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The Best Photo Book Companies

Where is the Best Place to Get Photo Books Out There Today?

Photo books are a fantastic way to keep our special memories in a tangible, beautiful format instead of just storing pictures on computers or in boxes. They are perfect for different occasions, like giving them as anniversary gifts, thoughtful birthday presents, or even creating yearly projects to decorate coffee tables, making it easy to look back on good times.

For example, weddings and engagements have become extra special with the rise of personalized photo books. Couples use their wedding or engagement photos to create these books, allowing guests to sign and leave heartfelt messages during the wedding reception. This makes photo books an important part of people's lives as they become a way to treasure precious moments, experiences, and important events.

Saturday, May 18th

2024 Photo Book Company Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Mixbook Review 5 Star Rating

Mixbook

5 Star Rating
  • Pricing starts at $9.99 per book
  • 600+ themes available
  • Print is completed in 1-2 days
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Mixbook, established in 2006, is a comprehensive online print store. The company offers a wide range of print products beyond just photo books including calendars, home decor, invitations, and announcements.

Over 5 million customers

Mixbook can cater to any printing needs for displaying or mailing photos, and if photo books are what you need, they've got you covered. They have a massive user base of over 5 million, who have collectively created an impressive 15 million products. A standout feature of Mixbook is its unparalleled customization, enabling customers to design truly unique and personalized projects.

600+ available themes

Mixbook stands out with an extensive collection of 600+ themes available for creating photo books. These themes cover various categories like weddings, travel, rustic, simple modern, baby, hand-drawn, and many more. The user-friendly interface allows customers to scroll through the options easily and pick the one that best fits their preferences. In case a suitable theme is not found, users also have the freedom to start designing their photobook from scratch, unleashing their creativity and preparing a theme that delights them from the ground up.

Wide array of features

Beyond the wide array of themes, Mixbook offers a ton of enjoyable features to customize your photobook. Users can choose from different book cover types, including softcover, glossy, matte, or leather. The paper options are equally diverse, ranging from semi-gloss, pearl finish, and premium matte to premium lustre. The flexibility extends to the format, where customers can select portrait, landscape, or square orientations. Size choices include 6"x6", 8.5"x8.5", 10"x10", and 12"x12". On top of all the paper features, Mixbook also now has a mobile app, putting the fun of creating photo books right in the palm of your hand. The only feature the Mixbook misses out on is interfacing with social media for photo uploads, but you can easily upload from either your computer or mobile device.

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Costs start at $9.99

The cost of creating a photo book is influenced by the customization choices made by the user. The layout, dimensions, paper type, and book style (softcover, hardcover, leather) all contribute to the final price. The prices for photo books start as low as $9.99 and then the price goes up depending on how you customize them. Each theme comes with a standard number of pages, and further pages can be added at an extra cost. The price for extra pages varies slightly based on the type of pages and their size, typically starting around $1.39 per page.

Quick print, but pricey shipping.

One place that Mixbook really stands out for is its fast delivery process. Once the photobook design is finalized, printing time can be as quick as 1-2 days. This rapid turnaround time means customers can expect to receive their orders within 10 days of finalizing their photobook (depending on the shipping option they pick), making it a convenient and efficient service. However, there is an extra cost involved with shipping. Like the total cost of the photo book, shipping also changes depending on your choices. First, you can choose between Budget, Standard, Priority, and Express with the time for shipping ranging from 7 days to 2 weeks. The shipping for photo books starts as low as $4.99 for the smallest photobook and standard shipping and goes up to $34.99 if you get the largest photobook and the express shipping.

100% satisfaction guarantee

At Mixbook, they take pride in their dedication to customer satisfaction. They offer a 100% happiness guarantee, which means if a customer is not satisfied with their Mixbook order, they can reach out to the company through email or chat. Mixbook will make every effort to improve the order, and if they cannot meet the customer's expectations, they will provide a full refund. Alternatively, customers have the option to receive credit for future purchases on the Mixbook platform.

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Top scores for quality and customer service

Mixbook's reputation is extremely impressive. The company boasts an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau as well as full accreditation, reflecting its commitment to excellent customer service. Further, Mixbook also has 35,000+ individual verified third-party reviews on Trustpilot with an impressive average rating of 4.7 stars out of 5.

High praise for the mobile app too

We also checked out the mobile app and it too has impressive reviews with a solid 4.8-star rating out of 5. Customers praise the speed and quality of the products at Mixbook. Popular descriptions for the picture books at Mixbook include "beautiful," "high quality," and "perfect gift." Many customers even note that they've made repeated purchases because they were so pleased with Mixbook.

High-quality and modern option

Mixbook offers a top-tier solution for creating photo books with a strong focus on quality. The vast selection of themes and the ability to customize every detail leaves a positive impression on users. With their 100% money-back guarantee, and a new mobile app to address the modern photo book-makers, this is a standout service for making high-quality memory books. Overall, Mixbook comes highly recommended as an exceptional platform for crafting your next photo book, earning it our highest rating.

Chatbooks Review 4.5 Star Rating

Chatbooks

4.5 Star Rating
  • Prices from $7 to $20
  • 5-10 day shipping
  • 300+ themes
  • Mobile app
  • Integrates with social media
  • Satisfaction guarantee
  • Replacement guarantee

Chatbooks was founded in 2014 as a small family project. Being short on time for traditional scrapbooking, the founder of Chatbooks started posting photos on Instagram for her family and friends to see. This led to the idea of turning these photos into automatic photo books. Despite growing to a team of over 150 people, the company strives to maintain a personal touch and avoid becoming a faceless corporation. Their ultimate mission is to strengthen families through their photo book service.

