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Bumblejax Vs Costco Acrylic Prints

IMPORTANT: Costco is no longer offering acrylic prints and have pushed all their customers over to Shutterfly.  Please be sure to read our comparison article of Shutterfly if you're considering a Shutterfly acrylic print!

Why Choose Bumblejax Over Costco® For Your Acrylic Prints?

Here is a quick look at a comparison between Costco® 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.  If you're ready to get your art started with us, our acrylic prints product page is here.

Company Bumblejax Costco ®
Custom Sizes?
Superior Face Mount Method?
Quality Backer?
Made In House?
Intelligent Order Configuration?
Prompt & Expert Support


Let us start off by saying we love Costco® and the company is headquartered here in WA state.  The prices are very good on a huge range of different products including print products and they have a generous return policy.  They just started offering the acrylic prints not long ago so we are increasingly getting questions along the lines of "why should I use you guys for my art instead of my local Costco®.. you are quite a bit more money."  It's tough being a small business focused on handcrafted quality and having to answer questions on the differences, but it's a fact of life in today's world.  We thought it would be good to write up a post that we can direct our customers to so they can make an informed decision.

The simple answer is you get what you pay for and this is particularly true in this industry as more and more companies are machine making acrylic prints and sometimes outsourcing to other companies in the USA and even in India & China.  We're not sure who makes Costco® acrylic prints, but it's safe to say they likely aren't taking this on themselves.  It's difficult enough to control quality in a smaller photo lab let alone a big outsourced operation.  If price is the absolute most important thing to you then Costco© can be a good choice.  We're more focused on the higher end of the market where half of our customers are very discerning professional photographers.

Let's get into the differences of how our acrylic prints are made so you can make an informed decision and for a more detailed guide on what to look for when buying an acrylic print please see our guide here.

Custom Sizes.  We can do any custom size down to the 1/4"  all the way up to a massive 96x48".   Costco® has just six sizes with the largest at 36x24.  If your photo doesn't match any of these sizes you'll be forced to crop the photo.  We also offer various thickness of acrylic including 1/8", 1/4", 1/2" and 1".  Costco® provides the 1/4" acrylic.

Superior Face Mount Method.  We use a process similar to the European diasec method where your photo is printed to pro grade photo paper and adhered to the acrylic which provides the greatest vibrancy, color accuracy, and permanence.  Most of the big companies including Costco® print directly to the acrylic which allows them to produce mass quantities quickly by machine and sell for far cheaper.  Printing to photo paper and face mounting to acrylic can provide for a more accurate color gamut and permanence.

Quality Backer.  A backing material is provided to protect the print and keep the acrylic rigid over time since it can have a tendency to bow particularly at larger sizes.  This isn't as critical when printing directly and using 1/4" acrylic, but still provides an extra lower of protection from bowing.  We use a 1/8" dibond backer while Costco® uses a layer of white ink.

Made In House?  Quality control and customer support are really important aspects of what we do and we control this process well by doing everything in house from the time you contact us to order completion.  It would be impossible for a large company to provide the same level of prompt, expert support.  We often times provide consulting on product selection, color enhancements and contact you if there are any questions or concerns.

Intelligent Order Configuration?  We've been building and refining our customer upload and order configuration process 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 systems in the industry.

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.  We'll even make small edits and adjustments at no charge to make sure your photo print is the best it can be.

Price.  No doubt Costco® has us beat here by a wide margin.  Again, if price alone is most important to you, we're not a good fit and Costco® may provide a nice affordable option for you in your local town.  Our products are considered gallery quality and meet the standards of the finest galleries in the world.  The mass produced, machine made art is geared more towards the consumer market looking for the best price.

Are You A Reseller?  If so it's really important to work with a professional photo lab that understands color, critical deadlines, expert support, etc.  The product you send to a customer is a reflection of you and if something goes wrong it's important to get it fixed right way.  This is what we provide and more.  We can blind drop and even add customized labeling for your orders.  You can see all that we offer for resellers here.

Hopefully, this report has provided you with the necessary details to understand the differences in acrylic prints and make an informed decision.  Again, we'd highly recommend reviewing our detailed acrylic prints buyers guide as well.  If you have any questions at all give us a shout!  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.

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