“ Greeting cards and more. „
* ~ * HALLMARK * ~ *
For those of you who don't know and have never heard of Hallmark, they make a large range of greeting cars and products and their products can often be found in stores such as Clinton Cards and WHSmith, you may also have come across some of their stores as well. As well as selling a large range of their stock in selected shops, they also have an online website where you can order gifts, cards and other items such as gift wrap and stationary. You may recognise some of their products as they make the Forever Friends card and gift range. Their products are normally of very good quality and reasonably priced. I actually came across their website on a search engine when I was looking for online cards. I wanted a card for my nephew but wanted something different to what I had seen in my local shops. Although the Hallmark website was about the 3rd one down on the search results, I decided to look on their website as I know their products are of good quality and normally reasonably priced. I often shop at Clinton Cards, how-ever I quite often feel as though their cards are over-priced and quite expensive, which is why I decided to look online instead.
* ~ * THE WEBSITE * ~ *
As you go onto their website which is www.hallmark.co.uk you will notice all the bright colours and the recent occasion which in this case is Mother's day. The main screen changes every few seconds and the second banner is about personalising cards. Along the top there is a deep purple coloured banner with The Hallmark logo on the top left corner. Along the banner you have different things to choose such as Personalised cards, Shop, eCards, In Store and Mothers Day. When you hover the mouse over these it will drop down another menu where you can again choose other categories which I have gone into more detail below:
* Personalised Cards - This enables you to choose a card for a specific occasion and make the cards you own by adding names or photographs to the card. You can preview the cards before and after personalising them and this is very simple to do as it takes you through the process of what to do and shows you how your card will look when it's been printed.
* Shop - You can choose cards, Gifts, Wrapping Paper and Card Packs. You can search using a specific occasion or you can just browse the different types of paper and Stationery.
* eCards - This allows you to choose a card from hundreds of designs and send it to someone's e-mail address. You can add you own photos, videos, music and more. This is free and doesn't cost you anything.
* In Store - Here you can locate your nearest Hallmark store by typing in a postcode.
* Mothers Day - As this is the current occasion when you click on this it will bring up all the Mother's day cards and here you can choose specific one's for mum, mummy, Nan and more.
* ~ * ONLINE SHOPPING * ~ *
I wasn't necessarily looking for a personalised card; how-ever I went into this section and choose the occasion which was a birthday. I then selected nephew from the list as this is who I wanted to buy a card for. The page will bring up all the results for Nephew cards and I saw the perfect one here which was a Lego construction scene. This happened to be a personalised card so I clicked on it to find out some more information. On the front I was able to type his name in so it said 'Happy Birthday Simon' on the front of the card. You can change the font and the colour of the writing on the front of the card, how-ever I stuck with both the same colour and font style and this looked good. You can also look inside of the card and also write a personalised message if you wish. Once you have previewed the card and are happy with it, simply click on add to basket. When you click on add to basket you will need to log in or create an account which only takes a minute or two. The place of the item is shown in your basket.
After creating an account or logging in you have the choice whether to send the card to yourself so you can write the card or you can have it sent direct to the recipient. I wanted to write in the card myself and give it to my nephew so I choose to have the card sent to me. I then filled in my details where I wanted the card sent to and chose a delivery date. If you order before 2pm Mon-Fri you can receive the card the next working day, so I choose this option, even though the birthday wasn't for a few weeks yet. When you continue with your order you have the option to change the card size which will of course change the price of the card as well. The card I was buying was a standard sized card and cost £3.00 which I didn't think was too bad seeing as it was personalised. You will of course need to pay for postage and this varies depending on the size of the card and how many you order. In the end I actually purchased 3 cards from the Hallmark website and it cost me just 80p in postage for all 3 cards to be sent to me, so that I could write on them. You can checkout using paypal or a credit-debit card and once this has been completed you will be sent a confirmation via e-mail saying they have received your order.
* ~ * RECEIVING THE ORDER * ~ *
In the evening on the same day I ordered the cards I received a despatched confirmation stating that my cards had been posted to me. Sure enough the next morning my cards were posted through the letter-box. I thought the cards would have been in one package; how-ever these were all in different packaging. The packaging was a strong card envelope to ensure the product itself didn't bend too much during transit. Sure enough all cards were in perfect condition with no bends or creases in them. The cards of course came with their own envelopes which were all white in colour. I was really pleased with the personalised card, and this looked really good and was printed on good quality card and given a slight gloss coating to the front of the card as well. The cards I purchased were perfect and now I was ready to write my own message in them and give them to the recipients myself.
