How to Save Money on Photo Prints and Photo Gifts
Taking photos is often a hobby, and a free one at that. However, when it’s time to pick the best ones and to get them printed, we are often left with a lot higher expenditures than we thought it’ll be. Take a look at some tips how to decorate your walls and save in the process:
As we all know, good start often means half the job. In this case, you should start with a great quality photo. No printer will fix a blurry out-of-focus picture. If you see picture flaws on your phone screen, you will see them even better on a 5x7 or 8x10 picture. Don’t trust Instagram filters for editing because those pictures often get resized and lose their integrity. If there is something that needs fixing in your image, use tools that are provided by printing vendor you are using.
Shipping charges quickly add up and can make a huge difference, especially for larger prints and bigger orders. Before paying $10 or more for shipping, do some research and see if somebody offers free shipping. Amazon shipping is free for Prime members, for example.
The best way to go about it is to avoid shipping all together. Many photography vendors offer order store pick-up. Snapfish standard size prints can be picked up at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart. Shutterfly delivers 4x6 prints to CVS, Target, and Walgreens. Costco also has in-store pick up available for 4x6 prints. If you need larger ones, consider companies that offer free shipping, especially during holiday sales.
Many online vendors have coupons for various products and services. Free shipping is one of the most common discounts offered by Shutterfly and Snapfish. Discounts on prints and free photo books with purchases are also very common too. Without all that, delivery fees might become very significant.
Vendor apps are great sources of discounts and specials on products and services. Shutterfly, for example, offers unlimited photo storage and 4x4 or 4x6 prints at no cost. Snapfish app advertises 100 free 4x6 prints each month for an entire year, if you pay for shipping.
Another great feature that can be found on apps is direct picture import from your phone or social media pages and sending them directly to your local Walgreens and CVS for same-day pick up.
If there is something you don’t fully like, don’t hesitate to voice your concern with customer service. Amazon allows you 30 days post-delivery to reach out to them, Walmart – 90 days. Walgreens promises to refund the money or replace the print if you are unhappy with it. Shutterfly states that they will replace the print if there is a problem with the print service. If the low quality of the picture is your fault, Shutterfly will split the replacement cost in half with you.
Using printing service websites
Virtually all of them are very user-friendly and easy to navigate. Visitors import their pictures, choose the size, style, number of prints, and submit.
Those of us that want to have a bit more input, should try Nations Photo Lab’s numbered steps or AdoramaPix’s pop-up windows. AdoramaPix also offers “express order mode” to help you use prior orders’ settings to keep moving faster.
Shutterfly is pretty straight-forward and makes you select the size, finish, and number of prints right away.
When it comes to Amazon, it’s easy to get lost among all their services, so just Google “Amazon prints” and get directed to the right place immediately.
Finally, most of those vendors will make you repeat the same steps for different finishes. Snapchat sends glossy prints to CVS or Walgreens for pick-up, while matte go to Walmart. Mpix does step repeat for different sizes of prints.
AdoramaPix and Shutterfly are pretty friendly to multiple finish orders, but Shutterfly might make you upload the same picture twice and name it differently for matte and glossy finish.
Don’t be surprised if pictures from Amazon, Walgreens, and CVS all sport the same Maryland address. This address belongs to District Photo, which also owns Snapfish, proving that a lot of things are connected in this industry. This might be the reason behind similarities between CVS, Walgreens, and Snapfish websites.