Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Why are Passport photos so expensive?

Why are Passport photos so expensive?

Old Nov 2, 15, 11:32 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 274
Why are Passport photos so expensive?

Title says it all - they average like $12-$15 for 2 photos at a typical drugstore. ...?
sedubby is offline  
Old Nov 2, 15, 11:36 pm
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 90,443
IIRC AAA is slightly cheaper, with additional discounts based on AAA memberships.

Some AAA members are entitled to one free set of passport photos every year.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Nov 2, 15, 11:38 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: West Coast, USA
Programs: Skywards Platinum
Posts: 3,743
Originally Posted by sedubby View Post
Title says it all - they average like $12-$15 for 2 photos at a typical drugstore. ...?
Low volume means higher price. If they sold 100's a day there would be more people doing it which would lower the cost. When maybe 1-5, if that, are done per day there is minimal price competition that the store would care about.

My guess is the store offers it as a service to get people in the store and hardly looks at it as a revenue generator.
whimike is offline  
Old Nov 2, 15, 11:39 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Programs: HH Diamond, IHG Plat, GHA Black
Posts: 1,870
Originally Posted by sedubby View Post
Title says it all - they average like $12-$15 for 2 photos at a typical drugstore. ...?
I take and print my own photos, using an entry-level canon inkjet printer.
shuigao is offline  
Old Nov 2, 15, 11:43 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,361
A 4x6 photo print is $0.39 or thereabouts. I take my own headshot and print six 2x2s on one sheet which I cut using grade school scissors.
davie355 is offline  
Old Nov 2, 15, 11:45 pm
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 90,443
I'd rather have the experts do my passport photos so that I'm sure they comply with requirements for passports and visas. I'd rather pay $10 extra than risk having the application returned to me because the photos don't meet the standards.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Nov 2, 15, 11:59 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4,361
The standards are simple and the experts in question are drugstore employees with a pocket digital camera. US Department of State explicitly allows non-professionally taken photos.
davie355 is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 12:10 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 539
You get 4 for $6 at Costco. Ready in 15 mins.
Merlinrnr is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 12:23 am
  #9  
TA
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: if it's Thursday, this must be Belgium
Programs: UA 1K MM
Posts: 6,210
All you have to do is take your own headshot with a camera and arrange it in 3x2 matrix on a 4x6 sheet, and print online at Walmart or Walgreens, etc. $0.35.

There are even webpages online which will help you create the 3x2. Just search, people.
TA is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 12:54 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Programs: AS 75K, UA MM, AA MM, IC Plat Amb, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,071
The last time I needed passport photos, the machine at the Walgreens next door was broken, so I went to epassportphoto.com and printed my own -- and I printed enough to last until my looks go to pot. No more $8 passport photos for me!
mikew99 is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 1:58 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: London
Programs: US Gold
Posts: 611
They seem cheap to me because it *used* to be so much more difficult and expensive to get them done. Twenty years ago, you had to find a photographer who was set up to do it. Now, you can get them done almost anywhere.

wg
wendyg is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 2:28 am
  #12  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 8,460
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I'd rather have the experts do my passport photos so that I'm sure they comply with requirements for passports and visas. I'd rather pay $10 extra than risk having the application returned to me because the photos don't meet the standards.
high school dropouts working for min wage are experts to you?
TMM1982 is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 2:54 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Programs: AA Executive Platinum, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by TMM1982 View Post
high school dropouts working for min wage are experts to you?
Lol
levistrauss is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 3:01 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Bangkok or San Francisco
Programs: United 1k, Marriott Lifetime PE, Former DL Gold, Former SQ Solitaire, HH Gold
Posts: 11,881
Originally Posted by sedubby View Post
Title says it all - they average like $12-$15 for 2 photos at a typical drugstore. ...?
Pretty much the same reason that everything else is expensive or cheap. Market. You went in. They quoted you $15. You paid it. If no one pays that, the price goes down. As long as people are paying that price, no reason for them to charge less.
Tchiowa is offline  
Old Nov 3, 15, 3:57 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: 60137
Posts: 10,467
Taking/printing selfies is expensive?
sonofzeus is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: