Photo printing services are a dime a dozen but that hasn’t stopped Amazon from jumping into the crowded market. Launched this week, the new service is a perk for Prime users looking to print photo books (hardcover with glossy paper or hardcover with matte paper) or a collection of images, say from a family event or vacation. Standard shipping is free for a limited time.
The service is pretty straightforward and barebones. Prime members can choose between 4×6 prints, 5×7 prints, and 8×10 prints, ranging in prices from 9 cents up to $1.79 for each 8×10 print. So far as I can tell, there’s no limit on how many photos users are required to order, which means you can do as few as one or more. (For what it’s worth, I ordered a single 8×10 and it went through just fine.) It doesn’t make sense to do just one 4×6 at 9 cents, but ordering a single family portrait at $1.79 (plus tax) is understandable.
Photo books are a little more complicated and there are a few different options depending on how much money you’re willing to spend. You can get an 8×11 hardcover photo book for $19.99 or an 8×11 premium lay flat option that uses thicker paper and essentially eliminates the spine of the book in order to best showcase your photos.
Here’s where it gets a little tricky. The printing service ties into Amazon’s Cloud Drive, which is free for Prime members ($100 a year). However, if you aren’t a Prime member, a Cloud Drive membership is required, which goes for $60 per year if you don’t want to shell out for Prime. Whichever option you choose, you get unlimited storage for photos, which can then easily be printed out through Amazon’s new service.
In addition to photos and photo books, the printing service will soon offer stationary cards and wall calendars, making it a well-rounded one-stop-shop for all your printing needs, especially with the holidays on the horizon. If you already have a Prime membership, it sure beats a trip to Walgreens and fussing with those self-checkout machines.