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  1. #1

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    Wal-Mart and no negatives.

    I'm going to post this in both this forum and the MF forum because it will affect both groups. I was in our new Wal-Mart Super Center today and walked by the place you drop off film. It said, NO NEGATIVES RETURNED. I asked the gal at the counter about that and she said that shortly after the store opened, (about a month ago) they now send the film off to be developed and they (the lab) emails the pictures back to the store and the store prints your pictures and burns a CD. Your negatives are TOSSED. I asked about slides and she thought that slides were returned. So now your negatives that will last many years if properly cared for will be replaced by a CD that if scratched will make a good frissbe. Needless to say, Wal-Mart will not be developing my film any more.

  2. #2
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    No Volume

    The big box stores are all about low prices and huge volume. If there is no volume, there is no profit. My Wal-Mart no longer develops film at the store, it is all mailed out. I wasn't aware that the negatives no longer returned but it does make a twisted kind of sense. Snapfish also went off-line a month or so ago. Though they only handled C-41 35mm processing it was still an available route for people to get their films processed.

    There could be some business opportunities here for people living in mid-sized cities to open up a small, Mom & Pop, film developing store. I don't know but as the inexpensive, big box retailers take themselves out of the picture a small operation with low overhead may be able to make a go of it. How much does a Frontier, or whatever they're called, cost? I may have to look into this.

  3. #3
    ambaker's Avatar
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    Walmart here, still returns negatives. 35mm C-41 is all that is processed locally. 120 film is sent to Fuji for processing. Prices are reasonable. Turnaround for 120/220 is about two weeks.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ambaker View Post
    Walmart here, still returns negatives. 35mm C-41 is all that is processed locally. 120 film is sent to Fuji for processing. Prices are reasonable. Turnaround for 120/220 is about two weeks.
    In the UK a store called Asda (owned by Walmart) during the week processes my 35mm roll of C41 film and burns to a CD plus a thumbnail index while you shop in 30-40mins.

  5. #5

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    The Wal-Marts in my area are about $10 to develop and print a roll of 24 color prints with their send-out service. That works out to 41 cents/print. They don't give a price for 36.

    Dwayne's Photo charges $5.50 + $4.50 S/H for a single roll of 24 color prints. That's also $10, which works out to 41 cents/print, not counting your cost in mailing it to them, which should be about $1.30 at today's postage rates. So counting postage you'd be paying 47 cents/print to have a real lab do your photos and have them conveniently delivered to your mailbox instead of having to drive to the store to pick them up. The cost for 36 exp. from Dwaynes (including S/H, and posting it to them @ $1.30) is $12.79, which works out to 35 cents/print.

    I have no idea what Wal-Mart charges for B&W processing, but Dwayne's prices for 24 exp. is $7.95, and for 36 exp. is $9.99. Add in S/H and your cost to mail it to them, and it works out to 57 cents/print for 24, or 43 cents/print for 36.

    Slide film is a whole other ball of wax. I've been paying $6.88/roll of 36 at Wal-Mart. This works out to 19 cents/slide. Using the pre-paid Fuji mailers (which go to Dwayne's) will cost me 9.79 including postage, which works out to 27 cents/slide. If I mail directly to Dwayne's, it costs me $14.75 for a roll of 36, which works out to 40 cents/slide.

    S&H is cheaper per roll at Dwaynes if you send in multiple rolls.

    Looks like I should get me some of the Fuji prepaid mailers for my slides. My other option is the pro lab which wants $14, is 30 miles away, and still takes 2 weeks to get the slides back because they send them out!
    ME Super

    Shoot more film.
    There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.

  6. #6
    snegron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    The big box stores are all about low prices and huge volume. If there is no volume, there is no profit. My Wal-Mart no longer develops film at the store, it is all mailed out. I wasn't aware that the negatives no longer returned but it does make a twisted kind of sense. Snapfish also went off-line a month or so ago. Though they only handled C-41 35mm processing it was still an available route for people to get their films processed.

    There could be some business opportunities here for people living in mid-sized cities to open up a small, Mom & Pop, film developing store. I don't know but as the inexpensive, big box retailers take themselves out of the picture a small operation with low overhead may be able to make a go of it. How much does a Frontier, or whatever they're called, cost? I may have to look into this.
    The thought of opening up a small lab has crossed my mind several times. The problems I came up with were mainly two:

    - High chance of companies stopping manufacture of film and/or paper in the near future (paper for film is more expensive than printer paper) could put me out of business.
    - Volume of sales would not be enough to pay for overhead (rent, electric bill, water bill, insurance bill, taxes, etc.). I would have to rely on mail order business to make ends meet.

    My suggestion is that when we find a local Mom & Pop lab, support it as much as possible by sending your film to them plus recommending them to others to keep them in business.

  7. #7
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snegron View Post

    My suggestion is that when we find a local Mom & Pop lab, support it as much as possible by sending your film to them plus recommending them to others to keep them in business.
    And if you really want to get into the business, find out if the Mom and Pop lab owners want to expand/take on a partner/need an investor!
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Trexell View Post
    I'm going to post this in both this forum and the MF forum because it will affect both groups. I was in our new Wal-Mart Super Center today and walked by the place you drop off film. It said, NO NEGATIVES RETURNED. I asked the gal at the counter about that and she said that shortly after the store opened, (about a month ago) they now send the film off to be developed and they (the lab) emails the pictures back to the store and the store prints your pictures and burns a CD. Your negatives are TOSSED. I asked about slides and she thought that slides were returned. So now your negatives that will last many years if properly cared for will be replaced by a CD that if scratched will make a good frissbe. Needless to say, Wal-Mart will not be developing my film any more.
    Yep. One more reason to boycott wallyworld. Their business model is catering to the sheeple and droolers, while screwing their employees. They've never got one single cent of my money, and never will.
    Last edited by E. von Hoegh; 07-23-2012 at 09:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    That really sucks they toss your negatives. I only had my 120 film processed there once. I wrote 'negatives only' on the envelope so they sent me the negatives. I was charged $0.87 for developing one roll of C-41 120 film . The only downside is that I had to wait three weeks. Since then I just develop my own 120 film at home.

    Sometimes I get lazy and take my 35mm to my local CVS. I tell them I want the negatives only and to please leave them uncut. It usually costs me about $1.50/roll there. Sometimes the kid at the couner even hooks me up for free haha.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by tron_ View Post
    That really sucks they toss your negatives. I only had my 120 film processed there once. I wrote 'negatives only' on the envelope so they sent me the negatives. I was charged $0.87 for developing one roll of C-41 120 film . The only downside is that I had to wait three weeks. Since then I just develop my own 120 film at home.

    Sometimes I get lazy and take my 35mm to my local CVS. I tell them I want the negatives only and to please leave them uncut. It usually costs me about $1.50/roll there. Sometimes the kid at the couner even hooks me up for free haha.
    I have my C41 35mm done at the local Rite-Aid. They do an excellent job, and the 3x5 prints are OK. The larger prints are just awful, so I have the roll returned as a strip.

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