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Maybe you have been following Cardcetera for a long time, maybe you just found out about me & my postcard company. Some of what I am writing here might be known to you, maybe all of it is new. But I do hope you will read on – because a change is coming to Cardcetera.
I started Cardcetera as I love postcards and I could not find enough nice postcards in my area at the time. I had started Postcrossing about a year and a half before I started Cardcetera and I had discovered many great postcard publisher – but where to buy the cards? As I already had another company (I am a freelance writer & projectmanager by day – mainly for educational publishers in The Netherlands), it was easy for me to buy postcards from several wholesalers and directly from some publisher. That is how Cardcetera started – with only a few brands and a website where English and Dutch mixed on one page.
In May 2015, I took a big step. No longer were English and Dutch both on one page, I now had a webshop where you could choose to shop either in English or in Dutch. What a difference that made! I always thought it would not matter for my fellow-Dutchies that they shopped in English partly, but it did matter. So the amount of orders grew – not by a few, it doubled. And with that came some problems…
Because sometimes, technology fails me. A payment might not work (which I always solve, but still), stock might not be counted correctly (though I count the cards regularly – usually when new cards come in) and in rare occasions a package might not be received (which I also always solve – just to assure you!). There are more questions, more special requests, I need to order more often and so on.
Costs and profits versus time invested
And then there is the matter of the costs, the profits and the time I spend on everything around Cardcetera. To keep it short: that balance is not great. Not even good 🙂 Prices go up – but I do not always increase the price of cards or shipping as much as I should.
And then there is the invested time. It costs a lot of time to maintain the website, add new cards, find and buy cards and of course ship the orders. I have been thinking about ways to make it more efficient – for instance not sell certain postcards in bigger sizes, wrap the cards less nice, no longer host nice promotion or special events. But you know all these things make Cardcetera special to me and, what I get from your comments, to you.
Yet the last months, I am not happy anymore when I see the cards. And that also has to do with finding the right balance – between both my companies, but also between my companies and my private life. Because I also love spending time with my husband, reading, writing postcards and blogs, cookcing, eating out with friends, running – and so on. I thought about shutting down Cardcetera completely – but that is not what I want. Selling it to someone else is not an option for me – as Cardcetera is my ‘child.’ But all and all, it is clear to me that something needs to change. Because if I go on like this, Cardcetera will close down.
A big change that I made already is that I (for now) closed the German version of the site. You see each postcard that I add, I now have to add in 3 languages. English and Dutch I manage – but German, I need to look everything up. Plus: most German friends use the English-site anyway.
Next to that, I decided to make the assortment a bit smaller. So there are some brands that will leave the store. For now: Lotte Teussink (but: find her on Etsy! She sells her cards there), Kaartje of Kip and Gwenaëlle Trolez will leave the store. More might follow. Follow the Sales-pages closely!
I will no longer provide discountcodes with each order – just because it takes me quite some time to make them and to be frank: the prices are already too low as it is.
Within the Netherlands, shipping is going up. Internationally, there will be no increase for now. If the rates go up by January 2018, that will of course change. But for now, you are safe 🙂
In July en August, things will be a bit slow at Cardcetera. Less new postcards, no newsletter, no blogs and I will ship only twice a week. Please always check the next shipping date when you order! I will be thinking about more changes during those months – so that in September, I will be back, all new and fresh. At least: that is what I hope!
Any questions? Let me know!
Postally yours, Astrid ~ Cardcetera