Greeting cards so Expensive!

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What is the best place to buy inexpensive greeting cards that don't look cheap?

Hint: Valentines Day is coming up.

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Thanks for the link to the coupon, but I've got a major bone to pick here. Did you just cut-n-paste this deal from somew... (more)

yoregano (Feb. 04, 2013 @ 8:37p) |

set an alert for Cardstore.com
they usually have sales or even free cards. you can even postpone delivery

andywanker (Feb. 05, 2013 @ 7:45p) |

Online cards are the future.

Princeoid (Feb. 06, 2013 @ 8:54a) |

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Some dollar stores have decent ones.
Or make your own.

RockLegend said:   What is the best place to buy inexpensive greeting cards that don't look cheap?

Hint: Valentines Day is coming up.


Keep your eyes peeled for the $5 off $10 Hallmark Gold Crown coupons that come out. They should release one for Valentines Day (they did last year)

Dollar Tree... Greeting cards are pretty good quality and only 2/$1.00. Some Dollar Trees have recently added cards that are $1.00 each. But plenty of selection at 2/$1.00.

If its for your significant other, just go to the store together, each of you pick up a card, exchange them, read them, and put them back. As cheap as it can get.

Next level of cheapness is go to the store, pick up a card, take a picture of the writing, and make your own by hand.

Next level of cheapness after that, is actually printing a homemade card with the writings from the picture.

MilleniumBuc said:   If its for your significant other, just go to the store together, each of you pick up a card, exchange them, read them, and put them back. As cheap as it can get.

Next level of cheapness is go to the store, pick up a card, take a picture of the writing, and make your own by hand.

Next level of cheapness after that, is actually printing a homemade card with the writings from the picture.


Next level of cheapness is to take a picture of the card and email it.

Next level of cheapness is to draw your own card in a sheet of paper and scribble "I love you" ala kindergarten.

RockLegend said:   What is the best place to buy inexpensive greeting cards that don't look cheap?

Hint: Valentines Day is coming up.


What industry are you involved in?

That way I can bitch about the prices your industry charges without being informed about the costs of doing business in your industry.

I love "uninformed" consumers that bitch about the prices of things as trivial as greeting cards.

Hint if you're bitching about the cost of a $3-7 card, then odds are you have more important things to worry about and should probably avoid buying cards at all given that you're probably just going to piss off a sales clerk by stating the fact that their cards are "overpriced".

You must be a real joy at parties, complaining about how expensive a bag of chips is and how you only buy the "sale" ones.

The material quality of the card is not of as much importance as the thought and care put into its selection and the message that's conveyed. "Cheapness" of feelings/thought will out regardless of price.

By the way, please do keep using physical cards instead of e-cards. A lot of low tech jobs are on the line.

Good point. But aren't we here to find the best deal?

Can you 'inform' us on what's going on in your industry?


technolich said:   RockLegend said:   What is the best place to buy inexpensive greeting cards that don't look cheap?

Hint: Valentines Day is coming up.


What industry are you involved in?

That way I can bitch about the prices your industry charges without being informed about the costs of doing business in your industry.

I love "uninformed" consumers that bitch about the prices of things as trivial as greeting cards.

Hint if you're bitching about the cost of a $3-7 card, then odds are you have more important things to worry about and should probably avoid buying cards at all given that you're probably just going to piss off a sales clerk by stating the fact that their cards are "overpriced".

You must be a real joy at parties, complaining about how expensive a bag of chips is and how you only buy the "sale" ones.

Top-of-mind thought from a bargain-savvy woman:

When it comes to Valentine's Day, and you are in the position to buy a paper card for someone, and the price range of normal cards is typically between $1 and $5, and the sentiment being expressed is of love and/or courtship and/or romance and/or commitment and/or lust and/or close friendship,

JUST SPEND THE BLEEDIN' THREE-FIFTY

to get a card that is attractive, nice-quality, and tailored to the recipient in terms of image, color, tone, and sentiment expressed


This is not the time to save a dollar.


Even if you are doling out dozens of these things to all and sundry in a it's-a-numbers-game frame of mind, this is one little gesture that speaks volumes to the recipient.

