I had a terrible experience at the Paddington Station store of Funky Pigeon. The sales representative was friendly, but the prices are outrageous.

double-letter pricing codes

All cards are priced with the double-letter scheme, which obfuscates the incredibly inflated prices of the majority of their cards. I looked at their 5 'get well' card designs, which seemed to all be over £3. This kind of bad practice is not in the interest of the consumer, in fact I'm surprised it's legal. It got me thinking about alternative sources of high quality greeting cards online.

The personalisation red-herring

Online there's a prevalence of personalised greeting cards over standard cards. The top Google results are all personalised services. Of course it's another way of ratcheting up the price for a pretty picture on a bit of card. I'm not interested in these personalised cards: I find the most effective way of personalising a greeting card is to write in it!

Online alternatives

In many instances High street stores are threatened by online competitors, whose predominantly digital infrastructure is cheaper to rent and staff. I'm a big supporter of physical businesses where their customer service, expertise and advice adds value to my purchase. Sadly so few businesses differentiate themselves in this way, I buy most of my products online. Certain shops have a captive audience, but with Wifi and 3G proliferating, they won't indefinitely. For opportune purchases, such as Greeting cards, there are some excellent alternatives online who sell good quality cards at a fraction of the cost.

Card company Rough cost My experience
The Greetings Card Company £2.20 Good 'Sale' section with cards reduced to £1. Lovely donation policy. Free delivery on all orders.
Wishes4u £0.89
Cardtastic £1.40
Orchard cards £2.20
Funky Pigeon physical store £3.60 Comparatively poor selection, hidden pricing, but instant access