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Printing Digital Pictures Is Finally Getting Cheaper

Aug 18, 2007
Taking pictures with a digital camera is pretty standard these days. Unfortunately, getting them printed is pricey. The good news, though, is that the price is finally starting to come down. That means you'll save a bundle to keep those family memories.

There are a couple of different market trends going on right now that are forcing the price down. For a long time, you had to either print the pictures at home on your own printer (which cost about 30 cents per picture) or send them to a photo lab to get printed (which cost anywhere from 15 to 20 cents per picture).

Now the cost is dropping to 10-15 cents regardless of which option you choose. Kodak has developed a printer and paper system that will allow you to print photos at home for about 10 cents a picture. The printer is called the EasyShare AiO. It comes with one color ink cartridge and one black ink cartridge. The replacement costs for the cartridges are quite competitive ($15 and $10, respectively).

But the real deal comes from Kodak's special value packs. In the Standard pack, you can get the color cartridges along with 180 sheets of standard 4-by-6-inch glossy paper for $18 (for a cost per photo of 10 cents). The paper quality in this pack is a little thin, but fine for most people. For those who want higher quality prints, go with the $20 Premium pack. It has the same color cartridge and 135 sheets of slightly thicker 4-by-6-inch glossy paper. That comes out to a cost of 15 cents per photo. (Of course, these prices don't include the price of the printer.)

The second trend is a price war at the photo labs. Costco Wholesale and Wal-Mart have been duking it out for some time. But a new player is now on the scene that should drive the price down to 12 cents or less. The new company is Snapfish, an obscure lab that actually has been on the scene for some time, but wasn't able to make a dent in the market. That's about to change, though.

Hewlett Packard, which has much deeper pockets for marketing, recently bought out Snapfish. The new owner will definitely be able to make inroads into the market. In fact, it's already happening. The company is offering 25 free prints to get started. And then it's only 12 cents per shot after that. You can check out this deal at www.snapfish.com.
About the Author
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom's Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.
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