostat center calculate the price with how many pages instead of size, except for B4 and A3.

Let see, now you got a note to photostat, and the master copy is in A5 size.
So there is no difference if you photostat it in A5, to B5 or even to A4.
Do make sure you request for the size that worth the money you spend on.
If you want a pocket edition of the note, do it in A5, it's your call~


Self Prepared Paper?

When it comes to tips to save photostat cost, people keep asking if self prepared paper does save the cost or make it even more expensive.

This actually depend on the situation:
1 ream of 70gsm 500pcs paper cost RM 7.00 at where I live, let consider it's RM 9.00.
9/500 = RM 0.018 or 7/500 = RM 0.014

You want to photostat 500 copies of single page brochure, with your self prepared paper
Photostat center will charge you RM 0.03 for this case, so:
500 x RM 0.03 = RM 15.00
and your own paper cost RM 0.018 to RM 0.014

What if you don't use your self prepared paper
Photostat center will charge you RM 0.04 for 500 copies single page black and white photostat

The math of this is easy and you know self prepared paper doesn't serve the purpose well~


Let say now you want to photostat some brochure in colour paper:

You can get 450pcs per ream colour paper which is 80gsm with RM 18.00+-
So the cost per paper is RM 0.04

You want to photostat 450 copies of single page brochure on this 80gsm colour paper, and it's self prepared paper
Photostat center will charge you RM 0.03 for this case, so:
450 x RM 0.03 = RM 13.50
Result in the cost per copy is RM 0.07

If you didn't use sel prepared paper
Photostat center will charge you RM 0.10 per copy for 450 copies single page 80gsm colour paper

This result in you spend extra RM 0.03 per copy and you waste RM 13.50 for 450 copies


tl;dr  What situation should I use self prepared paper?

-You are in need of bulk quantity of colour and thicker paper

Otherwise, please calculate it before you photostat
-Asking photostat center to photostat on your paper will cost you RM 0.03 per copy


Tips For Printing

May the Tips for Printing be with you forever~

-Never print multiple copies of black and white documents, print 1 set and photostat them
-Always print multiple copies of colour documents, the cost for printing and photostat colour is same
-Never use self prepared 70gsm white paper for printing, as they charge you the same if you do so
-Try to save your documents to your own pendrive and use it for printing, visiting a photostat center and download the document from internet or email will surcharge RM 1.00+ usually
-Edit your documents before visiting a photostat center, as if you use their computer to edit the documents will surcharge RM 1.00+ usually
-Make sure your documents is right before you print it out, since photostat center will charge you even you then realize the documents isn't right after it's already print out
-Try to save your documents in PDF is available, since PDF is highly compatible with many computer and won't turn to garbled text in different computer
-Not all photostat center have the software like AutoCAD/Solidworks/Photoshop/CoralDraw to open your files, so do try to output an extra copy of PDF format documents
-Checking if your documents can open up from the pendrive before you visiting a photostat center, multiple copies of same documents is also recommended, just in case when the file accidenly edited or corrupted you still have the extra copy
-Organize all the file you want to print in 1 folder, or atleast multiple folder in 1 folder, the shopkeeper will get upset if the files you want to print is in messy arrangement and they will surcharge you
-If it's something that you want to cut it out from the paper, try to fit them into 1 paper or less page as possible
-Since printing in more quantity will get more discount per page, try to combine printing with your friend to get more discount will 1 times visiting printing. Refer back to the first tips, this only work for different files or content of documents
-Always remember to tell the shopkeeper to use 80gsm paper when you want to print thesis
-Talk to the boss, bootlicking the boss of photostat center, and "register" your "membership" by telling him/her you still have many documents to print in future, asking for a permanent discount
-If you want to print from your smartphone/tablet, please ready the cable yourself
-Printing a full page of colour is expensive, print black and white with colour paper will lower the cost about 200%~400%
-Keep in mind that the colour might "crush" with each other when you print colour text or picture on colour paper


Secret Of Binding

I write "Secret" because I want to make it sound more interesting~Ha
Anyway~ Let's not making it too long~

Staple Tape Binding
Like I said in previous chapter, staple tape binding is first bind the book with some staples and then cover up with cloth tape.

The cloth tape comes with a lot of size, but 3 of this is the common size use by most of the photostat shop around here:


The price calculation for staple tape binding is based on how many staples and the size of the tape:

Usually for book that using 24mm tape, the cost for staple is either RM 0.10 or RM 0.20
The cost of the tape is RM 0.70~RM 0.80 per book

As for 36mm is RM 0.20 or RM 0.30 for the staples, and RM 1.00 for the cloth tape per book

48mm will be RM 0.30 to RM 0.60 depend on the thickness of the book and staples used, and the charge for the tape per book is RM 1.20

Alright, what is the secret behind this?