* ~ * OVERALL OPINION * ~ *
The Hallmark website sell a range of fantastic cards, wrapping paper and gifts. Most of their gifts are focused on the Forever Friends bears and this ranges from teddy bears to address books and other things. In terms of gifts I'm not sure I would actually purchase anything from here to give as a present, although their gifts look very nice and of good quality. I easily found 3 different cards for upcoming birthdays and for Mother's day without any problems. Personalising your chosen card is very simple and is done very quickly. In fact I thought this was going to be quite completed but was surprised by how straight forward it was. The quality of the cards is very good, printed on thick card with a gloss look to some of them. The colour on the cards is sharp and isn't blurry so the actual print quality is also very good. The cards got delivered on time and there were no problems at all with my order. In paid approximately £9.00 for all 3 cards which included postage which I think is reasonable. If you have any problems with your order you can contact them using the website to help resolve any problems. As far as I can see on the website they don't have a return policy, how-ever they probably offer one if the wrong product is sent. I have to give the website 4 out of 5 stars because they have a fantastic range of cards for all occasions; how-ever they do lack gifts.
(review also on ciao)
My personal rating of Hallmark Cards Uk is 0.0.The head of customer service is quite rude,unfriendly and lacking inunderstanding the customers needs.At least one branch that I know of in the north west of england has staffthat are uncaring,dirty and smelly,and this is not just my opinion alone.Hallmark cards Uk have upset me and my wife with their attitude,andhave only just apologised for their grim behaviour after our letters ofcomplaint were read by a decent member of the staff.My family will not be purchasing from this company again,and only mypoor health has stopped me from contacting my local health and hygiendept at my council offices.Other customers beware---if you have a complaint against this company,be ready for a long and unlpeasant exchange of words.
I WANTED TO SEND A CARD TO MY PARTNER, BUT FOR SOME REASON IT WOULD NOT PUT THE LETTERS Y V Z X, WHICH MEANT I COULD NOT PUT IN THE WORDS I WANTED TO,SO NO, HAPPY ,OR LOVE YOU,BIT DISAPPOINTED, SO I HAD TO CHANGE ALL THAT I WANTED TO SAY ,IS THERE A REASON FOR THIS?AS YOU CAN SEE THEY ALL WORK IN THIS MESSAGE. I WOULD BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM YOU WITH A SOLUTION, AS FOR THE CARD CHOOSE,VERY GOOD,BUT A FEW MORE CHOOSES WOULD BE BETTER,AND SOME OF THEN SHOWEN SEEMED A BIT FAINT TO LOOK AT,COULD YOU MAKE THEM A BIT BRIGHTER, I DID HOWEVER FIND A NICE CARD AND AM QUITE HAPPY WITH THAT, HOPE MY PARTNER WILL BE! IM SURE HE WILL, THANK YOU AND BEST OF LUCK WITH YOUR NEW VENTURE. AS MY SON IS ONE OF YOUR MANAGERS WE NEED TO KEEP THINGS GOING,GOOD LUCK
It's actually my oldest son's birthday tomorrow, so earlier in the week I was doing my usual last minute rush to get everything organised. I have used moonpig quite a few times for cards, but always find it very time consuming and usually go round in circles for ages. This time I decided to take a look at hallmark.co.uk and I am so glad I did.
Hallmark.co.uk is a bright, cheerful looking site, with a well laid out home page, directing you to every type of card you could wish to buy. They are also generous enough to supply ecards, which can be send to the recipient for free. With it being my son's birthday, I wanted to buy him a card from his brother and sister and another one from myself and his dad.
There are many headings on the home page and unsurprisingly, I chose 'Birthdays'. There are then sub-headings to choose from and I picked 'Male', which then takes you to a new page. Once again, you find another list of headings on the left hand side of the page, but these are far more specific and help you choose the style of card you would like to buy. The styles on Hallmark include:
I had a look through a few of these, but as always I found my favourites in the funny section. I picked one that was especially for a 'brother' and although I found quite a few I liked for a 'son', I opted for one that was suitable for anyone. They were both very funny and made me smile straight away and this was what initially attracted me to them.
