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My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Updated 10/27 with new books received Reply

    Updated 1/26/2009:
    Here is my review and when I ordered/received for people who wonder how long it will take and how they will look.

    First book: Ordered Dec. 27 2008, received Jan. 12. (nice!)
    - quality better than books I ordered several months prior-- images overall look great and are more detailed, colors more true
    - theme/designs are getting better with more choices, too.
    - Received quick, considering the distance!

    Second order-- Ordered 3 photo books Jan. 1., 2009 Received Jan. 23.
    - First book turned out very nice. Theme was the black and white floral/paisley theme. (If you use that theme, don't use black cover text.. it doesn't show up well). Glossier interior pages look nice and show the colors of the photo very nice.
    - Second book was very good. I used the "simple theme" and it looks good. Image colors on pages were great. Very nice!
    - Third book was pretty good. Some images had text in them that didn't turn out very well, but the images were not very high resolution though (my camera's fault). Binding was ok. This time you could see the stitching through the pages more. Cover theme, image, and colors looks good. Turned out very cute overall.

    Third order-- Ordered photo prints and 3 photobooks on Jan 6. Have shipped photo books, received Jan. 24.
    - Have received photo prints-- they look great! The prints are great in color and look very good. Nice and glossy with true colors.
    - The 3 photosbooks turned out nice, overall. The green layout turned out best. Glossy (glossier than before) pages in book are nicer and help images to appear more richer. Very much improved since the first book I ordered last summer. One book has much better images than the 3rd book, but overall, they turned out nice looking with fine image quality.

    Fourth order-- Ordered 1 watch and some 8 x 10s on Jan. 6. Received 8 x 10 prints today, and watch late last week.
    - Watch image is small but still quality. Watch itself is cute and looks nice (not cheap, even though it didn't cost much). It could easily be given as a good gift for someone.
    - 8 x 10s look good overall, even though some of my images appeared to not be high enough resolution. Probably my camera's issue, as some of the 8 x 10s taken in higher resolution look very good. Happy with them.

    Fifth order-- Ordered wallet prints and 1 photobook on Jan. 9. Received photo book Jan. 23. Wallets not yet received.
    - Quick timing,.. came in before some books I ordered before it. Small gray smudge on front cover image. :( The theme was the animal print. The cover is more gray than it appears on the theme screen, but is still cute. The images printed nice. Interior pages seem more glossy than any previous books (and thus show better colors). The cover / image wrap was uneven on the lower right hand corner and the cover was not 'set' evenly (the front cover sticks out more than the back cover). Not that bad, but not as good as the other books ordered. :(

    Sixth order-- Ordered photo book on Jan. 12. Received mid-February.

    Ordered two more items on Jan. 16 and Jan. 17. Was still processing as of Jan. 29. Received in February.


    Compared to previous orders-

    The 2 photobooks I received that I ordered recently look much better than the two I ordered over the past 6 months or so. Those were pretty good, but the image quality is much better now. The colors are more true and the photos have more depth. Some pale faces don't have as much depth as the more tan faces. Themes are looking more refined and we have many more options. I love the new scrapbook embellishment and page arrangement options in the designer.


    Overall, I'm happy to see the photo quality continue to improve and more elegant designs be added. There was only one book that has been slightly disappointing yet, and that is out of over hal fa dozen books received so far. Still like the results overall, and the price is very great! I could never have gotten so many books if I used an expensive competitor. Image quality on pages is always getting better too-- the pages seem more glossy now, and images shine on those pages nicely. Shipping time varies by product of course, and the first item I received was fast. The second order of photobooks hasn't come in (total processing and shipping time so far-- around 21 days), but part of this time was the New Year's holiday and I understand that holidays are a busy time for ArtsCow as they probably receive more orders around that time. Even with the shipping and processing time, it has been worth it to me for the low price. So, if you order these as a gift, be sure to order plenty of time in advance-- I would order 2 months in advance just to be safe and make sure it arrives in time for you to give it to the person. The two most recent orders have been processing for almost 14 days now-- add shipping time to that and that's a good wait. So, be sure to order gifts at least a month in advance. Sometimes I've received items quickly, but the last 2 orders are the slowest yet.

    Things I hope to see more of:
    - More and more designs being added (especially ones other than wedding or baby-related)
    - Possibly the photo book covers could be more "glossy" like the competitor?
    - Prices are great. Receiving items fast is always exciting.

    Thanks, ArtsCow. :)


    December 2009 update:

    The themes and print quality floors the books from last year. It has drastically improved. There are still some things that could use refining (making images more crisp, occasional sunburned face). But, overall, I'm more pleased now than last year. The prices with the coupons make it a great buy.