Those cloth tape usually can be purchase from grocery shop or even photostat center
For about RM 2.50~RM 3.00 per scroll (I'm not sure if this word correct or not)

Based on my experience, I can tape 20+- book before I finish out 1 new cloth tape

Let just calculate with the smallest tape, and let say we purchase the tape for RM 3.00

You can tape 20 book for RM 3.00, and if you ask a photostat center to tape it:
RM 0.70 x 20 = RM 14.00

And this is only for the smallest tape, the larger size of the tape, the more money you save from it

And 1 thing I didn't mention just now, a photostat center doesn't care what is the size of your book, A5, B5 or A4, and they don't care the orientation of the book is either portrait or landscape, they still using the universal price tag.

So, go grocery shop and get yourself some cloth tape, and.........

Well, I didn't forget about the staple thingy~

You can get the cloth tape from grocery shop, but you can't get such a big staple from stationary shop, right~
Even if you can, you still need a heavy duty stapler to do the job, and the heavy duty stapler cost around RM 150+.  Yes, I'm not kidding with the price, it's RM 150++ per stapler.

The solution is easy, just ask the photostat center to staple the book for you, but don't tape it for you.
So the cost is just around RM 0.10 to RM 0.60 depend on the thickness of your book~

And when you back home, do the rest of the tape binding yourself~
Combine with your roommate or friend to save even more.


How to Tape Binding your book?

1. Use a ruler to measure the A
2. Depend on the size of A, choose an appropriate size of tape
Example : A is 12mm, so I will use 36mm tape in that case
3. Minus the A with the size of the tape you using
Example : 36mm - 12mm = 24mm
4. Now take the result and divide 2, and you will get B
Example : 24mm / 2 = 12mm
5. Use your ruler to mark a small dot at the end of B
6. Apply the tape, cut it with scissor and fold it and cover up like the picture shown above
7. Use scissor to cut the tape to make it look neat like the picture shown above
7. Ta-daaaaaaa~ And you're done~

If you follow it step by step without mistake, then you can probably save yourself a lot of money by keep doing it yourself


Comb Binding

Staple tape binding is a lot cheaper than comb binding, either you do it yourself or asking a shop to do it for you, but sometimes we still need to use comb binding for specific documents or books.

The size of comb is from 4.5mm to 51mm and the price start from RM 0.70 to RM 6.60.
The price is including binding the hole on the papers/books.
I think there is bigger comb out there but 51mm is the biggest I can get in here, and most of the photostat center don't have very big comb.

The best way to save money for comb binding is Recycle.

If you take good care of the book, the comb will not break so easily. And when the next time you want to comb binding your book, just use the old comb from the old book that you don't want to use anymore.
So you just asking the photostat center to binding the paper and using the old comb, they will charge you for RM 0.20+ only~

And the second option is to buy the comb from supermarket, but don't buy from photostat center.
The photostat center doesn't care you buy the comb only or bind the paper with the comb, they charge you the same, based on the size of the comb.
Since supermarket doesn't have binding machine, and they just sell the comb, they usually sell cheaper comb compare to photostat center. Or maybe you can try from stationary shop, but I'm not sure if the stationary shop at your town do sell the comb cheaper or not, so just do some survey and you will figure it out.
Just try not to buy from photostat center as they will charge you extra for they do have provide binding service, even you just buy the comb only, they still charge you the same.

Rigid Sheet

Binding always comes with his friend, rigid sheets, an expensive friend.

This is something that is very rare to find at the place other than stationary/photostat center. The price is usually RM 0.50 per sheet, and you need to spend RM 1.00 per book if you put 1 copy each at the first and last page of your book.

Well, to save money on this shit, you still need to stay with Recycle.

Use the rigid sheet from your old book, and save yourself some money from buying the new one. I understand that sometimes the old rigid sheet look really old, but you can use it as the last page.
Only buy a new rigid sheet for front page, if you care about how your book look like, and recycle the old rigid sheet at the last page, as I believe no much people care about how the last page rigid sheet look like~

Also, everytime you asking the photstat center to binding you book, they will ask you either you want to put rigid sheet at your book or not. It's depend on you anyway~ Some book just doesn't need to use this expensive rigid sheet to protect, so just gently reply the shopkeeper "No".


