Sam Allen

Our Blog.
Sam's two cents.

Our Blog. Sam's two cents.

ScanCafe CEO Sam Allen weighs in on industry events, company news, and more.

ScanCafe’s new online digital restoration service as seen on!

Hi Folks,

I am proud to announce ScanCafe’s new digital restoration service. As with everything else we do – we worked to ensure ease of use for our customers while maintaining the highest level of quality and affordability in the industry. It was important to us to maintain the value proposition of only paying for what you want.

How did we accomplish this with digital restoration? Here’s how it works: You upload the image you would like restored or corrected. Our world-class restoration artists review the image and then provide you with a quote within a couple of days. If you decide to pass – there is zero cost to you. If you want us to move forward, you simply approve the quote and within a few days you will have the fully restored image ready for download from your secure ScanCafe account. Market prices for this type of work run anywhere from $20 on the low end for basic corrections like red eye removal, all the way to $350 plus for a full reconstruction project. ScanCafe’s prices run the gamut of $6.95 to $39.95 for the same level of work. And, as with our scanning services, our quality is phenomenal. Check out the article written about our service in the magazine. The article also includes examples of our work. For more examples, visit our gallery.

Click for a larger view.
Restoration Example

Aside from the digital upload capability you can always send damaged images as part of a scanning order. After scanning, we can restore the image for you using the same process.

We have had fantastic success breathing new life into old memories through our #1 rated scanning service. Now we are ecstatic to take a broken memory and make it whole again. I am continually amazed at the emotional impact of our work on our valued customers. Adding another high quality service will only strengthen this experience.

As always, I actively look forward to any feedback you have on our new restoration service or on any aspect of the ScanCafe experience overall. Please feel free to post comments here on the blog or to send us an email at Old fashioned? Please feel free to call us at 866-745-0392.

Don’t let those fabulous memories languish!

Spring Cleaning with ScanCafe

Spring is in the air (at least in California). Isn’t it exciting? While many of you gear up for your annual cleaning and de-cluttering extravaganza, I thought I’d suggest something people often overlook when clearing out the clutter: digitally converting your old photos.

Our research shows that the average U.S. household has about 10,000 photos stored away in closets, attics, or taking up valuable space in the office or living room. But you can’t throw these precious images away, so what to do?  Scan them with ScanCafe!  We had a customer drop off two boxes of slides yesterday, each weighing about 65 pounds.  Now imagine the freedom of movement he will have when we return to him a few DVDs.  He can move his original slides (aobut 15,000 of them) into some sort of storage and completely remove them from site.  This is an amazing way to de-clutter, once and for all.

While many people will still save their photos after they’ve been scanned, there’s really no need to. We scan the images in high resolution and burn them to a CD or DVD, so you can look at them anytime you want. You can share them with friends and family anytime via our wonderful online library.  You can back them up on your computer’s hard drive, or order additional discs, so you know they will always be safe.

Another great reason to get rid of the originals is that “Clutter Makes You Fat”! No, really. Home organization guru and HGTV host Peter Walsh just released a new book called, Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?, in which he observes that there is a direct correlation between the way your body and your home are taken care of. He theorizes that an unorganized home actually aids in packing on pounds (my home must really be unorganized).

So let’s trim the fat! Send us your photos, negatives and slides and we’ll send them back in digital format. You can organize them however you like on our secure web-site, and we’ll burn them to CD or DVD exactly the way you’ve set them up. When you get them back, you can throw all those old photos away (or save them in a location that is completely out of the way), and start using that empty space to get the rest of your home organized.  Now if I could only find room for my old text books . . .

Happy Spring, watch out for those bunnies!


ScanCafe Named Winner in Money Magazine’s Field Test

I could not have asked for a better Christmas present than this. ScanCafe is the flat out winner in Money Magazine’s photo scanning field test – check out the January 2008 edition. This is outstanding news for us in more ways than are obvious. Clearly it helps our business, but from a personal perspective, it proves that our business model is phenomenal and you can truly find the best quality product at the lowest price with ScanCafe. In fact, quality was a true differentiator in this test which lends strong credence to our claim of being the best quality scanning service out there. We can now add Money Magazine to Popular Photography, PC Photo,, and many, many blogs as independent and trusted sources to prove our quality and our service. Our technicians in India are highly trained and the lower labor rate allows us to spend much more time on each individual image – hence the enhanced quality that you just can’t seem to get in the U.S. at even remotely acceptable prices. Lastly, the results of this test are significant and credible because we had no idea that it had even occurred.