The other thing I love about Hallmark cards, is that they can be personalised. I chose to have my son's name on both the cards and printed our names on the inside. I had thought of signing them ourselves when they were posted out, but you get the choice of so many colours and writing styles, that I decided to do it online instead.
After I had finished, I had to register, which was very simple, giving them my name, address and payment details. You can pay by Mastercard, Maestro, Solo, Visa and Visa Debit. Prices start from £2 for a small card (103mm x 144mm), £3 for a medium (137mm x 195mm) and £5.80 for a large (204mm x 290mm). You can have them posted immediately or choose your own date and they can either be send to you or straight to the recipient.
I chose to have mine posted out straight away and received an email within a few minutes, confirming my order. I ordered at about 10am and the very next morning, they appeared on my doorstep. They came in a very thick, strong envelope, marked 'Do Not Bend' and when opened, they were perfect.
Both cards were of high quality and were thick, colourful and perfectly printed. They looked even better than they had done online and I was absolutely delighted with my purchase. They came along with good quality white envelopes, with 'Hallmark' embossed on the back of them. Postage costs were 75p and I thought the overall price was well worth it for such great quality cards. I have to admit that I wouldn't spend as much as this on anyone outside my family, but for someone special, they were well worth the cost.
I would definitely order from Hallmark again and would be more than happy to recommend this site to anyone. They may not be the cheapest cards you can buy, but if you are looking for an excellent quality card that you can personalise for that special someone, the choice on this site is hard to beat.
Go on, splash out and make someones day!
Hallmark conjures the idea of quality in terms of greetings cards and is a very well-known brand in this industry. As well as actual Hallmark shops, you can find cards for lots of different occasions with the Hallmark logo in various supermarkets and card shops on the highstreet.
On first appearances, Hallmark.co.uk has an attractive homepage using bright colours and animations and shows the user different card designs so you get an idea of what you can expect as soon as you visit the site.
From here, you can choose the "cards" tab near the top of the page which allows you to browse through the various categories for each occasion such as birthdays, Christmas, Easter and every other occasion you could possible think of. You can also browse the most popular ranges like Forever Friends and Disney etc. There is also an option to send e-cards.
And if all that wasn't easy enough there are drop down menus which allow you to choose an occasion and then choose a recipient. Using this method will then take you to a page where there are relevant cards to choose from. There is also a search box which allows you to enter a keyword if you would prefer to do it that way.
When you have selected your card, you are then given the option of personalising, or you can leave it as it is.
To purchase a card you will need to create a customer account which can easily be done by entering a few personal details and your email address, this is a very easy process and only takes a few seconds.
I do find the cards to be a little on the expensive side, especially since the rise of more affordable card shops that can be found on the high street, but this site would be great to find something that little bit more special, especially since you can personalise a card. Another good thing about this site is that you can browse through a great range of cards from the comfort of your own home if you don't have time to go shopping for card.
When you come to pay for the card, you can either have the card sent to your address or the recipents address, a good idea if you won't be seeing the recipent of the card in person as choosing this option will also save you a little bit on postage.
Delivery from the site costs just 75 pence which I think is a very reasonable price and you also have the option of choosing a delivery date so if you do decide to sent direct to the recipient, you can choose for it to arrive on the correct day.
This site is very easy to use and has a great range of cards for every occasion.
I have always like Hallmark, but never knew about Hallmark.co.uk until I seen it on Topcashback. I had always used Moonpig to send cards to my friends and family and that was that.
Hallmark used to be on Topcashback with a hugh 40% cashback, but now has 25% cashback, which is still a quarter! So I still continue to use them.
Hallmark has a good range of cards for Birthdays, Easter, New Births, Congratulations, New Homes, New Jobs and for the season that is now of course Christmas. Hallmark has a good range of cards where you can upload your photos and personalise your cards. This is the feature I love most about these card sites and also the reason why I will not go back to buying ordinary cards anymore.
