Art and Photography

Costco shutting down in-store photo services

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 17th, 2021 6:24 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2004
4094 posts
687 upvotes
Toronto

Costco shutting down in-store photo services

Costco is shutting down all of its in-store photo services, and will now work on a mail-only basis.

I received the following e-mail from Costco this morning:
Dear Costco members,

We are writing to inform you about the upcoming closure of the photo department at all Costco locations on Sunday, February 14, 2021.

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.

Digital technologies allow consumers to do more with their photos, including the ability to personalize canvas, metal prints, or create photo books, greeting cards, calendars and other gifts. We will continue to ship these high quality products and prints to your home or business through the Costco Photo Center website, CostcoPhotoCentre.ca.

Costco’s home movie video transfer, passport photo, custom framing & plaquing and ink cartridge refill services will no longer be available.

Costco values your patronage and hopes to continue serving you in the future.

If you have any photo orders at your local Costco location, please pick them up by March 28, 2021.

If you have questions regarding the Photo Centre, the Costco Management Staff at your local Costco location will be able to help you.

Sincerely,
Costco Photo Centre
I've found Costco photo printing to be of uniformly good quality and wouldn't expect that the shift to a centralized lab will affect this. The major loss is in convenience (ability to upload files and retrieve prints within a few hours at a nearby Costco location).

I've not used their framing, passport photo, or ink refill services, so can't comment on those.
29 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 25, 2009
8476 posts
1606 upvotes
My local Costco shut all of that down in March and April during the initial lock down and reopened it in May or June I think.

I've used their photo-printing, passport photo services before and use them to do all my ink refills. I have nothing but good/positive things to say from my experience especially given their price points. I hope their ink refilling services is still running because we're going through a ton of ink these days with WFH and online-schooling.
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
[OP]
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2004
4094 posts
687 upvotes
Toronto
Winkle wrote: I hope their ink refilling services is still running because we're going through a ton of ink these days with WFH and online-schooling.
The e-mail I got specifically mentions that ink refilling will no longer be available.
Deal Addict
Nov 19, 2015
2788 posts
11895 upvotes
Just received an email,

Dear Costco members,

We are writing to inform you about the upcoming closure of the photo department at all Costco locations on Sunday, February 14, 2021.

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.

Digital technologies allow consumers to do more with their photos, including the ability to personalize canvas, metal prints, or create photo books, greeting cards, calendars and other gifts. We will continue to ship these high quality products and prints to your home or business through the Costco Photo Center website, CostcoPhotoCentre.ca.

Costco’s home movie video transfer, passport photo, custom framing & plaquing and ink cartridge refill services will no longer be available.

Costco values your patronage and hopes to continue serving you in the future.

If you have any photo orders at your local Costco location, please pick them up by March 28, 2021.

If you have questions regarding the Photo Centre, the Costco Management Staff at your local Costco location will be able to help you.

Sincerely,
Costco Photo Centre
Member
Aug 23, 2017
216 posts
169 upvotes
JHW wrote: The e-mail I got specifically mentions that ink refilling will no longer be available.
Also this is on the website now.

Link
Deal Addict
Apr 1, 2015
1536 posts
898 upvotes
NOYB
Too bad.

One less option now.

Their photo quality isn't bad tbh
*Zoomer + VoIP.ms + Lucky Mobile + Public Mobile user* SPEND WISELY

Self banning from the PRC sub, after a member with civility was banned from it without reasonable cause since 11/09/2020
Member
Apr 5, 2004
405 posts
161 upvotes
My go to place for passport photos. Any good alternatives?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 25, 2009
8476 posts
1606 upvotes
JHW wrote: The e-mail I got specifically mentions that ink refilling will no longer be available.
Well damn, also reading fail for me on your initial post lol.
"God's in His heaven. All's right with the world." - Robert Browning (1812-1889)
Newbie
Jul 21, 2013
72 posts
62 upvotes
THORNHILL
Any other place to re-ink cartridges?
Specifically , HP cartridges?