300+ themes available

There are plenty of options available at Chatbooks. On top of offering a variety of styles (including yearbooks or designer-style photo books), there are more than 300+ different themes available. Some of these themes were developed by Chatbooks themselves (so you can only find them here) while many others are from popular brands known for paper or artistic products. For example, you can find themes designed by Paper Source, which is a popular shop for cards, posters, and other paper products. From kids and family themes to holiday themes, there's something here for everyone.

Easy shopping experience

On top of having a robust platform, Chatbooks also has a mobile app. With tons of 5-star ratings on it, you know you're getting a high-tech approach when you go with this service. Chatbooks also offers two different ways to shop. You can buy special occasion photo books for a one-time cost, or you can subscribe and receive regular shipments of beautifully designed photo books. Most of their books come in 6x6 or 8x8 sizes and you can choose between hard- and soft-cover for all designs.

Pull photos from your social media

Then, once you've gotten into the build, you can easily pull photos from either an online source or from your computer. Instead of just waiting for you to upload photo after photo, Chatbooks is designed to interface with your Instagram, Facebook, and Google Photo accounts, allowing you to easily take photos you're already proud of and put them in a physical photo book.

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Buy a single book or subscribe for regular photos

Chatbooks offers a variety of popular products at different price points depending on how you want to pay. With both membership and single purchase options available, you can choose what kind of photo book (or books) you want and how often you want to get them. The types of photo books include:

  • Monthbooks: Starting from $10, this is a monthly photo book subscription with outstanding customer reviews. Each month, customers can print a 30-page photo book directly from the photos on their phones.
  • Monthly Minis: Priced at $7 per month, these mini books are designed for small hands. Customers receive a 30-page photo book filled with pictures from their phones. The added benefit is the "Toddler Guarantee" for extra peace of mind (more on that later).
  • Classic Photo Books: Prices for Classic photo books start at $15. These books can be filled with up to 366 pages, making them ideal for capturing memories from vacations, special occasions, and more.
  • Canvas Wall Tiles: Available at $20 each, customers can transform their photos into stunning wall art with custom canvas prints. These prints are peel-and-stick for easy and quick home decor.

Two guarantees for one

At Chatbooks, customer satisfaction is their top priority, and they offer the Chatbooks Love Guarantee to ensure complete happiness with each photo book. If customers encounter any issues with the book, such as printing, shipping, texture, or any other aspect, the company is committed to addressing them. The Love Guarantee promises to either reprint the book to meet the customer's expectations or offer a full refund. On top of that, Chatbooks offers a Toddler Guarantee to provide extra reassurance. In case a photo book gets damaged due to the curious hands of little ones, the company will replace it for free.

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Delivery as early as 5 days

Chatbooks' printing process for all its products requires up to 4 business days. After the printing is complete, the shipping duration is determined by the chosen shipping method. Customers can select from three shipping options:

  • Standard: Takes 5 days for transit for $4.99
  • Premium: Takes 3 days for transit for $9.99
  • Express: Delivers within 1 day for $24.99

It is important to note that shipping is not free or included in the cost of the one-off photo books, so you will need to factor that into your total. However, if you subscribe to Monthbooks, you can get free shipping as part of the membership.

BBB and customers are polar opposites

The reviews from customers and the ratings from the Better Business Bureau tell two different stories with Chatbooks. According to the BBB, the company has an "F" rating overall. But there is only 1 total review on the BBB to even come close to explaining why the rating is so low. On the other hand when we checked on Chatbooks at verified third-party review sites and the app stores (for the company's mobile app), the ratings were all 4 and 5 stars across the board.

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High customer praise

With over 10,000 individual reviews on the Apple Store alone along with copious reviews on Trustpilot, Chatbooks has an impressive 4.5-star average out of 5. Customers love the quality of the photo books and the regular shipments for the subscription, and they praise the quick responses and friendly interactions with customer service. Given these scores from customers, we're still not sure why the business has an "F" rating from the BBB, but it's worth checking out the photo books at this store despite that seemingly undeserved grade.

Top marks for tech and mobile integration

Overall, Chatbooks stands out in the photo book market. With a wide range of over 300 themes available, customers can find tons of fun designs to suit their needs. The user-friendly interface and mobile app make the photo book creation process effortless and interactive, allowing easy integration with social media accounts through desktop and mobile apps. Chatbooks offers both one-time buys and subscription plans, making it convenient for customers who want a variety of purchase options. On top of that, Chatbooks also offers the Chatbooks Love Guarantee, which promotes customer satisfaction and prompt resolution of any issues.

Strong choice

With the customer feedback considered, this modern platform stands out as a service with tons of flexibility and great customer service. Give Chatbooks a try the next time you need a photo book.

PikPerfect Review 4.5 Star Rating

PikPerfect

4.5 Star Rating
  • Prices from $49 to $434
  • Designed by the service team
  • High-end materials
  • Flat-rate shipping
  • 14-day satisfaction guarantee
  • 4.9 out of 5 star rating average

PikPerfect, based in Zurich, is a family-run business co-founded by a couple, Maike and Rushad Vevaina. They specialize in designing and printing photo books and wedding albums for customers in Switzerland and worldwide. Unlike fast-paced instant solutions, PikPerfect believes in taking the time to curate and layout photos carefully, creating aesthetically pleasing albums that tell a meaningful story. They offer the services of experienced photo book designers to ensure customers' cherished memories are preserved.

