Beginning on January 28, 2023, Costco started to completely transitioned to Shutterfly. There are some significant changes including the fact that they no longer offer digitization for your photos. For Costco Members and fans who trusted these services for over 15 years, this may come as an unwelcome surprise.
That’s why we put together a list of the top alternatives to Costco photo scanning services so you can decide which option works best for you and the reasons you want to scan photo prints.
Capture has over 20 years of experience with digitization, so we provided all viable options along with pros and cons of different choices including DIY photo scanners, online services, and more.
Whether you want the same deals Costco used to offer, want to compare different services, or simply planned on using Costco but found out they no longer offer the services you were looking for, this guide will help you find the best alternative for your precious memories.
- What is Costco Photo Scanning Service and Why Would I Need an Alternative?
- How to Choose the Best Alternative to Costco Photo Scanning Service
- 5 Alternatives to Costco Photo Scanning Service
- What is the Best Alternative to Costco Photo Scanning Service?
What is Costco Photo Scanning Service and Why Would I Need an Alternative?
Costco's photo scanning service was a specialty service offered by the Costco Photo Center. However, the photo center went through a transition and fulfilled their photo scanning services through a third-party company, Shutterfly, and made other major changes.
The main change with Costco transfer services is the fact that your local Costco will no longer be offering digital copies of your priceless photographs, negatives, and slides.
With Shutterfly, Costco will still be able to create photo prints of several sizes and offer traditional photo scanning services for resizing, printing, and photo gift creation like special order prints, photo blankets, mugs, and more.
If you just want to order prints or use these services, they remain a trustworthy and professional option, but if you are looking to improve the image quality and DPI resolution with Photoshop, create digital format photos, share on social media or email, or upload to a cloud account, then you will need to find an alternative.
Costco used to offer digital transfer services for $19.99 for the first 62 photos on 2 DVDs, and $0.32 for each photo after the first 62. However, the previous website CostcoDVD.com is no longer available.
Pros and Cons of Costco Photo Scanning Service
- Reputable company
- Local Costco photo services to answer FAQs
- High-quality print photos
- Photo gifts like photo books, photo blankets, and more
- No digital copies of photos
- No digitization for film reels, videotapes, and other video formats
- No integration with Google Photos
- Costco Membership fees of $60 per year minimum
How to Choose the Best Alternative to Costco Photo Scanning Service
As you can see, there are some major reasons for seeking an alternative to the photo scanning service at Costco including digital files, automatic backup, and enhancement for your old photos. But there are many options to choose from. It's important to ask these questions when comparing your options:
- Can they transfer your photo format (print photos, slides, or negatives)? What about the size?
- What digital format options can you choose?
Do they offer a quality guarantee that matches Costco’s 90-day money-back guarantee?
While pretty much any photo scanning service or machine will work for print photos, if you have negatives, slides, or Superslide photos that you want to convert to digital format or scan into print photos, then you need to consider that when deciding on an alternative to Costco. In addition, you want to keep the size of your photos in mind because many services offer a minimum and maximum print photo size for digitization or transfer.
Digital Format Options
You want to digitize your photos, but there are multiple options for the type of digital format you receive. In addition to a digital copy on a hard drive or in the cloud (like Google Photos), some Costco alternatives offer DVD, USB, and other digital formats. Think of what you plan to use your digital images for and select an alternative that can offer that digital file type.
You probably don’t want to max out your credit cards or spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to scan photos. Alternatives vary in price, but many transfer services are dependent on the number of photos. If you choose a DIY option, then it may be a little cheaper altogether. Since Capture fulfilled Costco’s photo scanning services for 15 years, we are still providing the same pricing to make the transition easy for Costco Members and fans.
If you simply want to convert your old photos to digital versions to protect them from damage, fading, and discoloration, then you may not care too much about image quality. However, some options offer color correction, glare removal, and other enhancement services that can make your photos look better digitally than they ever looked as print photos.
Safety and Security
Your photos contain priceless memories and moments, so you surely want to choose a service of DIY option that will ensure they are not damaged, lost, or altered in any way. Some digital services provide exceptional security systems that ensure your memories are never lost.
5 Alternatives to Costco Photo Scanning Service
Since Costco will no longer offer digital transfer services to create lasting versions of your photos, these are the best alternatives to choose from. Each offers different pros and cons that you will want to consider before deciding which of the options is best for you and your photos, negatives, and slides.
Capture Photo Scanning Service
If you have used Costco photo scanning service in the last 15 years, then your order was processed by Capture, even if you didn’t realize it. We’ve been the trusted digitization and photo scanning company for Costco and many other brands like Walmart, CVS, and Sam’s Club. Still, many Costco Members may not recognize our name.
That might be because YesVideo, Capture’s parent company, was the brand seen on CostcoDVD.com.
Even though that site is no longer available, you can still get the same affordable pricing and services at csb.capture.com.
While this site makes the transition much easier if you planned on using Costco for your photo scanning needs, you order directly from Capture.com for a different pricing structure and access to exclusive services including our patented touchless photo album scanning.
Either option offers the same professional photo scanning services, 100% satisfaction guarantee, and less than 30-day turnaround time. However, the pricing structure is a little different.
