Advantages Outstanding quality at extremely reasonable prices. Choices of gifts are endless.
|Value for money|
|Speed of processing|
|Efficency & Reliabilty of service|
|Postage & Packing|
I've never used PhotoBox before. I usually just print my pictures on a HP Photosmart. The quality is always brilliant and the cost seems to outweigh the effort and price involved in uploading my pics onto a site then paying to get them printed. Not to mention the whacking £4.99 shipping charge that many companies like to chuck on top with promises of fast delivery.
They inevitably turn up in a padded jiffy envelope around two weeks later so I've never bothered.
I got an email last week from Photobox. I tend to get one or two a month as I signed up with another site through which they advertise. I've always ignored their marketing emails as they've never been relevant. That was until the latest offer (August 2010).The offer: 30 standard prints for £1, inclusive of shipping. Choose from (6”x4”, 6”x4.5” and 5”x3.75”) sizes.
Come on, I was stupid not to.I quickly began a hunt of the best recent pics uploaded from my computer which ranged from quick-snaps on nights out, to more arty looking ones from weekends away in the Lake District and followed the link in the email. The offer was limited to the first 2000 respondents and only applied to new customers, so obviously it was an incentive offer to get you to join. Joining is free though, and I'm already receiving their marketing emails so thought what the hell.
Registration required my fore and surnames, email address and a password for login. They then sent a confirmation email to my address which I had to open and click a link to confirm my registration.
Once logged into the site I am presented with the simple start-page interface which features a left hand column of options, which includes categorized product sections from gifts to wall-art. I am presented with two simple, large boxes which are labeled with "Visit Shop" or "Upload Prints". I also note that my free print quantity is displayed as 40, rather than the promised 30 in the email. Ten extra free prints it seems for taking up the offer and confirming my email! Apparently thirty standard prints usually cost £4.49 inc. postage.
I submit my card details, safe in the knowledge the site has 3D Secure, the Mastercard service similar to Verified by Visa which is a new and securer method of paying by credit/ debit card online. They also seem to accept the majority of credit/ debit cards too.The average total order time specified by the site for standard prints is 1-4 days, with a view to photo processing on the same day if received prior to 4pm. Mine came within 3 working days and were of impeccable quality for a standard finish. Well pleased!
Needless to say that incentive email has now led to me browsing the site getting all manner of ideas for christmas gifts, from the usual box prints and photo mugs to more stylish home decor options like cushions and etched glass paperweights, the ideas seem endless.
I've been quite hot on the idea of getting some Lakeland landscapes blown up onto box canvas prints, however have often been put off by the price, £30-£40 on the high street for relatively small sizes. Photobox offer 30.5 x 20.3 cm at a starting price of £19.99. The prices then go up in £10 increments as the sizes increase, and I must say it's the widest variety of options I've come across for this type of photo-art. Alternative options include poster prints and canvas prints at cheaper prices.
A nice integration is the Photo-Sharing tab, ideal for social networking enthusiasts, which allows you to create an "e-album" of your preferred uploaded photos, and then embed them either on PhotoBox (with a special link to include on other websites), or as a direct slideshow on your preferred site. You are also presented with the opportunity to email your chosen slide-show to friends and family directly from the site. Your viewers can then order your prints directly from the slide-show. It takes them back through PhotoBox for the secure ordering process and pricing depends on the number ordered. Friends/ Family can also take advantage of the 30 Free Prints offer using this funky method which could also earn you referals and cashback.Impressed yet?
The icing on the cake for me was a little cash-back sign on the home-page which I clicked out of curiosity. Turns out that little icon promises exactly as I'd though. Cash-back for inviting friends which can be redeemed for cold hard cash, or as money off my future orders. Seemingly, one can also accrue money off, vouchers and special offers with repeated "loyalty" on the site and with such decent, competitive prices, I think I might give my home printer a rest!
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