No pre-made themes

In terms of themes, there isn't a lot to go on with PikPerfect. Instead, the company provides categories that are related to the type of photo book you're looking for. These categories allow you to tell PikPerfect what general concept you're looking for, but all the photo books are completely custom-made, so the final design can't be previewed. But with the service options, you can have PikPerfect select your photos for you and solve any design concerns you might have. The goal for PikPerfect is to provide a more bespoke approach than other photo book services.

Customer support is a huge feature

In terms of features, especially tech features, there are a bunch of ways that PikPerfect makes it simple to use their interface. In order to create a photo book, individuals are able to select an array of digital images, ranging from hundreds to thousands. To facilitate the process, PikPerfect offers various convenient methods for sending these photos:

  • Users can directly upload images from their computers or mobile devices.
  • Users can link their cloud storage accounts and add images directly from there.
  • Users can email PikPerfect and provide a link, allowing the team to download the high-resolution original photos, ensuring access to complete folders for download.

We particularly love the hands-on approach of the customer service team at PikPerfect, so if you're not fond of doing photo books yourself, you can easily let them take the wheel.

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Bespoke treatment at bespoke prices

Since this service is designed to be bespoke, the pricing reflects that. Photo books start at $49 and go up to $199. Keep in mind that these are the starting prices, so the totals after you select your cover styles, design extras, or decide if you want PikPerfect to curate the photos, the price could be much higher. For example, the most expensive option we saw on PikPerfect was their real leather photo book which costs $434. The bottom line is that if you're looking for a budget service for photo books, this may not be the best choice for you.

Shipping from $19.90 to $39.90

Considering that PikPerfect is based out of the US, we were a little worried about the price of shipping. Luckily, the company offers flat-rate shipping per order, providing an opportunity for customers to save by ordering multiple photo books together. Unfortunately, the prices aren't cheap. For standard post, the shipping cost is $19.90 for Photo Books and Layflat Albums and $24.90 for Premium Layflat Albums, with a production and delivery time of 18-22 business days. However, this option is not insured against loss or damage. On the other hand, customers can opt for express shipping at a cost of $29.90 for Photo Books and Layflat Albums and $39.90 for Premium Layflat Albums, with a shorter production and delivery time of 12-16 business days. The express shipping is insured against loss or damage.

14-day satisfaction guarantee

PikPerfect takes immense pride in its photo books and wedding albums, assuring customers of their high quality and durability designed to stand the test of time. However, they acknowledge that mistakes can happen, and if customers are not completely satisfied with the product's quality, customers can reach out within 14 days of receiving the order to resolve the issue. In cases of production errors or damage during express shipping (as standard shipping is not insured), customers are requested to provide clear photos of the book and packaging via email for support and proper resolution of the problem.

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Fan favorite despite the price

While there isn't a page on the Better Business Bureau for PikPerfect, there are plenty of reviews out there. And despite the high prices for photo books, customers are raving about the PikPerfect products. With an average rating of 4.9 stars out of 5 across different review platforms with thousands of total reviews to back up the rating, it's clear that PikPerfect is a popular service for photo books. Customers love the personalized treatment they get from the service team at PikPerfect and praise the quality of the final product over other options they've explored in the market.

Best option for bespoke treatment

While the PikPerfect prices might not make this service ideal for anyone looking for a photo book on a budget, those who are willing to drop some serious cash will really enjoy this service. With tons of finishes and a hands-off approach, the PikPerfect team helps put your memories together in a beautifully designed book, and this service stands out among the competition. We're a little disappointed with the higher overall cost (including expensive international shipping). Still, PikPerfect makes a perfect option for wedding books or other once-in-a-lifetime memories. Make sure you check out PikPerfect if you're interested in the fancy treatment.

Vista Print Review 4 Star Rating

Vista Print

4 Star Rating
  • Prices from $13 to $50
  • DIY design model
  • Online and offline designing
  • 3-8 day shipping
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

VistaPrint stands out for its unique purpose, focusing not only on custom photo creations for individuals but also on helping small business owners create custom marketing products. The company has gained widespread recognition for its business cards, which they have been printing since 1995. Their commitment to catering to diverse needs is evident through their extensive collection of designs for every occasion and target audience.

Build from scratch

There aren't any pre-made themes to choose from at VistaPrint. VistaPrint offers three distinct routes for customers to embark on when creating a photo book. Like other photo book creation sites, they provide hardcover photo books in seven sizes and layouts, available with either a linen or photo cover. For a simpler and more affordable alternative, customers can opt for spiral-bound, laminated photo books. These books come in two variations, one displaying one photo per page with accompanying text and the other showcasing six photos per page with captions. The smaller two options are ideal for those creating photo books for children.

Good for pros

To customize their photo book, customers can either download an editor to their computer or use VistaPrint's online version, though you will need an account to save your work. The design tools provided by VistaPrint are user-friendly and familiar, resembling those offered by most other photo book design websites, making it easy for users to navigate and create their projects. However, without any pre-made themes, customers will be starting from scratch when creating their photo book, a process that may take longer and may be overwhelming for those new to photo book creation.

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Total cost varies based on custom items

The cost of VistaPrint's hardbound photo books ranges from $13 to $50, depending on the chosen size. Each book comes with 24 pages, and customers have the option to add more double-sided pages for an additional cost ranging from $0.75 to $1.50 per page. However, the maximum number of pages that can be added to any photo book is limited to 120. It's important to note that the starting price for photo books may vary depending on factors such as the type of photo paper (glossy or matte) and the chosen cover type, both of which may incur additional charges.