    FOR THE JULY 31, 2009 update, see the latest post way below!
1/23/2009 11:48:04 AM

RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Reply

    Hi myphotos,

    Here is the resolution chart for your ref:
    Print Size    Minimum Resolution (in pixels)     File Size
    4 x 6      1280 x 1024             600 - 700kB
    5 x 7      1600 x 1200             800 - 900KB
    Wallet (4)    1600 x 1200             800 - 900KB
    8 x 10      2000 x 1600             800 - 900KB
    11 x 14     2700 x 1800             1.2 - 1.5MB
    12 x 18     2700 x 1800             1.5 - 2.0MB

    And if you have any inquiry about your personal order, please email us.

1/23/2009 5:04:10 PM

RE:RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Reply

    Thanks for the photo resolution information. I'll make sure I take new photos at higher resolutions too.

    I don't have any questions.. just wanted others to see another review of a happy customer, and see what another person's shipping times are. Thanks :)

    I forgot to mention how items are packed in my review. They are packed very solid-- my 8 x 10s arrived perfect-- no bends or any damage. The books were packed very well, too. Of all the international items that I have ordered from this and other companies, the ones here are packaged among the best. My photo watch arrived perfect with no scratches, and so have the 4 x 6s I ordered a while back.
1/24/2009 3:22:40 AM

RE:RE:RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Reply

    I received 4 books today! I updated the first review post to reflect this. :)
1/24/2009 6:20:28 AM

RE:RE:RE:RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Reply

    Thanks very much for providing the detailed review on the quality and transit time. It's encouraging to know things do work out well!

    >I received 4 books today! I updated the first review post to reflect this. :)
1/24/2009 8:00:18 AM

RE:RE:RE:RE:RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Reply

    Thanks for the comment. Glad it was helpful! :)

    I received a few more items and updated the above. Often, the books you order within a week or two of each other are shipped together it seems. That can take longer if one book is sitting waiting for another to be finished to ship for a week or two (I've got 2 that have been processing 10 days now), but I understand that ArtsCow wants to save money in shipping items. They are packed very well-- one package of 3 books came in, another with 2 in it. Very sturdy packaging.

    >Thanks very much for providing the detailed review on the quality and transit time. It's encouraging to know things do work out well!
1/28/2009 12:04:00 AM

JULY 31, 2009: Update. Reply

    I wanted to update, as I have ordered books and items since.

    Shipping: Received faster with latest order.
    I ordered a photobook at the end of June, and received it by July 14.. just in time for the vacation that I ordered it for (it was a gift)! I was so happy it arrived so quickly (other books had taken at least a few weeks for production and shipping to me).

    It looked great. The kits really do look nice. I hope there will be free full photobook themes, too, but the kits are fun to play around and design with. It can take longer to design a book with kits (it's like online scrapbooking), but at least it's customized, cute, and colorful. I like the books that I've used kits for more than the ones I've used themes for because I could make them exactly how I wanted them. It's nice to be able to "theme" pages for different holidays, events, and color schemes. I still hope for more full-book kits or themes so that it's already designed, and all you have to do is put in photos. (ArtsCow does have free photobook themes-- I've just used them all already!) The one downside with kits is that older members (like me) are sometimes being charged for free kits, or kits that used to be free put are now paid. Kits are new, and so is the rule that once you put a free kit in your account, it will always remain free for me. That is my only frustration. Kits are new, though, and I'm sure they're working on kit pricing and any glitches. I am glad that there are free kits, and wish there were more free kits that stayed free and had many full scrapbook pages. They have kit design contests, so users on here design kits to enter the contest. There are new kits every week it seems. I will be curious to see if the kits keep being actively designed, and if there are a good variety that remain free (some of them are overpriced by the users/designers, but some are reasonable). Another good thing about ArtsCow is that you can easily change the background color, image, layout, and text of a page any way you want it almost.

    Print quality
    The books since the IGEN 4 really do seem to have much better print quality. I haven't noticed printer blots or mishaps on the recent books (on some of the 1st books a year ago, occasionally there might be an image off color or with an ink blob. I haven't noticed these things on recent books.) Shipping on items (unless a promotion) has gotten faster, too. Like anyone, I always like faster shipping, cheaper shipping, and the promotions/discount codes.

    The discount codes really are helpful, and using ArtsCow has made me able to order many more photobooks that I could with a more expensive photo printing service. I've ordered over 20 books so far, and keep coming back for more. They make good gifts and keepsakes, and I haven't found anything cheaper than here (even with shipping, you can get the free book discount codes. My recent book was $15 to my door, with some extra pages in it even.)

    I would like glossier/slightly thicker image wrap on the cover. The cover feels a little "thin." It is printed nice, and is glossy-- but I would like it more "refined." The recent books have arrived fine in shipping. Occasionally, there might be a minor scratch on previous books, but not the recent ones. The recent books that have arrived look good.

    I like the 8 x 8 20 page and 39 page photobooks that I've ordered, as well as the jewelry watch. The watch was cute (heart shaped watch)-- the image is small, of course, but still clear enough and was well-received by the person I gave it to. I usually get my photo prints (4 x 6), locally. I have ordered some 8 x 10 photo prints from ArtsCow, including collages, and they turned out nice. They were shipped well, too. The 4 x 6 prints and watch that I ordered were shipped in a solid square box. Photobooks are usually shipped in some sort of plastic envelope mailer (with a thin layer of foam around the book).

