December 12, 2014

O Christmas Cards, O Christmas Cards…

Disclaimer: I’m going to talk about dealing with two companies, Cardstore and Walmart. The cards I got from Cardstore were free, thanks to a discount code I won in a giveaway on another blog. The cards from Walmart were purchased in entirety by me. All experiences are genuine and all opinions are my own.

That disclaimer pretty much sets the scene for this post. If you follow me on twitter, you know I was entering Christmas Card giveaways like mad during November. This is because I love sending Christmas cards (and receiving them!) but I’m also cheap. My thinking was, even if I only win enough to pay for part of our Christmas cards, that’s still saving money, right?

Well, I won one of the giveaways that I found (out of 50 entries, I was 45 of them, so I was pretty confident). It was for free cards from Cardstore.com. I’d never used Cardstore, never even heard of them, so this was my first exposure. And they had a good variety, the website was easy to use, and had really fast shipping. All of that was great. It still only covered about 80% of our address book, but I figured purchasing 20% was acceptable. I decided to wait until I got the cards in hand, though, before buying any more than the amount I got for free.

A few days after I ordered them, like within a week, the cards arrived. And once I saw them in person, well, they were fine. On sturdy cardstock, vivid colors, they even printed our return address on all the envelopes.

But

The images (which were high res, when I uploaded them) were slightly pixilated. Y’all know I take my pictures seriously. And since the cards were smaller than your typical card (4.75 in x 4.75 in, to be exact) the pictures (3) were tiny, and pixilated….it was a big disappointment.

Also, when I opened the box, the envelopes were all marked “Extra Postage Required.” I’ve never sent square cards before, and on their website, you have to click an extra dropdown menu to see the fine print that says this style requires extra postage. Like, more than twice as much as regular postage!

So, all things considered, while I was happy to get most of our cards done for free, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the idea of sending off two different styles of cards, we decided paying nearly $5 all said and done per card to complete our mailing list just wasn’t worth it. Especially since the print quality of the photos was less than stellar.

Of course, this meant beginning the Christmas card search anew. Blah.

After looking at a few other places (and some impressive social media contact from Staples) I decided to give Walmart a try. I’d never thought of them for Christmas cards before, but they actually have quite a variety of pretty designs, and even offer cardstock options! Because of our budget and timeframe, we opted to go with a regular photopaper, but were actually very pleased with what we got.

From Cardstock, to get 20 more of the same card and mail it, came to about $5 per card.
From Walmart, about $2, a little less.

Yeah, that’s a no brainer. I think Walmart may be our store in the future.

And, special for you BBs, here is our Christmas Card for all of YOU.

Me and My SoldierMan: Merry Christmas

Thanks for another great year!

8 comments:

  1. I am in awe that you got everyone (every pup) to pose!!! Super cute. I've done Walmart before and have been satisfied. Not as awesome from when I won a minted giveaway last year. This year we did target because I used a code from when I made a baby registry (it was my 3rd baby so I only registered for the coupons and discounts. So worth it!)

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    1. Oh, they know what the camera is and what it means pointed in their direction :) All of them. Also I had SoldierMan as my assistant so he helped keep everyone in line for me!

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  2. I love Jeb's facial expression.

    I made the square card mistake once. It was crazy that a small card could cost so much to mail.

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    1. They blame it on "hand sorting," and maybe that's true. I'd just think a smaller card = equal/lesser postage. Grumble.

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  3. I've never used Cardstore before, but I usually find the quality from Walmart less than desirable - so I'm really glad they worked out well for you! I'm a big fan of Snapfish, but theire delivery can take quite a while, which I don't like.

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    1. We've used snapfish before, too. I think I've used most of them at one point or another. The Walmart here, at least, appears to have a decent photo printer. It *can* be hit-or-miss, for sure. The one back in EP was only okay, it definitely aged while we were there.

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  4. This is why I have always stuck with Walgreens. They are great cards and amazing quality.

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    1. My Mom LOVES Walgreens photo lab, she uses it for everything!

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