Zazzle Vs. Shutterfly: Which Photo Printing Service Is Best?

Online photo printing services like Zazzle and Shutterfly have made it easier than ever to create customized photo gifts, cards, invitations, and more.

But with so many options to choose from, how do you know which service is right for your needs?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the pros and cons of Zazzle and Shutterfly to help you decide which platform best fits your budget, quality standards, and project goals.

A Brief Comparison Table

Product SelectionHuge variety – cards, apparel, home goods, cases, décor, office supplies, invitations, etc.More limited – focus on photo books, wall art, photo gifts
Design and CustomizationRobust editing tools, many fonts and templates to choose fromLimited editing, beautiful templates
Print QualityVaries, some items spectacular while others just okConsistently excellent photo printing
PricingAffordable everyday low pricesHigher regular prices but frequent 50% off sales
Order MinimumsCan order 1 itemHigher minimums on some products
Shipping Time5-7 business day turnaroundFaster 1–3-day turnaround
Recommended ForInvitations, cards, niche gifts, business marketing materialsPhoto books, wall art, photo gifts, calendars

Overview Of Zazzle

Founded in 2005, Zazzle is an online marketplace for customizable products like photo cards, mugs, t-shirts, and more. The key advantage of Zazzle is the sheer breadth of customization options – there are over 300 million designs and over 300 product types to choose from.

Some key things to know about Zazzle:


Massive product selection – Cards, invitations, calendars, photo books, mugs, shirts, masks, posters, stickers, and much more. New products are constantly being added.

Design marketplace – You can buy premade designs from independent designers or create your own from scratch using Zazzle’s templates and design tools.

Made to order – Products are printed on-demand after you place an order. This means you don’t have to order inventory in bulk.

User-friendly editor – Zazzle’s editor makes it easy to customize templates by uploading photos, choosing fonts and colors, and adding text.

Reasonable turnaround – Standard production time is 1-5 business days. Rush production is available for an extra fee.

Prices – Pricing depends on the product, size, and customization options chosen. Expect to pay $1-$3 for basic cards and upwards of $30+ for some apparel and gift items.

Overview Of Shutterfly

Founded in 1999, Shutterfly pioneered the digital photo printing space. They are best known for photo books, cards, calendars, and photo gifts. Some key things to know:


Photo-centric products – The focus is squarely on printed photos. Photo books, wall art, cards, calendars, pillows, blankets, and home decor with photos printed on them.

Simple editor – Shutterfly’s editor is easy to use but has fewer customization options compared to Zazzle. Font choices are limited.

Styles and themes – Choose from Shutterfly’s extensive collection of premade templates and themes for different occasions.

Mobile apps – Helpful apps make it easy to create and order on your phone or tablet.

Membership discounts – Joining Shutterfly’s free membership program unlocks special offers and discounts. Discounts often range from 25-50% off.

Industry leader – Over 10 million customers trust Shutterfly for the photo printing needs. The company produces over 30 million photo products per year.

Prices – Expect to pay $0.29 – $0.79 for basic 4×6 photo prints. Cards start around $1. Photo books range from $20-$80 typically.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s directly compare some of the key factors you should consider when choosing a service.

Key Feature Comparison Between Zazzle And Shutterfly

Product Selection

  • Zazzle wins for overall variety – With over 300 product types, Zazzle offers far more options. You’ll find unique items like smartphone cases, luggage tags, puzzles, skateboards, and much more.
  • Shutterfly dominates photo printing – For printed photos, photo books, wall art, and photo-centric gifts like blankets, Shutterfly can’t be beat. Their selection focuses on quality prints rather than novelty products.

Also Read: Comparison Between Vistaprint And GotPrint.

Design and Customization

  • Zazzle has better customization – Zazzle’s editor gives you more control over fonts, colors, and layouts. You can tweak a wider range of design elements.
  • Shutterfly offers beautiful templates – For cards and photo books, Shutterfly’s templates ensure gorgeous results without much effort. Less customization but still impressive.
  • Zazzle has more design styles – Into minimalist, boho chic, or preppy nautical? Zazzle likely has templates for you. Their marketplace has an enormous style selection.
  • Shutterfly better for beginners – With fewer choices to make, Shutterfly’s editor is simpler for novices to create beautiful projects quickly.