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Here are some options I'd recommend:

1. Boring but safe: Hallmark is kind of middle-of-the-road and slightly expensive for what they are in my opinion, but I expect they are largely inoffensive and do tend to have the look of decent quality. The actual Hallmark stores carry a large variety, so you are bound to find something that will work for your recipient. (I've only seen their $5 off $10 coupons at Christmas time, but I don't tend to buy Hallmark products -- and it's good to know what another poster said above about their Valentine's Day coupons giving $5 off of $10.)

2. More personality but still mainstream: I personally would go for cards that maybe they only have in bookstores, art museum gift shops, that kind of thing. They don't have to be expensive -- but they are a little more unusual, perhaps have just have a beautiful photo on the front, or aren't so formulaic in their text, maybe are blank inside for your own message, that kind of thing. But that is only my individual taste.

3. Create your own card. I'm not talking about with multipurpose copy paper and an old ink jet printer (don't go there for V day!) - I mean by using an online company to make your card for you, and it looks professional and crisp and nice. You can use an image of your own on the front, even a photo of the two of you, or a design the website offers. This does not have to be expensive and shows a great deal of thought and personalization and effort (which is good when it comes to Valentine's Day.)

3a) There is Cardstore.com, which often has coupon codes (check around on the internet). Last month, I got from Cardstore.com, no joke, $200 worth of Christmas cards and New Year's cards (which were personalized on the card itself with my own greetings, mailed by them to the recipients, and they even paid for the stamps) for $30. They'll have coupon codes for 49 cents a card (including the 46 cent stamp!), 1.49 per card, so on and so forth. You just have to see what is the offer when you are ready to place an order with them. (By the way, you don't have to get them to mail the card out - they can also send the card to you for you to personally give it to the recipient.)

3b) There is also Zazzle.com, which I expect makes greeting cards. I used them in the past a few times for making business cards that were an excellent price and were nice-looking, high-quality cards.

4. At many shops that sell cards (like Hallmark, Target, what-have-you), you can buy a pre-packaged bundle of decent cards (like a pack of 8 of the same design) for a cheaper per-card price than buying them individually. That's if you need to buy your Vday cards in "bulk".

====
Some stores that have displays of $0.99 cards:

-Dollar Tree (they might also have cards that are cheaper than $0.99)

-WalMart (in addition to the $0.99 display, they used to have a display of $0.49 cards - but maybe not anymore)

-Hobby Lobby (though their cards all have religious themes, apparently)

-meijer supermarket (midwest)

-Target

Personally, I would avoid giving a 99-cent card to a special person for V-day. Some of them are fine, but some have the look of bargain-type cards.

They have a nice selection of cards at BJ's Wholesale Club. They are always half off. Even the musical cards!

You can save money on greeting cards by having kids. My young daughters love to make cards for me (make sure to call it art). And they are free, if you consider the paper and writing implements to be an entertainment cost.

xiptg said:   You can save money on greeting cards by having kids. My young daughters love to make cards for me (make sure to call it art). And they are free, if you consider the paper and writing implements to be an entertainment cost.

Exactly, I've saved TENS of dollars on cards since I had kids. Which I put towards the $400,000 its costing to raise them over 18 years.

For those who say that I should spend $3 - $7 for a greeting card to support an industry, my response is that the card manufacturers are ripping us off. This is one of the highest markup items out there. I would love to see a P&L showing me the true cost and profit.

I make cards at home on the PC when I'm not sending an eCard. The only cards we mail are for the holidays, and have cut that back in the past years as postage and card cost rose.

Our cards come from the local thrift store for around a quarter. Usually have the matching envelope with them. And there's little chance that your recipient will wind up with an identical card from someone else.

I'll never understand the greeting card concept. Such a high cost for a temporal, throw-away item. The industry has programmed society to buy in to this, but I'm not falling for it. I tell people to save their money on me, and if they really feel compelled to spend another three plus bucks, get me a nice chocolate bar instead.

The dollar store route is probably the best idea in a pinch. A while back, I got a collection of 100 or so various greeting cards packaged in a gift box at Menards. I think it was $5 after rebate.

Yes, the FW approach to Valentine's Day, ha ha!

