⏳ Do you want to skip the read and get right to my pick? Between iMemories vs Costco, the better digitalization service for most people is iMemories.
Introduction to our iMemories vs Costco Comparison
Today’s iMemories vs Costco comparison review answers any questions people may have about what file conversion service to consider. If you want to protect home movies and photos from being damaged by mold, poor handling, and other factors that could lead to their deterioration, then digitization is your go-to service.
What are iMemories and Legacybox?
iMemories is a service that combines image and footage digitization with 21st century streaming media. It scans images from analog materials like undeveloped film rolls, negatives, filmstrips, and even video recordings into high-quality files that can be kept in an online archive, posted on a blog or social media, and even streamed through its proprietary app like your favorite films or binge-worthy shows.
Costco, in this context, refers to the Costco Photo Center that is now defunct in both the United States and Canada. During its heyday, however, it was the go-to service for converting everything from film negatives to slides into digital media.
iMemories vs Costco Comparison Table
Note: Prices are subject to change over time. Please click the links to check for current pricing.
|Criteria||🏆 iMemories (My Pick!)||Costco|
|Services||Digital media conversion (photos, videos, etc.)||Photo printing, photo books, canvas prints, and more|
|Pricing||Varies based on services and quantity||Competitive pricing, often offers discounts and deals|
|Shipping||Shipping fee applies||Free shipping options for certain products|
|Turnaround Time||Varies based on services and quantity||Fast turnaround time, often within a few days|
|Quality||High-quality digital conversion||High-quality prints and photo products|
|Storage Options||Online cloud storage available||No storage options provided|
|Customer Support||Email, phone, and live chat support available||Email and phone support available|
|Additional Features||Secure online sharing and editing tools||In-store pick-up option for select products|
|Cost||Check Current Pricing||Check Current Pricing|
iMemories uses cutting-edge technology to scan and digitize various forms of media at high resolutions, ensuring that the resultant files are clear, vibrant, and of high quality. They can also enhance images to restore them to their original quality. This sophisticated software application is what sets iMemories apart.
In contrast, when the Costco Photo Center was operational, it used a different set of technologies, which were considered state-of-the-art at the time. Their technology was capable of converting film negatives and slides into digital media, which were then available for download or on a DVD.
Winner: iMemories! Based on the currently available information, iMemories seems to have the advantage in terms of technology used, given that their software capabilities allow for image enhancement and high-resolution digitization.
iMemories lets you load up to 1,500 photo prints, 10,000 photographic negatives, and even 150 film reels (dependent on format) into a crush-proof box that you ship over to them. You have the option of having your material shipped back as DVDs, stored in a secure flash drive, or accessed through the cloud to stream through the app.
The problem with Costco is that it wasn’t very user-friendly. Most people had to personally bring their materials to their nearest photo center Digitization was limited to film in 8mm, 16mm, and Super8 formats; video in VHS, Hi-8 / Video 8, MiniDV, and Betamax cassette; developed photos in either 2”x2” or 8”x12” size formats and limited to 62 pieces per submission; and slides. Costco also offered just a thumb drive or DVD to store output.
Winner – iMemories! We’d go with iMemories in this iMemories vs Costco usability comparison as it offers greater flexibility in terms of submission and output.
iMemories vs Costco Geographical Coverage
iMemories, through its online platform, offers services to customers around the world. The digitized content is accessible from anywhere through the iMemories app or website.
Costco's Photo Center, during its operation, was available to customers in the United States and Canada. Users had to visit their nearest Costco to avail of the digitization services, limiting the service's geographical reach.
Winner: iMemories! In terms of geographical coverage, iMemories has the edge as it offers global services through its online platform.
While most services offer three weeks as their fastest, iMemories has you covered in two. The service ships your converted files back in as early as two weeks and any streaming footage is digitally mastered to look as bright as the day it was filmed.
Costco promises to digitize and return files as quickly as three weeks. However, many people who used the Photo Center service complained that not all their files were included in the finished product and the quality wasn’t that good.
Winner – iMemories! In this iMemories vs Costco reliability showdown, we’re giving the win to iMemories for both speed and the quality of the finished product.
- Submission Box
- Varying capacity depending on media format;
- Security barcodes for safe submission; and
- Pre-printed shipping label
- Output Formats
- Link access to cloud with app-based streaming;
- Secured thumb drive; and
- Burning to standard DVD.