Print Quality

  • **Shutterfly offers premium photo printing ** – When you want the highest photo print quality, especially for photo books, Shutterfly is hard to match. Vibrant, true-to-life color reproduction.
  • Zazzle quality varies – Since designs come from many different creators, print quality can be hit or miss. Read reviews to buy from top sellers only.
  • Both use professional labs – Products are printed at major labs like Fuji and Loxley. Overall quality from both services is quite good.

Pricing and Sales

  • Zazzle has everyday low prices – Zazzle’s base prices tend to be more affordable. Bulk discounts can also save up to 50% or more.
  • Shutterfly runs frequent big sales – Ongoing promos and sales help offset Shutterfly’s higher regular prices. Discounts often reach 50% off or more.
  • Watch for Zazzle coupons too – Zazzle also has coupons and promo codes, especially around the holidays. Sign up for their emails.
  • Budget shoppers: Zazzle – If you want the lowest base prices, shop Zazzle. Shutterfly rewards those who can wait for sitewide sales.

Ordering and Delivery

  • Zazzle ships a bit slower – Allow 5-7 business days for your Zazzle order. Rush fees needed for faster delivery.
  • Shutterfly ships faster – Most Shutterfly orders ship in 1-2 days. 3-day service is standard. 2-day and next day available for fees.
  • Both easy to order from – Zazzle and Shutterfly make online ordering a breeze with smooth website and app experiences.
  • Zazzle allows tiny quantities – Order just one mug or one t-shirt at Zazzle. Shutterfly has higher minimums, like 25 photo prints.
  • Zazzle offers wider shipping – Zazzle ships products worldwide. Shutterfly primarily ships within the United States and Canada.

Also Read: Comparison Between Mpix And Bay Photo.


With the key differences covered, which site should you choose for your next photo printing project?

For photo books, wall art, and photo gifts, choose Shutterfly. Their focus is all about turning photos into high quality printed keepsakes. Easy templates produce stunning results. Frequent sales help deal with higher base prices.

For cards, invitations, and specialty gifts, choose Zazzle. The extreme variety of products and designs makes Zazzle the best choice for holidays, weddings, and unique gift ideas. Affordable prices and bulk discounts help you save.

For photo mugs, magnets, and calendars, either works! Both Zazzle and Shutterfly allow you to create custom photo products that make memorable gifts. Shop sales and compare prices.

For business marketing materials, go Zazzle. Want swag with your company logo? For one-off runs of promotional products, from pens to polos, Zazzle is the winner.

For simplicity, pick Shutterfly. With fewer design decisions and intuitive templates, first-timers find Shutterfly easier to navigate. Zazzle offers more options which also means more complexity.

The best option comes down to your specific printing needs. Evaluate the styles, prices, and selection to see which service best lines up with your upcoming projects. Both companies produce quality products that turn photos into customized keepsakes.

Also watch this video about Zazzle!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is VistaPrint cheaper than Zazzle?

VistaPrint is cheaper than Zazzle for basic business printing like flyers, postcards, and brochures. But Zazzle has lower prices for most consumer photo printing like holiday cards.

Which is better – VistaPrint or Shutterfly?

For business materials, VistaPrint is better and more affordable. But Shutterfly offers superior photo printing and customization for consumer projects like photo books and personalized holiday gifts.

Is Zazzle a good website for wedding invitations?

Yes, Zazzle is an excellent option for wedding invites. You can choose from thousands of designs or easily customize your own. Affordable pricing and fast turnaround make Zazzle a top pick.

Is Zazzle affordable?

Especially compared to boutique stationery stores, Zazzle’s prices for invitations, cards, and photo gifts are quite affordable. Frequent coupons and bulk order discounts also help keep costs low. While not the absolute cheapest supplier, Zazzle provides value.

Also Read: Comparison Between PhotoAffections And Shutterfly.

The Final Takeaway

Zazzle and Shutterfly both enable you to turn your photos into customs gifts, apparel, and keepsakes. Decide whether you prefer Zazzle’s massive variety and design control or Shutterfly’s polished templates and superior photo printing. Either way, your photos can become high quality printed products to cherish for years to come.

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