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Jeruba's avatar

What would you like to say to greeting card companies?

Asked by Jeruba (45932points) February 11th, 2013

I’m shopping for Valentine’s Day cards and growling a little.

These days there’s perpetually an upcoming holiday or occasion, and many of them have a card-giving custom associated with them, thanks mostly to the marketing efforts of companies such as Hallmark.

There seem to be more varieties of cards than ever. Nevertheless, shopping for cards is often an exasperating experience.

Here are some of the things that I wish greeting card companies would remember in their products:

• Children typically have two sets of grandparents. Don’t stir up trouble with cards that say “world’s best grandma” or “granddad, I love you more than anything.”

• Don’t insist on pairing loving sentiments with exaggerated compliments that describe impossible beings. Just go for expressions of genuine feeling. I can love my husband without thinking he’s perfect. I can tell my sister she’s special to me without claiming we’re knit forever in an unassailable bond and I couldn’t get through a week without her. We may not be close at all, but I still want to wish her a happy birthday.

• Don’t force all good wishes to be accompanied by lavish outpourings of affection. I can wish my in-laws a wonderful anniversary or a happy Easter without telling them how much I adore them.

In other words, try for a middle road on some of the greetings—warm expressions that a person can endorse sincerely and send without feeling like a bald-faced liar.

How about you? What would you like to tell them?

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33 Answers

Seek's avatar

* Shrug * Those are all the reasons I don’t do Hallmark.

You seem to have two options: Stupid humour or sappy sentimentalism. I guess people assume you have to care a whole lot about someone to not care enough to write a note personally.

WestRiverrat's avatar

That is why I first got print shop, so I could make my own cards. The commercially available cards were just not worth the card stock they were printed on.

That was a long time ago.

Berserker's avatar

I wish they would have a bigger selection of blank cards. Cards with just a picture on it, and maybe a merry/happy whatever, but leave the inside blank so you can write whatever you want in it. That would certainly solve the whole issue of being able to send a sincere message without feeling like a liar.
Blank cards exist, I know that, but I’m not sure how many Hallmark itself actually deals with. One thing I also like to do is make my own cards. Sure that can take time, but if you can do them, it’s always an option.

ucme's avatar

All i’d say is this, make the fucking shops bigger!! Ahem, do excuse me, but people are forever standing on each others toes & grabbing the same cards at exactly the same time.
Gimme some space mo-fo!!

rebbel's avatar

Lose the music chips.
And hire a (creative) copywriter.

Blondesjon's avatar

For years I’ve been guilted in to buying your cards
Just to prove I care. That is shitty.
But now that I’ve thought long and hard about it,
Fuck you. I’ll keep my three-fifty.

wildpotato's avatar

Jews are just not that into using the word “blessed,” or any phrase incorporating “bless.” It’s not part of the religious or cultural language we use with each other. Stop making Chanukkah cards with this word! They’re all thet’s left by the time I get there, and then my family gives me weird looks. not really; they just chuckle and give me the Christian-language-tinged card they managed to snag for me

ucme's avatar

The best & most treasured cards i’ve received were the ones made by the kids, at school mostly. I’m actually filling up just thinking about them…bawl…sob…whimper!!
I tried making the wife a valentines card one year, used purple crayons & everyfum, there’s no way you can glue chokerlutz to a card, they just don’t taste the same.

wildpotato's avatar

everyfum, chokerlutz – I’m beginning to suspect that British English is so incomprehensible to me because you guys just make up words on the fly sometimes

ucme's avatar

it’s baby talk, now shurrup & lemme play!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Get a crayon and fold some paper make your own.

rojo's avatar

Hey, I buy your product in a discount store because $3.75 is too much to pay for a card. (@Blondesjon, wonderful sentiment!).

@Seek_Kolinahr I usually opt for the stupid humor option.

SpatzieLover's avatar

$4.95 per card?! Are you people on crack?

Seriously, I love writing out & sending cards. In the past year, I cut it out completely and contact people via email, free ecards or Facebook.

Between the cost of the cards and the increase in stamp prices almost no one I know sends cards any longer.

Aethelwine's avatar

Why do most cards for fathers have a picture of golf clubs or sail boats? My father doesn’t enjoy either of those activities.

fundevogel's avatar

“Well this is, and Rhoda, no disrespect, but um, this is total shit. Go for it? You can do it? That’s not inspirational that’s suicidal! If pickles goes for it right there that’s a dead cat. Lies, we’re liars think about it, why do people buy these things? It’s not because they wanna say how they feel, people buy cards cause they can’t say how they feel or they’re afraid too. We provide the service that lets them off the hook. You know what? I say to hell with it. Lets level with America at least let them speak for themselves right I mean look, look. What is this, what does this say? “Congratulations on your new baby.” How bout “congratulations on your new baby, guess that’s it for hanging out, nice knowing ya.” How bout this one? With all the pretty hearts on the front, I think I know where this ones going. Yup “Happy Valentines Day sweetheart, I love you.” Isn’t that sweet? Ain’t love grand? This is exactly what I’m talking about. What does that even mean, love? Do you know? Do you? Anybody? If somebody gave me this card Mr. Vance, I’d eat it. It’s these cards, and the movies and the pop songs, they’re to blame for all the lies and the heartache, everything. We’re responsible. I’M responsible. I think we do a bad thing here. People should be able to say how they feel, how they really feel, not ya know, some words that some stranger put in their mouth. Words like love, that don’t mean anything. Sorry, I’m sorry, I um, I quit. There’s enough bullshit in the world without my help.”

