This summer ScanMyPhotos.com offered a great deal; $99.00 for a postage paid box to hold 1,800 of my photos for scanning. Their website shows that they are still offering this deal.
My family and I have used FotoBridge for slide scanning and were happy with their service. I wrote a review in 2011. This time I decided to try ScanMyPhotos.com and sent photos for scanning, so this is not an apples to apples comparison, but a review of the ScanMyPhotos.com service and scanning results. I am not being paid and was not asked for this review. I ordered my $99 box on 25 June 2014 and received it very quickly on 27 June.
The $99 price was my incentive to go through my old magnetic albums and remove the stuck on photos from the yellow tinged pages. Before I removed the pictures from the pages, I snapped an iPhone photo of each page.
ScanMyPhotos.com requires that photos be grouped by size. Because most of my photos were already organized chronologically (something I have been doing since the age of 9) I did not want to lose that organization to size grouping. ScanMyPhotos.com offers a scan in order option for an additional fee of $50. When I double checked this price today, I found some confusing links. One link reported that they no longer offer this option, while another indicated the price was $315. I contacted customer service and they do still offer it, but the price is now $55.
This is a picture of a large group of mixed pictures being sorted by size. The smaller photos pictured, or wallet type photos, can not be scanned. Photos must be at least 3"x3".
For the scan in order option, each group of photos must be clearly numbered. I used index cards before each group and included a additional information such as years. Only elastic bands can be used and not plastic bags. The directions indicate that if plastic bags are used, the photos will be returned unscanned. I did not like the sole use of rubber bands. When I sent the photos I was careful to put the elastic bands around the photos in one direction, the short way, or the way that all photos were the same. When returned all of the photo groups were bound in two directions causing some damage to the photo edges. I also did not love how the photos were repacked into the box. The groups were bent in several cases. Luckily none of the damage was too severe.
The only other damage I found was that a corner of one photo was torn. I received the photo minus the small corner piece, but the piece is visible in the scan. The artifacts are part of the original photo and not caused by the scan. I cannot say for certain that there wasn't a weakness in the photo in that spot.
Because of the elastic bands around the photos, the way they were packed back into the box and the fact that one of the groups, group 10 below, although scanned correctly was not regrouped correctly, I feel that my photos did not get super duper careful handling.
Because we had a big family event, I added the $40 fee to rush my order. I did not write down how many days it took, but it was super fast.
In conclusion, if you have a large number of photos to be scanned and they are not already in chronological order, ScanMyPhotos.com would be a good option. I feel that they do a better job with the photos grouped by exact size. They had difficulty keeping everything in order for the return. For the money, the $99 box for 1,800 photos is an exceptional value.
Comparison to FotoBridge.com
Today's price on FotoBridge.com for 2,000 photos at 300dpi is $349.95, a significant difference. The package at FotoBridge.com includes 2 jpg sizes, one at 300dpi and one web ready for uploading to social media sites and sharing via email. The photo size allowed has a broader range from 2" x 2.5" to 8.5" x 12". Important to me for my next order is that FotoBridge.com requests that photo groups be grouped, if possible, by size and that the groups be sealed in plastic bags, no nasty rubber bands required! Scanning in order does not require an extra charge. An additional service they offer is text note archiving wherein they scan the reverse of each photo and link it by name to the front. This seems reasonable at a cost of $99.
Please remember, there is always a risk of loss or damage when sending photos away to any company.
Jennifer Shoer aka Scrappy Gen