Ships within 3-8 days

In terms of getting your new photo book delivered to your home, the price of shipping at VistaPrint is directly related to the amount in your cart. There are three different shipping timelines too. You can choose between 8 days, 6 days, and 3-4 days. The pricing schedule is as follows:

  • Order total of $0-$35: Shipping costs $8.99-$25.99
  • Order total of $35.01-$150: Shipping costs $11.99-$34.99
  • Order total of $150.01-$500: Shipping costs $17.99-$44.99
  • Order total over $500: Shipping costs $25.99-$59.99

It's important to note that only the first two tiers will really apply for photo books unless you buy a ton of them at once. The most you should expect to pay for shipping is $34.99 if you want it shipped within 3-4 days.

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Top marks from the BBB, but mixed reviews

VistaPrint has garnered positive feedback from customers regarding the quality of the photo books they create. The company has an impressive "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau. On the other hand, there have been some mixed customer reviews for VistaPrint as a company; these concerns are mostly related to delivery issues with their prints, rather than the photo books themselves. Overall, VistaPrint's customer service has received high praise from individuals who have faced order-related concerns. The company has an average star rating of 3.9 stars out of 5 across different review sites.

Best for DIY fans

While there's a lot of fun stuff with VistaPrint, the lack of pre-made themes for customers to choose from when creating their photo books is the primary reason VistaPrint hasn't earned a higher rating from us. For those seeking pre-designed themes and a more streamlined photo book creation process, we recommend exploring our top-ranked photo book companies instead. However, if you're big on DIY and design, this might be a fun challenge for you, and it makes VistaPrint worth checking out.

Nations Photo Lab Review 3.5 Star Rating

Nations Photo Lab

3.5 Star Rating
  • Prices start at $19.99
  • 150+ themes available
  • Allows TIFF file formats
  • Free shipping on $79+
  • "A+" rating from the BBB

Nations Photo Lab offers customers a diverse range of options to transform their cherished memories into art. From prints and picture albums to photo books, cards, gifts, and wall decor, Nations Photo Lab has been operating since 2005, with a dedicated mission to deliver the best quality, turnaround times, and prices in the industry. Their innovative products are designed by and for photographers. From professional quality Photo Prints to archival, handcrafted Wall Decor, they aim to give value to precious moments that deserve to be more than just forgotten files on a phone or laptop.

Fewer themes, but lots of customization

While there are 150+ pre-created photo book styles or "themes" to choose from, those seeking a more personalized touch can also start from scratch and create their own. However, it is important to note that this does include fewer styles overall than some photo services in our reviews. The themes available include those for specific people (like Mom and Dad) or for holidays. Some are just seasonal, like a cute theme with pumpkins on it. When creating photo books at Nations Photo Lab, customers have the choice of hardcover made from leather, cloth, or lustre materials. The available sizes include 5x7", 8x8", 8.5x11", 10x10", and 12x12", with the option of selecting either landscape or portrait orientation.

Works with pro-grade photo file formats

In terms of features, especially tech features, Nations Photo Lab doesn't stand out as much. Unlike other services that allow you to pull photos from Facebook, Google Photos, Instagram, or other third-party cloud services, Nations only works with desktop upload for photos. An advantage of Nations is its support for uploading JPG, PNG, and TIFF files, which is more extensive compared to most services that usually limit users to JPG and possibly PNG formats. This TIFF support sets Nations apart as a more professional option, although uploading TIFF files requires the use of Nations' uploader utility, and the files cannot contain layers.

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Prices start at $19.99

The cost of photo books at Nations Photo Lab starts at $19.99 but the final price depends on factors such as size, photo paper, cover choice, and binding selection. All books come standard with the option of adding up to either 21 or 29 photos, depending on the chosen style. If more pictures are desired beyond the base price version, customers can add extra pages for about $1.30 each.

Free shipping on orders $79+

Delivery of your photo books can take anywhere from 1-10 business days depending on which shipping type you choose. There are six different shipping speeds at different prices. The options include:

  • USPS First Class: 2-6 business days, $4.95
  • Economy: 3-10 business days, $7.95
  • Standard: 3-7 business days, $9.95
  • Expedited: 2-4 business days, $14.95
  • Express Saver: 1-3 business days, $18.95
  • Express: 1 business day, $34.95

As a bonus customers can earn free Economy Shipping on orders $79+.

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Mixed reviews raise questions

Despite Nations Photo Lab receiving an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, customer reviews have been mixed. Recently, some have expressed concerns about declining quality, citing issues like crooked printing, incorrect wording, color discrepancies, or duplicated pages in their photo books. While many loyal customers have been satisfied with Nations Photo Lab's high-quality products and exceptional customer service in the past, the recent trend of declining satisfaction should be taken into consideration. To paint a clearer picture, the average rating for Nations Photo Lab is 3.4 stars out of 5, with customers clearly very conflicted about the quality of the service here.

Mid-range option for photography fans

Nations Photo Lab tends to cater to those seeking photo albums that are billed as being more "professional" though there isn't a huge difference in the styling here compared to other photo services. Overall, this service comes across as mostly average. Although free shipping on $75+ is a bonus, with other services out there with more modern features and more themes, Nations Photo Lab sits just above the middle of the pack.

CVS Review 3 Star Rating

CVS

3 Star Rating
  • Pricing from $7.99 to $69.99
  • 75 themes available
  • Free same-day pickup
  • Interfaces easily with social media

CVS drugstores are everywhere, which makes them great places to pick up your photo prints that you upload on their website. In fact, you have the great option to build your photo book online at CVS and pick it up the same day at no extra cost. However, the shipping times are a bit long and with fewer total designs than other companies in this review, CVS doesn't stand out as a top service for photo books. But, as a local or last-minute pick up, CVS could be a good place to check out.