Check this chart to see the pricing differences:
Pricing for Digital Download Only
$28.99 for the first 50 photos, negatives, or slides ($0.50 for each additional image)
Pricing for DVD Copies
$6.99 for 1 DVD (approximately 500 images per disc) in addition to digital download pricing
$19.99 total for the first 62 photos (includes 2 DVDs)
Pricing for USB Copy of entire order
$14.99 in addition to digital download pricing
$24.99 total for first 62 photos and $0.32 for each additional photo
Pricing for DVD + USB
Digital download + $14.99 + $6.99 per DVD disc
$29.99 total for first 62 photos, $0.32 for each additional image (2 DVDs and 1 USB)
Capture takes utmost care when preserving your print photos, negatives, and slides with the highest quality. We accept 35 mm, APS film, 110 film, 110/220 film, 126 Instamatic film, and large negatives as well as 35 mm, Super 35 mm, 110/220, 126, 127, and 127 Superslide slides.
We also offer the first-ever touchless photo album scanning service in the world. This allows us to scan, crop, and preserve the photos in your photo albums without anyone ever having to remove or touch them.
- High-quality results including glare removal, professional cropping, and color correction
- State-of-the-art security system, barcode tracking, and 24-hour monitoring to ensure your photographic memories are safe at all times, every step of the way protection
- Transferred in less than 30 days, including shipping
- One-of-a-kind touchless scanning service so you never have to risk damaging your photos by removing them from your photo books, albums, or scrapbooks
- 100% satisfaction guarantee or we’ll reprocess your print photos, slides, and negatives for free
- Offers 60-day MemoryCloud back-up and Google Photos integration (plus your choice of USB flash drive and DVD)
- We only accept photos from 2” x 2” up to 8” x 12” (or albums up to 14” x 14”)
Score : 9/10
Photo Scanning Machine
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Epson-FastFoto-FF-680W-Wireless-High-Speed/dp/B07DLX26BB
If you want to scan and digitize your photos yourself, then a photo-scanning machine is the best option. This can be a simple flatbed scanner as an affordable option, but for the best results, options like the Epson FastFoto and other specialty scanners designed for photographs are best because they will create individual JPEG files of every photo.
While these options give good results, they can cost a decent amount of money from $300 to $500+. Still, if you like using technology and DIY projects, then this one is a pretty good option for good results. Plus, some photo scanners also offer additional editing and advanced features.
- Good quality results
- Creates individual JPEG files for each photo you scan
- Some offer photo editing software, slideshow creation, and other advanced features
- Expensive for the best options
- Time-consuming because you have to scan each image individually
- Targeted toward tech-savvy users
Score : 7/10
Online Photo Conversion Kits
Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/iMemories-SafeShip-Conversion-Reimbursement-Digitally/dp/B07P19TMZP
These types of services will send you a protective box or kit to place your photos into before shipping them back to them for digitization. These services offer professional results for your photos and are typically reliable. However, that depends greatly on the specific company you choose.
iMemories uses ultra-protective boxes with bubble wrap as well as an app to track your order and view your memories. However, they can get expensive with their regular pricing starting at $0.99 per photo. Another photo-scanning kit company is Legacybox. They have great reviews that say their service is excellent when it comes to quality, but they are very expensive, costing $59.99 for only 50 photos.
- Professional results
- Different digital format options available like DVD transfer, USB, and digital download
- Can digitize print photos, negatives, and slides
- Some companies may not treat your memories with the care you’d hope for (according to some reviews)
- Processing time could be as long as 10 to 12 weeks
- Some may not perform color correction or image enhancement
Score : 6/10
When it comes to a local photo scanning service, Costco wasn’t the only retailer to choose from. You can work with Walmart, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, and CVS. While Costco no longer offers services fulfilled by YesVideo, some other retailers will still digitize photos with good results. The cost will vary depending on the specific retailer’s pricing structure, though.
Still, this option offers some good advantages like good customer service, trusted brand names, and local convenience. However, we urge you to check with the specific retailer to check their pricing and the services they offer as well as reviews.
- Many are fulfilled by YesVideo (parent company of Capture) for professional outcomes
- Reputable customer support
- Local convenience
- CVS and Walmart offer in-store drop-off and pick-up options
- Pricing depends on the specific retailer
- Processing times may be long
- Not every location offers these services
Score : 5/10
Use a Photo Scanning App
You can use a photo scanning app to take advantage of the camera on your smartphone to digitize photos quickly, affordably, and conveniently. Photomyne is one of the popular apps that helps you do this properly. While this is an easy way to create digital copies of your photos, there are some downsides as well.
The quality will depend on the quality of your camera, so you could end up with low resolution, poor image quality, glares, and faded colors. In addition, it can take a lot of time to get the atmosphere and lighting correct and then take every single digital image.
- Affordable (if you already have a decent smartphone camera)
- Easy to do
- Poor quality
- May show more reflections, dust, and background
Score : 3/10
What is the Best Alternative to Costco Photo Scanning Service?
If you are looking for a photo scanning service, Costco is a good option for prints and photo gifts, but they can no longer convert your physical photos to digital copies. If you are looking for similar deals to the ones Costco used to offer, then check out the site Capture created specifically to make the transition easier at csb.capture.com. Plus, we also convert home videos including projector film, MiniDV, VHS, VHS-C, Betamax, and more.
We may be biased, but for these reasons and more, we believe our photo scanning services provide the most value. Capture is here to answer your FAQs and provide all the information you need to make the best decision for your priceless photographs.