Thursday, February 14, 2013

The High Cost of Greeting Cards?

It is Valentine’s Day.  It is a day for expressing, acknowledging, and celebrating the special loves in our lives.  This includes family and friends but truly the holiday is focused on our romantic loves and mates.  I did so in my own way today.  Included in the various festivities and gifts, I bought my wife two cards as I have been doing the past few years:  one humorous and the other serious.
I went to a Walgreens earlier this week and perused the card section to find the right card of each type.   I found the perfect humorous card and a touching sentimental one.    I took them to the checkout to pay for them.  I was shocked when I learned the price was over $15 for the two cards.  $15!  One card cost $8 and the other one was $7.50.  I certainly picked very nice cards.  The humorous card had sound effects and the serious sentiment card was very nicely decorated with a ribbon and separate cut out heart.  But, really are you kidding me?  $15.50!  That is insane.  That is crazy. 
I bought the cards anyway.  I was committed.  I had invested twenty minutes selecting the cards and liked my choices.  I really should have put a price on such things but ugh… it kind of hurt. 
I made another purchase yesterday as well.  I bought two dozen tulips.  They only cost $10.  I recall a time when greeting cards cost $2 and flowers were $20.  The relative price of flowers and cards seems to have flip-flopped in my adult lifetime.  I definitely like the price of flowers but hate the price of cards.
I used to make my own cards.  I would make them using 4x6 index cards that I would decorate by hand.  I would draw and write on them with colored pens and Sharpies.  I would cut photos out of magazines (this was well before the internet) and paste them in as well.  I would personalize the card to the recipient.  I would tape the two index cards together along the 6 inch side and thus create a card that folded.  Depending on the recipient, the occasion, and how many cool photos I would find, I might use three or four index cards thus creating a small booklet card. 
I took great pride in the last page of the card.  I would draw a crude bar code and write some fictitious code under it.  I wrote the name of my card company which was “I Made it Myself Card Company” just in case it was not already clear.  I had a lot of fun making these cards and it often took less time than I spent at Walgreens yesterday.  Needless to say, the cost of these cards was almost nothing.  It is definitely time to consider resurrecting my old practice. 
I may have to also invest in Hallmark. 


  1. I still buy cards too! I still have all the postcards you used to send on your business travel. :)

  2. Your card price comment is interesting to me. When the price for my main product (which has about 10-15 times the pulp of a greeting) needs to be raised, it seems that many customers feel their world is ending. Yet those same customers don't think twice about the cost of a greeting card. You brought a smile to my face on this. Thanks.