Chris Lydle of Chris' Camera Center in Aiken, SC, said that offering the shoebox scans in the store, as well as through an online marketing campaign on the store's website, has attracted orders from all over the country. "We've gotten orders online from California, Texas, Maryland, and New York City," he said. "And we're not the least expensive. In fact, we are consistently raising the prices." Just one of his scanning customer's orders has paid for his investment.
Lydle said his orders are mostly from regular customers wanting to save old photos for future generations, or to update more current snapshots to today's technology. "This is a service that no one is offering around here," he said. Add-ons include calendars, slideshow DVDs, photobooks, and gift certificates.
"One customer bought 160 gift certificates for photobooks for his employees," said Lydle. "We've gotten to an era where we're able to accept any kind of photographic product a customer brings us, whether from memory cards, cellphones, glass plates, prints, or rolls of film-and convert it to whatever they want, promptly and properly."
Dennis Hutson, Kodak's business development manager of document imaging, suggests that dealers who aren't investing in these scanning devices are just missing the boat. "Retailers are tapping into a huge market (5 trillion-plus) of photos currently residing in shoeboxes, stored in attics, basements, or garages," Hutson said. "Digitizing [old] photographs allows people to share them with others and multipurpose them in a variety of ways in today's world."