13 Secrets Your Card Store Doesn’t Want You to Know on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine's Day is one of my most profitable times, after Mother's Day and Christmas.

Valentine's Day is one of my most profitable times, after Mother's Day and Christmas.iStock/Marccophoto
I just don't like the fact that $3 is all you're prepared to spend on a card for your beloved.

Beware the "funny" Valentine

Beware the "funny" ValentineiStock/Li Kim Goh
You can buy an anti-Valentine's card with a message like "Love sucks", but I'd advise against it. People like a dash of realism along with romance, but which would you rather read — "You rock" or "You'll do"?

Your fireplace, cubicle and fridge are my lifeline

Your fireplace, cubicle and fridge are my lifelineiStock/Michael Courtney
I don't see you switching to only e-cards any time soon. Only 14 percent of you sent e-greetings last year — and of those, only five in 100 were willing to pay. People like cards they can display.

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There's always something to celebrate

There's always something to celebrateiStock/Diane Labombarbe
You can congratulate your pals on their divorce, gay wedding, or successful IVF, even your kids on losing their braces. And when it comes to achievement, nothing's too obscure. I can offer you cards praising your prowess in fashion, martial arts, and dieting.

I have a top shelf, too

I have a top shelf, tooiStock/andresrimaging
It's where I keep the raunchy cards unsuitable for family viewing. More than two million are bought each year. I sometimes hide them inside "modesty sleeves" marked 18, so staff won't sell them to children.

Birthday-card sales are rising

Birthday-card sales are risingiStock/Spinkle
More than 90 percent of you buy them. Four out of ten buy for Mother's Day, but you're getting Scrooge-like at Christmas, because one in ten have stopped sending cards then.

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There's a reason for all those teddy bears

There's a reason for all those teddy bearsiStock/Spiderstock
We call it "emotion marketing" because that's what cards are about. True, the rhymes can be icky, but your cliché may be my heartfelt sentiment.

Women buy 85 percent of all cards, but not 85 percent of the time

Women buy 85 percent of all cards, but not 85 percent of the timeiStock/Thomas_EyeDesign
The statistics are skewed because women are in charge of buying them at Christmas.

Fart jokes are best-sellers

Fart jokes are best-sellersiStock/makkayak
There's an insatiable appetite for toilet humor, and companies from Hallmark to Zazzle know it.

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We're multicultural

We're multiculturaliStock/PeopleImages
There are cards for Eid, Diwali and Hanukkah, but we're not multiracial. You won't find many cards featuring ethnic minorities, which can be a problem when it comes to weddings or births.

You can buy cards everywhere

You can buy cards everywhereiStock/urbancow
One in six retailers sells them. But it's more difficult to tempt you into stores now there's so much choice online.

I sell cards for ages up to 100

I sell cards for ages up to 100iStock/Eva Katalin Kondoros
And for diamond anniversaries, too (they're not always on display).

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Anyone can sell handmade cards

Anyone can sell handmade cards
Or set up a small publishing business. But do the math. At $3.50 a card, you'll have to sell 10,000 to turn over $35,000. SOURCES: The Greeting Cards Association and Mantle

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21 thoughts on “13 Secrets Your Card Store Doesn’t Want You to Know on Valentine’s Day

  1. They don’t like that $3 is all I’m prepared to spend on a card? I remember when I spent less than that on the GIFT. And how about they appreciate what business I’m willing to conduct with them or I make my own card and spend $0?

  2. Who spends $3 on a card these days when the Dollar store has adequate cards (on good card stock) at a price of 2/$1.00? 

  3. Who spends $3 on a card these days when the Dollar store has adequate cards (on good card stock) at a price of 2/$1.00? 

  4. I knew a woman whose husband was so cheap he would not buy a greeting card.  TRUE STORY.
    He would take her to a card store and pick out a card and show her, saying:  “If I bought cards, this is the one I’d get for you.”

  5. I knew a woman whose husband was so cheap he would not buy a greeting card.  TRUE STORY.
    He would take her to a card store and pick out a card and show her, saying:  “If I bought cards, this is the one I’d get for you.”


  6. I just don’t like the fact that $3 is all you’re prepared to spend on a card for your beloved.”

    Maybe because it’s possibly not the only thing being bought?  It’s not your place to judge customers’ purchases, it’s your job to sell them.  

  7. hi, I’m freashman and I want to read more complete inside this book,but I don’t know how to do ?

  8. What’s with comparing a gay wedding to your kid getting their braces off. Isn’t it as legitimate as any other wedding.

  9. 14% sending e-cards (with that number rising every year) is a HUGE deal. Name ONE industry that can sustain a 14% drop in sales and survive.

  10. 14% sending e-cards (with that number rising every year) is a HUGE deal. Name ONE industry that can sustain a 14% drop in sales and survive.

  11. good news!  surprising~! amazing~!
    “I have already come”
    youtube search ” I have already come “

  12. good news!  surprising~! amazing~!
    “I have already come”
    youtube search ” I have already come “

  13. good news!  surprising~! amazing~!
    “I have already come”
    youtube search ” I have already come “

  14. as for the christmas cards…it isn’t scroogeness as you rudely put it, it’s that everything cost so much. sending christmas cards is less important than gifting.

  15. At my local stores in Brenham TX, there are lots of cards that feature black families, etc., but not so oriental or mid-eastern.  We also have lots of cards in the Spanish language.

    1. It’s “Asian” not “oriental”. It’s 2012. You should’ve learned this in school by now. If not, I feel bad for you.

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