05 July 2008
Egads! Another Online Photo Printing Service?
I am often asked what company I use to print out my photos. I look for a place that has a combination of good quality and price. I think you should never pay more than 15 cents for a 4x6 print. I remember in the early days of online printing where they charged 35 cents a print! If I need the photos in an hour, I usually just upload them to Walgreens and pick them up at my local store. It usually costs 19 cents a print, but they always have weekly promotions to bring the price down to 15 cents or less. However, a lot of it does depends on the actual store that will be doing the printing. I used to get my prints developed at Costco, but the last few times, I was not satisfied at all with the quality. I tend to think that stores with a high volume of orders are not able to give each order the adequate amount of attention, in regards to reviewing and tweaking colors. I have a friend who pays a little more to get his prints developed at his local Wolf Camera, but he feels it is well worth it, due to the quality of the prints.
In regards to ordering online, I used to be a member of Dotphoto, which at the time had the cheapest prices for 4x6s. But a bad experience with them deleting photos without my permission caused me to look elsewhere. I have also spent time with Snapfish, Ofoto (now Kodak Gallery), and Shutterfly in the past. Yes, I will admit it, I am a online-photo floozie.
My current choice is a new site called Artscow. Strange name, I know.
Part of it probably has to do with the fact that they are based in Hong Kong. Can you say lost in translation? I heard about the site about a month ago while perusing one of my favorite bargain sites. For all new members, they are offering 200 free 4x6s, 200 free 5x7s, and 1 free 8x8 photobook. I couldn't resist that offer, so I signed up right away. The site itself is a little cheesy, kind of like a lot of things that come out of Asia (teal + pink + bright yellow clothing with bunnies anyone?) but nonetheless, functional. With my Mom's birthday coming up, I decided to make her a photobook. They were also running another promotion at the same time where for every photobook you created and ordered, they would give you 3 more photobook credits. Since they are just rolling out their service, they want to test out their printing capacity, and so want as many members to order as possible. The book itself was free, but it cost $13 for shipping/handling, understandable since it is being sent from across the globe. (Ordering products from Hong Kong is not unusual for me. When I needed a new pair of glasses, I ordered them from here for less than a third of the price I would have paid at my local Lenscrafters. Thank goodness the world is flat!). Two weeks later, I received my book in the mail. What did I think? Ha ha, well, you will just have to read my review (with photos!). Berry, the crazy CEO of Artscow is running another promotion where you post your review of your book on their online forum, and he credits your account $10. Cha-ching! Berry, you are my kind of guy, you crazy yellow fellow! I think I am in love.
I have not ordered any prints from them yet, but am planning on it and will let you know how they turn out. In the meantime, have a cow, or at least Art's cow, and join me at Artscow. Full disclosure time: I don't work for Berry, but if you join through the above link, I will receive some photo credits. Honesty is the best policy. :)