Category: Shopping

Custom Photo Holiday Card Review – Shutterfly vs. Tiny Prints

Hi and Happy Holidays!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We missed our usual Thanksgiving dinner with friends due to the pandemic. Because we won’t see our friends in person this holiday season, I think sending cards is extra important this year! I was way more on top of things this year so I was able to order my cards well in advance and will hopefully get them all out by the first week of December!  I am usually a huge procrastinator and have been known to send them out December 22 or 23.  Oops!

I ordered from 2 companies this year so that I could sample a few different products.  I ordered from Shutterfly and Tiny Prints.  They are both owned by the same company but the target market and price point is a little higher at Tiny Prints.

Software

Both Shutterfly and Tiny Prints have similar software.  You upload your photos and you can drag and drop into a ton of different designs.  You can filter down the hundreds of designs by style of card (flat or folded), size of card, number of photos and the type of greeting you want to send (Christmas vs. Holiday vs. New Year).  The hardest part for me was to choose which photo I wanted to send as our main image.  Once I had that decided the rest was easy — I just had to choose which design fit our image the best.

Ordering Quantity

Shutterfly cards seem to have 2 different ordering styles. There are some which must be ordered in sets of 10, and there are some where you can order the exact quantity you need.  The card style I choose could be ordered in any quantity.

Tiny Prints cards come in sets of 5, with 10 being the minimum order per card style.

Pricing

Both Shutterfly and TinyPrints seem to always have some sort of special deal happening. Shutterfly lets you add any number of promo codes to your account and then it has an engine which will determine your best price.  Typically, you are allowed to combine one percent-off code and one dollar-off code.  For instance, you can combine a 30% off cards coupon with a $10 off cards coupon.

Tiny Prints allowed more than 1 promo code in the checkout page.  I didn’t come across a limit, but I did find that many promo codes conflicted with each other so I couldn’t combine them.

Regular price for 10 holiday cards starts at $22.90 for Shutterfly and $26.90 for Tiny Prints (with both vendors providing a cheaper per card price if ordered in larger quantities), however as I’ve stated above, there is always some kind of sale happening.  A more realistic price to shoot for is around 30% off–I’ve seen those sales often, and often even 40% or more is possible. Shipping starts at $7.99 for Shutterfly economy shipping and $5.99 for Tiny Prints economy shipping.

Delivery & Packaging

For an order of 25 cards made on 11/29, I was quoted the following:

Shutterfly’s estimated delivery window was 12/6-12/11 for economy shipping ($7.99), 12/8-12/10 for standard shipping ($11.99), 12/5 for expedited shipping ($19.99) and 12/4 for rush ($31.99).

TinyPrint’s estimated delivery window was 12/9-12/10 for economy shipping ($5.99), 12/8-12/9 for standard shipping ($9.95), 12/5 for expedited shipping ($14.95) and 12/3 for super rush ($24.95).

When I made my initial orders, the cards actually took a really long time to arrive.  I made my Tiny Prints order on 11/13, it was printed 11/20 and it arrived at my home on 11/26 — a full 2 weeks after I made the order!  I am not sure why it took so long to print because it was actually before the Thanksgiving holiday.

For Shutterfly, I ordered on 11/9, they were shipped out 11/10 and arrived on 11/14–a total of 5 days from order date which was great.  In fact, this was much quicker than the delivery of the photobook I had ordered in the same order!

My Shutterfly order came in a paper mailer.  My Tiny Prints order came in a sturdy box.  Both protected the cards but the envelopes from Shutterfly had a slight crease in the corner where they had jammed up against the mailer edge.  No big deal, but I thought I’d mention it.

Tiny Prints Box
Tiny Prints Box
Shutterfly Paper Mailer
Shutterfly Paper Mailer

Product & Paper

Both the companies delivered a beautiful product.  Ultimately, I was happy with both of them, but here are a few details that I noticed.  The family portrait I chose printed well on both cards.  I think I have to give the slight edge to Shutterfly though.  I think it just came out a little clearer there, but it is almost too close to call.

Shutterfly had a few cards which had some color transfer onto the back of the card where it was white.  I ordered a foil printed card and I think the foil is a beautiful accent.  It really makes the card feel a little more special.

Shutterfly Foil Card
Shutterfly Foil Card
Color transfer smudges
See the pink arrows for where you can see color transfer smudges

TinyPrints cards were printed on really nice thick paper.  I ordered 2 sets of letterpress cards and was happy with one set but mildly disappointed with the other.  The 2 designs I ordered were Naturally Happy and Joyous Tradition.  Naturally Happy had the deep indentations (I googled this and it is called “bite”) so the tactile experience of running my fingers over the print was what you’d expect from letterpress.  Joyous Tradition was printed with very shallow bite.  On the other hand, because Naturally Happy had such a deep bite, it showed through on the back.  I ordered my wedding invites in letterpress and didn’t have this problem.  Granted, wedding invites cost a wee bit more than Tiny Prints, but it is something to consider if you’re thinking about ordering Tiny Prints letterpress cards.

