Monday, 25 February 2013

Greeting cards in the post

Two weeks ago I wrote a post about my new online art gallery, inviting all my readers to come for a viewing on my opening day. Some of you took up that invitation and I have had some very nice and positive feedback and comments. One thing I could not tell you about in my original post was the quality of the prints from the company where I have my pictures stored, as I had not yet received my first order. That order has now arrived so please read on!

I ordered eight of my prints as greeting cards, it is the most expensive way of ordering greeting cards as there are much cheaper options as a 10 pack or a 25 pack of the same print, but I wanted to see as many different prints of mine as possible so that’s why I chose to do it this way. All my prints can be ordered in many different sizes, including as greeting cards, but some of my prints are made especially for greeting cards as they have text as Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas – not really something you would want to enlarge and put in a frame, well, you could if you want to I suppose, the option is there if you really want to!

I did read some reviews beforehand, and they all said the prints were fantastic, especially the greeting cards, but reading a review is not really the same as looking, feeling and touching yourself. When the cards finally arrived today I must say they thoroughly lived up to all my expectations – and more! The cards have a glossy print, but they also have a kind of laminated surface which make them more hardwearing and less likely to get scratched. The cards simply look like any greeting card you buy in the shops and nothing like what you print out at home, even on the most expensive greeting card inkjet paper around. I am impressed!

The cards come with envelopes too, nice envelopes, not too big, not too small - and thick, not thin and cheap ones. Speaking of cheap, the cards are not that bad in price, even if they are print-to-order. Postage is calculated depending on how many cards you buy, more cards means less postage per card. The cards are sent to Europe with either FedEx or USPS, my parcel came with USPS, United States Postal Service, it took 2 days to print and 16 days for delivery – so long that I actually sent off an email asking if my parcel had been lost. I got a nice reply saying the parcel was on its way, but could take up to 14 working days. So if you make an order, make sure to allow for that extra delivery time. The parcel was delivered to me by Royal Mail along with my normal mail, no signature required, so if you are out when the parcel arrive, providing you haven’t ordered too many greeting cards, they will go through your door with the rest of your mail – well, here in Britain at least.

Some examples for you, in British pounds, although you can choose currency when ordering. All prices include envelope.

Single cards            = £2.63 / card
Pack of 10 cards     = £1.42 / card
Pack of 25 cards     = £1.27 / card


10 cards     = 16.66 incl. shipping     = £1.66 / card
25 cards     = 35.80 incl. shipping     = £1.43 / card
100 cards   = 131.43 incl. shipping   = £1.31 / card

When you order your cards, you can chose whether you want a white or a black back, here you can see both. It can be quite stylish with a black back if the print on the front is quite dark, but this is completely up to each and everyone. You can also create a message to go inside the card or cards, if you for example buy a pack of 25 cards they can all have a message saying Happy Birthday, much love from XXXXX – or you can buy a card with a Christmas motif and simply write Merry Christmas inside. You can also write a more personal message, on single cards or packs of cards.
 
I am so pleased with my greeting cards, it’s almost unbelievable that these cards are made from my pictures. Next step is to order some enlargements prints too, but I think I will need to save up a bit for them, they are a bit more expensive than the printer I usually use here in Britain. Possibly because the quality is higher too, you usually get what you pay for. But the greeting cards has certainly been a success for me and I hope I have inspired some of you to go out and find a place for your pictures too. Perhaps you are worried that your pictures will be stolen online? This company, Fine Art America has done a rather clever thing about that, by putting some software to each photo so the full resolution can only be viewed in pieces and only 50% of the photo. You will have to see that for yourself to understand how it works, but I feel my pictures are quite safe here, as opposed to many other places online where they can easily be nicked by anyone.

So I guess the only thing for me to do now is to give you the address to my gallery, in case you didn’t save it last time, it is www.heleneutaylor.co.uk and if you are thinking about putting your photos with Fine Arts America, but you’re not really sure how to get started, please just ask, I am happy to be of help if I can. Until next time, take care.

22 comments:

  1. Wow, Helene! Your cards are gorgeous!! Hopefully this will become a successful business venture for you. Your blog photos are lovely, so it's no wonder that cards made from those photos are just as nice. Best of luck and keep us up-to-date on how it's going.
    Astrid

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    1. Thank you Astrid, it's all about advertising now - if I can spread the word and let enough people know about my cards, then they might tell their friends and they will tell their friends and so on. It's just so hard in the beginning!