One thing I found that was slightly annoying with Hallmark, is that I would find a card I would like but then it would say on it ´sister´ when in fact it was for my friend´s mum or my auntie and this part would be unchangeable. However, this is the only bad point I can say about hallmark.co.uk.
The cards come in 3 different sizes: small, regular and large. Small cards are £1.95, regular are £2.90 and large and £5.80. Regular size are exactly what you expect to be regular, which is good as you are not misled in any way. The postade and packaging for small and regular cards are approximately 49p and for large it is approximately 75p. Not bad at all really.
I recently bought some large Christmas cards, whereby I uploaded a photo and personalised the front and inside of the card to my liking. I love being able to create cards from the comfort of my own seat and computer and not even having to lift a finger to send the card or even to write someones name on the card. Not a bad service at all.
Overall I absolutely love being able to make my own cards electronically without having to actually make the card. I love the way the cards are personalised and can make your friends and family feel special. After all isnt that what celebrations are for.
I love this site, you should definitely give it a go. Hurry! You´ve not got long until Christmas now!
Ok so when I had my little boy last year my mum decided she wanted to be a Grannie (not grandma, gran or nana). Grannie cards are impossible to find on the High Street so for Christmas I resorted to Hallmark because I got a 10% discount using the code TESCO10 (tesco photo website).
They have an array of different cards but I chose a Christmas, photo uploader card where you upload a picture and put it in to the card to make it even more personal. There was about 63 different cards to choose from a lot of 'cutesy' ones, they have Forever Friends, Disney ones and the other designs.
Card picked I uploaded the picture I wanted, it was very smooth and quick. You can then change the wording on the front if you want so I added the word Grannie to Merry Christmas. You can choose the font, colour and size.
Once you've done the front of the card you can 'turn the page' and fill in the inside with a personalised message, again you can choose your font.
You can choose your card in 3 different sizes: Small (103 mm x 144mm) £1.95, Medium (137mm x 195mm) £2.90 and Large (204mm x 290mm) £5.80. The Medium is about the size of a dvd box and this is the one I selected. You are offered discounts for ordering 5 or more of the same card with the same writing on.
Postage for 1 medium card is 49p. You can choose to have it posted to yourself or to the person who the card is for, what I liked about this option is you can pick the date you wish the card to be sent, so although I ordered the card 3 weeks ago it only got sent out Monday (delivered today, Tuesday). They do warn you to allow a few days for delivery but I assume this is to cover their backs just in case. Also, if you order before 2pm they can send the card out that day (which is great if you forget an occasion!)
The payment process was smooth and clear and I received a confirmation email almost immediately. Mum rang me today to say that the card had come and it was beautiful, she said the quality was fantastic, the only thing is there was no writing on the inside, that could've been my error, I've ordered another one today this time for 'Grandpa' so he doesn't get jealous and for pure reliability from that first order I'd recommend them.
If you're anything like me then you probably dread the hustle and bustle of a busy Saturday shopping day in the city centre. Even something as simple as buying a birthday, Christmas or just an occasion card can be a somewhat un-pleasurable experience when you have to stand in long queues and pay astronomical prices for parking your car, so what better way to select your greetings cards than to shop on-line on websites such as Hallmark.co.uk. I personally put a great deal of thought and effort into selecting the perfect card for each of my freinds, relatives and my partner because I like it to mean something to the person receiving it.
If you've read some of my other reviews then you'll know that I'm a huge fan of the world wide web and the convenience it provides to everyday shoppers with everyday needs.
***A history of Hallmark***
Joyce C. Hall founded Hallmark cards way back in 1910 when he was only 18 years old selling just postcards in the YMCA after embarking on an adventure to Kansas USA. In 1915 the company had moved on to selling cards relative to Christmas and Valentine's day and was known as Hall Brothers.
In 1917 the company moved on to the invention of the modern day wrapping paper after running out of coloured tissue paper.
The hallmark name comes from the hallmark symbol that was traditionally used by goldsmiths in London in the 14th century and is now the famous symbol we see on the back of every hallmark card, that familiar gold crown.
Hallmark UK wasn't established until 1958 and is now the UK's leading greeting card publisher with 60% of the Hallmark international Market. With so much to choose from it's not surprising to find out that the UK produces more than 2 billion cards a year. You can find Hallmark Cards in 100 different countries around the world and they are also translated into 30 different languages.