TinyPrints Letterpress Card Detail
Tiny Prints Letterpress Card Detail – Joyous Tradition.  The letterpress bite was impossible to capture since it was so shallow.
TinyPrints Letterpress Card Detail
Tiny Prints Letterpress Card Detail – Naturally Happy. You can see the letterpress bite in the flowers near the bottom.
Shutterfly vs. TinyPrints Paper Comparison
Shutterfly vs. Tiny Prints Paper Comparison

Overall

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with both sets of cards and companies.  I wouldn’t use either company without a really great coupon or sale, as it gets to be quite pricey to order 30+ cards.  I thought that for the price I paid, the Shutterfly cards were a better “deal” though the Tiny Prints cards were certainly more luxurious.  They definitely appeal to slightly different price points and I think its great to have options whether you’re making an order for holiday cards or birth announcements.

Are you ordering holiday cards this year? Which company is your favorite?

 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020

It’s almost here folks! My favorite shopping event of the year — the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!!

nordstrom-anniversary-logo

This year things will be VERY different since we are still dealing with a pandemic. Here’s what you need to know:

July 24th – everyone will have access to preview the catalog online and save items to your wishlist

August 4th – Nordy Club Icon members can shop Early Access

August 7th – Nordy Club Ambassador members can shop Early Access

August 10th – Nordy Club Influencers can shop Early Access

August 13th – Nordy Club Insiders can shop Early Access

August 19th – The Public Sale opens and everyone can shop!

August 30th – The Sale ends!

The catalog is currently LIVE on the site here, and I don’t believe it includes everything in the sale. I’ve been shown a few things that are not in the current preview!

You’ll be able to shop the sale online and in store during regular business hours. Social distancing is in effect in many jurisdictions so I don’t know how the stores will plan to handle traffic. I would imagine that each store will have a plan to comply with local regulations around masking and capacity.

I’ve been shopping this sale for years and years now (I honestly can’t even remember how many, but its somewhere between 8-10!). Each year there’s always a HOT HOT HOT item and I have definitely found it for this year.

It’s been several years since Nordstrom has had a true designer bag in the sale — the last one I remember was Chloe, maybe 3-4 years ago. This year, we have a Saint Laurent! OMG!

ysl nordstrom anniversary sale
Saint Laurent Kate – Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Each year hot items sell out virtually instantly and I’m sure this will be no exception. This purse is gorgeous and given that it’s been several years since a premier designer bag, I can guarantee Nordstrom will run out of stock right away.

Is there anything you’re looking forward to? Would you buy the Saint Laurent bag if you were able to grab one?

Happy Shopping!

Nordstrom Holiday Party!

The annual Nordstrom Holiday party time is nearly here! If you a Nordy Club Ambassador status or above, you should have received a party invite by mail or in your email! If you haven’t received an invite, please check your spam. Last year my invite was literally lost in the mail, and when I called my local store, they were able to verify that I was invited and were able to take down my RSVP information over the phone.

mail

I’ve had the good fortune of being invited myself, or being the +1 of an invited guest for several years now. It is always a great time because the store shuts down early (or opens early!) to the general public, and they open it to invited guests with drinks and light appetizers, live music for a festive atmosphere and of course, great shopping with 10 points per dollar spent!

I believe new for 2019, is a 10 point shopping day at selected stores, for all Nordy Club members on Saturday December 7th . This is because not every store holds a holiday party.

For more information about joining the Nordy Club, click here.

Hope you enjoy this year’s party! Happy Shopping!

Favorite Anniversary Sale Look Book Items!

As you know, every year Nordstrom is only able to put a fraction of their Anniversary Sale items into their catalog. I have your exclusive first look at a ton of items that will be part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale but were not featured in the catalog!

 

MCM Small Leather & Visetos Canvas Backpack
MCM Small Leather & Visetos Canvas Backpack

MCM Wilder Visetos Faux Leather Shopper
MCM Wilder Visetos Faux Leather Shopper

MCM Sarah Leather & Visetos Canvas Hobo
MCM Sarah Leather & Visetos Canvas Hobo

MCM Corina Leather & Visetos Canvas Foldover Crossbody Bag
MCM Corina Leather & Visetos Canvas Foldover Crossbody Bag

Longchamp Le Pliage Cuir Leather Tote (Nordstrom Exclusive)
Longchamp Le Pliage Cuir Leather Tote (Nordstrom Exclusive)

Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Tote (Nordstrom Exclusive)
Longchamp Le Pliage Expandable Tote (Nordstrom Exclusive)

Snake Embossed Leather Shopper, Main, color, BLACK Camden Snake Embossed Leather Shopper
rag & bone Black Camden Snake Embossed Leather Shopper

rag & bone Walker Convertible Suede & Leather Tote
rag & bone Walker Convertible Suede & Leather Tote

rag & bone Walker Leather Crossbody Bag
rag & bone Walker Leather Crossbody Bag