Thursday, 16 February 2012

Etsy Let's Talk: Business Cards

For the last few days I have been thinking about how to word this blog post so that it doesn't alienate or offend anyone....let's give it a go after the jump.



One thing I have noticed from buying things from Etsy is that most people have business cards enclosed with the item, which is smart and great! The only thing that I find strange is a lot of business cards are the 'free' ones from VistaPrint.

Now let me start of by saying that there is nothing wrong with VistaPrint, they do quality work and are very affordable! When you are starting a business they are certainly are in the right price range and you can get 250 cards for free without having to buy anything else (you just pay shipping & handling). However the free ones are actually smaller than a standard business card (standard is 3.5x2 inches) and they also have a line on the back 'Business Cards are FREE at www.vistaprint.ca!'. Well they have to get something out of giving you free cards other than shipping and handling-right?

To me it just doesn't look that great- it certainly isn't bad or going to make anyone not purchase from you. But I just think that if you are going to take the step of having business cards why not brand yourself, on your own terms instead of promoting VistaPrint while you are trying to promote your own business.


And the other thing that I find somewhat hypocritical is that Etsy sellers seem to always want people to buy handmade or local, so why are they using VistaPrint?

Why wouldn't 'they' practice what the preach and go local or handmade (there are a ton of business card suppliers on and off Etsy). Not to say that everyone says buy local/handmade and I also understand we are not all made of money and sometimes specialty business cards (Ex. Letterpress made) are not always as affordable. But in your hometown there has to be a print shop or several that would want your business a lot more.

So I am issuing a challenge to you for when you are running low on business cards. Take the time to find yourself a local printer that is affordable and shop local, not only will you save on shipping, helping a local business and of course stimulate your local economy.

You are more than likely to find a print shop in your local business directory (Ex.Yellow Pages). And I do recommend asking family, friends and businesses that you frequent; 'Do you know a good printer I can use for business cards?'.
And don't be affraid to shop around to compare prices and ask questions. They would love to have your business, so no doubt they will be helpful.

16 comments:

  1. Great point. Actually, several points. ;-D

    FYI: I just bought more cards - I searched locally, on Etsy, and net-wide trying to find something other than VistaPrint, and I just could not find ANYthing that came ANYwhere near their price (and I'm NOT talking about free) In the end I had to go with them. I got 1000 cards, vertical orientation, my own logo/design, on matte paper, for $30. I hate all the spam and crap you have to deal with when purchasing from them (I guess that's part of "the price") so I really tried to purchase elsewhere...

    Good luck everyone else, on the above challenge. PLEASE - let me know if you have success. I wish I had.

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    Replies
    1. At least you tried!!
      VistaPrint runs their cards full colour on a massive printing press with a standard card stock--and some other printers offer higher quality stocks, with specialty coatins and sometimes you just have to say to them I need dead basic.
      I wish you all luck... I may have to get into the business card business!

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  2. I also bought from Vista Print at first . am about out of those and I am going to do something else next time. I am seeing my design in someone else business card every time I turn around.

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    Replies
    1. I did forget to mention that aspect- the premade templates are GREAT but everyone has your 'branding' because they can all use the templates.

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    2. Ugh, that's the worst part! (I'm actually finally running low on my cards, so this blog post could not have come at a better time for me!) I used one of the templates, and I see that design everywhere now! And because I'm familiar with the other available free templates, I see those everywhere now, too! I really need to redesign mine and push forward that brand identity... thanks for the inspirational post, Megan.

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  3. I just received an invitation to the SWO group on Etsy and eventually found my way to this blog. I can relate to the importance of the bottom line, but I agree that the appeal of etsy is the homey, handmade, personal touch. I know from personal experience that I barely glance at a standard business card, but a unique business card with interesting textures or unusual edges or shapes I will inspect and admire.
    Of course, it's my "thing".
    I'll never be able to compete with Vistaprint, but I believe there are enough people who value personalized customer service, handmade goodness and a healthy "stick it the the man" attitude to keep me from worrying :)

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  4. I've written a post about what I look for in a business card, and those free versions from vista print stick out like a sore thumb. Why would creative people be so uncreative as to use a standard design and stick their information on it? There are a couple of designs I see at craft shows, get in packages from Etsy sellers, etc. They go in the garbage because they do not stand out to me. If i can't tell what you sell from your business card, then why would I save it? It won't remind me why I ordered from your store, because it wouldn't help me remember what you store is or what you sell.

    Business cards are such significant pieces of promotion and marketing, that it is worth it to go the extra mile to get a graphic designer to make you some, or to take the time to design your own.

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  5. I ordered great business cards from Moo.com but they were very expensive. I stupidly ordered the heavy expensive paper too. They are great because you can print your own photos on the cards rather than those stock versions. I think I will try a local shop next time. There is one that I walk by every day on my way to work. I think I'll check them out.

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  7. I Order Business Cards but they weren't like that...next time i will keep it in mind.

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  8. Business cards are representative of company so rather one select paper or plastic cards he should be very careful about design and shades....

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  9. Is there any company that will avail same day printing for business cards ? Free Business Cards

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  10. Nice post with a great idea. I need plastic business cards for my new business.

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