Snapfish Review: Custom Photo Cards and Invitations
|Go to Snapfish|
|Strong search tools and better pricing for large orders; clunky templates, glitchy design tool, and high order minimum are negatives|
Offering a diverse range of cards and other customized goods, Snapfish provides good printing and paper quality as well as solid customer service. However, the site's design tool presents a few problems, and the templates are not quite as chic as some we've seen. Snapfish is a decent mid-priced choice, but not our favorite.
Shopping and Selection
Snapfish does a good job with search functions and filters, offering filtering tools almost as great as those we loved with Tiny Prints. The site breaks the selection down into categories by event, occasion or purpose, and then users can either search within their results or use the filters to narrow the search down by number of photos, price, orientation, card shape, color or style.
Unfortunately, Snapfish doesn't keep up with Tiny Prints in terms of design and style. The selection is very template-based and doesn't feel like it takes photos or design into account very much. The stock photos used in the designs very often cut off faces in the previews, which shows a lack of attention to detail when compared to our favorite sites. We found a few templates we really liked, but also flipped quickly past a lot of designs that seemed less carefully-planned than many of the templates we've seen elsewhere.
In addition to standard flat and folded cards in several sizes, Snapfish offers customized postcards, 3D and animated cards, address labels and stamps as well as a wide range of other customized goods like calendars, photo books, blankets, mugs and magnets.
The design tool loads pretty slowly and definitely has a few flaws. Uploading photos is a little confusing: we had to click on the "options" tab after we'd added our photo to be able to see it in the sidebar, though there was nothing to indicate that that was required. Although we only needed to upload our photo once to use it on a number of cards, we had to manually add it to our workspace with each new card.
Speaking of designing new cards, we had a harder than usual time opening a number of cards to work on with Snapfish. When we tried to open a card in another tab, we were directed away from browsing and had to go back all the way through the search process to find the place where we'd been. However, we did like that you can edit almost all text fields.
Snapfish does not offer proofs, and you must order cards in sets of 20, so seeing a single card before you place a larger order is difficult.
We ordered our cards printed on matte card stock, but if you choose photo paper, you have the option to pick up your order in person at a number of stores, including Walmart, Walgreens, Duane Reade and Meijer.
If you choose to have your cards mailed to you, you have a number of shipping options. The chart below includes turnaround times for cards printed on cardstock. If you choose to have your cards printed on photo paper, the turnaround time will be about one day shorter. Since Snapfish does not use flat rate shipping, but instead charges depending on how many cards you order, we have included the cost of shipping 100 cards here. For more information about how much shipping would cost for a larger or smaller order, please check the Snapfish site.
Using standard shipping, our cards arrived via Streamlite delivery service five business days after we ordered them. Inside the large, reinforced envelope, we found our envelopes and a shrink-wrapped stack of cards. The presentation wasn't fancy, but it got the cards to us undamaged.
Snapfish offers three paper options: regular matte card stock, heavier matte card stock and photo paper in matte and glossy finishes.
Our test cards were printed on the 100 lb matte card stock, and we found the paper heavy and crisp, with a slight texture on the front. This paper provided a good surface, both for printing and writing.
Overall, we were impressed with the quality of the Snapfish cards we received. The design we chose was clearly printed, and the photo looked good, both in terms of color and resolution. We did notice that areas of the card we assumed would be left plain white actually had very subtle grey printed flecks, as if the design template was left not quite white by accident.
We liked the template we used, though we did notice it used maybe a few too many fonts for such a small item. We left the back of our card blank, and appreciated that Snapfish did not use that space to print their logo. All Snapfish cards are printed using digital offset presses.
Snapfish encourages customers to get in touch through a variety of channels. Snapfish offers live web-based chat support seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST as well as phone support Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. EST and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. If you'd rather get support over email, you can use the Snapfish "Ask a Question" form to send email to support representatives. For basic questions, many users can find helpful information in the Snapfish knowledge base. When we asked a question via the online chat support, the agent replied quickly and provided us with an accurate answer, though the grammar suggested that this kind of support may have been outsourced internationally.
You will notice the numbers in this chart are a little different from most of the services we review: this is because Snapfish only allows customers to purchase cards in sets of 20. Therefore, we have included the price per card for an order of 20 cards, rather than 25. This restriction may be a point against Snapfish if you need a number of cards not easily divisible by 20. Sending 25 party invitations, for example, would require that you purchase 40 cards from Snapfish.
This chart contains pricing information for the least expensive 5 by 7 inch flat card printed on card stock from this site. Different sizes and options may have different pricing. Click here for more information about how we compared prices.
With a glitchy design tool and sometimes clunky templates, Snapfish is not one of our top picks. However, they did rise in our assessment for nice paper quality, solid printing, and accessible customer service reps. Since they have a high order minimum and only allow customers to increase their orders in units of 20, they may not be a good choice for small orders, but are quite inexpensive if you plan to purchase more than 180 cards.
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