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iMemories vs. Costco Comparison Guide 2021

Last Updated:
7 min read

I remember growing up in an era when it took planning and expensive equipment to record life's special moments. No matter if it was my sister's kindergarten graduation or my first play, my parents were in the crowd capturing the memory on the Panasonic VHS camcorder.

Nowadays, it's getting harder to share these memories with the next generation in our family, as it is nearly impossible to find functional equipment to play the VHS tapes with. In this situation, the easiest solution is to take these old VHS tapes and ship them off to a digitizing service to have these memories transferred into an easy-to-share format. Both iMemories and Costco have spent years helping people digitize their old media into modern digital formats.

Name
iMemories
Editors choice
Costco
Product image
imemories
iMemories vs Costco
Where to buy
Official websiteOfficial website
Videotape conversion
VHS, VHS-C, Betamax, 8mm, Hi8, Video8, Digital8, MiniDV, MicroMini
VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C, Betamax, Video8, Hi8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC
Film conversion
8mm, Super 8, 16mm
16mm, 8mm, Super 8,
Photo conversion
Photo prints, slides, negatives
Photos 2″ x 2″ up to 8″ x 12″. We cannot accept sheets or albums
Audio conversion
NoNo
DVD conversion
DVDs, MiniDVD
DVDs
Price
Videotapes = $11.99 per tape
Movie films = $11.99 per 50ft.
Photos = $0.47 per photo
Videotapes = $19.99 per tape
Movie films = $19.99 per 150ft.
Photos = $0.32 per photo
Originals return
Yes
Yes
Trustpilot score
iOS and Android App
Yes
No
Free image and video enhancement
Yes
Yes
Easy edit and organize
Yes
Yes
Shipping information
USA Only = Free Shipping
Excluded territories: Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Armed Forces Americas, Armed Forces Europe, Armed Forces Pacific
Contiguous USA Only = $5.99
Shipping time
3 to 5 days
5 to 7 days
How long does it take to digitize
2 to 3 weeks
3 to 4 weeks
Learn more
Read Full ReviewNo

Video Transfer through Costco

Costco is known for having nearly anything you need on its shelves in bulk and for great prices. Now you have to broaden what you think Costco can do, as they can also help you digitize your old tapes and files through its Photo Center. Costco can add this service to its vast resume by outsourcing the work to YesVideo. This business relationship gives Costco a bit more revenue while also giving YesVideo a wider reach and more clientele. 

Costco Digitization Process

The first step in getting your media digitized by Costco is to send it off in the mail with a UPS prepaid label. The digitization processing time can vary, but you can expect to wait around three to four weeks. You can track your order at any time, along with being able to verify the status of your order online. Once Costco receives your media, it will be under surveillance to ensure its security. When Costco digitizes your media, they keep a digital backup for 90 days. This helps to ensure that even if your media is lost in the mail, the memories are secure. 

Costco offers digitization services for all sorts of media like videotapes, film, photos, and slides. Costco's photo center supports a wide array of videotape formats including, VHS, S-VHS, Betamax, VHS-C, S-VHS-C, Video8, Hi-8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, and DVC. When video formats are digitized, many of them will have their resolution captured at 720p x 480p. This is higher than the resolution on most videotape formats, but the end product will look the same as the original. With Costco, you can get your digital copies through a USB stick, a DVD, or through the photo centers MemoryCloud online backup. 

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Video Digitizing through iMemories

iMemories is an online dedicated media digitization and restoration service. They started the business back in 2004 when digital media was just becoming mainstream. Over the years, they have accumulated vast wells of experience that they can draw upon to solve nearly any problem that you may come across. They have helped over one million customers, and they offer a satisfaction guarantee. 

iMemories Digitization Process

One of the biggest goals at iMemories is to make the digitization process as effortless and convenient as possible. The SafeShip Kit helps to streamline the shipping of your media, as it comes with everything you need. The kit is composed of a crush-proof box, waterproof bags, and shock-resistant bubble cushions. When you combine all of this with free shipping to iMemories through FedEx, you get industry-leading performance. 

Once you have sent your media off to iMemories, the digitization process begins. iMemories can digitize nearly every format that Costco can digitize, along with more modern formats, like DVDs and MiniDVDs. The digitization process overall also takes less time through iMemories. You can expect your media back in two to three weeks.

When you do receive your digitized media, you can get it as a digital download, a customized DVD, on an 8-GB USB, or through iMemories Cloud. You can access the iMemories Cloud through any device with the iMemories app. The app allows you to download your files at any time, which can help to save storage on your favorite devices to capture new memories with. 

visit our in-depth iMemories review to find out more about it

Comparing Costco Video Transfer to iMemories Digitizing

Both Costco and iMemories offer compelling digitization services, but how do they stack up to one another? For Costco, digitizing is just another service offered through its Photo Center, while it is the main service that iMemories is built around. This specialization is not always indicative of a superior product, but it does help differentiate the approaches of both companies.

Supported Digitizing Formats

Both companies offer an impressive list of formats that they can digitize, but one company pulls ahead due to its more modern approach. iMemories can take on all of the older tape and film formats, like Costco, but they can also digitize newer formats like DVDs.

Limited Time Offer! Save 20% on Digital Conversion Pricing with iMemories

File Storage Solutions

When it comes to storing your newly digitized media, both companies offer similar solutions. You can get your media instantly by downloading the files for free.You can wait for either company to ship out a DVD or USB thumb drive with the files. With Costco, your files are stored on their cloud for free for 90 days. iMemories charges you to keep your files on the cloud, but you can keep them there indefinitely.

Also, the iMemories cloud service comes with an app that allows you to access and share your files from anywhere. Costco may be cheaper for cloud-based storage in the short term, but iMemories offers a more premium and permanent app-based solution to file storage. 

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Shipping and Handling

Both companies allow you to send your media off to their digitization centers with a prepaid label, but iMemories also gives you an alternative shipping option. Through iMemories extensive experience, they have found that the SafeShip Kit is the best way to send your media safely.

The SafeShip Kit does not contain anything that you could not recreate on your own, but you may not save that much money, and it is a convenient option to have. 

When you ship your media off to iMemories, you have the assurance that they have done over one million orders and have never lost a "memory" at their facility. On the contrary, when you ship your media off to Costco, you are actually shipping it to another service called YesVideo.

YesVideo has a decent track record and they do offer 24-hour surveillance for your media as soon as it arrives at their facility. When it is finally time to get your media back, you can expect to receive your package from iMemories up to a week earlier than from Costco. 

Average Cost

When you get down to the brass tacks, both services are priced quite similarly. iMemories offers a custom quote for every order, while Costco operates with flat prices. Costco's price breakdown was harder to interpret than iMemories while appearing to be slightly more expensive. When you compare both services directly, iMemories focuses on providing a customized digitizing experience for its customers, while Costco is more focused on a professional corporate approach. 

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Summary

Overall, iMemories offers a more finetuned service. They have been in the game nearly since the inception of digital media, and they have a proven track record. They are incredibly reliable, and they have implemented strategies to make the entire process intuitive.

On the other hand, Costco might be more convenient if you need to visit a representative in person, but they don't even do the digitizing themselves. They outsource the digitizing to YesVideo, which keeps costs low, but also means the staff may not have all the answers. Both services offer competitive prices, with similar turnaround times. The main focus of iMemories is the digitization of older media, while this is more like a side project for Costco.

Written by Adam Moreno
With the continual development and increase in technology, gadgets, and gizmos, Adam never has a dull day researching new gadgets. Being an enthusiastic gamer, traveler, soccer lover, and avid car driver means that he always looks for the next cool thing to try out.

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