Please do not send your paper photos to us in an envelope. Put them in a box. The USPS has been long past looking at what you have written on the outside of your envelope. Everything is automated and sorted by uncaring machines and they don’t read your “CAUTION” message written on the envelope. Sending the paper photos in an envelope may mean your photos ending up on the floor underneath a sorting machine.
There is one scanning company that advertises heavily on major radio stations. They must spend millions of dollars every year. Seems like I hear them everywhere. Some name like a “Picture Box” or “Legacy Container” or something like that. They offer an unbelievably sounding 30% off their regular prices but, when you add it all up, even with their supposedly “free” shipping both ways, they still cost more than we do. And, if you would check their BBB complaints, you would run the other way.
One problem with this company that will send you a shipping box with a shipping label already on it, and you are really paying for all of it, BUT, once you put your scanning materials in that box and use their label, your slides, photos and movies in that box no longer belong to you. If that box is lost in shipping, say by UPS, you will not even be able to contact UPS to trace that package because it was not shipped by you. You gave up ownership of your precious heirloom pictures when you used the so called “free” shipping label.
I know you can find lower prices out there. When we first started out in 2002, we charged $.59 per slide. In 2004, faced with competition from India, we lowered our price to $.39 per slide and we haven’t raised it since then. We can’t go any lower and stay in business. We feel we offer superior service and we are worth whatever you think you may be saving at cut-rate businesses. When you are talking about family heirloom memories, why would anyone try to save a few dollars and leave their descendants forever disappointed? When you find some of our competition undercutting our prices, compare their BBB rating and complaints and reviews to ours. I think you will see the difference. If not, good luck because you will need it. On our website, we show how we put Costco and Walgreens to shame in comparison and it is mostly because of the many years of experience of our Photoshop editors. Anyone can buy an expensive scanner or more likely a cheap scanner and try to make some money off it. It takes artists to do what we do.
Some containers that customers ship their slides to us in are just darn hard for us to get the slides out of. One of these is the carousels that Sawyer and Sears and maybe some others used. They hold 100 slides. The carousel could probably me called a Ferris Wheel rather than a Carousel because it gets inserted into the projector on it’s SIDE. The slides have to be very tight in that carousel in order for them to not fall out. This tightness means that the slides are difficult to remove and we have to assign someone to take them out and put them into stacks and label the stacks. Takes time and time is money. If you want to save some extra charges, take the slides out yourself and put them into labeled stacks.
PPI or DPI?
Just to clarify: Dots per inch are referencing “PRINTING”.
Pixels per inch are referencing Computer Monitor Display. Dots are on films and printed materials and NOT on your computer monitor.
This is an example of printing DOTS on a film:
This is an example of PIXELS on a monitor or TV:
I have to wonder about the crediblilty of any of our competition that do not seem to understand the difference. We are transferring your slide films, which have ZERO dots or pixels, to PIXELS and not to DOTS.
Printers would consider 300 DPI to be very good resolutiion to print on paper.
We scan your slides at a very high resolution of 4,000 PPI.
We had a lady call us yesterday and was complaining that the US Post Office just notified here that the package that she had shipped to “us” was not delivered for some reason. After I calmed her down and tried to figure out who she was and what had happened, I figured out that she was not even one of our customers. Maybe she had considered us and then went with this other company because they had a lower price? She told me the competitor’s name. Probably because they are quite a bit lower than our prices. I looked up their website and, after a lot of looking, finally figured out their pricing. Jeezzzz…. We lowered our prices in 2004 because of competition with an outfit that pretended to be a USA company but really operated out of India. They still do today. We still have the SAME low price as we did back in 2004. We can’t go any lower and stay in business as long as we put time and effort into making each of your scans the best that we can.
She appologized profusely and then had to try to contact this other company. I didn’t have time to tell her that her problems were just beginning because there is no way in the world that she is going to get the same quality of scanning results as if she had gone with our company.
People that think they can get quality scans for less than what we do them for are in for a miserable surprize. She will also probably never know that her scans could have turned out looking so much better if she had gone with our service. It kind of makes me sick sometimes when I realize that for a few dollars, people will send their slides to scanning hell instead of to us. We even offer to do ten free scans of their slides and recommend you send the same ten to other companies. Some people take advantage of that offer. That is the smart thing to do.
I just had a potential customer call. He wanted to know what our prices were. I told him our current price for 35mm slides to digital at 4000PPI, which includes scanning, overall Photoshop editing and a data disk or DVD slide show disk, was 39 cents per slide. Before I knew what was happening, he said that we had a competitor that was charging half what we were and then he hung up before I could say anything other than “good luck”.
We have been stuck at that 39 cents per slide price since 2004. We can’t go any lower and make a profit. Before that, 2002-2004, we were at 59 cents per slide. We pretty much set the standard for scanning prices back then. Then along came this devious outfit from India that was undercutting everyone’s prices. They could do it by shipping huge pallets of slide scanning projects to India and probably having little kids do their assembly line scanning for them. They hid the fact that they were sending the projects to India in their extensive “Terms of Service” agreement that said they could change the agreement at any time. They said that they had scanning offices in the USA and that your project could be scanned in the USA or be shipped to India. I doubt if they scanned even 1% of the jobs in the USA. Completely deceptive on purpose. When I posted those facts on our website, they had a lawyer send me a “cease and desist” letter. Said we were lying. I know they did the same to other small fry businesses as well. In later years they fessed up to the fact. They are still in business today. I can’t afford to name them but you should read the fine print for any website that is advertising lower prices than ours and makes you join some kind of club or membership agreement. Buyer beware.
Over the years, competition comes and goes. Anyone with a $99 doorstop, crap scanner thinks they can make some easy money and offer cut-rate prices to snake away our customers. They may do that for a while until they have a lot of unhappy customers on their hands. Then the cost of refunds for a lot of work/time will drive them out of business.
We have run tests with some of our bigger competitors, specifically Walgreen’s and Costco. Their work does not compare to ours. They might even use the same expensive scanning equipment that we do but they are just farming out the work to some outfit in Chicago. Take a look at our sample scans comparing our scans to theirs. The difference is amazing. Our final scans are so much better because we have Photoshop experts working on each scan.
So: Frugal or Cheap?
Being frugal will mean putting VALUE as your bottom line.
Being cheap puts PRICE as your bottom line.
Cheap can be good if you will end up with something similar.
Cheap can be very bad when you are preserving your family photo history. You want the best value for something like that because the results are different depending on who you choose to do your scanning for you.
At Affordable Scanning Services, we think we have the very best value for your money and we might not be more expensive than the cheapo places that most likely will not give you the beautiful results that we will.
Take advantage of our offer to scan ten of your slides as Demo Scans, no charge. Don’t make a very big mistake. Check our results with our competitor’s results. You won’t be sorry you did.