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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Re: The Post "how can you do this to your kids" Explanation of something.

Posted by on May. 3, 2014 at 11:01 AM
  • 25 Replies
2 moms liked this

I figured it would be best to just make a thread on this so that the people that asked have the opportunity to actually see this.

I'm not the OP of that thread (obvi) but I have run several picture days and did PTO (who ran picture day at my kid's last school) so I know what's up. I sat in all the Lifetouch meetings for 3 yrs, and coordinated picture day for 3 years. I have experience.

I'm going to try to explain this as quickly and clearly as I can, but if there are questions I can answer them.

There are 3 types of Picture days, Proofs, Prepaid, and Packages.

Proofs is the most time consuming, and is only done in the fall because there is basically the entire school year to get those pictures back to parents. Proofs are sent out to parents, and you can order or not, it's up to you.  They only do them in the Fall because it takes 8-10 business days to get the proofs back to the school, sometimes longer. School sends proofs home and give the parents 2 weeks to decide and return order forms. We mail those out in a couple shipments. Once your pictures get mailed back to Lifetouch they take at least 2 weeks to print them and ship them back to the school and we redistribute from there. In my case we ALWAYS had stragglers, I'd say the due date for orders was Sept 10, and without fail Sept 15th rolls around and I had 10 orders on my desk, which then have to be mailed off. Those parents were always the ones bitching about their pictures not being in with everyone else', if you send it in late they'll be late, deal with it.

That's proofs, and at that school only done in fall because it's AT LEAST 6 weeks after picture day before you're getting pictures back. This isn't even factoring in make up day whose pictures take even longer.


Spring Picture day has 2 options:

Prepaid: Meaning they send home order forms and you say "yes I want pictures" and you pay for them before they're taken and hope they're good. Because there is no makeup day, if they suck yes you can get a refund but you have to deal with Lifetouch for that, and many parents aren't inclined to do that or to pay for a product they haven't seen.


Packages: This is where they come in, take the pictures and mail the school the entire packet and send it home to parents and hope they pay for them or return them. Sales from this type of picture day are 10x higher than for prepaid. The percentage of parents that don't return/pay is 5% according to Lifetouch and no smart business person makes a decision based on 5%. 10x more sales but 5% won't be returned? Or way less sales... it's not hard to see why they do it this way.

There isn't time in Spring to do it the proofs way before the end of the year, this is why there's not a retake day in Spring, there just isn't time.


The school does NOT get punished financially for non-returned pictures, but if it became a big enough issue, the school would be forced to do pre-paid pictures in Spring. If you don't return them it's more that you're a dirtbag. In my case what we did with the non-returners was kept a list of their names, and we just didn't send home their child's pictures in Spring. We sent a note saying they could come view them with us and decide to buy them or not then and there. We didn't punish the kids for it, because it's not their fault.  I really think that is the best way to handle it.


Any questions? :)





by on May. 3, 2014 at 11:01 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Mommabearbergh
by Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:08 AM
That is why I do her (dd)stuff online a hell of a lot easier
mjande4
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:09 AM
1 mom liked this

No questions, but my comment is the same. If this is the way Lifetouch does business, then do NOT use them. It's shady and seems like way too much trouble for the school/teachers.

mom2jessnky
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:10 AM


Quoting Mommabearbergh: That is why I do her (dd)stuff online a hell of a lot easier

You still have to return that form to the school. A lot of parents didn't seem to realize that.

steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:10 AM
1 mom liked this
This is why Lifetouch sucks! The local company that we use always send proofs,both fall and spring. The parents order either online or through the mail to the photo company. The school isn't involved. The secretaries at our school are busy enough without having to keep track of photo dead beats. That whole process seems completely unnecessary to me.
mom2jessnky
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:11 AM

I don't know that the other companies are any different though. I've only ever had Lifetouch pictures for my kids... I'll let you know soon though since some other company is doing my oldest DD's pictures next week.

Quoting mjande4:

No questions, but my comment is the same. If this is the way Lifetouch does business, then do NOT use them. It's shady and seems like way too much trouble for the school/teachers.


steelcrazy
by Emerald Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:11 AM
We return nothing to the school.

Quoting mom2jessnky:

Quoting Mommabearbergh: That is why I do her (dd)stuff online a hell of a lot easier

You still have to return that form to the school. A lot of parents didn't seem to realize that.

Mommabearbergh
by Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:12 AM
Well I do. Honestly the whole process of school pictures are a pain in the ass. Which is why I prefer dd to get hers done outside of school

Quoting mom2jessnky:

Quoting Mommabearbergh: That is why I do her (dd)stuff online a hell of a lot easier

You still have to return that form to the school. A lot of parents didn't seem to realize that.

mjande4
by Platinum Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM

I KNOW that they are different. In my house there are four of us at four different schools and never have this kind of shenanigans.

Quoting mom2jessnky:

I don't know that the other companies are any different though. I've only ever had Lifetouch pictures for my kids... I'll let you know soon though since some other company is doing my oldest DD's pictures next week.

Quoting mjande4:

No questions, but my comment is the same. If this is the way Lifetouch does business, then do NOT use them. It's shady and seems like way too much trouble for the school/teachers.


caustinb
by New Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM
1 mom liked this
They've been doing it this way since I was in school. I'm 30. I've never had a problem with it.
mom2jessnky
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2014 at 11:13 AM

The school didn't deal with it at the last school, the PTO did. We dealt with EVERYTHING that wasn't teaching the kids. Fundraisers, Pictures, Boxtops, etc. We even did all of the faculties work room stuff (copying, binding, homework packets, etc). I realize that we were just super rock stars but  we believe it's a teachers job to teach, not to sit there running off copies of stuff after school.

Quoting steelcrazy: This is why Lifetouch sucks! The local company that we use always send proofs,both fall and spring. The parents order either online or through the mail to the photo company. The school isn't involved. The secretaries at our school are busy enough without having to keep track of photo dead beats. That whole process seems completely unnecessary to me.


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