The Greeting Card Industry

Tuesday, November 29, 2005
This industry must make money hand over fist and yet if you Think About It it isn't very practical.

Americans buy millions of cards in a given year. I went to buy a few cards the other day and they cost me $3.00 each. Seriously, what the hell is that? These are pieces of paper with cute sayings on them but we are willing to pay $3.00 for each one? And these are items whose useful lifespans are approximately 15 seconds. They are read once, and probably never thought of again a majority of the time. And people give cards for so many different occassions. Birthdays, anniversaries, get well, Just-Thinking-of-You, Happy-Second-Tuesday-of-the-Month, etc. This has got to be the industry to get in if you want to make tons of money. Hallmark is privately held and has sales of approximately $4.4 billion (some of that is non card related products). That's a whole lot of happy wishes.


Kat said...

hallmark is privately held, but a large part of the company is held by employees. people have told me i should buy stock in hallmark because i give so many greeting cards, so i looked into it. stock is only offered to hallmark employees, and to work there you have to live in kansas city, MO. eew.

Jen said...

*sigh* Terrence, you could always send your girlfriend a greeting scratched on some tree bark or something. That would show 'em.

Yes, cards are expensive, but only because the industry has taken advantage of a niche market: those people kind enough to send little friendly messages to others.

I thought you of all people would appreciate the inherent grace of an economically manipulated niche market.

T said...

Oh, I appreciate people who make lots of money so I have no problem with the industry as such.

But just because someone can make money off of other people (myself included) being stupid enough to spend money on something with little utility doesn't mean I have to understand it.

Jen said...

Oh, ack. Sending someone a little pick-me-up has "little utility."

Oh, Terrence, you are a hopeless romantic.