Scancafe – How to get those VHS videos and old photos out of boxes and onto your PC

After my huge, exhausting spring cleaning extravaganza last weekend, I found myself with a gigantic box of photos and absolutely no idea what to do with them. That was until I heard about this cool, new-to-me site that will scan and digitize all your old photos for you. By hand.

Meet ScanCafe, a genius site that will do everything from scan your VHS videos and your photos, to old negatives or even 35mm slides all for you. You simply box up everything you have (no need to sort or categorize), and they’ll scan everything for you by hand, even adjusting and editing for brightness and orientation, plus cropping and cleaning.

Once they’re finished, you get to review everything and–this is awesome–only pay for the ones you want. You’ll get your originals back along with the DVD of all your scans in the mail.

Of course, the most important part is that aside from the reasonable price, the quality is amazing, even for a photo snob. The only downside is taking the plunge to mail your precious photos to them. However, the joy you’ll get out of actually seeing your old photos, negatives, and family videos in digitized form certainly outweighs the super low risk.

You can learn more about professional photo scanning services at Thanks for the tip, Joni!

Cool Mom Staff

We spend our time looking for cool stuff so you don't have to. Hope this one fits the bill.


  • Reply March 27, 2012


    It’s worth noting that one of the downsides to mailing photos directly to ScanCafe is that ScanCafe will them be mailing your photos to India, which is why their turnaround time is 2 months or so.

    I’m not anti-India or anything, but I don’t really like seeing American companies offshore jobs that can be done here. Our economy sucks; why not support a company that’s giving jobs to American workers?

    When I researched my photo scanning companies, I went with because they scan in the United States, and because they’re the only ones who let you delete all the scans you don’t want without paying for them.

    Just something worth considering. *shrug*

  • Reply March 27, 2012

    Andrea Misiaszek

    Great idea… I would love to have all my “millions” of old photos digitally scanned. I have a scanner, but imagine the time invested. I will check out the recommended sites and take into consideration Laura’s beneficial advice!

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