Finding Christmas cards in India

11:12 AM

Once upon a time, I made a point of sending Christmas greetings to family and friends. You know, the old fashioned way, the way that meant going to a shop, buying a card, then writing them, then going to the post office to send them.

I no longer do it, mostly because I lost touch with a lot of friends over the years and I no longer really have all the updated home addresses anyway.
But, this is still something I really love about holidays, and I actually miss. All the emails, WhatsApp and instant messages cannot replace the joy of receiving a greeting card from a friend.

I will also add, that moving to India killed my greeting card sending buzz too. Why? because it takes 2 weeks for mail to reach Europe, if not more, and finding Christmas greetings in shops early enough for them to actually have a shot to arrive before Christmas is near impossible, not to mention you are pretty much stuck with cheesy, blah looking cards from Archies once you find them.
For a few years, I would wait until they hit the store around December 15, and if I was lucky they would reach before the end of the year but I gave up on them the year we moved to Navi Mumbai (and later Mumbai) where going to the post office became a logistic nightmare.

That said, I still think sending greetings around Christmas is a thing that shouldn't die if you have a way around it.
They don't necessarily have to all go via snail mail, you could focus on the family and friends close to home, and include a beautiful card along with a gift to celebrate the season, and if you live near enough a post office and still have an updated enough address book do take the time to send those sweet end of the year words.

The problem that still remains is : where to find greeting cards that do not look like you are still a college kid sending them, and where to buy them early enough in the season.

My advice is to ask around in your social circles, there might be an artist or designer (like yours truly) who could design them for you, or already sells them. Or if you are artsy enough, either design your own and have them printed, or bette yet, make them 100% at home, hand crafted and handmade.

As an artist, I can tell you that greeting cards aren't dead, they still sell, I have sold quite a lot of them in the past few weeks in my Society6 shop and we are just getting started with the Holidays cheer and sales.
The problem with Society6 when you live in India, is that your order take at least 2 weeks to reach India, and unless you pick a free shipping offer, you'll be charge a big shipping fee.

I have been thinking and overthinking the idea of putting Christmas cards up fo sale in my Etsy shop but I decided against it for many reasons:

1) The selling window for these are SUPER SHORT and I could not risk placing a huge order of several designs and be stuck with an massive unsold inventory that would have to go in storage the rest of the year.

2) Even though I am based in India, offers free shipping in India, and my prices once converted in rupees are still fairly decent, people living in India do not shop on Etsy. Paying via PayPal is one of the thing that puts people off

3) Orders I ship to the US take 3-4 weeks to reach, and Europe takes about 15-20 days. This means that for people to receive them on time to write them before Christmas, they would have to order them by the latest by November end. And NOBODY starts Christmas card shopping until mid-November.
US based customers are actually better off buying my cards from Society6, with all the offers and discounts going on right now, it would cost them less to buy them there than directly from me.

With all that in mind, my biggest customer base for all things Christmas in India is the expat community, desperate to keep tradition alive and with little options to plan the most important holiday in the Western world in advance.

As a result, I came up with a very good solution:

I found a printing service that would not force me to place an order of 50 greeting cards but will instead agree to print as little as 10 cards.
And I instead am advertising my services directly in the communities that will more likely buy that kind of product.
If you follow me on Instagram, you already know about it, and how I am willing to take orders from India based customer and print on demand any of my designs on greeting cards, PROVIDED you order 10 pieces minimum.
For all prices and payment methods, you'll have to contact me directly via my Facebook page or on Instagram.

In fact, if you ask nicely, I could even be able to print it on some other items within limit of what I can do on small scale, such as coffee mugs, posters or notebooks.
And of course, everything available in my Etsy shop can be ordered directly with me via DM as well.

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