Top Office Supply Stores Compared: Office Depot vs. OfficeMax vs. Staples

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Office supply stores today sell much more than just office supplies. In addition to office supplies, they also sell office furniture, computers and computer peripherals, electronics for the office, home office and much more. These three office supply comp

Office Depot

Office Depot opened their first store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1986. Today, Office Depot is a global company with web sites in over 40 countries and sales of $10.7 billion in 2012. Office Depot announced a merger between them and OfficeMax in February 2013. As of this writing, the merger has not been completed and both companies will continue to act as separate companies until the transaction is completed. Office Depot trades on the NYSE with the symbol of ODP. 

Product Line

Office Depot carries office supply products and services in the following categories.

  • Office Supplies: Basic office supplies, binders and accessories, filing and storage, labels and label makers, mailing and shipping, pens and markers
  • Paper: Arts and craft paper, computer paper and POS rolls, copy and printer paper, notebooks and journals, photo and presentation paper, writing pads and filler paper.
  • Ink and toner for all major brands of printers.
  • Breakroom: Appliances, coffee supplies, cups, plates, cutlery, food and candy, water and juice.
  • Cleaning: Cleaning supplies and chemicals, soaps and sanitizers, paper products and dispensers, restroom supplies, waste baskets and more.
  • Technology: Computer and tablet accessories, computers and tablets, data storage and media, monitors and projectors, office machines, printers, scanners, copiers and fax machines.
  • Furniture: Bookcases, desks and workstations, filing cabinets, office chairs, tables and training panels, utility carts and stands.
  • Services: Custom printing, promotional products, business resource center, security solutions, shredders, PC tune up and repairs. 

Office Depot Customer Service

Office Depot has numerous ways to get customer service.

  • You can call their toll free number at 1-800-GO-DEPOT (1-800-463-3768) 7 days a week 24 hours.
  • Live chat 7 days a week, 24 hours per day.
  • Email.

Customer Comments

Office Depot has above average customer ratings:

  • Google gives Office Depot an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 based on 23,493 customer reviews.
  • gives Office Depot an overall satisfaction rating of 8.9/10 with a 93% positive rating over the past 12 months.
  • gave them 2.5 stars out of 5 based on only 139 customer reviews.
  • rates them 1.67/10 with 194 reviews.

Customers have the following comments about Office Depot:

  • “Online shopping and free/fast delivery are major advantages.”
  • “Smooth transaction. Called the expected pick up store location and spoke with management. He was very knowledgeable and helpful. Thank you.”
  • “Overall, shopping with Office Depot is easy and the prices are great.”
  • “The coupons offered are often difficult to redeem. On several occasions, the gift item never came and I learned it was outsourced to an outside subcontractor. Having to add another "coupon" to redeem is cumbersome and not stated on the brochure. Ordering supplies is easy, it's only if you are redeeming a coupon or receiving a discount that there's a problem.”
  • “I called to see if I could get multiple coupons because my order was big. She gave me $25 off a $360 order. Same day in mail I got $40 off $200. That disappointed me.”
  • “Awesome deals! Thanks O.D.! I will always check here first before buying my office supplies and electronics... the other "mainstay" store in your industry doesn't even come close in value or satisfaction!”
  • “Several items I would like to buy are all out of stock. Called customer service and they are unable to help me with out me creating a profile. Just get the items in stock so I can spend my money at your site”
  • “I love the customer service. It is always a great experience when I come into the store. I am also very happy with the website. Very easy to navigate and find exactly what I need. Thank you!”


OfficeMax was formerly known as Boise Cascade Corporation and was formed in 1931 as a successor to an Idaho corporation that was formed in 1913. In 2003, Boise Cascade Corporation acquired all of the voting rights for OfficeMax and the name was officially changed to OfficeMax. Today, OfficeMax has over 900 retail stores throughout the US and Mexico. OfficeMax currently trades on the NYSE with the symbol of OMX.

There is currently a planned merger between OfficeMax and Office Depot, as of this writing the merger has not yet occurred and both companies will continue to operate separately until the merger is final. 

Product Line

OfficeMax carries office supplies and more in the following categories:

  • Office Supplies: Educational aids, breakroom and cleaning, writing instruments, organization, presentation, measuring and cutting, fasteners, office resources, mailing and shipping.
  • Paper: Paper products, notebooks and pads, post-its and flags.
  • Technology: Computers, computer and tablet accessories, cameras and accessories, mobile electronics, TV’s, monitors, projectors, office equipment, printers, copiers, scanners, video gaming, cell phones and accessories, hard drive memory and storage.
  • Ink and toner for all major brands.
  • Office Furniture: Office furniture, bookcase and shelving, tables, furniture collections, file cabinets, storage, media and entertainment furniture, accent furniture, office décor and accessories.
  • Services: Computer service, shredding services, banners and more.
  • Breakroom and Cleaning: Appliances, beverages, bowls and plates, coffee supplies, cleaning supplies and more.

OfficeMax Customer Service

  • You can call their toll free number at 1-800-283-7674.
  • Email.

Customer Comments

OfficeMax has above average customer ratings on several different rating websites including:

  • Google rates OfficeMax 4.5 out of 5 with 12,080 customer reviews.
  • rates them 8.7/10 for overall satisfaction.
  • rates them overall 2 out of 5.
  • rates them a 0.17/10 with 166 reviews.

