Monday, November 13, 2006

Frugal Photos

My mom recently needed some photos developed off of her digital camera. I offered to shop around the free print offers online and see how cheaply I could get the photos. I considered the following companies: Snapfish, York Photo, Kodak, Photo Works, and Shutterfly. Pretty much all of these companies offer a designated amount of free photos when you sign up; you just pay shipping. Snapfish and Photo Works also are great for having coupon codes.

For reference, regular pricing for prints is as follows: Snapfish .12; York Photo .10; Kodak .15; Photo Works .19 for 1-24 and .15 for 25-499; Shutterfly .19. The shipping for each company is as follows: Snapfish 1.97 for 16-25 prints and an additional .49 for each batch of 10 thereafter; York Photo 2.09 for 16-25 prints and an additional .32 for each batch of 10 thereafter; Kodak 2.49 for 20-49 prints; Photo Works 1.95 for 1-20 prints and an additional .95 per each batch of 20 thereafter; and Shutterfly 1.79 for 1-10, 1.99 for 11-20, and 2.49 for 21-30. Shutterfly is very expensive all around and they rarely offer coupon codes that are worth anything to me as they tend to be for expensive "photo gifts." I generally use Snapfish, York, and Photo Works with coupon codes. For most of these companies, you need to download their software so that you can easily upload your photos.

For this experiment I used Snapfish to order 20 prints, Photo Works to order 30, and Kodak to order 10. In each case I only had to pay shipping. At Snapfish, shipping was .98 with a code. At Photo Works, shipping was 2.90, and at Kodak it was 1.49. Obviously Snapfish was the winner here. Overall, I spent $5.37 for 60 prints, which averages 8.9 cents per photo. I was very pleased with my results!

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