Bumblejax Vs Bay Photo Acrylic Prints
Why Choose Bumblejax Over Bay Photo For Your Acrylic Prints?
Bay Photo is a quality print lab that has a good reputation and has been around for many years. We have even referred customers to them in certain situations where we can't provide a certain product. That said, we have a lot of customers that come to us asking why they should go with us vs Bay Photo. There are so many options out there and it can be tough to find the right fit for what you need so we thought we'd write up a comparison post to help explain some of the differences and why we feel our acrylic prints are a better option in many cases.
Here is a quick look at a comparison between Bay Photo acrylic prints and our acrylic prints. We'll go into each one in detail below to give you a better idea of which company is the best choice for you.
|Superior Face Mount Method?|
|Fast Wire Hanging?||YES||NO|
|Made In House?||NO|
|Production Time||5-7 business days||8 business days|
|Rush Orders?||Yes (15-25% extra)||Yes (50-100% extra)|
|Drop Shipping/Rebranding||Yes (no extra charge)||Yes (small extra charge) *|
|Intelligent Order Configuration?||NO|
|Prompt & Expert Support||?|
|Product Price||Depends on size and discounting.|
|Shipping Price||10% of product price *||11% of product price|
|Reviews||4.9 (2000+)||4.5 (1400+)|
While Bay Photo also offers the superior face mounted acrylic print with a dibond backer, there are some differences that may matter to some customers. If you know very little about acrylic prints and how they are made we'd highly suggest having a look at our acrylic prints buyers guide because there are many ways (often times cheap) to make these with an increasing number of companies using the direct to acrylic print method and outsourcing to China and India. With these direct to acrylic products, there can be big question marks in terms of color accuracy and longevity.
Custom Sizes. We can do any custom size down to the 1/4" all the way up to a massive 96x48". While Bay Photo offers quite a few sizes to choose from you're limited with a set of about 50 sizes. We can do any odd size and our configuration system automates the process of determining max size, the aspect ratio and the dimension of the other side to maintain the full image without cropping.
Custom Options. Since we're a smaller print lab we can work directly with the customer and our suppliers to come up with custom solutions. We have everything from our acrylic designer series product with colored acrylic backing to the Trulife premium acrylic to thick 1/2" acrylic (1" blocks too!). You can see more details on all our custom acrylic options here. Bay Photo offers some limited custom options such as non-glare acrylic and standoff bolts hanging.
Superior Face Mount Method. We both use a process similar to the European diasec method (called face mounting) where your photo is printed to professional photo paper and adhered to the acrylic using an optically clear adhesive which provides the greatest vibrancy, color accuracy, and permanence. You look through the acrylic at your photo which is backed by dibond for protection and rigidity. Acrylic has unique properties in that light refracts within the acrylic instead of simply passing through as it does with glass. That gives it its amazing vibrancy.
Quality Backer. A dibond backing material adhered to the print using a pH neutral adhesive protects the print and keeps the acrylic rigid over time since it can have a tendency to bow particularly at larger sizes. Both companies provide the superior dibond backer although Bay Photo does offer a paper backing option which should only be used with the standoff bolts hanging. Some companies save on cost by using a sintra backer but it's not as good as the dibond in keeping the acrylic from bowing over time.
Fast Wire Hanging. Unique to Bumblejax, we offer a quick, no tools required hanging system and even include the hook for you. A few seconds and you're done. Most companies including Bay Photo provide only the french cleat or standoff bolt hanging system which require a fair amount more work. We do provide both these options as well but most people opt for our wood/wire hanging system for sizes 40x30" and below. For larger sizes the french cleat or standoff bolt hanging options are required.
Made In-House? Bumblejax produces everything in-house right down to the cutting of the acrylic which provides for better quality control and the ability to offer more custom solutions and sizes. Bay Photo outsources their acrylic prints which can make it more difficult to control quality and answer specific customer questions about their print. We can understand why a company would want to outsource the difficult face mounting process but it does have significant disadvantages.
