How to print digital photos cheap

It is not very often that I need to print digital photos these days. I used to do it for some time after migrating from my film camera to a digital one but then I gradually stopped doing so. Instead I upload them to our online family album to watch and share online.

Once in a while I still have to print some shots whenever I want to send them to my parents (who don't have a computer) or just want to frame a few nice pictures with kids and put them on my desk. So the question of finding bargains for printed digital images is not completely off the table for me.

How much do you pay for printing your digital photos? If the price is more than $0.07 for a 4"x6" glossy print then you pay too much. Here is a list of web sites that I used in the past with very competitive pricing and good service. In addition at the end there is a table with pricing stats on other alternatives.

FotkiFotki prices are very attractive compared to competitors. In fact their price on 4"x6" prints is just 2 pennies shy of the best I know in the US. I have used them a lot to send prints to my parents in Eastern Europe. The thing I like is that I can order my prints online and get them shipped directly to a different country. Far not all web sites offer international shipping and this is one of those that does a very good job at it.

Fotki pricing goes like this: 4"x6" - $0.09, 5"x7" - $0.40, 8"x10" - $1.50. I seldom print any other sizes. Shipping in the US is from $1.99 and international shipping is from $5.99. See complete pricing information here.

WinkflashWinkflash is the service I use most often. Their print prices are probably not the lowest but their shipping costs are very hard to beat. Winkflash charges $0.99 flat rate to ship any number of 4"x6" prints and this can save you a lot (see my table at the end). If your average order is 50 prints then expect to pay from $3 to $5 in shipping with other online services. If you use Winkflash your savings are $2 to $4 per order which is around $0.04 to $0.08 per print!

There was only one time when I had a problem with Winkflash in the past -- they lost my order in mail -- but they promptly re-shipped it free of charge at my request.

Winkflash pricing goes like this: 4"x6" - $0.12, 5"x7" - $0.29, 8"x10" - $1.99. Shipping in the US is $0.99 flat rate as long as you order just 4"x6" prints. They don't offer international shipping. See complete pricing here.

SnapfishIf you are in a hurry then Snapfish is the right service for you. You can order your prints online and pick them up at any local Walgreens store in your area (expect to pay a sales tax if you do so). Besides Snapfish often runs promotions of different kind which is why I happen to use them a lot. I suggest you to check current Snapfish deals before ordering your prints.

Snapfish pricing might not be as good as the other two services but it is still very competitive: 4"x6" - $0.12, 5"x7" - $0.79 to $0.39 (based on quantity), 8"x10" - $2.99. Shipping in the US is from $0.99 and up. Make sure to check their pre-paid printing plan. If you sign up the price for 4"x6" prints will come down to $0.10. More pricing details here.

Other Alternatives

Besides to the above mentioned web sites there are plenty of others that compete for your attention and some offer prices as low as $0.07 for 4"x6" prints. I suggest you to take a look at this list to compare prices side by side and read feedback on many online printing services. Thanks to Oleg Kikin -- a digital photo enthusiast -- for creating and maintaining the list.

I have done some verification and number crunching based on the information from that list and here are my 10 finalists ordered by True Cost which is the price to print a 4"x6" photo including shipping and handling in the US and assuming an order size of 50 prints.

Company 4"x6"  5"x7"  8"x10"  Shipping  True Cost 
picsquare $0.07 $0.20 $1.00 from $0.80 $0.086 details
winkflash $0.12 $0.29 1.99 flat rate $0.99  $0.1398 details
fotki $0.09 $0.40 $1.50 from $2.99 $0.1498 details
samsphotoclub  $0.11 $0.54 $1.86 from $1.20 $0.158 details
photocheap $0.08 $0.26 $1.30 from $1.98 $0.1596 details
dimeprints $0.10 $0.99 $1.99 from $1.99 $0.1598 details
yorkphoto $0.10 $0.79 $2.99 from $0.99 $0.161 details
pephoto $0.08 $0.18 $1.24 from $2.49 $0.1698 details
bonusprint $0.11 $0.19 $1.99 flat rate $2.99 $0.1698 details
clarkcolor $0.11 $0.79 $2.99 from $0.99 $0.171 details

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