Understand Price Calculation
Understand price calculation is the core element in save money
Make sure you do some calculation before placing your order, especially when you are going to photostat bulk quantity of book.
Let say you want to photostat a 200 pages book.
The cover of the book is colour and thick material, and the rest is black and white, size A4.
The original price of the book is RM 13.50
1-Photostat whole book while cover is colour photostat on thicher paper
200 x RM 0.04 = RM 8.00
1 x RM 2.00 = RM 2.00
2 x thicker paper = RM 0.40
+ 2 x rigid sheets and comb binding (16mm) = RM 4.10
Total RM 14.50
2-Photostat whole book while cover is black and white photostat on thicker colour paper
201 x RM 0.04 = RM 8.04
2 x colour paper = RM 0.40
+ staple tape binding = RM 1.20
Total RM 9.65
If you go for the first option, you should just buy the original book since the price difference is not much and you own an original book.
Well, sometimes you just don't have to spend so much money on a photostat book, and you still have the option to make it even cheaper.
3-Photostat whole book in black and white, 2 in 1 , staple only
101 x RM 0.04 = RM 4.04
+ staple = RM 0.20
Total RM 4.25
If you actually read through this guide carefully, you will know the full list of option you can choose when you want to photostat a book.
Look at the original price of the book, and understand the price calculation, and place your order like a pro~
Things They Never Tell You
The boss/staff usually don't tell you everything, even if they did, they aren't telling the truth
*Well~ The unofficial survival guide is going to break this rule
-If you have a lot of request, I will charge you RM 0.045 per page, no matter how many page you photostat
-If we are the only shop that have this software to open your file and print, we are going to charge you extra
-Our photostat machine has some problem and the colour will be dull
-I see your documents have some grammar errors and formal mistakes
-The resolution of this picture is too low, you are not going to like it
-We are not going to make it before the time you want the things to be done, but I will say I'm able to, since you got no choice
-The price is already more expensive than the original if you want to photostat like the way you told me just now
-Well, I know they will accept the form even it's black and white but I can earn more profit if you want to print in colour
-You can combine all those pages into 1 page actually, but I'm going to earn lesser $$
-I can tell you which one is better, not because of it is actually better but I can earn more $$ with it
-I can adjust my binding machine to fit your old paper, but then I can't earn more profit from asking you to buy a new one 
-You are allowed to use the rubber, the gum, the pen, the pencil and any stationary here, but I'm going to surcharge you secretly
-It's right that my signboard has a very large "3₵" printed on, but no matter how many you photostat you still won't able to get this rate
-I won't let you know how I calculate out this price, because I secretly charge you a little bit more
Pro Tips
-Photostat Identity Card is RM 0.20 per copy no matter how many copy you want, and if you want multiple copies, just photostat 1, and then ask them to use that one to photostat to multiple copies for just RM 0.04 per copy. You can keep a master copy and use it to photostat for more in future
-Some photostat center charge extra during public holiday and Sunday, or sometimes the last day/deadline for you to pass up your thesis/homework
-Don't visit a shop by just looking at the "3₵" on their signboard, go in and survey their price
-Do not let the photostat center keep the documents that you later found out it's wrong after photostat/print, they already charge you for it and if you still let them keep it, they might use it as recycle paper. Keep in mind if it's your IC or your important documents, you should take extra care about it
-Before you pay deposit for anything, ask them to give you a receipt with total price and detail info written on it, since you already paid your deposit they might later surcharge you and you can't proof it
-If you photostat or print a lot, asking for a discount before you request the service, and asking for discount again before you pay the money, for most case you will get extra discount again
-If you found that some photostat center provide cheaper price when the boss isn't there, you should know when is the best timing to visit that shop
-Usually the inkjet printer of photostat center isn't waterproof, only laserjet is waterproof.
-Almost all photostat center can write you a receipt with higher price if you ask them to, don't be shy to ask for it. Somehow they will just give you an empty receipt with only their chop and sign
-Letting photostat center know where you come from doesn't always let you got a discount, discount is based on how many you photostat/print or how often you visit their shop. If the first time you visit a shop and you want to get a discount, tell them where you come from (from which school/university/tuisyen center) and request for discount, not forget to tell them you will always visit their shop, even if you don't
-Buy paper from photostat center isn't always a right choice to make, do negotiate the price with them always
-When photostat a book, it's always recommended to photostat in 2 in 1, if you photostat 1 page to 1 page, the price is usually about the same or even higher than the original book. Photostat a book in 2 in 1 will cut off about 30%~40% of the total price and make it really worth to photostat
-Never ask the photostat center to photostat your task in a very urgent concern unless you really need it so urgently, if they are very busy at the moment they will reject your task, and sometimes you have no choice but to let them do the task, they know you are telling a lie. They will raise the price since you can only ask them to do the task
-If you promise them about when will you go to collect your stuff, please do it on time, especially if the next day is holiday, they will not open for business usually and you won't able to collect


Services Other Than Photostat

Most of the photostat center do provide other services like laminating, fax, email, scan.
Here are the tips for these services:

Laminating charge by the size of the documents, from the 60mm x 90mm to A3 size.