75 themes available

The available designs at CVS include 283 backgrounds to choose from. Additionally, CVS has 75 pre-designed photo book themes that already included backgrounds and graphics throughout the book, making it easy to add images and print the book. CVS Photo provides seven book sizes, including popular ones like 8.5 x 11, 11 x 14, and 8 x 8. They offer various cover styles such as hardbound, softbound, lay-flat, and window covers. However, this service does not offer dust covers, fabric covers, or leather covers, so users interested in those options may need to explore other providers of photo books.

Connected with socials

There appears to be a decent amount of creative freedom for designing a photo book with CVS. Customers can adjust the layouts and resize their photos to their liking. The editing process is simple and user-friendly, offering an autofill feature and the option to share albums with others online. On top of that, the CVS platform makes it simple to add images to books or get more pictures from friends and family, as you can import photos from various sources, including Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and Google Photos.

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6 styles to choose from

The pricing at CVS depends on the cover style you choose for your photo book. The options range from hard and soft covers to books that are completely customizable. Further, you can also choose whether you want a traditional binding on a photo book or a "layflat" style, to keep your pages from arching. The pricing range includes:

  • Custom Softcover: $7.99
  • Hardcover: $16.99
  • Custom Hardcover: $19.99
  • Custom Cover Layflat: $39.99
  • Layflat: $44.99
  • Premium Layflat: $69.99

The cost range is reasonable but does get a little pricey as you get into the layflat styles. So, it may be important to keep that in mind as you browse.

Free same-day pickup

In the case of CVS, the processing and shipping of photo books is noted to be pretty slow by customers. To speed up delivery, users can upgrade to express shipping, but this will cost much more than the standard option. However, it's important to note that CVS takes three to five days for processing before shipping. For those in need of a faster delivery, express shipping or in-store pickup are available choices. Plus, same-day pickup is completely free, and you don't have to worry about the shipping costs at all.

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Low-rated and "F" score

In terms of reputation, CVS isn't really hitting the mark. The page for CVS on the Better Business Bureau shows that the company has a very disappointing "F" rating. On top of that, the verified customer reviews for CVS aren't stellar. With only 3 stars from Sitjabber and a measly 1-star rating from another third-party review site, it's clear that customers aren't thrilled with the CVS experience. It is important to note, however, that most of the reviews for CVS are related to other services (like shopping or pharmacy) and aren't directly related to their photos and photo books. But, with a low reputation overall, it might be better to check out a different spot to get your photo book.

Average photo service overall

While there are some fun perks like being able to load your photos directly from Instagram or Flickr and free same-day pickup, there are a few red flags for CVS as well. The company has some pretty low ratings both from the BBB and from customers who've left plenty of verified reviews. With lots of companies out there that have more reliable customer service plus more themes and templates for unique photo books, the styles, and themes at CVS start to look a little average. For this reason, CVS doesn't jump out at us as a top service, but it's a fair option for anyone who needs a photo book same-day in a pinch.

Picaboo Review 2.5 Star Rating

Picaboo

2.5 Star Rating
  • Pricing starts between $19.99 to $69.99
  • 36 themes available
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • "B-" rating from the BBB

Picaboo got its name from a fun fishing trip to Picabo, ID, where the founders playfully combined it with the game "Peek-A-Boo" and the name of the business was born. The company was started in 2002 by two friends, Howard Field and Kevin McCurdy, who believed that memories are very important in life and should be kept, shared, and enjoyed in special ways. They began the company in Palo Alto, CA, where the company is still based.

36 themes for easy selection

There are 36 total themes available from Picaboo. This is a pretty slim number compared to other companies, but it does make it easy to make a decision. The themes are all separated into manageable categories like basic, baby, books and journals, celebrations, holidays, seasons, travel, and more. On top of this, you also have options for landscape or square photo books. In general, the impression at Picaboo is that they want to make the choices as simple as possible while still offering creative designs.

Good features for beginners

Compared to our highest-rated sites, Picaboo doesn't offer as many advanced features. The selection of photo book types is pretty slim, but it does make it easier to pick out what you want. Overall, the company caters to less experienced photo book designers who seek a simpler approach. However, some customers have reported uneven photo quality in prints and photo books ordered from Picaboo. While professionals may scrutinize the end product, for most users Picaboo's services will suffice.

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Prices start as low as $19.99

When it comes to customization, Picaboo offers three photo book choices on its website. These style choices each include a standard price, which can increase if you add extras to the photo book. The types of photo books available include:

  • Classic which starts at $24.99
  • Seamless Lay-Flat which starts at $69.99
  • Premium Mini Books which start at $19.99

This is nice because it offers budget options and more premium selections; however, we do wish there were more styles to compete with services on our list that have 5 or 6 types of photo books.

100% satisfaction may be limited to company error

Picaboo provides a 100% guarantee on their photo books, promising to fix and replace any discrepancies between the design process and the final product. However, the company has a limited return policy, indicating that they may only exchange or refund products in case of errors on their part.

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Customers aren't pleased with service

While Picaboo has received notable recognition, having been featured on several prominent platforms like the Today Show, DailyCandy, and The Wall Street Journal, its reputation seems to have fallen recently. The company used to hold an "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau, but currently, that rating has fallen to a "B-" . Further, the reviews on verified third-party review sites are pretty unimpressive. Across three different review sites, the average star rating for Picaboo is just 1.7 stars out of 5. Customers complain about the customer service at Picaboo, and others say that the creation process is too complicated for how much they pay for the books.