Not everyone shares the sentiment of "just save your money, and don't you go about propping up an ailing industry on my account, just ACH a dollar to our joint Ameritrade account and we'll call it even."

Maybe most folks on this sub-forum are married, but I rather presumed that the OP who is looking for a cheap Valentine's card isn't already married with kids who could be used as unpaid labor to design a card that a mother kind of has to appreciate even if it doesn't quite call up the swirl of emotions from her first kiss with her paramour.

Valentine's Day means different things to different people.

Cards mean different things to different people (they DO matter to some people, it's not about advertising influence or fitting in with the crowd for them).

When you are in the position to get a Valentine's card for someone with whom you are trying to have a romantic / close / intimate relationship, and if they aren't already married to you and therefore are pretty much stuck with whatever little effort you feel like making (stuck at least for the short term) or if they aren't of the opinion that greeting cards are a needless extravagance, then for your own good you ought to treat the situation like it probably does matter to the other person, put a little bit of gumption into it, and not come across as a cheap so-and-so for the sake of saving $2.

---
When someone gives me a cheapo, ugly card they spent 20 cents on, that is when I feel insulted and think they shouldn't even have bothered. It's interesting how people differ on their perceptions of that.

I've always loved words, communication, paper supplies/stationary, beautiful photos and artwork, so I tend to be put time and effort into the few greeting cards I give to people.

Maybe it's easy for me because I have few relatives and few close friends, and don't feel any card-giving obligations that others might bristle about.

----
In western culture, greeting cards go back 600 years -- the tradition was not created by 1960s Madison Avenue.

The History of Greeting Cards

The custom of sending greeting cards can be traced back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and to the early Egyptians, who conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls.

By the early 1400s, handmade paper greeting cards were being exchanged in Europe. The Germans are known to have printed New Year’s greetings from woodcuts as early as 1400, and handmade paper Valentines were being exchanged in various parts of Europe in the early to mid-1400s.

By the 1850s, the greeting card had been transformed from a relatively expensive, handmade and hand-delivered gift to a popular and affordable means of personal communication, due largely to advances in printing and mechanization, as well as the 1840 introduction of the postage stamp.

The first known published Christmas card appeared in London in 1843, when Sir Henry Cole hired artist John Calcott Horsley to design a holiday card that he could send to his friends and acquaintances.

Although the first known valentine card can be traced back to 1415, it wasn’t until the early 1800s and the Penny Post that they became popular and affordable. Esther Howland, a young woman from Massachusetts, was the first regular publisher of valentines in the United States. She sold her first handmade valentine in 1849, eventually establishing a successful publishing firm specializing in the elaborately decorated cards.


source http://www.greetingcard.org/AbouttheIndustry/History/tabid/72/De...

If you live near an ACO Hardware store (Michigan-based) they sell many greeting cards for around a $1.

I bet the markups are 500-1000% in this industry for premium cards. May well be the highest.

NantucketSunrise said:   When you are in the position to get a Valentine's card for someone with whom you are trying to have a romantic / close / intimate relationship, and if they aren't already married to you and therefore are pretty much stuck with whatever little effort you feel like making (stuck at least for the short term) or if they aren't of the opinion that greeting cards are a needless extravagance, then for your own good you ought to treat the situation like it probably does matter to the other person, put a little bit of gumption into it, and not come across as a cheap so-and-so for the sake of saving $2.You are setting up unreal expectations. I feel like too many people try hard before they're married and then get lazy. Shouldn't it be the opposite? Shouldn't people try harder to make their spouse happy once they are married?

caterpillar123 said:   NantucketSunrise said:   When you are in the position to get a Valentine's card for someone with whom you are trying to have a romantic / close / intimate relationship, and if they aren't already married to you and therefore are pretty much stuck with whatever little effort you feel like making (stuck at least for the short term) or if they aren't of the opinion that greeting cards are a needless extravagance, then for your own good you ought to treat the situation like it probably does matter to the other person, put a little bit of gumption into it, and not come across as a cheap so-and-so for the sake of saving $2.

You are setting up unreal expectations. I feel like too many people try hard before they're married and then get lazy. Shouldn't it be the opposite? Shouldn't people try harder to make their spouse happy once they are married?



