Greeting Cards – I just moved into a planned community and at the activity center there were two turnstiles of handmade, photo greeting cards from a couple of the community residents. Beautiful images from the area – lakes, loons, moose, barns etc. But I nearly choked when I saw the prices – $2.50 a card!
Why so cheap? With a typical Chinese-made greeting card from Hallmark selling in the $5 – $7 range why would someone offer their unique, artist handmade cards for so little? It boggles the mind and makes one understand the concept of the starving artist. Surely at the low volume of selling to random condo renters at the activity center, these people can’t be making any money on these greeting cards.
I regularly sell greeting cards on Pixels and Fine Art America with $3 artist profit built in for me the creator. The prices and profit margin drop significantly if you buy a box of 10 or 25 to encourage a larger overall sale. But they don’t approach $2.50 retail price unless you are going to buy several cards.
Artists have to consider how many of a certain item they are going to sell when they price them. Sitting at the kitchen counter making up hundreds of cards and thinking about how much you will make when they sell is one thing but if they take five or ten years to sell through the batch, then what? How long are you going to wait before you make back your time, materials and squeak out a decent profit?
Certainly consider pricing and your competition which is a mass produced card from the supermarket or Hallmark which can be a few dollars at the low end but up to $10 on the high end. And you are selling in reality small versions of your artwork. Hard to sell a nice big print for hundreds of dollars when you are basically giving away the small sizes. And yes, people do frame greeting cards so price accordingly, they are art, not mass produced throwaways.
See all of my images available as fine art prints on paper, canvas, metal and more as well as products such as towels, phone cases, totes, pillows and yes, greeting cards here – http://www.edwardfielding.com
Article on the greeting card market from The Atlantic: