Shutterfly.com: An Easy Way To Get Prints From Your Digital Camera!
Sep 23, 2003 (Updated Dec 16, 2004)
|Site Ease of Use:
When I first bought my HP Photosmart 735 digital camera, I had no idea how I was going to get the kind of prints I got with my old film camera. Of course, I can print the pictures from my computer, but I like the standard prints for my albums. Then I came across Shutterfly.com and found it is very easy and convenient to get conventional prints from a digital camera.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
You go to shutterfly.com and open an account. You will have to download software in order to interact with the site. The download only took about a minute on my highspeed internet connection. The software does not create an icon. You only need to download the software once.
The shutterfly.com software will guide you through uploading your pictures to its web site. I had already downloaded my pictures from my camera to my computer, so this was an easy task. Uploading 23 pictures took a few minutes.
Once your pictures are uploaded, they are displayed on the shutterfly.com web site. You can order prints very easily by checking a box next to the picture with the size of print you want and then adding a quantity for each print.
According to the web site, if you have a conventional film camera, you can mail the undeveloped film to Shutterfly.com and they will develop it and mail you prints. You can order mailers from the web site. I have not used this process and don't know how well it works.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
You can play around with your pictures, remove red eye, add borders and create cards and calendars. You can also add a message to the back of each print for free. This is a great service for me since I only get around to adding photos to albums every year or so. With the message, I can remember the date and the event.
The site primarily sells various kinds of prints. You can also get calendars and notecards made from your prints. Surprisingly, there are no t-shirts, mugs, keychains or other options at the site. Other than prints, the site sells a small selection of frames. That's it. Very zen.
I found the web site very easy to use. There is a helpful tutorial and lots of help along the way. Mostly, the use is intuitive. There are some pictures on the web site, but no fancy stuff, so the pages load very quickly.
Ordering was extremely easy. Once your pictures are uploaded, you can just choose which size prints you want and how many. The checkout process was easy with a minimal amount of steps.
The prints were glossy and were the same quality that you get at the drug store or other typical places that make prints. No more, no less.
I got an email acknowledging that I had opened an account at the site. I an email acknowledging my order. I also got an email when my order shipped. My order shipped about 20 hours after I had placed it and arrived 3 business days after I placed my order.
SHIPPING COSTS AND PACKAGING
Shipping prices vary depending on the number prints you order. For a small number of prints, shipping starts at $1.49. When I placed my order, there was an offer for a flat fee on shipping for $1.99.
The prints came in a paper envelope and were packed for shipping in a sturdy cardboard envelope.
PRICES AND DEALS
A 4x6 print costs $0.39. An 8x10 costs $3.99. However, there are lots of deals at any given time. There are also volume discounts if you are going to order a lot of prints. I got 15 free prints in my first order.
This was a great site for ordering conventional prints from a digital camera. It was super convenient to just order prints at home and have them delivered in a few days. Without a deal, the prices were similar to the supermarket or drug store drop off. However, with a digital camera, you can preview the pictures and choose which prints to make. Just weeding out bad prints can save a lot of money (well, at least for me since I am only an average photographer). I definitely recommend this site.
DO YOU LIKE TO SHOP ON THE INTERNET? HERE ARE SOME MORE REVIEWS OF WEB STORES:
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Clothing and Home Goods: Lands End; Bluefly; Soft Surroundings; Garnet Hill; Sundance; L.L. Bean.
Home and Garden: Smith & Noble; Restoration Hardware; Gardeners Supply Company; Unicahome; Homeclick; FaucetDirect; Gardens Alive; West Elm; Crate & Barrel; MyKnobs; CB2.
Books and Magazines: Amazon.com; ValueMags; Magazine Values; Dover Publications.
Office Supplies, Furniture and Services: Staples; Officemax; Topdeq; Efax.
Electronics: HP Shopping; Buy.com.
Travel: Amtrak; Hotwire; Orbitz; Hotels.com.
Discount: Overstock.com; Target.
Photo Developing: Snapfish.
Baby Stuff: Babystyle; Babys Here Birth Announcements; Baby Universe; SoZo; Baby Center; Baby Age.
Miscellaneous: 1-800 contacts; Movie Tickets.com; Drugstore.com.
Rebate Sites: Upromise; Ebates.
Before you start shopping, check out my tips on how to save money by shopping on the internet . I have also included some coupon codes and plan to add more as I find them.