Home » News and Blogs » How to Sell Greeting Cards online

How to Sell Greeting Cards online

printed greeting cards of art

There are many platforms to sell greeting cards online and here we’re going to discuss some of those platforms. We will also talk about some of the pitfalls. There are so many options that as an artist or photographer you can feel overwhelmed and burnt out with trying to use all the platforms available.

We will break it down for you, apply some common sense and hopefully help you get organised to sell greeting cards online. Just remember what works for one person, might not work for you. So knowledge and planning ahead is vital. If you know about the options, you can quickly adapt and try a different option.

Where do we begin, when it comes to being online

art winter scene printed greeting cardAt the beginning you can choose how professional or seriously you want to start selling your greeting cards. Some artists and photographers try testing the water, by using their personal social media account to showcase a few cards and assess interest from there. They won’t have thought of their branding, pricing, quantities or collections. They won’t have thought about a marketing strategy either. That’s fine if they want to take it slowly, but with this blog we’re talking more seriously about selling your greeting cards online. This involves communicating clearly and consistently with your target audience (your potential buyers).

Before you consider selling greeting cards online, you need to have several card designs. You could choose to create card designs from existing artworks or photos or create a series of new designs. You’ll need a digital image file of each design, so that you can have professionally printed greeting cards.

At The Artists Print Room, we personally design your card layout for you and email you a proof for your approval. Also if you need help creating a digital image file or need your file editing, we’re happy to help. Please feel free to Get in touch

Greeting Card Designs that work

Think of designs with more than one use, women mainly buy cards but remember they buy them for men as well. So when you create a design for a man, think about a card that can work both for a birthday or as a fathers day card.

It’s great to check out what other artists and photographers do as greeting cards designs, but don’t get lost in their designs. Don’t over think what will sell, you need to use your own ideas and creativity first. This way your designs will be niche and you’ll be bringing something new to the market. It’s not good copying someone else’s design, because firstly you could be sued and secondly people are already buying from that established artist and associate that style with that artist. You have to create your own look and feel that allows you stand out from the crowd, it is no good fitting in, because you’ll be lost.

See “Guide to Printing Greeting Cards” for information on card sizes and cardstock.

 

 

Selling individual cards or as bundles (packs)

photos as greeting cardsThere are people who are quite happy to purchase one card at a time online and pay the delivery charge. Then there are others who prefer to have a group of cards with one delivery charge. By grouping your cards into bundles you are reducing your overall packaging costs. It might be worth trying a selection of both and see which sell better.

Pricing your greeting cards

When you are starting out you’ll likely start with a smaller volume card order, which will cost you more than placing a bulk order for thousands of cards of a design. Also bear in mind each card design will incur a set up fee. If a printing company offers free services for printing cards, you’ll still be paying for it in the long run. Every business including yours has to make a profit to survive and pay its overheads. So don’t make any assumptions and don’t be lulled into a low price per card for when your order thousands. You don’t know your market yet or what design will sell well, so it’s wise to start small, test the market and see what works. It takes time to establish your style and brand and of course it’s sensible to make small changes as you go.

 

 

Adding up the Costs

Before you can price your cards, you have to know how much it will cost you. You have to consider the time it takes to create the design, the materials you use, printing and packaging costs and how much delivery costs are to send to a customer.

When you’re looking at costs don’t forget the fees due to Etsy, Folksy and such sites. These need to be added when you work out your card price. Also don’t forget to add your Paypal and Stripe fees that you incur, when you make a sale.

When you finally add up your costs per card, decide what you would like to make as a profit. These two figures added together create your selling price per card. Don’t think by offering a very low price, where there’s very little profit, it will bring in more sales. Buyers can be suspicious of very low prices. At the end of the day you want to make money on your cards, so put your costs together and decide on a sensible price. Bear in mind your online card price doesn’t have to include the delivery charge to your customer, this is a separate charge, your customer pays.

Platforms where you can sell greeting cards online

art printed greeting cardsAmazon
eBay
Etsy
Shopify
ShopHandmade
Not on the High Street
Folksy

  • Amazon has a monthly fee plan or an individual plan where you are charged a fee for each item sold.
  • Etsy charges listing fees for your items, plus when you sell an item there is a transaction fee and a payment processing fee. There is also an offsite ads fee, but if your sales are below a certain value you can op-out of this.
  • eBay has a listing fee and a final value fee, when your item sells. You can also choose a monthly subscription to run your own eBay shop.
  • Shopify has monthly payment plans you can choose from. If you use their Shopify payments, there are no transaction fees, but you will pay additional fees if you choose an external payment gateway.
  • Folksy offers a monthly subscription which gives free listings, but you still pay commission on sales. You can choose not to pay monthly, but you will pay a listings charge, as well as commission on sales. At the time of writing Folksy offer 3 listings free.
  • Shop Handmade have a monthly or annual subscription. You are paid through Stripe or PayPal.
  • Not on the High Street have a one off joining fee and charge 25% (plus VAT) commission on sales. They only accept creatives who have branding and great photos of their products.