Customers have the following comments about OfficeMax:

  • “Very efficient and reasonable. Love the free shipping.”
  • “I was disappointed that when I finally found the bookcase again it was twenty dollars more in the few days later when I checked.”
  • “Office Max has excellent website with online offered discounts.”
  • “All the times I have used Officemax I have been very satisfied and will continue to use there stores.”
  • “Free shipping and discount price are the reasons I used Office Max for the purchase of this item.”
  • “Very impressed with the ease of my first time ordering online.”
  • “I greatly appreciate being able to check the stores online and know which store has my purchase. I usually pick up other items once I get there.
  • Staff at store were great and pleasant. Recommended me to use online site for a purchase that I couldn't fit in my car.”
  • “I was sent an email coupon to save $30 on a purchase but it excluded printers. I also purchased a warranty but I didn't see that listed as an exclusion to using the coupon. At check out it wouldn't let me capture the savings by using the coupon on the warranty. Very frustrating.”
  • “There were two reasons I purchased today - first is that on Amazon, it's getting too hard to tell when you're going to get counterfeit products (inkjet cartridges), and I have good experiences at my local store. Second, the free paper offer was a nice bonus.”


Staples was founded in 1986 and today they have outlets in 26 countries with annual sales of $25 billion. Their headquarters are located outside of Boston, MA. Staples trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange with the symbol of SPLS.

Product Line

Staples sells office supplies and more in the following categories:

  • Apple: Accessories for the iPad, iPhone, iPod and Mac.
  • Ink and toner for all major brands.
  • Paper, notebooks and post-its.
  • Filing, binders and organizers.
  • Pens and desk supplies.
  • Envelopes and mailing.
  • Computers, drives and accessories.
  • Software, apps and tech support.
  • Printers and shredders.
  • TV and home equipment.
  • Phones, cameras and electronics.
  • Cleaning and tools.
  • Safety supplies.
  • First aid and medical supplies.
  • Coffee, water and snacks.
  • Furniture, chairs and cabinets.
  • Copy and print.
  • Custom stamps and promotional supplies.
  • Boards and easels.
  • Drafting and art supplies.
  • Accounting and forms. 

Staples Customer Service

  • You can call the company toll free at 1-800-333-3330
  • Chat
  • An extensive FAQ for help.

Customer Comments

Staples does not have the number of ratings or customer comments as the other two office supply companies do. It should be noted that always seems to have the most negative customer comments of any of the customer rating websites.

  • gives Staples an overall rating of 3.67 out of 10 based on 179 customer reviews.
  • rates them 2.5 stars out of 4 based on 243 customer comments. 

Staples customers have the following comments on

  • “Staples is office supply store, you always can find cheaper price for some school materials. I often shop at staples because they offer me lower prices. The attendants will help to find items if you ask, no bad no perfect service in summary."
  • "Easy on-line menus, great specials, and delivery was in only 2 days."
  • "I ordered a laptop from Staples and picked it up at a local store 2 days later after I had gotten an email that the order was ready for pick up. Everything went smoothly, I am really glad that the bad reviews here did not scare me off!"
  • "Ordered canon print cartridges from staples because the online site had the least expensive price. It was am easy site to order products and I have no complaints."
  • "Found what I was looking for online. Sent to store for pickup. Customer service was kind of slow retrieving my product, but it was Back to School week, and the staff were short-handed."
  • "Never buy a warranty from this store. We purchased a warranty for a large printer for office that was supposed to have immediate on-site service. It has take 2 1/2 mos to finally get someone out. At one point they said they couldn't find anyone and that we had to find someone. When we did, they wouldn't work with then to get the repair. 2 1/2 mos later they are replacing it!!!"
  • "Bought a storage unit from them & it was supposed to be delivered on 3/20. Didn't come & I called. CRS assured me t would go out on 3/21....Long story short, it didn't come again today. Now they say it will be here tomorrow before 3pm....I'm not holding my breath...If it doesn't arrive, I'll be canceling my order..."
  • "Wow. I have never seen so many bad reviews. Maybe I just got lucky?? I placed an online order with Staples for an office chair and the entire process worked perfectly from placing the order to receiving my chair. I agree that prices for paper goods could be better but I thought the chair was priced quite reasonably and I was happy not to have to go out to buy it and lug the thing into the office myself. "

Price Comparisons

The following price comparisons are for the exact product carried by each store. Prices can vary widely when factoring in the weekly sales, instant savings and rebates that can occur at any time.

Epson T200 Color Ink Cartridges - T200520-S – 3-Pack

  • The cost at Office Depot is $24.99.
  • The cost at OfficeMax is $24.99.
  • The cost at Staples is $24.99.

HP Premium Plus High-Gloss Photo Paper, 8 1/2" x 11" – 50 Pack

  • The cost at Office Depot is $34.99.
  • The cost at OfficeMax is $35.49.
  • The cost at Staples is $34.99.

HP ENVY x2 11-g010nr 11.6" Convertible Touch Screen Laptop

  • The cost at Office Depot is $699.99 after instant savings.
  • The cost at OfficeMax is $699.99 after savings.
  • The cost at Staples is $699.99 after instant savings.

Fellowes Powershred 73Ci 100% Jam Proof 12-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder

  • The cost at Office Depot is $179.99 after $20 instant savings.
  • The cost at OfficeMax is $199.99.
  • The cost at Staples is $219.00.

BUNN Pour-O-Matic Three-Burner Pour-Over Coffee Brewer

  • The cost at Office Depot is $399.99.
  • The cost at OfficeMax is $364.99.
  • The cost at Staples is $419.99.

Free Shipping Offers

Each company offers free shipping with qualifying offers on many products. You can also order your product online and pick the item up at your local store. Be sure to read their entire shipping policy since free shipping does have some restrictions. Usually, free shipping offers are calculated after discounts and before taxes.

  • Office Depot offers free shipping for orders of $50 or more. Check your zip code to see if you are located in their free shipping area.
  • OfficeMax offers free shipping for orders over $50 within their trade area.
  • Staples offers free shipping for orders over $45. 

1 comment

Soumi Das
Posted on Mar 22, 2013