Standard Lavalu Turnaround time varies anywhere from 3 - 7 business days depending on the time of year the order is submitted. During the first half of the year (~Jan - June) we aim for 3-5 business day turnaround. During our busier months in the second half of the year, we aim for 5-7 business day turnaround. Our busiest month (and thus longest turnarounds) tends to be September - October. October of 2012 saw 5-8 business turnaround times.
How to calculate the number of business days?
An order is considered received when we have the order form and all of the files for the order. If this occurs before 5 pm on a business day, that is essentially day zero. So any orders received after 5 pm (Pacific time) on Friday, and over the weekend, up to 5 pm on Monday are all essentially received on Monday. Saturday and Sunday (and all major US holidays) are not business days. A 5 business day turnaround means that an order received on Monday would be returned the following Monday. Because of the delay between finishing and order and getting the finished files uploaded to our server, it is common to receive notification that an order is complete after 5 pm.
Why the variation?
Other than the obvious variation caused by Lavalu's overall volume fluctuations, there is additional variation caused by our editing policies. We try, as much as is possible, to keep your editing with the same editor, especially if there are very specific custom preferences in place. So if editor Mary always does the orders that come in from Photographer A and Photographer B, and both of those photographers send in a huge amount of work on the same day, thos photographers may see a slightly elongated turnaround time, while other work that came in on the same day but was able to get assigned to a less busy editor will be turned around faster.
Need your order back on a specific date?
Please let us know. There is an option on the order form for you to let us know when you need an order back by. Please note that we view this delivery request as "It would be awesome if I could have this order back by this date." If you really mean "I absolutely MUST HAVE this order back by this date" then please use the comments section to give us more specific information. During the first half of the year we are usually able to accomodate all delivery date requests, but as we get into our busier season (and especially in October) we become less able to and it is thus important for us to know if a request is a "nice to have" or "must have".
Need your order back VERY fast?
There are two rush options available. For a 100% surcharge we offer next day service. This means that the order needs to be fully submitted to us before 5 pm on a business day (earlier is better obviously!) and we would aim to have the order returned the following business day (but not necessarily by 5 pm - it might be much later in the evening). For a 50% surcharge we offer 2 business day turnaround. For example, an order received by 5 pm on Monday woud be returned sometime on Wednesday. Keep in mind, that even after adding a 50% surcharge that our image correction rates are still BETETR than several competitors (pretty cool, huh?) :)
Sending in a large backload of events?
Often photographers get very behind before they finally realize they need our services, and thus send in a large backload of many events at one time. In this case, the first order would be returned in a normal turnaround time, and each additional large order would follow 1-2 days behind that. If the orders are smaller, we would likely complete several of the orders per day.