A3 is RM 4.50
A4 is RM 2.00
B5 is RM 1.50
A5 to the smallest is RM 1.00

-Since A4 charge you RM 2.00 per copy, if you have a lot of things to laminate, ask the photostat center to fit all things into 1 A4
-Don't use A3 unless you are laminating A3 paper, just like the first tips, you can fit all little things into 2x A4 and only cost you RM 4.00, if you go for A3 they will charge RM 4.50
-Unless you're in an urgent concern, try to combine laminate with other friends or others things to save laminating cost
-You may buy the A4 laminating film for about RM 0.50 per copy on the market, and if you buy your own laminating film and just ask the photostat center to laminate for you they will charge you RM 1.00 per copy, you can save RM 0.50 per copy and save a lot of money if you laminate a lot

Fax charge by the area code and number of pages

Depend on where is your photostat center located, the farther the area the higher the cost per page. Let say you fax from 05 to 03, they will charge you RM 3.00 per page. They will discount to RM 2.00 or RM 2.50 if you have many pages.

-The discount for many quantity is not bad, but if you can combine your documents to less page then this can save up a lot more
-Use email if your recipient has email, since email is cheaper than fax and better scan quality

Scan charge by number of pages
For the first few pages is very expensive, RM 1.00 per page for colour and RM 0.50 per page for black and white scan.

Photostat center can scan your document combine into 1 PDF, or into multiple JPEG files. From 100dpi to 600dpi (dot per inch).

-Just, just don't ask a photostat center to scan for you unless you want to scan a lot of pages. Since nowaday many printer comes with scanner, use the scanner of your own printer or ask your friend who has printer with scanner to scan for you. If you have want to scan a lot of pages, then only you ask a photostat center to do it for you.
-Depend on what kind of your documents and what you want to use it for, ask the photostat center to scan it in the right format before you ask them to, or else they will still charge you if you don't want the way it scanned
-Colour and black/white is different price, only do colour scan when you really need to

Most of the photostat center charge email service by how many email you sent out, not by how many attachments.
They charge from RM 1 to RM 2 per email.

-Why not asking your friend to scan your document to soft copy and email it by yourself at your own computer?

Sorry guys, no much tips I can provide for these services~



As the title of this blogspot, it's an unofficial survival guide. I write this because I  realize many people need to know this. If nothing in this guide help you, I'm sorry :(

And if you find this survival guide is very helpful, please share this with your friend or family :)

I already write all I want to write, so I'm going to make this conclusion short, since there is a long preface down this~ I actually write the preface before I start writing any other things, but then I move this to the end of this guide so you guys can read the guide first before this boring shit~

Well, it's about to stop it right here. Thank you for reading this, do like/share this post if you find this helpful, and there will be more survival guide coming. I have quite a lot of idea to write more, and I wish I have your support so I can keep writing. Most importantly I need time :p
I will now say sorry first if the next survival guide won't be online so fast.

See yea~


This is the first time for me to write something like survival guide for blah blah blah, please don't mind if you found any grammar errors / mistakes, as this is not my native language and I didn't pay full attention during my English classes years ago. I write this in English so I can share this with more people.Well, this is my first preface as well, please don't expect something very formal and I won't make it too short :X . You can skip this boring part anyway.

My name is Leon. I'm a computer technician, graphic designer, blogger, a gamer and a dreamer. But please, don't imagine me with some serious and professional look, even though if you put these identity together somehow sound like a pro, but I'm just a 21 year old boy with only working experience without a single certificate. Also, I'm now working in a photostat center.

It has been a while since I start working in a photostat center, and I found that many people, especially university/college student need to understand the basic introduction about photostat shop, the 101 of photostat shop. In this guide, I will write all the things and knowledge about photostat, in conclusion you can save yourself from a few Ringgit to hundred of Ringgit depend on how well you learn from this guide. Also, you can visit a photostat center like a boss/pro after reading this guide.

I have the idea to start writing this when I found out there is many people who don't really understand photostat very well, and end up wasting a lot of $$ in photostat, or not getting what they want after spending the $$. Also, there is an University Sains Malaysia (Nibong Tebal Pulau Pinang) just located less than 1km away from the shop where I am working, so I think this guide might served them well, or any other student around Malaysia. I also have the idea to write more "The Unofficial Survival Guide" that cover more things than photostat, like "University Life 101 : The Unofficial Survival Guide" and many more.

I would like to thank Mr Liew, who offering me a chance to be your business partner so that I have the chance to learn what I'll need to write later.

Okay, I guess this is how a preface should look like. Last but not least, thank you, for reading this unofficial guide. More unofficial survival guide to come~

Best Regards,


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