Not ideal unless you like it simple

Overall, Picaboo serves as a basic platform for creating simple photo books. While some themes may not align with modern preferences and there aren't many options to choose from, the platform caters to those who prioritize simplicity over extensive features. Overall, we recommend higher-rated services than Picaboo, especially considering the decline in popularity and ratings recently. However, if you're really interested in a simple design, Picaboo could be worth checking out.

Photobook America Review 2 Star Rating

Photobook America

2 Star Rating
  • Prices start at $38.49
  • 229 themes available
  • Offline designs available
  • Free express shipping offered

Photobook America is a versatile company that offers more than just photo books, expanding its product range to include metal prints, custom puzzles, luggage tags, wall stickers, and greeting cards, among other items. With a diverse selection of 158 photo book products, customers can theoretically find styles that capture the essence of their cherished memories.

229 different themes

The photobook themes at Photobook America cater to various occasions and preferences, including travel, baby & kids, weddings, family fun, everyday moments, holidays, romance, graduation, and more. 229 different themes allow customers to create personalized photo books that resonate with their specific needs. Customizing a photo book with Photobook America is a straightforward and engaging process. Customers can choose from Imagewrap photo books with a hardcover and a chosen photo directly printed on it, Premium Layflat photo books with a seamless view of photos without gutters, Deluxe Photo books, Softcover photo books, Colorful Life Books, and new options like digital ePhotobook and My Magazine for easy sharing.

On- and offline designing

The design process is user-friendly and intuitive, allowing customers to easily drag photo boxes, add text, insert clipart, and frame pictures throughout the pages. The "preview" button provides a glimpse of the book's appearance during the creation process, giving customers a sense of the final result. If additional pages are needed, they can be added at an extra cost to accommodate more content. On top of those features, Photobook America also offers a mobile app as well as a downloadable "offline" builder for photo books.

Prices start at $38.49

In terms of pricing, Photobook America is a little more expensive than some of the other options we evaluated. The prices on every photo book theme start at $38.49. From there the cost will go up depending on the choices made. With all the add-ons available, and the cost of shipping if you don't qualify for free shipping, that can make the final total more expensive than some of the other options on our list. On the other hand, there are frequent sales and discounts that can bring the price back down as you build your custom photo book.

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Some orders may qualify for free shipping

Photobook America guarantees 7-day shipping on all products. Plus Photobook America offers free express shipping over a certain threshold (but they don't say what that threshold is). However, some complaints have arisen about delayed shipments, with customers saying that company reps aren't exactly helpful when seeking order status updates.

Reviewers aren't happy lately

In terms of reputation, neither Photobook America nor its parent company Photobook Worldwide has a page on the Better Business Bureau. This leaves us just with research on third-party verified reviews, and unfortunately, the feedback is pretty mixed. The average rating between Trustpilot and Sitejabber reviews is a 3.3-star rating out of 5. Some customers liked it, but most of the latest reviews are 1-star and gripe that the quality at Photobook America has fallen a lot recently. Customers don't love the service team, and they aren't particularly happy about the product quality these days. Given that information, we're more concerned about the photo books at Photobook America.

Quality is going down

Considering the mixed feedback on delivery processes as well as the higher prices at Photobook America, this option doesn't impress. While there are some perks like being able to design a photo book offline or use their mobile app, it isn't quite enough to make up for the low-scoring reviews and the comments pointing to declining quality in recent months. So, with those factors in mind, we have to give Photo America a lower-than-average ranking on our list.

Shutterfly Review 2 Star Rating

Shutterfly

2 Star Rating
  • Prices starting at $19.99 to $25.37
  • 101 different themes available
  • Satisfaction guarantee

Shutterfly, a renowned photo printing company, has been in the industry since 1999, catering to customers' personalized photo needs. Alongside photo books, Shutterfly offers an array of products including cards, stationery, prints, gifts, calendars, wall art, decor, and wedding products, all of which can be customized with photos to add a personal touch to every item, and all their services are covered by a 100% Happiness Guarantee.

101 themes available

There are 101 different pre-made themes to choose from at Shutterfly with a wide variety of styles ranging from celebrations and kids to travel and weddings. Shutterfly offers photo books in six different sizes, ranging from 7"x9" to 12"x12". Once a size is selected, customers can explore a plethora of beautiful photo book themes. These themes cover various celebrations, activities, and special events, ensuring a perfect fit for any photo book project. The user-friendly design functions on Shutterfly's platform provide ample creative freedom, and the vast array of layout choices for each page guarantees that each book created on the website will be entirely unique, reflecting the creator's personal style.

Unlimited photo storage

Creating a photo book at Shutterfly comes with a couple of neat features. First, Shutterfly offers a complimentary 24-hour Designer Service where their designers will create your photo book for you at no cost. You have the option to keep it as it is or make customizations according to your preferences. Plus, Shutterfly offers unlimited photo storage, so you can make sure that all your pics and happy memories are where you need them to be. And, if that's not cool enough, Shutterfly also offers a mobile app so you can upload photos and design on the go.

Two starting prices

At the time of this review, the photo books here all ranged in price from $19.99 to $25.37, which is fairly competitive. On top of that, the company was offering a 40% off coupon. The final cost of a photo book depends on factors such as size, theme, book type, and page options. Adding pages beyond the standard amount that comes with the book incurs an additional cost of $1.00 or more. Fortunately, if you decide to go with the 24-hour design process the actual design work is free. You'll only have to pay the cost of the book once it's finished.

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Delivery between 4-13 days

Within three business days, the photo book is ready for preview, and customers can decide whether to add any finishing touches or make changes before making a purchase. Shipping runs anywhere from 1-10 business days depending on the shipping option you choose and the item you're buying. The final shipping cost is applied during checkout. So, within just 4 days at the fastest shipping time, you could have a brand new photo book in your hands.