I'm sure everyone is familiar with the Hallmark Brand, the elaborate gold Hallmark name with the Hallmark crown set right in the middle of the name, commonly found in shops such as Clinton Cards and Birthday's etc. What better way to buy a hallmark card than from the huge collection found on Hallmark.co.uk which provides the same card shopping experience but from the comfort of your own home, and with a wide range of high quality cards to choose from to suit every occasion you can be sure to find exactly what your looking for, for that special someone, you can almost be guaranteed a heart-warming sentimentality with each and every card manufactured.
The website design is of a very high quality and you're eye is drawn immediately to the Bold step by step guide for personalising and purchasing your selected card.
On the website you can add your own personal message and have the card sent directly to the intended recipient or alternatively you can add it to your basket blank (please note that some cards do require you to add the personal touch such as a name on the front, but not all cards do) and have it sent to your own address so you can add the personal touch yourself - there's something for everyone here. Much the same sort of idea as Moonpig.com but with the reliable and trusted Hallmark Brandname and lets be honest, you know you're getting a quality product if you buy a hallmark card.
There are 8 main categories to navigate to from the Home page of the website including
2. Birthday cards
3. Popular Ranges
4. Other Occasions
5. Personalised christmas cards
6. OK! Cards
7. Disney Cards
Each of the first 4 categories has additional sub-categories to choose from depending on your requirements or alternatively you can just select the main category option directly. Using Christmas as an example (I know most people have started preparing already) you can navigate to the Christmas category where you will find a menu on the left hand side where you can do the following:
Search for keywords
Change the category in a drop down menu e.g from christmas to birthday or christening -there's a large selection to choose from.
Select who the card is for in a drop down menu
Choose a specific style such as; cartoon, character, classic, cute, funny juvenile and so on
There really is loads to choose from and even though you navigate to a specific category it couldn't be easier to find cards for different occasions regardless of what category your already in.
The home page also provides you with a step by step guide that's as easy as 1,2,3 in personalising your card which I mentioned previously....
1. Choose a card (we have thousands)
2. Personalise it - add in names, personal messages and even upload photo's
3.We'll post it (to either you or your recipient)
Additional features on the home page include; a login / register link, a contact us link and a help link located in the top right hand corner of the home page, and there is also a tab menu set along the top of the home page where you can choose from; Home, Cards, eCards, Instore and My Account.
You can read all about Hallmarks corporate responsibility, find out about careers and graduate opportunities at hallmark and learn a little bit of the history of hallmark through links all found on the home page.
***How Easy is the Site to Use?***
As indicated in the section previous - the website is relatively easy to navigate allowing you to find the card you're looking for in the category you're looking for in the quick click of a button allowing you to choose from literally hundreds of different cards.
Adding items to your basket is pretty fool proof, all you have to do is find the card your looking for by going to your chosen category and clicking on Select and this will take you to a card preview page where you can view both the front cover and the inside of the card.
The next step is to personalise your card if you do so desire - you can select from Hallmark's own suggestions for the card or you can choose to write your own personal message or alternatively you don't have to add anything to the card at all, just add it to your basket as it is. With certain card selections you are also given the option to upload photographs for example the OK! Magazine themed cards allow you to do this. You can easily identify which cards have the upload function associated with them as there is a little camera icon next to the select button, as easy as ABC. You don't have to purchase your card straight away - you can preview it and make sure everything is as it should be or you can save it for later and come back to it once your sure it's the right card for you.
Once you have added your card to your cart the next page prompts you to enter you details to set up an account with Hallmark or alternatively log in if you're an existing customer. Click on Register and continue to proceed with your purchase where you have the option to have the card sent directly to the recipient or to your own address. Of course then you have to enter your address details and finally your payment details and at long last you're done.
***How fast was the delivery?***
There is a delivery guideline at the checkout page which tells you when exactly you should expect your order to be delivered based on the day and time it was placed or alternatively you can choose your own delivery date. There is a small note at the bottom of the delivery information which advises the following "Note: Most deliveries will arrive the following day although we advise you to allow up to 3 working days for delivery".
