A Reminder from your Local, Friendly Stationer

DSC_0398smLet me just say, as a paper lover, it kills me when I see people making poor paper decisions... If you're like many this year, as you're clicking, clicking, clicking through online holiday photo card options... don't forget to ask yourself the important stuff:  Is this going to be extra postage?  Is this design practical?  In reality, that oh-so-adorable 5x5 card might NOT be a bargain (once you add the .20 extra it costs to mail it).  What?!  Gasp.  It's usually in the fine print (at least on the more reputable sites). Extra postage that little secret that a lot of online retailers don't necessarily hide, but also don't point out.  The reality is, that's not THEIR problem.  Once you've paid for your order in full, that's YOUR problem. Shimmer envelopes can be an issue too.  Of course they're totally fab... but where's the warning that you probably won't be able to print on them with your ink jet printer?  That it might take FOREVER for the ink to dry and will probably just smear anyway? Also on the naughty list:  poor print quality.  Every year we redo holiday cards for customers who are unhappy with the option they bought online.  It's kind of ironic that they thought they were saving with the "inexpensive" option they bought online... until they have to purchase them AGAIN from us (in order to have something respectable to send out). Coming from a local stationer, if you were to buy a similar product from me, that would make it MY PROBLEM.  I would be the one doing the design, sending it to print, keeping track of it, providing excellent customer service AND handing over the end product....  When you order from a person, you GET a person as a point of contact (not an email or 800 number). Every day, my employees and I make a point to inform customers about extra postage, shimmer envelopes, bulky ribbons and other tips of the trade (because we care about our customers, not just the sale).  Our primary goal is to help!  If someone wants to buy square envelopes for a card they bought off of etsy,  I'm happy to sell what they need if I have it. I'm also sure to throw in, " You do realize that's extra postage, right?"  It's what I call selling with purpose.  I'm happy to sell the item, but if it's going  to backfire on the buyer, that's not going to be a good experience for either of us! Don't misunderstand, buying online isn't wrong - there are a lot of great companies who do right by the customer (and I love that)!  But if you're a tactile person, why not get your product from a local stationer, where you can see a sample design, and touch and feel the paper it will be printed on... all while supporting your local community (and the dreams of boutique owners like me). I think Elf had it wrong.  I think the best way to spread Christmas cheer is sending cards both far and near! Merry Christmas, friends!  Happy holiday card sending season!  And remember, if you didn't buy local this year, you can always give it a whirl next year - your local, friendly stationer will thank you! (Photo taken at Roaring Springs National Park, Missouri when I visited my grandparents to go fly fishing in 2011.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I noticed when I went this year it was a plastic box.  Such a shame, this one had so much character!)