Also I should be able to buy a card that’s blue or green or any color that isn’t pink without it starting: Son, grandson, father, brother or husband. And naturally, I shouldn’t see a wall of pink when I look at cards for sisters, mothers or anyone else that professes to be female.

SamandMax's avatar

I got something to say to them. Stop making cards that don’t convey any truthful meaning to them in the words they fill them with. I spend AGES looking for cards for specific people hoping to find the right one that’s actually going to say something I think I would say to them myself if I made the damn card in the first place. At which point, by the end of a good half hour just going through the same section, I sometimes think it would be easier to make a card than to buy one.
@SpatzieLover does raise a good point – albeit inadvertently – on the cost of cards these days. Without exception the cost of cards seem to have increased exponentially, with some smaller cards costing as much as £5.00 ($7.83 USD)a pop.
I did buy one card for my Mother, which was a pretty awesome one, it was huge and was done in art deco fashion and it cost me £15.00 ($23.50) – a time when clearly I had more money than sense. Although to be fair, it was A) half my height so it was great carrying that back home and B) it did look pretty impressive. Yet conversely a card for both Mom and Dad during Christmas, of not even a quarter of the size of the big card I bought for Mom for Mother’s Day two years ago, cost almost £10 ($15.66) simply because of the sparkly bits and twinkly lights – I’d almost be more prepared to go and see Twilight instead if it wasn’t so damn crap and if it wouldn’t cost more than £10, which it would so thankfully, that wouldn’t happen anyway.

Creativity also seems to be largely lacking in the industry, with too many of the same goddamn grimy looking tattered grey bears on the front of them, and ffs, when are these people going to realize that not all women actually like pink? I struggle to find a card that is not pink, that is half decent enough to warrant buying for a woman I know, who doesn’t like pink. Ever. Also, the handbags, shoes and butterflies thing has to stop. There’s simply been way too much of that crap lately.

marinelife's avatar

People don’t speak in rhymes and don’t ant greeting cards that rhyme either!

LostInParadise's avatar

Maybe there should be a company specializing in modest greeting card sentiments.

Have a pretty good Christmas. Remember that you have to show up for work the next day.

To my second favorite nephew.

Happy birthday! You look at least two or three years younger than your age.

rebbel's avatar

@LostInParadise Funny! (“To my second favorite nephew”)

“I Wish You A Christmas And A New Year”

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

To Whom it May Concern:

1. You’re smoking crack if you think cards should be five bucks a pop.
2. You’re smoking crack if you think sentimental cards should be vomit-worthy.
3. You’re smoking crack if you think you don’t need a Mimi card.
4. You’re smoking crack if you think funny cards have to be vulgar.
5. You’re smoking crack, aren’t you?

Blondesjon's avatar

@ucme . . . everything & chocolates?

wildpotato's avatar

Chocolates! Of course! Thanks jon

Sunny2's avatar

Card shops should have minor categories below Birthday and all the other headings.. Blah, More Blah, Neutral, Possible, Interesting, Will Do in a Pinch, Give Up, and Start Over. Or they could color code them according to emotional category.. Pleasant, Perky, Funny (by whose standards?), Reluctant, Unctuous, Sincere, Shy. . . .More?

JLeslie's avatar

More condolence cards that are not steeped with religion. Actually, even on religious holidays and religious events like communion I want to give a card that is not soaking in religion. I’m not religious, and even when I give a card for a religious event, I feel the card should represent what I would say. Possibly my retailers choose more religious cards since I live in the bible belt.

Cards that accomodate the length of a check, but are not money holder size.

Reasonable price. I buy the 99¢ cards quite often. The next price point seems to be $3+. Why?

Blank cards with beautiful pictures on front and nice quality paper. I used to see more of these, maybe it is just my market.

ucme's avatar

@Blondesjon Wow, ewe shoor kan spel gud!

Blondesjon's avatar

jus gut chirrun of moan

Only138's avatar

FUCK YOU. That would make a good greeting card.

jca's avatar

I like blank cards – the type that can be found in bookstores. The pictures on the front of the cards are often unusual, not the typical Hallmark or American Greetings pictures.

I buy boxes of handmade cards (the multi-dimensional type) at Costco, and when I need a card, I just whip one out.

For my parents, I often make cards by googling “vintage _______ card” and printing the picture, or a photo of my daughter, and cutting it out and putting it onto a folded piece of colored paper with a glue stick.

When buying cards, I try not to spend more than $3 on a card.

Jeruba's avatar

Reorienting: this question asks “What would you like to say to greeting card companies?” It’s about what you as a prospective customer would like to explain to the vendor-manufacturer if you could get a message across.

I appreciate all pertinent comments, and especially those that answer the question.

Adagio's avatar

No mushy or glib sentiments, please, I’m looking for something a little more real.

augustlan's avatar

Please don’t print 3 page long poetic bullshit on romantic cards. No one in their right mind wants to sit there and read anything of that length upon receiving a card. It puts them on the spot, and it’s just unnecessary. “I love you” is usually quite enough.

ucme's avatar

Never knew @Blondesjon was canadian…huh.

Cupcake's avatar

We’re not all white.

Not all non-white people are married to other non-white people, nor do they all dress in kente cloth.

We’re not all Christian.

We’re not all madly in love with everyone.

My dad sucked as a parent. I still want to buy him a Father’s day card and a birthday card. I will not buy one that is full of blatant lies.

Your prices are too high.

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