Nov 26, 2004

Price war rages over photo prints

By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY

Debbie Granow adores her three kids so much she follows them everywhere with her Nikon digital camera, taking hundreds of pictures. Unlike the typical digital shutterbug who has just a few images printed, Granow prefers to think big.

This year she's had 1,000 prints made from a mail-order house she likes in Britain. She found she had to order overseas to find a competitive price: 17 cents for a 4-by-6 print.

Recently, Granow noticed a price war for online prints. America Online offered her 15 cents a print - if she paid for 600 prints upfront. She signed up, only to find that the shipping charges were so high - $15 on an order of 279 photos - that the savings evaporated.

"Once you add in the shipping, it came to 24 cents a print," Granow says. "And the fees do not come out of the prepayment. Shipping is a killer."

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