I was actually out of the office (shhh, I was on the 14th green at Spanish Bay, don’t tell anyone) when Laurent, our Chief Strategy Officer, Founder and resident snow boarding expert, called to tell me that the article had been published listing ScanCafe as the “four star” champion.

Again, as I said in my blog post about ScanCafe’s inclusion in O Magazine – I am mostly happy that scanning services, in general, are getting more attention. People are really starting to see the value of digitizing and protecting their most cherished photo moments. Furthermore, informed consumers are also much more open to using first-class services that scan images internationally. For example, it was nice to see that the second place finisher does their scanning internationally as well. I would also like to say that there are some other good companies that do quality work and have a high caliber of ethics that weren’t on the list and they are definitely a better choice than the companies that exhibited poor quality, high prices and dubious marketing & pricing tactics. Now, readers of Money Magazine and have several good choices for their digitization efforts. Thanks Money Magazine! Get your images converted, folks, regardless of how you do it – don’t let them waste away. Remember, one digital image on your computer is worth 100 paper ones in your closet.


ScanCafe Review in Popular Photography

‘Tis been a good start to the holiday season for ScanCafe.  John Owens, the Editor in Chief of “Popular Photography and Imaging” – a leading photography journal, just posted a positive ScanCafe review in the December edition of his magazine.  This is even more exciting than being in O Magazine (sorry, Oprah, you probably don’t hear that too often).

As he mentions in his article, I met with him for breakfast in Santa Monica this past summer.  As I sat and waxed rhapsodically about the beauty of ScanCafe (after all, one of my major responsibilities is to evangelize like a Preacher), a doubtful look crossed his face, quickly followed by the “C’mon, gimme a break!” quote found in his article (yeah, he actually said that, and such an honest reaction made an immediate fan out of me).  He told me that the “scanning problem” had been in the annual top 5 for the past 20 years and there had never been an answer that didn’t involve thousands of dollars and worse – thousands of hours of labor.  However, as I took the time to explain the revolutionary service married to the industry best pricing, he took the time to really listen to what I had to say.  He took the time to listen because he is an advocate and champion of his reader base and he takes his job seriously (another reason I liked him).  I convinced him that ScanCafe had the opportunity to solve this heretofore insurmountable challenge.  And after he tried the service anonymously, I think he convinced himself that ScanCafe is truly a boon to the time & cash strapped professional photographer and enthusiast. 

Just a follow up to some things John mentions in his review: we do now offer pro-caliber work, just check out our Pro Options page.  We have also added an integrated “status update” bar from which you can track the progress of your order more effectively then before.  And last – I did take umbrage when he called me “dead serious”.  I am really not that bad, I mean, look at these photos.

idiots.jpg   asleep-at-the-wheel.JPG

ScanCafe in Oprah Magazine

I have to say, my mother in law, a devout disciple in the land of Oprah, was quite excited to find ScanCafe in the December holiday issue of Oprah’s magazine “O”. Obviously, getting a mention in such a wide spread publication was exciting for all of us (ahem, page 124 – you can pick one up at any drug or bookstore) and has been a nice little bump in sales. But I am more excited that more people are just hearing about ScanCafe. One of our major priorities is to evangelize the analog to digital conversion, regardless of how it happens. So, the best part about being in Oprah isn’t that it helps my business, but rather that it makes people stop and say to themselves “hmm, I didn’t know a service like that existed.” So we welcome with open arms a new legion of folks who want to unlock their legacy imagery and throw new light on their memories. If you come to us to help in that worthy endeavor – then great! But if not, I still urge you to convert your images – such precious memories don’t belong in your closet. I can’t wait to hear what my Marine buddies have to say about my being in Oprah magazine – bring it on!
Oprah Cover