I wanna print your picture....
April 4, 2012 2:34 PM   Subscribe

What service do MeFites recommend for online photo printing? Difficulty: 200+ prints, 3"x5" print size.

Finding myself gifted with a scrapbook and extensive scrapbooking supplies for the purpose of commemorating a recent international trip abroad, I am in need of a way to obtain prints for said scrapbook. Photos are currently on my hard drive and I do not use any online photo storage services (but am willing to do so if recommended). The dimensions of the scrapbook favor 3x5 photos rather than the standard 4x6, etc. I will probably print some as 4x6, just not all. Ordinarily I would just have a photo book printed from an online service, however, I would like to make use of the supplies given to me.

Since I have trouble deciding between photos for this type of thing, I am looking at about 200 prints. Thus, I am looking for a cheap option (under $0.10 a print would be fantastic, under $0.15 would be great too). Is the easiest answer an upload-print-and-ship service, or should I be entertaining more of a bring-a-flash-drive-to-WalMart type solution? For online services, what would you recommend in terms of ease/price? Searches have turned up answers dated 2007 and 2009, and I imagined things may have changed since.
posted by shortskirtlongjacket to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I usually print photos at Adorama which does not seem to do 3x5 or MPIX which seems to do 3.5x5, but neither of those has prints for less than 10 cents each. You might be better off with something like shutterfly, snapfish, ofoto, walmart, or Costco.
posted by echo0720 at 2:48 PM on April 4, 2012

I did an experiment last year where I got 50 or so prints from five different places and none of them had any big differences in quality or price (once you include shipping for the online ones). They were Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Snapfish and Shutterfly. Walmart had a big issue with delivery and pretty poor customer service in regards to the problem. The other four were all good.

What you should look for is a deal. Many places give you 20-50 free prints for starting an account with them and/or have various coupons on their sites. You don't have to bring a flash drive anywhere even if you go with a local place, because you can upload to their website and select the "in store pickup" option in the delivery section. If your connection is really slow, you could drop in, but make sure they don't charge you for one-hour turnaround unless you want it.

As for the 3x5 option, I don't see that on any of the sites I checked. You may need to call a local place and ask them if they offer that size. I often end up cropping some of my 4x6 pics down a bit once I get them, so that is an option.
posted by soelo at 2:57 PM on April 4, 2012

I use iprintfromhome for their excellent quality, shipping, customer service, etc. They do offer 3.5x5, plus options for smart cropping if your aspect ratio is different. The price for that size is .30 each. There's a $10 new customer credit, which for 200 images only brings it down to .25.
posted by xo at 3:51 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Snapfish pretty regularly runs deals for 300 or so prints for a penny each (there's one ending today, for example), and sometimes shipping is free too. Quality's good, though I don't know if they're archival. 4x6 though.
posted by brentajones at 5:07 PM on April 4, 2012

The only place that still does 3x5 at consumer prices that I am (still) sure of is Ritz Camera. (That's because they still have a lot of old equipment. But the quality should be OK.) 6 cents each when ordered on Tues and Wed and picked up in a store or 15 cents each other days or plus postage mailed back. Not all of their stores still have 3x5 machines, so call the particular store if you want to pick them up and their exact timing on the 6 cents price.
posted by caclwmr4 at 6:50 PM on April 4, 2012

Thanks for all the awesome suggestions! Project on hold for the moment, but will continue to compare options.
posted by shortskirtlongjacket at 7:48 PM on May 10, 2012

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