Production Time. We're a bit faster in producing our acrylic prints with standard sizes produced in 5 business days or less and custom sizes produced in 7-8 business days or less. We have rush options too - see below. Very large orders can take longer and we discuss that with you. In 10 years in business, we have never missed a deadline or had a print late for Christmas (unless it was an issue on the end of the shipper which is extremely rare). Those production times are also just about guaranteed and if a customer needs us to push it out a day or two faster we almost always accommodate them at no extra charge particularly if they are a repeat customer.
Rush Orders. If you need your print(s) faster we have a rush production option which gets your order out in 24 - 48 hours for 25% more for non-resellers and just 15% for resellers. Those are the lowest rush order charges in the industry that we're aware of. We also have expedited shipping options to speed it up on that end as well. Bay Photo also has a rush production charge for their acrylic prints but it's a whopping 50% more to get it out in 4 business days (vs the 8) and 100% more to get it out in 2 business days. We understand that many of our photographer/reseller customers have tight deadlines but can't give all their profit away in rush charges so keep those expedited charges as low as we can.
Drop Shipping/Rebranding. We both offer drop shipping by simply adding your separate shipping address at checkout. For a buck, Bay Photo will white label it and not brand the box or send an invoice. Our shipments never include branding by default. We can also go the extra mile for you and add in a note, a COA, add a label to the back of the print, etc. Just give us a shout.
Intelligent Order Configuration? We've been building and refining our customer upload and order configuration system for nearly a decade now. With automatic detection of photo quality and size ratio along with the ability to order any custom size, it's one of the best and easiest to use in the industry... as long as you're not using an Internet Explorer browser (in which case it may or may not work!) It has been tested thoroughly in FireFox, Chrome and Safari and mobile optimized as well.
Prompt & Expert Support? If you want to place an order with us you'll receive fast support from experts who know print inside and out and can review your photo with you in real time over live chat or phone (email if you prefer). Our support agents have been with the company since day 1. We'll even make small edits and adjustments at no charge to make sure your photo print is the best it can be. For large orders, you will almost always work with the same person throughout for continuity. We have no knowledge of how good Bay Photo support is but in larger companies it can be more difficult to get expert support each and every time.
Product Price. Price really depends on the product and discounts available. We have a first order discount of 20% or 50% (up to $200 off) depending on whether you're a reseller or not. We also have a permanent discount of 10-17% depending on the amount of business you have done with us and whether you're a reseller or not. We can also go higher for larger single orders. It's not clear what kind of discounting Bay Photo provides outside of their 25% off first order discount but I'd imagine they'd provide discounting on larger orders if you contact them.
Shipping Price. Our pricing is very similar for up to 40x30 in size. We're at 10% of the product price and Bay Photo is at 11%. Bay Photo does offer that 11% of the product price for large sizes too which is cheaper than what we currently provide. Our shipping prices begin to jump over 40x30" particularly when you get up over about 55" which requires us to build a custom wood crate.
Reviews. This is a big one and should be one of the most important factors when deciding on a print lab to create your prints. Bay Photo is strong here with a 4.5/5 rating across 1400+ reviews with most of the reviews on Facebook which is a reliable source. That's darn good for a large company like Bay Photo. As a smaller company we can probably take care of issues faster and implement customer suggestions without a long review process. Just having a small dedicated support team that has been around from Day 1 helps us as well and is a big reason why we have the highest customer satisfaction rating in the industry at 4.9/5 across 2000+ reviews at Ekomi, Google, Facebook, Yelp and Trustpilot. Yes, we read every single review that comes in and yes we have a 100% happy guarantee.
Hopefully, this report has provided you with the necessary details to understand the differences between us and Bay Photo and make an informed decision. We hope to have the opportunity to make you an acrylic print one day!
PS. Be sure to check out our first order discount promos at the bottom left of the page.