    Product Review I posted in the store.
    Here is my product review that I posted in the shop. (Disclaimer, it was for the $5 reward promotion, but is a good summary of my recent experiences.)
    I had only ordered a few photo books from any service before using ArtsCow. I saw ArtsCow, and was hesitant to order because of the low prices.

    But, I ordered one book-- it came quickly, and looked great. Since then, I have ordered more than a dozen photo books this year!

    The book printing quality keeps getting better and better, and they are shipping fast!

    I was so, SO happy to receive my latest order. It was processed and in my mailbox in 2 weeks! It came just in time for my trip to visit relatives, and made the perfect gift for them. They were thrilled with it, and got teary. It was great. I ordered it 2 weeks before I left, and didn't think it would come in time-- but it did. I was more than happy with it.

    See my review and photos in the store at:
7/31/2009 3:54:37 PM

RE:JULY 31, 2009: Update. Reply

    Ordered 6 photo books mid-July:
    - Received 3 books from July order last week. They really looked good-- design printed nicely, and the photo quality (including the cover thickness) looked good, overall. Very pleased with these 3.
    - 2 promo small flip books ordered same time, not yet received.
    - Another 1 8 x 8 book ordered a few days before the 3 books above.. not yet received.

    Order EARLY-- ordering mid-July and receiving the first week of September is a fairly long time. 4 of the 6 books were a coupon code, but not "crazy" promo. Still, for the price, I don't mind waiting all that much.. though this is the longest I've ever waited. Last order (earlier in June/July) was at my door within 2 weeks which was great. I hope my 3 remaining books come soon.
9/13/2009 11:00:59 AM

RE:RE:JULY 31, 2009: Update. Reply

    I have now received all books ordered mid/late July, except for one of the 8 x 8 books.
    3 of the 8 x 8s were packaged together, and came recently. So did the promo smaller size book.
9/18/2009 2:30:11 PM

RE:RE:RE:JULY 31, 2009: Update. Reply

    I've ordered more books recently.

    3 books arrived today, and I am very happy with them. The designs printed nicely, and the covers were shiny/felt thicker than last year. Some photos were still a little pink tinted. Overall, definitely a good value. I ordered about 2 or 2.5 weeks ago, and they arrived today-- that was fast! I will await the other books I ordered earlier this/last month.
10/22/2009 11:18:03 AM

Latest order. Reply

    I received another book today (it was a reshipment of a book that was lost in the mail.. out of many orders, this was the only one the mail lost. AC reshipped it pretty quick). The book cover has the best quality yet-- very thick and glossy cover, just like competitors. The images look pretty good throughout the book. Some are a little dark (the images themselves were, too), and I didn't notice that much of a red tint. Looks good overall. The books in the past few months definitely look nicer than books I ordered a year ago. The print quality is better, the themes and kits make the designs look nicer, and the covers are glossier/thicker (giving a "nice" feel to it). I've got a handful of books that should get here soon. I might take photos of them when they arrive so you can see how the quality has improved now compared to 2008. I will continue to order more.

    I also received 2 mini coin purses. They are cute. I'm not sure of the fabric, but it's the kind used in large handbags or duffle bags. On one side, I printed a full size image-- that looked the best. On the other side, I printed a collage. The collage is cute, but the images are so small that they aren't very detailed on this type fabric. I recommend a full-size image on the entire side of the mini coin purse. The mini coin purse can hold my very small camera in it nicely.

    I also received a tree ornament. It's much nicer than I was expecting-- nice and glossy with the ribbon on it. I would suggest not putting important images too near the edges because of the ornament shapes. I plan to order more ornaments sometime.
10/28/2009 10:25:39 AM

Processing and transit time list-updated 11/18 Reply

    I also made a list of shipping times Sorry I didn't see this post to add to it here.

    It seems like 3-4 weeks total time for books to the US is about average. Great when they're earlier, but don't plan on it. I'm nervously hoping my 19 books ordered for my daughter's cheer squad will make it by Dec 6th!!! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

    Just got an email that they were shipped and should arrive between 11/25-12/01. Yea!!!!
11/14/2009 2:54:53 AM

RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Updated 10/27 with new books receiv Reply

    Lately I've been receiving books within 2-3 weeks.

    The book that most recently came in arrived in just over 2 weeks... printing included!
8/11/2012 7:43:54 PM

RE:RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Updated 10/27 with new books rec Reply

    Most recent book came in in 3.5 weeks.
    Print quality was impressive.
8/21/2012 5:09:35 PM

RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Updated 10/27 with new books receiv Reply

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RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Updated 10/27 with new books receiv Reply

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RE:RE:My photobook reviews and transit time list for those curious. Updated 10/27 with new books rec Reply

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