- Submission method involved dropping off the actual analog material at your nearest Costco Photo Center;
- Output Formats
- Memory Cloud, but only up to 90 days of access;
- USB thumb drive; and
- Burning to standard DVD
Winner – iMemories! No question here – iMemories wins in terms of features in this iMemories Costco showdown.
Data Safety and Privacy:
iMemories takes data safety and privacy seriously. They use secure online sharing and editing tools to ensure your precious memories are kept safe. The service also respects the privacy of its users, maintaining strict policies on data access and sharing.
Costco, during its operation, also had policies in place to safeguard user data, although detailed specifics might not be readily accessible today.
Winner: iMemories! Without specifics on Costco's data safety and privacy measures, iMemories comes out ahead due to its clear commitment to data safety and privacy.
iMemories vs Costco Value for Money
Base fee (taxes included) for iMemories’ SafeShip kit is around $16.19. The streaming app is free to download, but you’ll need to pay $49.99 a year to subscribe to the iMemories Cloud storage / streaming capability. Keep in mind that iMemories is only available through its official website.
Free trial/refund policy/money-back guarantee
iMemories offers a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with the products you receive.
Be sure to access this service only through their official website.
In its heyday, Costco’s base charge for any form of digitization was set at $19.99 for batches of up to 62 individual photographs / negatives or individual videos. For photos as well as slides, an additional $0.32 was charged per photo / slide in excess of the 62-piece limit.
Free trial/refund policy/money-back guarantee
Unfortunately, Costco Photo Center offers no refunds, only store credit.
Winner – iMemories! In this iMemories vs Costco pricing comparison, we like state of the art solutions that come at a reasonable price, so iMemories gets the vote for value for money.
Customer Service Experience
iMemories offers comprehensive customer support through email, phone, and live chat. Many users have reported satisfaction with their customer service, noting the team's responsiveness and willingness to resolve issues.
Costco, on the other hand, had its customer service as well, with support provided via email and phone. User experiences with Costco's customer service varied, with some finding it helpful while others reported difficulties.
Winner: Given the availability of live chat and positive user feedback, iMemories seems to offer a better customer service experience.
iMemories vs Costco User Reviews
iMemories currently has a 4.6-star rating on Trustpilot, with five-star ratings making up 78% of the 297 reviews on record. Those who rated the service consider it a great investment for saving family memories and milestone events.
We think we now know why Costco gave its photo service to Shutterfly: people found the service cheap enough, but the online ordering system was confusing. It was difficult to navigate and frustrating. Customers also complained that their output would often get lost in transit, but they would still be billed.
Winner – iMemories! Again, we’re giving the win to iMemories.
Conclusion and Recommendation to our iMemories vs Costco Comparison
Who is iMemories best for?
We recommend this service to more digitally-savvy people who want to share their memories online through new-generation apps and social media.
Who is Costco best for?
In its heyday, Costco worked best as a digitization service for those with smaller requirements or had access to a Costco Photo Center in their neighborhoods.
iMemories vs Costco Alternatives
Good alternatives include the likes of Legacybox which offers a similar service to iMemories or SmugMug.
iMemories vs Costco Final Word
A state of the art digitization service that comes at a reasonable price, delivers in a jiffy, and the end result is of excellent quality? Sign us up! For those reasons, iMemories gets our vote as the winner over the now sadly-defunct Costco Photo Center.
Please note that to get authentic, high-quality products, we recommend that you avail of iMemories only from their official website. You may also get great discounts for multiple purchases. Beware of purchasing from marketplace sites claiming to be resellers so to avoid issues with refunds and returns in the future!
When did Costco stop offering their photo services?
Costco officially stopped accepting imaging services last January 28, 2023. But you can work with their collaborator Shutterfly for your photo printing needs.
Is the iMemories app free?
Yes, it’s also downloadable for both Android and iOS devices.
Can I have Hollywood films on tape converted via iMemories?
No, the service has a strict policy against the unwarranted reproduction of full-format films, television show episodes, and similar forms of copyrighted material.
If you've read all the way through this iMemories vs Costco comparison, we are grateful. We have reviewed all these products in detail, feel free to check them out;