I have found that HP is great at paper handling, but they try and make it up by making you spend a lot of money on cartridges.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
5959 posts
3058 upvotes
Mississauga
I’ve used Walmart in the past for passport photos and they were okay.

Sears was always my go-to for passport photos but of course we all know what happened to the retailer...
Deal Addict
Oct 24, 2010
1182 posts
954 upvotes
Ottawa
Costco opened a new location in Ottawa in the fall - second largest in Canada.

We were shocked when we were purchasing photo Christmas cards in November to find out the new Costco didn't have a photo centre.

Now it makes sense...

We went with Walmart photo cards and regretted it. Twice as much money and grainy images with crap colour.
Deal Addict
Apr 1, 2015
1536 posts
898 upvotes
NOYB
Yup Walmart isn't bad either for photos, surprisingly

I go to print2go for passport/visa photos. cheapest I can find in GTA
*Zoomer + VoIP.ms + Lucky Mobile + Public Mobile user* SPEND WISELY

Self banning from the PRC sub, after a member with civility was banned from it without reasonable cause since 11/09/2020
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2013
2579 posts
1854 upvotes
Toronto
For those needing passport photos and that have CAA plus you can get them done free at one of their stores with your membership.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
11902 posts
6440 upvotes
Brampton
Damn that sucks. Their passport photo service was super convenient.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 19, 2002
3512 posts
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Vancouver
This move makes sense and I'm surprised Costco didn't shut it down sooner.

Photo services like greeting cards and photo prints are available from countless vendors online. Ink and toner refills? Hardly anybody does that anymore because brand new cloned cartridges for popular models are the same price if not cheaper than refills.

Passport photos however, is a bit of loss. But blame the Government of Canada. Virtually every other G20 country allows for the submission of digital passport photos.
Deal Addict
User avatar
May 5, 2010
1363 posts
675 upvotes
I saw the email yesterday and I was so sad to see it gone from the warehouses. Like OP stated, it was so convenient to get the photos, which are ready in a couple hours, while doing the groceries. The quality and price were good.

I just hope the shipping cost isn't too much because I do a couple of $15-20 orders in a year and if the shipping is as much, well, that'll be lame.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 30, 2004
3815 posts
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Honestly, only thing I've used them for in the last 5 years were photos for passport and IDPs. The one time I ordered prints, did it online because I didn't want to deal with the hassle of going in store.

Don't blame them for closing shop.
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2018
4428 posts
3485 upvotes
Spinner wrote: This move makes sense and I'm surprised Costco didn't shut it down sooner.

Photo services like greeting cards and photo prints are available from countless vendors online. Ink and toner refills? Hardly anybody does that anymore because brand new cloned cartridges for popular models are the same price if not cheaper than refills.

Passport photos however, is a bit of loss. But blame the Government of Canada. Virtually every other G20 country allows for the submission of digital passport photos.
passport photos are once every 10 years, so really not a loss. i mean savings of say $15 (costco $7? vs say $21.99 at shopper's or wherever) over 10 years? that's less than a cup of coffee a year. lol
Deal Addict
Dec 28, 2005
4783 posts
1980 upvotes
Ancaster
Gin Martini wrote: I saw the email yesterday and I was so sad to see it gone from the warehouses. Like OP stated, it was so convenient to get the photos, which are ready in a couple hours, while doing the groceries. The quality and price were good.

I just hope the shipping cost isn't too much because I do a couple of $15-20 orders in a year and if the shipping is as much, well, that'll be lame.
I was quoted $10 shipping for a 16 x 20 canvas print. I ended up scheduling it for warehouse pick-up (we're going to need to do a re-supply soon), but the shipping is going to hurt.
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User avatar
Sep 19, 2002
3512 posts
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Vancouver
StatsGuy wrote: passport photos are once every 10 years, so really not a loss. i mean savings of say $15 (costco $7? vs say $21.99 at shopper's or wherever) over 10 years? that's less than a cup of coffee a year. lol
Good point. I've been helping with a few PR applications and renewals so it feels like a lot more.

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