Reputation has fallen significantly

In terms of reputation, Shutterfly has fallen pretty significantly. Previously the company held an "A-" rating from the Better Business Bureau; however, recently that rating has fallen to a disappointing "D-" rating. Further, there are numerous complaints filed with the BBB and similar negative reviews from verified third-party review sites. Across four different review sites, the average star rating for Shutterfly is just 1.7 stars out of 5, which is much lower than the scores used to be across the board. Customers complain about quality in almost every review and others consistently mention the poor customer service at Shutterfly. Overall, it appears that the company hasn't been putting its best foot forward in recent years.

No satisfied customers

Given its low rating and the lack of customer service and high quality across customer reviews, Shutterfly really doesn't stand out from the pack. While its photo book themes are okay, there are fewer of them than at other top-rated companies, and there aren't any noteworthy features that make up for the poor ratings. Despite having a satisfaction guarantee, the company clearly isn't providing that satisfaction for most of its customers. For this reason, Shutterfly unfortunately receives one of the lowest ratings among photo book options on our list.

Snapfish Review 1.5 Star Rating

Snapfish

1.5 Star Rating
  • Prices from $39.99
  • Variety of themes
  • 4-8 day turnaround

Snapfish is a photo service headquartered in San Francisco, California, and has been operating since 1999. Regrettably, their photo book retailing journey has encountered significant obstacles, leading to a "D-" rating from the Better Business Bureau and a plethora of dissatisfied customer reviews. If you decide to create a photo book with Snapfish, there is a chance you may not be fully satisfied with the final product.

Wide variety of themes

When it comes to photo book options, Snapfish does offer a good variety. Snapfish provides a wide range of photo book themes, making it convenient for customers to start their designs without having to create stickers, borders, page prints, or text fonts from scratch. The themes are categorized into various styles, including What's Hot, Wedding, Simple, Baby, Year In Review, School Year, Family, and Travel. On top of that, customers can choose from eight different sizes and up to five different types of books within each size category. The available types of books include hardcover, layflat hardcover, softcover, portrait softcover, matte, linen hardcover, leather hardcover, and premium layflat hardcover. Each type of book displays a "starting at" price, allowing customers to gauge the price range before selecting their desired photo book.

Design process seems easy

One aspect that works in Snapfish's favor is the ease of designing photo books. The modern designs offered within each category cater to various purposes, ensuring that users can easily find a style that suits their needs. The design features are user-friendly, guiding customers through the process of locating embellishments, dragging and dropping photos, and adding text. However, some customers have complained about the building process and site glitches, which raise questions about the usefulness of the platform.

Prices from $39.99 per book

In terms of pricing, each book typically includes about 20 pages. Extra pages can be added at a cost of around $1.99 each, depending on the selected book style. The starting prices for photo books are all $39.99, making them relatively affordable and accessible to most individuals seeking to preserve their memories in a beautiful photo book.

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4-8 day turnaround

The pricing for shipping is dependent on which type of shipping you choose and also will change depending on the item you order. The final cost for shipping will be available during checkout. In terms of time frame, you can expect delivery times between 4-8 days depending on which of these four shipping options you choose:

  • Lowest Price (3 days to make + 5 days to deliver)
  • Ground (3 days to make + 3 days to deliver)
  • Expedited (3 days to make + 2 days to deliver)
  • Rush (3 days to make + 1 day to deliver)

Customers aren't a fan of Snapfish

Unfortunately, Snapfish's customer feedback reveals several frustrations and shortcomings. While the website's appearance and the array of photo book themes may seem appealing, many customers have reported encountering glitches on Snapfish's platform, resulting in the loss of hours of work or difficulties with payment processing. Additionally, some have expressed disappointment with the print quality of their photos, which appeared pixelated despite looking good online. These complaints, among others, indicate that Snapfish's user experience may not be as satisfactory as it once was. The overall rating for Snapfish across various third-party review sites is just 1.2 stars out of 5. On top of that, the company has a poor "D-" rating from the BBB.

Last place pick

Given the significant amount of negative feedback and the low rating from the Better Business Bureau, Snapfish does not receive a high recommendation from us. With the red flags of poor reviews and poor quality images, as well as prices that start higher than many options we evaluated, we had to give Snapfish a low rating. For a more seamless and reliable photo book creation experience, we suggest exploring one of our higher-rated sites.

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Continued from above...

In the past, making a photo book was a lot of work. It involved printing loads of photos, getting binders, stickers, fancy paper, and special tools for adding cool borders. Hours were spent carefully gluing the pages together and writing descriptions for each picture. Although some people enjoyed this scrapbooking process, it took a lot of time and resulted in big, bulky books that took up a lot of space.

Thankfully, in today's digital age, photo books are easier to make than ever. Many people opt to create photo books online due to their convenience and endless creative possibilities. With just a few clicks, you can capture family vacations, document special events, or preserve moments with loved ones. The ability to create photo books online has led to a significant rise in the number of people who now choose to immortalize their cherished moments in these beautifully designed keepsakes.

What's really fantastic about online photo books is how flexible and customizable they are. They can be super simple with just photos laid out neatly, or they can be like fancy scrapbooks with fun borders, stickers, and our own text. For example, if you're making a photo book about your beach vacation, some websites even offer special themes that let you add seashell stickers, "sandy" texture pages, and frames with palm trees to match the beachy pictures.

That's pretty awesome, right? So, no matter what style you like or what you want to remember, creating a photo book gives you the freedom to be as creative and personal as you want.

