The Stationers Guild

Online Stationery: Don’t get dressed up!

The news clip below highlights one of the major advantages of shopping online for stationery and custom invitations:  No need to get dressed up for the big occasion.

Shopping at Dollar Palace

In fact, if you are shopping online, you can do so in your pajamas, nightgown or – for that matter – buck naked.  Just make sure your have your credit card handy, but perhaps you are using Google Checkout or Paypal to facilitate the sale.

As more shoppers embrace the convenience of shopping online,  even fewer consider the limitations of the online shopping experience.  It is one thing to download a book on Kindle or buy an iPhone, but quite another to buy “fresh” vegetables or “fine” stationery.  In the case of the Kindle or an iPhone, it is a narrowly defined “gadget” or “device” which may be available in several different colors or memory capacity, but all of those characteristics are narrowly determined by the seller.

Buying “fresh” vegetables or “fine” stationery is quite another matter altogether.   You can’t see “fresh” on the Internet; nor can you see or feel ”fine” stationery.  Paper is as much a tactile experience as a visual experience and, frankly, digital limitations of the Internet do not allow one to capture the color and design subtleties of “real” stationery or custom invitations. 

Where extensive customization is involved it is best to get dressed up and visit your local stationer to see what “real” paper looks like.  Many online dealers spend thousands of dollars in promotional online advertising to con you into thinking you are getting a “beautiful”  wedding invitation or “stunning” stationery.   If it sounds to good to be true, it probably isn’t.  Trust your senses: all five of them!  A dose of common sense also has been known to help.

The Internet is great for purchasing products with defined characteristics.  Once you begin to introduce customization into the purchasing decision or are faced with choices that require a value judgment or cause the forgotten senses (smell and feel) to be engaged, it is wise to consider shopping the old-fashioned way.

Richard W. May
Therese Saint Clair

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply