Thursday, April 27, 2006

2 x 2 = $2.70

Visa photos are overpriced.

A photograph that meets international passport and visa standards -- 2" x 2", full color, on photographic paper, full face, no glasses or hats -- costs between $2.75 and $3.00 per photo here in Los Angeles.

Kinkos had the best combination of price and convenience, at $2.70 per photo, before tax. A few places near LAX had slightly lower prices, but getting to and from El Segundo is a pain. Price breaks for larger orders were slim, probably because few people ask for 10 to 20 photos at a time.

I find it hard to believe that the investment in paper and employee time, plus the amortized cost of the cameras and printers, is more than 50 cents per photo. My guess is that the photo stores know that the average consumer of passport and visas photos is in a time crunch and isn't going to object to a few extra dollars to satisfy a bureaucratic necessity.


Blogger Steamboat Lion said...

You're ignoring opportunity cost. In retail you need your floor space to earn the best possible revenue. If photo shops made less on passport photos, they would have a strong incentive to use the space for something else.

12:52 PM  

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