The card that I ordered cost me a sum total of £2.90 which is what I would expect to pay in the shop and I had to pay an additional 49p for delivery which I have to say did arrive the following day so the delivery service in my opinion was exceptional and I had absolutely no problems with the card I received, it was in perfect shop bought condition. In addition to the speedy delivery I was surprised to find that hallmark also provide a tracking service for your order so you can find out when it was dispatched and when to expect delivery.
***My overall impressions***
The website overall is very easy to use and easy to navigate through. Would I say it's better than rummaging through the old card stocks in town - not exactly. The process itself is probably more time consuming than if you were to head off into your local Clinton cards but you certainly do have a lot more options and the added benefit of being able to add your own personal touch with uploading photographs and so on. With the added cost of postage it does work out to be more expensive than buying from a shop but I was very pleased with the speedy delivery but think I'll only use the online service for hallmark if I really don't have time to pop to the shops but well worth a look if you want to play about with your cards.
Description: Greeting cards and more.
I am a massive fab of moonpig.com and to be honest, would never usually look elsewhere since discovering it. Having said that, a friend suggested hallmark.co.uk so I thought I would try it out. I usually avoid the actual Hallmark stores because I find them too expensive. there are so many high street stores which are cheaper that I resent paying the extra.
So, the website, well I didn't realise that they sold personalised cards so that was a welcome surprise. They also have thousands to choose from so you will struggle not to find something suitable. You can also upload photo's which I love, it can make a great card really special, especially for children or to celebrate a memorable occasion such as a wedding, anniversary etc.
You can buy these cards in 3 different sizes. For the smallest one, expect to pay around £1.95. A medium card will cost you £2.90 and finally, a large card will cost around £5.80. The postage is around £0.50 which isn't too bad. You can create an account to save your details and also track your order, which is useful. They also do charity and religious Christmas cards, which I don't think I have seen on Moonpig. You can have the cards sent to you or directly to the recipient.
I also noticed that you can send free e-cards from the site, which I like. this can be a great way to make someone smile, without costing you a penny!
I am not sure that I would stop using Moonpig, simply because I love it so much but I will definitely compare the 2 in future to see which has the best card for the occasion. Do I recommend it, I certainly do, have a look and see what you think!
SO! Hallmark online, eh?
Well, as soon as I saw this was Product of the week I opened up a new tab on my internet browser and typed in the web address. I was automatically met with pictures of cards which can be personalised... Moon pig gone mad? Well, it's obviously NOT moon pig, however, I can't help but notice that Hallmark.co.uk is copying the idea a bit with personalisation cards. But there again, I don't know who did this first- was it Moon pig or was it Hallmark? I certainly know that Hallmark have been around for much longer. Dealing with our everyday needs when it comes to those moments where you might have forgotten your wife's birthday (note to many, don't try that at home).
So, what do they do?
Erm, well they do Cards, for all sorts of occasions; including Birthdays, weddings, Halloween, Christmas cards- including those ones that you always say you will send like a picture of you and your loved ones (like in friends). I was actually surprised to find that they do e-cards.
Alright then- how much will it cost me?
For just one card, the smallest you can get costs about £1.95 Regular: £2.90, large: £5.80.
Now unlike in the shop I had realised that when you buy more cards the price doesn't come to what it should do! So, this must mean one thing- you get discounts for buying more! Genius, eh? If only everything else that you buy worked out like that! Although, I think they may make up the money by post and packaging which of course isn't free (47p to be precise)
Is there much variety?
Gosh yes! There are so many designs to choice from according to the person that you are buying for! So, say you are buying for a daughter under 8, you could get her a Disney card- which of course she would love (providing she's not a tomboy) and to make it even better why don't you put a picture of her on the card? Then she may keep the card and have it for years to come!
So, why choose Hallmark?
Well they make things easier for you- you can set up an account with them so you don't have to keep typing your card and personal details in all the time! We all know what a bore that can turn out to be- especially when you've misplaced it under the letter pile on the computer desk. Therefore this saves time and takes a bit off of your stress levels (depending on what sort of a person you are- obviously).
Another thing I like about them is the fact that you can send the card to the person's address so you don't have to worry about getting out a stamp when you've already paid out for the card to be sent to you! Although, I don't think you get confirmation of the delivery, so therefore you have to rely on the person you are sending it to saying thanks!