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  2. I gave you a mention on my blog too recently when I mentioned that I was using FAA too. I haven't sent for any cards from them but have had them from the other company that I use and the quality seems to be very similar but the other company only ships to the UK. I guess it does mean though that the cards arrived faster. If you don't mind I'd like to link to this post from my blog and website. As for people stealing images - I see you haven't disabled the right click on your blog. I did this recently so my images were a little more secure. I don't mind them being used if someone asks but don't like them to be just gathered without permission.

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    1. Hi Sue, thanks for mentioning me, I haven’t seen that post, I haven’t been able to keep up with the blogs for the past week as I haven’t been well, but I’ll try to catch up with some of them this week. I think I am following too many blogs! Of course you can link to my post, you don’t have to ask for permission to do that :-)

      As for the shipping, I was a bit disappointed with that, I have made several books with Blurb.com and they are printed in the States too, they take 5 working days to reach me despite weighing more than 1 kg each. But Blurb ships with FedEx who delivers straight to me, not via Royal Mail so that might make a difference too. This is why I made a point of writing about the delivery time, as it unusually long.

      I decided not to disable right click on my website many years ago, and the same goes for my blog. I find it so annoying myself when I go to websites that have that script because it also means you can’t right click on links on the same page. If the developer haven’t made links that open in a new tap when you click on them, you’ll leave the page by clicking on the link! I like to be able to right click on a link and choose ‘open in a new tab’, then I can read the page that was recommended and go back to where I was originally afterwards – or I can just leave the new tab for later. If right click is disabled, choosing to open a link in a new tab is not possible.

      I am not too worried that people might nick my pictures, the ones I put on the blog are small resolution and can’t be used for much anyway, certainly not for printing. I have had many of my greeting cards free to download on my website for years, as high resolution zip files, and I like the thought of giving them away for free now and then – not much is free these days, I can still sell them through Fine Art America and possibly earn a bob or two!

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  3. Helene, congratulation on your business! I see the prints are beautiful, I love the first one on left, the flower collage. Well done!

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    1. Thank you, I hope it will be a business too, eventually, no one has bought anything yet :-)

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  4. From the images I can see - they certainly look like good quality!
    Next time I'm in the market for cards - I know where I'll be heading.
    Again, I wish your venture every success!

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    1. Thank you Angie, and you are very welcome to come and have a look at my gallery, should be something for every occasion.

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  5. Congratulations with your really beautiful cards. Especially the rose and the cat are lovely.
    I wish you a lot of success with your business!

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    1. Thank you, now I just need buyers, lots of them :-)

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  6. The cards indeed look fantastic - pieces of art it seems. The price seems reasonable because you will usually pay $3 of $4 or more for a good nice card.

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  7. You are so right to order a set for yourself, not only as a momento of your work, but to see how the company will treat its customers. I'm glad you are happy with the results. You must have had a moment of pure pride seeing your artwork as cards (in your first photo.) They look amazing :)

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    1. Thank you Rosemary, yes I think it's wise to make an order myself before recommending it to other people, so that's what I have done!

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  8. Oh, I'm so glad to hear the quality is top-notch! Your cards are so lovely, and it's nice to know you can order in different sizes and different arrangements!

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    1. Thank you Beth, I haven't tried their prints and canvas and all the other stuff yet, but if they are anything like the greeting cards I will be happy :-)

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  9. Good luck in your new business. The cards do look very nice and it is exciting you will be getting orders. I have printed my images for wall hangings and it is pretty remarkable how well they were done. The company I use also frames and mounts. I assume the company you use does also.

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    1. Yes, my pictures are sold through Fine Art America, and there you can choose many different options besides greeting cards, everything from canvas, metallic and acrylic prints to enlargements with and without frames. The postage from America is quite hefty though, so for larger prints it might be better for people here in Europe to just buy the prints and get it framed locally. Smaller prints however have quite reasonable postage.

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  10. I hope a lot of people will find the way to your cardshop. They look beautiful.
    Have a wonderful evening Helene.

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    1. Thank you Marjke, I hope lots of people find my cards too!

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  11. Glad these turned out, the quality of the paper makes such a difference in a card. I love the old fashioned feel of textured heavy paper when I look for cards. Not enough people send cards anymore.

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    1. I agree, I like sending a card in the post, instead of an online greeting. And I like to receive cards too, I have saved all the cards I have received, birthdays and Christmas cards from the last 27 years, since my son was born. A nice collection by now :-)

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