So, do you buy these from Dwayne's?
Also, check out Samy's Santa Barbara: http://www.samys805.com/film-processing/
If you are mailing your film off anyhow, why not do it for cheaper? They use the same dip-n-dunk processors that A and I in L.A. uses, and they charge only $5.25 per roll of 120, and $8.50 for 220 (color transparency pricing). If you shoot 220, you get twice as many frames processed for the same price as the Fuji mailers.
Apparently, it is even better than I thought. They have some reduced prices for mail-order E-6 customers. It is $5 a roll regardless of format. http://www.samys805.com/e6-process-mail-order/
Have you ever used a prepaid mailer? It's not about cost, it's about convenience. But Samy's isn't really cheaper when you factor the return shipping in (something that's included with the prepaid mailer.)
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
Next month, I'll be travelling quite a bit. I don't really want to carry several order forms with me, have to fill them out, and enclose with each envelope, plus carry mailing supplies on top of that. With a prepaid mailer you just enclose an address slip (provided as part of the mailer), and you're done.
I also won't be consistently reachable by phone, which means if there's any sort of payment issue, it could hold up an order.
Much easier just to carry the envelopes which themselves are the method of payment, and drop them in blue boxes as I go, and my slides will be waiting for me at home when I return.
Note that one of the things that's prepaid is the return shipping. Samy's may process for $5 a roll, but they're also going to charge return shipping, and even if it's just, say, $1.50 USPS first class... we're into mailer price territory. Factor in my time spent filling out forms (and carrying them with me) and it's a wash.
If you're mailing off several rolls at once from one place, it doesn't make sense to use prepaid mailers.
But if you're traveling the US and stopping in many, many places, maybe shooting one roll each, the prepaid mailers make a lot of sense. Just drop them in a blue box and continue on to your next stop.
If they make sense for you, then use them! I wasn't telling you do do otherwise.
But I have to disagree with the point that Samy's processing and shipping takes costs up to the $10.50 cost per roll that you named for using the mailers. And of course you would be mailing in batches at a time. It would not make sense otherwise.
...and yes, I have used mailers. In fact, I asked twice in this thread where to get them, because, as you said, they may be useful in certain situations.
Adorama and Unique, that I've seen so far, as I mentioned above. B&H should have them in stock again at some point.
Originally Posted by 2F/2F
As for the math: Whoa, hold on there. The $10.50 estimate I gave was worst case (Adorama pricing)
$5 plus return shipping of say, $2 (assuming first class.) We're at $7.
You're still out the shipping /to/ Samys, which is the same assuming you use a small envelope and keep it under 2 ounces with the order form (tight, but doable.)
That brings you to around $8.50 for a single roll.
Unique is asking...$7.86 per mailer. I'm not going to worry about shipping, since I assume you're buying well in advance and stocking up on some film while it's still available (like, say, EPP, or T64, or some other discontinued film.)
$7.86 + $1.39 == $9.25
It's a bit higher if you're ordering them from Adorama, but I think the point is that it's not really that much more expensive provided you're at low volumes.
In this case, given volume, I'm better off using the prepaid mailers, than pestering hotel staff for packaging material and finding somewhere to ship it.
Much easier to drop single rolls in an envelope and in a box. In bulk, of course, it doesn't make any sense. In this particular scenario, not having to deal with forms, packaging material, or shipping things while traveling is well worth the extra $1 or so.
The way I see it, mailers are ideal for traveling. However, if I didn't have an E-6 lab close by, I'd send my E-6 to Samy's, just based on the fact that the price is comparable, and they use dip-and-dunk, as opposed to roller transport.