I feel that Hallmark provide a good service- if you have any problems or queries then they are just a phone call away and are always ready to help. This is including if you just aren't too sure about how the service works- although I don't understand why you would because it is pretty straightforward (another advantage!).
One thing I will say about them is the fact that they are just a tad bit on the expensive side for my liking. However, this may coincide with the theory that you pay for quality if so then this would obviously be a good thing. I would recommend this service. The website is easy to use, nice and colourful, good to navigate, not complicated and is just a great website. The cards always turn up in a good condition and you never regret a purchase.
Hallmark.co.uk is the home website for the hugely successful retailer of quality cards and gifts who have graced our high streets for many a year now and who each of us have either visited or had an item from at some special time in our lives.
The quality on offer from Hallmark is simply the best quality out there with their cards exceptionally well made and beautiful and at a price that is not as expensive as you may think when considering the quality on offer.
The website itself is very well designed and offers a very user friendly experience whilst also showing the products in their best light and remembering that clear and concise information should be at the heart of all things.
The internet is a new technology (in overall terms) and broadband has allowed websites to become much more impressive and Hallmark are one of those companies who have ceased on this and made the small improvements that change this from an everyday website to one you enjoy using.
The products on offer are numerous with OK! cards, personalised cards and even e-cards on offer with the emphasis remaining on simple and user friendly purchases.
- A fantastic looking and very user friendly website
- Simple to use and make purchases
- Excellent variety of cards on offer
- Post direct to your wanted recipient
- Good value for money
- Quick delivery and excellent service
- Excellent delivery rates (Small and medium cards cost 47p to deliver, and large cards cost 70p)
If you are looking for a card for that special someone on their special occassion then why not treat them to a great card from Hallmark.co.uk?
** Hallmark the company:**
The hallmark company traces its roots back to 1910, when 18-year-old Joyce Clyde Hall found himself penniless in Kansas City owning nothing but two shoe-boxes of postcards. Luckily, Hall had an entrepreneurial spirit made a name for himself with the picture postcards he sold. Soon he was joined by his brother Rollie and after various ups and downs they ended up with printing presses, producing and selling their own cards as greetings cards.
Nowadays the company is overseen by the grandsons of the original founders and the company is celebrating its 100th year (presumably with a card or two!) The company prides itself on keeping with the timesand in addition to the 41,500 retail outlets (300 of them branded Hallmark shops) there is a Hallmark Channel television network and the online outlet:
The company publishes in 30 languages, and its products are available in more than 100 countries around the globe.
The company website tells us:"We've come a long way from a man with empty pockets, two shoeboxes of postcards, and a dream. But most importantly, we've held onto the enduring beliefs and values that fill the basic human need to connect with others."
**So - let's do some connecting**
The custom of sending greeting cards can apparently be traced back to the ancient Chinese, who exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year, and to the early Egyptians, who conveyed their greetings on papyrus scrolls. By the early 1400s, handmade paper greeting cards were being exchanged in Europe. The Germans are known to have printed New Year's greetings from woodcuts as early as 1400, but it was the mid 1850s before cards were produced in Europe on any large scale. The Hallmark co were therefore at the front of their trade and it seems that our love for card sending is based on a fundamental human desire to communicate.
**Why go online?**
Part of the communicative desire in this modern age has to involve choice. Many of the cards we send are to people we may not see around the time of the event and thus the words in a card hold particular significance. How much time have you spent browsing a gift card shop finding a great cover - with inappropriate wording of the other way round? I am in no way advocating the demise of independent card traders - am all for supporting local enterprise - but sometimes you need it to be just so, and personalisation offers you this facility.
The online versus high street card shop debate further runs along the lines of the paper versus e-book one. Hallmark have towed a middle line and send both!
Hallmark send e-cards and these are available on the third tab of their website. There are animated cards for :
*At the office, Forever Friends, Anniversary, Belated, Baby, Birthday, Congratulations, Drivers licence, Encouragement, Farewell, Friendship, Good luck, Get Well, Invitation, Just for fun, Just to say hi, Love, Marriage, New Email address, New Home, New Job, Pregnancy, Sorry, Stopped smoking, Sympathy, Thank You.
