Review: Cardstore.com

As my husband could tell you, I tend to be a greeting card type of person. I like to pick out cards for people – the right card, that is – and always get excited to see people’s faces when they open and read them. But although I always have the intention of choosing, buying, signing and sending cards – I find that actually following through to get everything done (and on time) doesn’t always happen. Like everything else in life, sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day to get everything done myself. Which is why when I found out about a website that not only lets you choose, personalize and purchase greeting cards, invitations and more – but also will address and even mail the cards for you, I just had to give it a try.

What they are:

cardstorebanner Cardstore.com offers 7,000 designs from 70 artists for greeting cards, invitations, photo cards, holiday cards, thank you cards and other stationary products. Every item can be personalized to meet your unique needs – choose from 18 different fonts in 10 colors. Cards and other products can be purchased in any amount – even singly if you only need one card at a time (there are no minimum orders). You can choose to ship your order to your own address, or you can upload your address book and they will address your cards for you – and even stamp and send them out if you want. Other than paying for postage if you want them to send your cards, there is no extra cost.

For the past 10 years, Cardstore.com has offered the best online selection of photo greeting cards at fantastic prices. As the site’s signature product, the versatile photo greeting cards can be customized for any occasion, from birthdays and holidays to special occasions. Simply upload photos into a designer template, or add them to a blank, bordered or collage layout. Customize it further with inside photos (a free “upgrade”) and a personal message.

Whether you want to celebrate your mom or dad, send spooky Halloween greetings, or spread holiday cheer amongst family & friends, Cardstore.com is the online destination for creating seasonal holiday cards. Personalize greetings for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Valentine’s Day with your own message and up to 14 photos. From modern, to classic, to whimsical, Cardstore has hundreds of festive cards to choose from — or for more creative freedom, design your own photo card from blank templates.

Designer Quality at a Bargain Price:

  • No hidden fees – “upgrades” like return addresses or shipping the cards to an address list are included at no extra cost
  • Prices start at $0.79 per card and are never more than $3.00
  • Enjoy high quality cards designed by well-known stationery artists, but printed on professional digital presses to make it budget-friendly
  • Uses sustainable printing and recycled paper; facilities are Forestry Stewardship Council certified
  • The Address Book stores your recipients’ contact information, making it easy to send invitations, announcements or holiday cards directly to friends and family
  • The Permanent Shopping Cart allows you to store your creations until you’re ready to order them and use your Shopping Profile to save your shipping and billing information for your next purchase
  • Envelopes and digital proofs are included at no extra charge

Courtesy of Cardstore.com and the Family Review Network, I received a $35 credit to design and purchase cards to try out and review the service.

Here’s my take on them:

When I first received this opportunity, it was perfect timing, since my oldest daughter had just had her birthday party recently, and I wanted to send thank-you cards. Now we’ve never really sent thank you cards for parties – not because the sentiment isn’t there, but because on the few occasions when we’ve tried, by the time we got them done and ready to go out, it was so far past the actual party that it seemed silly to send the cards. I make sure that my girls thank their guests at the party itself and have just always called it good. But I know that formal thank you cards are an important way to help teach my girls about gratitude and to really have them think about who made the effort to choose and purchase gifts for them, not just be excited about getting the actual gifts themselves.

I saw Cardstore.com as a wonderful way to get the cards done, printed, ordered and even sent – all in one sitting. My daughter and I chose the style, I picked a photo from her party to include in the cards, and she decided what the cards would say. This gave them the personal touch that I liked, but the whole process was quick and easy – and the cards turned out perfect.

Here’s the card design as seen on screen:

 Cardstore1

Cardstore2

I only needed 8 thank you cards, and was excited to see that the per-card price was $2.79 – I’ve spent more on single greeting cards at the store, and those weren’t personalized and didn’t include photos! Plus for that same price, I was able to enter the 8 addresses that I needed them sent to and even have them stamp and mail out the cards for me. I did have to pay for the postage – but I would’ve had to pay for that no matter what. My addresses are stored in an address book for my account, so for her next birthday party we’ll be all set for invitations, thank you’s and whatever else we need for cards.

One of the 8 cards I sent was to my other two daughters – specifically so I could see how the actual cards turned out and what the turnaround time would be. I was very happily surprised to get the card in the mail only a few days after I’d ordered them. Here’s how the actual cards look:

Cardstore_003 Cardstore_002

I think the quality is extremely good – as good as I could’ve printed on our printer here at home, or better. And the process was so easy and quick – I didn’t have to deal with trying to fit cardstock in our printer and making sure everything printed exactly the way I wanted it. I just hit ‘order’ and was done.

After ordering the thank you cards, I actually still had credit left. So with both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day approaching (yes, I’m behind in posting this review, sigh), I decided to see what I could create for the grandmothers and for my husband. Again, the process was very quick and easy – and I was very happy with the results. This time I had the cards sent to me, so that the girls could sign them directly and send them on – or hand-deliver in the case of the Father’s Day card.  :)

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This was a postcard-style card – I had the girls turn the card over and fill in the blank side with their names and they drew pictures for each grandma too. These two cards each cost $2.39 – again less than many store greeting cards.

 Cardstore4 Cardstore5

This card cost a total of $2.79 and again, I had the girls sign and write on the inside before we delivered it to Daddy on the morning of Father’s Day. He loved the card – and both my mom and my mother-in-law raved about their Mother’s Day cards too.

I’ve used other card design sites in the past but what makes this one unique in my opinion is the fact that you can order a card at a time, and there are no additional fees to have your cards addressed for you. It’s basically like having your own personal assistant, without the cost!

The bottom line:

Cardstore.com offers unique, professional-looking designs that you can add photos and personal information to in order to give them your own touch. Whether you need invitations, Mother’s day cards, holiday cards, graduation announcements, business cards or any kind of stationary product, Cardstore.com has a lot of choices for fun, whimsical, stylish or formal needs. Or just start from scratch with a blank card and make it truly your own design!

Where can you find them?:

The site is located at http://www.cardstore.com. From the main page, you can shop by occasion or card type, or search for the right option that you need. The site also showcases a featured artist and there’s a toll-free phone number you can use if you have any questions. There’s also a live chat option available as well.

Right now you can save on the cost of postage when you have Cardstore.com mail your cards for you – just use the code ‘FREESTAMPS’ when you check out (FREESTAMPS coupon code expires at 11:59 pm on 7/16/2010 PT).

This post courtesy of: Cardstore.com and the Family Review Network, who provided the coupon code to purchase products for review. No payment or compensation, other than product samples as described above, was received for this post. All opinions given here are solely my own or those of my family.

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