A year after shuttering its in-store photo kiosks, Costco is discontinuing its online photo services, according to an email sent to customers on Thursday.
The move to shut down CostcoPhotoCenter.com coincides with a new partnership with Shutterfly, an online image-sharing and photo services company. In the new arrangement, Costco members will receive free shipping from Shutterfly on orders over $49 as well as 51% off every purchase.
“Costco Photo Center users will now have access to the entire suite of products and services at Shutterfly, each backed by their 100% satisfaction guarantee,” the email reads.
Starting on Jan. 11, Costco will also give members an opportunity to transfer their accounts, with the option to download their photos through Jan. 31. Costco photo center projects — calendars, greeting cards, photo books, and collage prints — won’t be available past Jan. 28 when the retailer’s website officially shuts down, nor will they be transferable.
“If you’ve started a project at CostcoPhotoCenter.com, CostcoDVD.com, or CostcoBusinessPrinting.com or would like extra copies of earlier projects, your order must be placed prior to January 28,” Costco writes.
Pretty disappointed to see this today. Costco is moving all of their photo printing services over to Shutterfly. They closed all in-store labs a few years ago but still had online ordering until now. Shutterfly just doesn't have the same print quality that Costco is known for. pic.twitter.com/rjniHOAsaj— Genna Martin (@photogenna) January 5, 2023
On Reddit, most members seem frustrated by the change, with superfans criticizing Shutterfly for its "inflated" prices and lacking photo quality.
“Costco's photo products were always high quality and affordable. The 51% off is meaningless because Shutterfly seems to always inflate their ‘original’ prices,” one Redditor writes.
“Oh man. Shutterfly’s quality leaves a lot to be desired. Similarly, Snapfish has mailed my photos to strangers two years in a row. Who else is there?” another comment reads.
When the retailer closed its in-store photo kiosks a year ago, the retailer cited declining demand for photo printing.
“Since the introduction of camera phones and social media, the need for printing photos has steeply declined, even though the number of pictures taken continues to grow. After careful consideration, we have determined the continued decline of prints no longer requires on-site photo printing,” Costco wrote in an email announcement last year.
When Cheapism reached out to Costco, a company spokesperson said that the company "has no comment at this time."