These are some of the main platforms, but there are many more available.

Pros and Cons of these platforms

There are pros and cons with using any of the above platforms. Make sure you are aware of all the costs before joining one. Also some of the platforms hold onto your sales money before transferring it to you, this is in case there are any refunds to be made. You might disagree with the refund, but the decision rests with the platform owners. Remember the customer is the customer of the platform first and foremost.

There are a lot of people selling on these various platforms and you could be lost amongst the crowd, so be aware you will have to promote that you are on the platform and provide easy links that customers can use. They are probably the quickest way to get started with an opportunity to sell greeting cards online. Though it may take time before anyone finds you on the site. Some of the platforms don’t work for some artists and photographers.

 

 

Selling greeting cards on your own website

There are huge long term advantages to having your own website. Firstly it is your site, so everyone visiting sees only your products for sale. They become your customers. Secondly by having your own site, your brand becomes more familiar to potential customers. It is less distracting than the market place of the platforms we have mentioned above. Though when you are starting out it might be useful to have your greeting cards on more than one platform. Before you do anything look at all the costs and decide how you want your business to develop and grow.

There are several ways of having a website. You can choose a company to create a website for you. You don’t have the hassle, but if you want to make slight changes, the company has to do it for you. So in the case of new products and designs, they will have to upload these for you. When you sell greeting cards online you need an ecommerce website.

Whether you choose a platform or have a website, you’ll need to create your brand. It’s the way you will become recognisable to your customers. So choose something that reflects your style and personality and remember to keep it simple.

Options for creating your own website

You can also create your own website to sell greeting cards online. It will be more cost effective and you are able to add or make any changes to your site as you go.

  • WordPress is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to create a website and they have different themes and plugins you can choose to give you more choices for your website. With WordPress you would use woocommerce for your e-commerce shop. You could get help in setting up a WordPress website and then manage it yourself. A WordPress site gives you a lot of creative freedom and choice.
  • Wix is very similar to WordPress, but with Wix you can’t move your website if you want to change hosts and there is less creative freedom too.
  • Squarespace is another well-known website builder, but it does have limitations, compared to WordPress. It depends how much you want to adapt features as you grow your business, as to which one will suit you best.

There are other companies that for a set monthly fee will create a website for you, but these can either offer a very limited website or can become very costly.

It pays to take time and look at the costs involved, before you decide what to do. Just because it works for one person, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Think about if you want to offer discounts or sale prices at some point and maybe you want different pricing structures. Maybe you want to send a newsletter to customers or write blogs on your website. Check to see how flexible the website builder is. It really is best to take the time to weigh up your options and consider what type of creative business you want.

Take a look at “Selling Art Online – Website information” for a closer look at creating a website.

Promoting on social media

art printed greeting cards of flowers There are a lot of different social media sites now and according to whoever you talk to some are dying or not good for sales. This opinion changes depending on whether someone has been able to make social media work for them or not. Overall though there is no getting away from the fact whatever social media platform you choose, it will take time to work out how best to use it and you’ll need to spend time creating posts promoting your greetings cards.

The one thing with all social media platforms is that they are designed to keep you on there, so you get to see all the ads that fund these sites. They also encourage you to keep your audience engaged, so they stay on the platform longer too. This means your audience also see more ads. So you have to see what parts of a social media platform work for you and which parts of it don’t work and waste your time. Overall be effective with your time.

When promoting, make it clear what it is you’re selling. You may share how you create your designs and what influences or inspires your designs. You don’t have to share your whole process, but buyers are always interested in learning more about you and how you create your designs. Just remember they don’t need your life story or a long essay. Just make sure what you have to say is concise and clear.

Finally…

Social media should be just one aspect of your marketing strategy, you need to look at other ways of promoting your cards too. Maybe using the facilities on the platforms we mentioned above, such as Etsy or Folksy. Also make sure your own website has good SEO too. Also make sure you have good product images of your greeting cards to help promote them. This might attract the interest of magazines, they are always looking for new and interesting designs.

Remember to add up all your costs, to find your selling price and consider how much you spend on packaging. You want your cards protected, but you don’t have to use fancy packaging. Just remember to use your branding on your cards, packaging, platforms, website and social media. A consistent look is important, your audience will then begin to recognise your work.

Primarily we have discussed selling your cards online, but there’s nothing to stop you from selling at art fairs, local fairs and events and trying a few local gift and independent shops and art galleries. Though bear in mind certain subjects will sell well in certain locations, such as coastal scenes will sell better in coastal shops rather than city shops. When selling online this isn’t such a problem, it’s a case of how you market your designs and style.

We hope you find this blog useful and if you think we’ve missed anything or want your greeting cards printing, then please Get in touch

 

 

 


Did you know that we are the only fine art printing company in the UK which has been accredited by Canson Infinity, Hahnemühle Fine Art, Epson DigigraphieILFORD and a member of the Fine Art Trade Guild? Also, why not sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date with news, products and future competitions at The Artists Print Room – just complete the form below.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram too!