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Is Amazon Prints a Good Deal?

Here's how Amazon Prints compares to Shutterfly and others.
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The Internet is buzzing this week over the unveiling of Amazon Prints, a new photo-printing service that just might give Shutterfly, Snapfish, and the like a run for their money. Amazon's price points are super-competitive (more on that in a bit), and they're currently offering free standard shipping; free expedited shipping comes with a $15 charge.

The new service is available through Amazon Drive, an existing program that gives users unlimited photo storage. If you're a Prime member, you already get this for free. Non-Primers have to shell out $59.99 per year for access to Amazon's cloud drive service—just $40 shy of the $99 annual Prime membership fee. (Editor's note: If any of you are currently Amazon Drive subscribers but not Prime members, you should definitely consider spending the extra $40 to get Prime.) If we had to take a wild guess, we'd speculate that Amazon is hoping to land some Prime newbies here. Non-Prime members can also opt into a free three-month trial.

Amazon Prints taps into your saved photos on Amazon Drive, then allows you to customize and print them on the cheap. Single prints and photo books are currently on offer, with calendars and stationary slated to come next.

So how does it measure up to other photo-printing services? We'll let you be the judge. Here's a side-by-side breakdown.

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Amazon Prints

Pros: Competitive prices and free shipping.

Cons: Prints and photo books are currently the only items available.

 

Shutterfly

Pros: A wide variety of products, including cards, stationary, calendars, personalized gifts, and home decor.

Cons: Not all Slickdealers think Shutterfly's shipping fees are all that reasonable.

Snapfish

Pros: Lots of photo options (canvas prints, home decor, photo gifts, cards, calendars and more), and their 4x6 prints are the same price as Amazon Prints.

Cons: Shipping certainly isn't free.

 

Apple

Pros: If you're already an Apple person, printing photos from your iPhoto library  is super-simple.

Cons: People who don't use iPhoto are out of luck (plus Apple charges shipping fees).

 

CVS

Pros: In-store pickup means no waiting for delivery.

Cons: Higher price points. You'll also have to make trips back and forth to the store.

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At this point, Amazon Prints definitely offers up the best prices—if you're a Prime member or are ok paying that $59.99 annual Amazon Drive membership fee. Some would argue it's worth it, others might not. Amazon Prints is also lacking a bit when it comes to product variety and offerings. Time will tell how Amazon's presence in the photo-printing game plays out in the long run. In the meantime, we'll be keeping our eye on it.

Don't forget to check for coupons or discounts on photo prints to help you save some money. Next time you're ready to place an order, check out our coupons pages for Amazon, Shutterfly, Snapfish, Apple and CVS.

Which service do you think delivers the most bang for your buck? Tell us what you think in the comments below.



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About the Author
Marianne Hayes Contributor

Marianne Hayes is a freelance writer, wife and mother in Tampa Bay. After earning a degree in journalism and creative writing from the University of Central Florida, she spent nearly a decade getting lost in New York City and Los Angeles before making her way back home again in 2014. Marianne's writing has appeared in a variety of publications including The Huffington Post, Forbes.com, LearnVest, The Daily Beast and more. When she's not writing, Marianne is usually cruising her local bookstore with her two daughters.

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5 Comments

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This comment has been rated as unhelpful by Slickdeals users
Joined Mar 2005
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#2
Is this a paid advertisement?

Curious, why didn't you use Walmart.com photo service in this comparison?

This site has really gone down hill since it started monetizing its popularity.

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Our community has rated this post as helpful. If you agree, why not rep MiniMinhMo?
#3
Where's Costco or Walgreens? They offer cheap photo service as well.
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#4
I just received an order of prints back from Amazon Prints. Overall, the photos were crisp, vibrant, and had good contrast. One minor issue was that a couple of photos with rich colors ended up looking a little messy, and over-saturation. There was only one big issue, and that was that most of the photos had a very warm cast to them (not an issue with my monitor, I can assure you). Most photo printing services that are geared to consumers apparently have an auto-fix "magic" that can do wonders for the average photo but can wreak minor to major havoc on photos that are tuned a specific way (a way that is not "typical"). These photo printers also usually allow you to turn this magic off. I couldn't find an option on the Amazon service to disable auto-fix. Hopefully Amazon will provide a way to do so.

Also, in the order confirmation email, there was a link to my order. The URL behind that link was, interestingly: http://click.email.snapfish.com/? (followed by a long string of characters). So it seems that Amazon Prints really is a re-branded Snapfish.
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#5
When I went to check on my shipped Amazon Prints order, the page I was redirected through was a Snapfish address.
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#6
Costco Photos is also competitive. 5-7 business days lead time which is pretty standard. 17c for a 4x6, 59c for a 5x7, $1.79 for an 8x10. Photo books are $17.99 and up.

Basic shipping is free for 4x6. However, all shipping is free if you pick it up at the warehouse (obviously they hope you'll buy a bunch of stuff when you come to get your photos). Otherwise shipping is $2.99 and up. I suspect they're using Snapfish behind the scenes too.
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