Hi there, I’m Brian McKinney

Developer, designer, musician, recording engineer. In other words, I like to make things

Greeting Card Shopping Hack

  • July 28, 2007

I hate shopping for greeting cards. I hate staring at endless rows of mindless cheese. I hate, hate, hate it. Yet every birthday, wedding, funeral, or any other occasion, I always find myself staring at cards. I arbitrarily pick and choose cards to read, and am never happy with one until I've spent 30 minutes reading cheesy one-liners and overly emotional rants.

My Father's birthday was this past weekend and again I found myself staring at a million cards. I started thinking about it. I started thinking about the Web and how easy it is to find things like this on the Web. I started thinking about standing on the shoulders of hundreds of people who have already spent 30 minutes looking for a card and find the perfect, clever one. I started wishing I could use the card store like the Web, where items are rated, and you can sort in order of the best selling items.

Then I realized, I could. I scanned the racks for the card slots with only one or two cards left. That would show me the best selling cards and hopefully the most clever. I was hoping to leverage the time that many other people had already spent in the store staring at these racks. It worked. Within about 5 minutes I found a perfect card. I tested this theory a few times, in a couple of different sections and found it to be surprisingly accurate.

So the next time you go to the greeting card section, look for the slots with the fewest cards and see what you can find there first. I was able to find the card within about 5 tries for a few different situations using this method. Avoiding the aimless reading of bad greeting cards was worth a great deal to me.

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