I was not trying to set up any expectations about anything. In the passage you quoted from me, I was simply reflecting the cynicism of the other posters here back to them, while still defending my position that it's a good thing to put a bit of effort into a Valentine's card for one's sweetheart. That passage does not express how I think romantic relationships should be conducted. I was trying to step into the mindset of the down-on-cards contingent and argue from their perspective that it's still a worthwhile thing to do to put a bit of time and money into a decent Valentine's Day card.

Well if you have a safeway, there is a money maker deal on Hallmark cards (coupon plus Catalina when you buy 3).

Buy 3 Hallmark Cards(3x $1.99) – $5.97
Use this $2.00/3 Hallmark Coupon https://www.facebook.com/tellthem/app_343995562285797
Pay: $3.97, receive $5.00 Catalina
Final Price: Free + $1.03 Money Maker after the catalina coupon

If you have a Just for You (safeway saver card account) there is even a better deal. . .

Buy 3 Hallmark Cards(3x $1.99) – $5.97 (one will need to be a signature collection card)
Use this $2.00/3 Hallmark Coupon
and Use $3 off Just for you safeway Coupon (one time use. You have to log on to your account and add it to your card)
Pay: $.97, receive $5.00 Catalina
Final Price: Free + $4.03 Money Maker

If you don't have a safeway, you can still use the Hallmark coupon ($2 off 3). It works on the $.99 Walgreens cards. . .3 cards for $.97

I buy Papyrus cards from Papyrus' clearance areas. They usually are .50-$1 - well worth the money. I have purchased a lot of Papyrus cards off of eBay. When i win, I usually pay about $2 a piece for a Papyrus card, which in the store they cost about $4.95-$6.95 a piece.

Find someone with a Costco or Sam's Club membership and buy a box of cards. They usually have a box of embellished cards for a good price. The cards usually end up costing $1-$1.25 a piece.

I have found the best source and you select a card on this website and write your own greeting and press send and the company prints, stuffs, seals and takes the card to the post office for you! Cards are .98 cents plus postage. You can add your own pictures to the card, too! Can even be in your own handwriting! I use this personally and also for my business all during the year. System reminds you of upcoming birthdays so you never miss one again! Time saver and so convenient as you can send from any computer anytime during day or night. Send a free card to try it out! Www.sendoutcards.com/LibbyG

hambirg said:   Well if you have a safeway, there is a money maker deal on Hallmark cards (coupon plus Catalina when you buy 3).

Buy 3 Hallmark Cards(3x $1.99) – $5.97
Use this $2.00/3 Hallmark Coupon https://www.facebook.com/tellthem/app_343995562285797
Pay: $3.97, receive $5.00 Catalina
Final Price: Free + $1.03 Money Maker after the catalina coupon

If you have a Just for You (safeway saver card account) there is even a better deal. . .

Buy 3 Hallmark Cards(3x $1.99) – $5.97 (one will need to be a signature collection card)
Use this $2.00/3 Hallmark Coupon
and Use $3 off Just for you safeway Coupon (one time use. You have to log on to your account and add it to your card)
Pay: $.97, receive $5.00 Catalina
Final Price: Free + $4.03 Money Maker


Thanks for the link to the coupon, but I've got a major bone to pick here. Did you just cut-n-paste this deal from somewhere else, because there is no way the second version of the deal can be done as described.

The Signature Collection, as the name implies, is a premium line. There are no cards in this line priced at $1.99. The cheapest I found was $5.99. The store had very few of ANY cards priced $1.99, for that matter. Since the Just4U offer requires a Sig. Collection card, one of the cards is going to cost at least $5.99.

In reality, this is NOT a $4 money maker, it's really more like three cards free. A good deal, I suppose, given how pricey cards tend to be. But this was grossly misrepresented by the above post.

(Actually, I just finished leaving a scathing contact form with safeway, because this was yet another J4U offer that did not work. I bought a Sig. Coll. card and the $3 offer did not apply to my transaction, even though it is clearly loaded to my card.)

set an alert for Cardstore.com
they usually have sales or even free cards. you can even postpone delivery

Online cards are the future.



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