Are Greeting Cards overrated???
This was a recent note my husband gave me for our 12th Anniversary. It was very cute and very moving. I really enjoy my home made thoughts from him more then any store bought card. I know one reason he does that, is because it is easier for him to come up with his own thoughts and ideas. He also doesn’t get a great deal of opportunity to go to the store or shop for greeting cards.
So today, of course lots of folks are buying Father’s Day cards and I was picking up a birthday card for someone. So I asked the lady if the cards made her cheerful. She became a chatter box and told me that she really did enjoy the greeting cards and hated when people put cards back in the wrong place. She actually had a little scanner that told her right where the cards should go, pretty nifty. Well then I asked what do they do the seasonal cards, pack them away somewhere I asked? “No – they shred them.” I said, you mean they will shred all the Father’s Day cards on Monday. “Yep”, she said. I said that is a real shame. I mean isn’t there somewhere to re-use the cards or donate them to charity?? Well I guess the paper is recycled and that in some ways is re-use….
I wonder if it is cheaper then storing them for a year, but sad.
So I went looking for a few facts about Greeting cards:
- Americans purchase approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year. Annual retail sales of greeting cards are estimated between $7 and $8 billion.
- The most popular Everyday card-sending occasion by far is Birthday, followed by a number of secondary occasions that include Sympathy, Thank You, Wedding, Thinking of You, Get Well, New Baby and Congratulations.
- The most popular Seasonal cards are Christmas cards, with some 1.6 billion units purchased (including boxed cards). This is followed by cards for Valentine’s Day (145 million units, not including classroom valentines), Mother’s Day (133 million units), Father’s Day (90 million units), Graduation (67 million units), Easter (57 million units), Halloween (21 million units), Thanksgiving (15 million units) and St. Patrick’s Day (7 million units).
- Women purchase an estimated 80% of all greeting cards. Women spend more time choosing a card than men, and are more likely to buy several cards at once.
Look at the difference in Mother’s Day vs. Father’s Day – 43 million less for Fathers.
I like to give greeting cards, and tend to buy boxes of cards because they are cheaper. I always send Christmas cards, but less and less each year. I still like to write a personal note, but a few times typed a family note. Cards are upwards to $5.00 bucks and many require extra stamps. I guess lots of people don’t even mail cards anymore.
My sister makes her own cards and has a talent for making them unique, but not everyone wants to do that and can be so talented.
Sad about the shredding of cards, but I guess a whole new flock of cards will come out next year for Father’s Day… just like they do for all the other seasonal holidays. Many of the so called “Holidays” were created to help support a industry that how has to compete with Facebook. Online cards are popular too. So it probably is best to shred and start over with all the creative juices for next year. Those writers are locked away right now creating for next years flock of cards. I don’t think any of us will inspire to be Card Writers for the industry.
More interesting facts:
There are a small number of salaried positions for greeting card writers. Experienced writers are usually hired. Usually, greeting card writers receive flat rate fees. It is estimated that freelance greeting card writers get paid between $25 and $150 per card, according to Greeting Card Association (http://www.greetingcard.org). Typically, humorous cards will be paid at a higher rate than those focusing on poetry or verse.
So your great greeting card idea could go global, but you might make only $150 for the card. I’d say, I could make my husband’s card above go global for free. There would less shredding.