If you're looking for a fresh new way to collect your photographs, or you just have some memories that need to be shared, don't worry. There are so many places to get photo books these days that it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, we've done the research to help you find the photo service that caters to your unique needs and crafts a photo book made just for you.

To help you get started we've put together some tips to point you in the right direction:

  • Cost: Compare the photo book cost with other competitors. Check if you pay per page or for the entire book, regardless of its size. You may also want to see if there are extra costs for delivery, or if that's included in the price of the photo book.
  • Customization: Depending on what you need your photo book for, you may want to look for various size options and choose between softcover and hardcover books. Ensure there are ample choices for fonts, colors, borders, stickers, themes, and photo arrangements.
  • Features: To make sure that you have the best experience creating your photo book, you may want to prioritize user-friendly websites that offer easy navigation and straightforward tools for creating your photo book. Avoid platforms that may cause confusion and frustration during the creation process.
  • Customer feedback: Ultimately, customers like you are some of the best people to check in with when making your decision. They, like you, have a clear idea of their preferences and have made photo books with these companies before. So make sure you check out customer feedback and BBB ratings to ensure that photo service is the one that meets customers' needs.

To help you find the best spot to get a photo book today, Top Consumer Reviews has assessed and ranked different photo services to put together a beautiful collection of your favorite memories. Whether you're seeking a wedding photo book or something to track memories for your little ones, there are options out there for everything (even the DIYers who want to be more hands-on). We hope this takes out the stress of photo book creation and helps you get back to organizing the memories most important to you!

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Photo Book Company FAQ

Photo Books are available year-round, ranging in celebration type, shapes and sizes. Photobooks can be used for any life event, keeping the memory within wedding albums, yearbooks, travel adventures, and more. A lot of companies allow the customer to pick a style and size to best fit for the occasion. When it comes to the type of cover, many companies have softcover, image-wrap hardcover, debossed hardcover, flush mount, or deluxe hardcover, to name a few.
Depending on the size, and type, the number of photos can range from 50 to 800 per photo book. On average a typical photobook has about 20 pages that are customizable. Each page can contain several photos and if you run out of pages, most companies will add a page for an additional cost.
Photo books range in value of $15.99 to $39.99 depending on the company, size, material, style, and number of pages. Some companies offer discounts upon first purchase and include monthly free promos. Cover styles can include softcover, hardcover, and leather. Paper type options can range from the base type of semi-gloss finish to premium matte lay flat.
Photo books come in all shapes and sizes. Standard photo books normally start at 8.5-inch x 8.5-inch and can get larger or smaller. The maximum size available is 12-inch x 12-inch. The minimum size offered is 5.5-inch x 4-inch. Some companies do offer layout size options as well.
Delivery can take anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks depending on the what you order. Bulk deliveries may take longer than the normal to receive. Shipping costs vary on the specific service and size of the package.
Most companies have you start out with picking either a theme/style of photobook, whether it is modern, simple, birthday, wedding, you name it they will have it. Then you select the size of the photobook and the type of cover and paper within. Finally, the fun begins, insert photos. For some people it may be easier to have the photos already downloaded on your device before you upload them to the photobook
Customization can differ per company. Customization can include size, style, type, format, color, font, quality, page style, and number of pages. Some companies offer bulk bundles of photo books (like yearbooks for schools).
Depending on the company, if you are not satisfied with your purchase you can return your product with a full refund. Most companies offer a customer satisfaction guarantee and excellent customer service options. Make sure to check the site has a customer satisfaction guarantee before purchasing.

Why Have Photo Books Become So Popular?

The simple answer to that question lies outside of the photo book itself: Digital photography and a computer.

The days of coming back from a European vacation with a hundred rolls of exposed film and no way of knowing if you got a good photograph of anything is over. After spending many dollars on developing the film, it was normal to fill several traditional photo albums with shots of dubious quality, a time consuming and expensive activity. Few people, aside from yourself, want to see a dozen shots of the Eiffel Tower from different angles. But they will be happy to look at one great photo of the icon on the Seine, especially if it was taken by you. If it is context with other spectacular photos of the City of Light, well, what's not to like?

Digital cameras allow you to click away until you get the image you want. If you know how to use the digital camera, then loading the photographs into your computer is probably easy for you, as well. The final step, creating a photo book, using the best of your best photographs, rather than oodles of ordinary ones, is a simple effort for anyone.

Therein lies the reason for photo books' rising popularity. The books, created from your skill, your eye for composition and your flair for storytelling, provide a way for you, and others, to truly enjoy the event you have experienced. And with the help of photo book companies, you can do it without too great an effort nor too great an expense.

Photo books are a perfect memento for a wealth of occasions, especially since you can determine exactly how many photo book copies you need for yourself and to share.

It goes without saying, the bride and groom will treasure their wedding photo album, but the parents of the couple, would no doubt enjoy a photo book of the event, perhaps with more candid, family shots included than would be in the formal arrangements. A photo book of Mom and Dad's Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary party, with Grandma and Grandad taking a turn on the dance floor, would probably be a best seller if it were available to the whole clan, and with a photo book, it can be.

Photo book services allow a digital photographer to easily manipulate, crop and resize images. They also provide easy access to a wide range of other variables, from backgrounds to photo placement and fonts for captions.

Photo book cover options include spiral bound, soft covers, hard backs, leather bound and dust jackets. Photo books can be created in several different sizes, from 4x6 inches to portfolio sized perfect for display on the coffee table. Choices include photo books which either have page curl and those with lay flat features.

The result is a totally customizable photo book of personal memories.

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