A little over three weeks ago, I blogged about doing a Year-in-Review book on Shutterfly and submitting, then waiting. The book arrived, and as with a previous book by them, there are some parts that underwhelm. There are a few places where I feel like the printer colour ran a bit. Not enough in this case to send it back (I had the previous one reprinted), just enough to mildly notice.
I was also looking to do a Trip Book for the family trip to B.C. back in 2010. These ones are similar in size to the Year in Review ones, I like the 8.5×11 inches size in landscape mode, but they didn’t have to be identical. And after checking out a bunch of sites, I decided at the end of the post to go with one of Shoppers / Loblaws / Uniprix (they have the same interface software).
Except then I didn’t. I tried loading Costco, just to try it, and this time it worked. Perfectly fine. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of Shutterfly, far fewer layouts and themes, or stickers, but still pretty solid. It was however a lot easier to see the full suite of what was available all at once than it is in Shutterfly, where the full list can quickly overwhelm you (20000 backgrounds????).
It is a bit harder to compare the books. The travel book is thinner than the Year ones, but overall, it turned out pretty well. I even found some of it simpler. I’m letting my wife figure out if there is a difference in quality before I do more. The timing with Costco is certainly far more controllable — printed in Canada, picked up in Canada, etc. I got it way faster than the Shutterfly book, and no printing glitches either. But I’d be hard pressed to say the quality of the covers is as solid. Nice, but not quite as good. I just don’t think I care about the difference enough to stay with Shutterfly. However, Shutterfly has some sweet deals regularly, and I don’t think Costco does. Not that I’ve seen so far, anyway.
But I’m happy with the Costco book, which is the bottom line.