But they also realise that people still like a tangible occasion card they can receive in the post and display on the mantle. Therefore you can also order cardboard cards to be sent on your behalf:
* Christmas Cards: All Christmas, Photo Upload Cards, Forever Friends Cards, Kids' Cards, From the Whole Family, Barnardo's Charity Cards, Religious Cards,Xmas & New Year Invites
* Birthday Cards: Friends Birthday, Family Birthday, Kids Birthday, Age 18 - 21, Age 30+, Funny Birthday, Cute Birthday, Classic Birthday, Modern Birthday, Belated
* Popular Ranges: Forever Friends, Disney, Scooby Doo, Purple Ronnie, Wellington Bear, Shoe Box, Mad as Cheese, OK! Magazine
* Other Occasions: Anniversary, Birthday, Blank, Christening, Christmas, Congratulations, Engagement, Friendship, Get Well, Good Luck, Leaving, Love, New Baby, Photo upload cards, Retirement, Sympathy, Thank You, Wedding
**Website Usability **
The website: http://www.hallmark.co.uk is very easy to navigate around. The home page has a handy little pictorial guide to sending a real card and you can waste a whole minute by clicking on the wording steps to change the pictures! There is then a list of the card range which will take you through to the design your own card stage.
There are 4 tabs to change page.
Cards - for designing cardboard cards
Ecards - for...you guessed it!
And In store - which will give you info about your nearest outlet; ranges available and even info on owning your own shop.
The personalisation and uploading are speedy and the site backgrounds are attractive.
**How do I send an e-card?**
On the home page of Hallmark card shop you will see a selection of tabs - click on the e-card tab and you will see some samples of the latest and most popular e-cards available. Either select one of these or choose an occasion from a list along the left hand side.
When you click preview your card will load in the same window complete with accompanying music. It takes a few seconds to load which gives Hallmark the chance to advertise their cardboard card sending service - after all the e-cards are free and what they really want is for you to get buying!
If you are happy to choose this card you then press the forward button and enter your e-mail details and name; that of the recipient (one or several which is handy); add your message and choose background. You can add smileys too and then decide if you want to be e-mailed when the recipient opens the card. Finally, choose the date for the card to be sent and Bob's your uncle (so don't forget to send him a card!)
**How do I send a real live card?**
First of all click on the "cards" tab. You can then choose a card based on the occasion or the recipient or a keyword. You can then personalise your card with your buddy's name and, if you're feeling poetic, your own "Love from" type message.
You can also upload a photo and feature on OK magazine covers or in a frame pointed to by a cute teddy. The ideas are endless!
Next you have a choice of size for your card.
A single card of the smallest size is 103mmx144mm and costs £1.95 per card plus 49p P & p If you need more than one identical design card the price lowers. Eg: 5 cards at £1.20 each with 75p P&p.
The next size up is 137 mm x 195mm and prices begin at £2.90 plus the same rate of P&p.
If you really want to make an impression then you can opt for a 204mm x 290mm.These start at £5.80 plus 75p P&p. If you were to desire 100 of these your price would be £280 plus £30.36 P&p. (ideas as to why you might do so to my comment box please!) (....anyone have 100 friends called Fred? Or maybe you send Fred the same card for the next 100 years....?)
Anyhoo... once you have the design of your dreams you simply fill in the address details required, pay and have the card mailed to you or directly to your buddy.
One thing that is missing from an online personalisation of course is your handwriting. In many cases this is a positive! Some, though, might feel that this makes these cards almost less personal. The option to have the card sent to you means that you could also add your own scrawl. My niece uploaded a picture of her grandparents on their wedding day, personalised it but left her family's names off. They then all added their own pawprint before handing the card over. All things to all men!!
You have to at this point set up an account in order to pay and to login next time. You need to reside in the UK to do this, but it is a simple registration of name and address etc.
**Charity for Christmas**
If you wish to support a charity for your Christmas cards Hallmark have a range to support the children's charity Barnados.
**More exciting features**
Once you have set up your account you can use an address book to store the addresses of your friends. This is very handy for when you realise belatedly at work that you need to organise a card and your contacts book is at home under the sofa. You also have access to the calendar facility - note down the all important birthdays and events to remember. Then within a month of the big day the details are displayed on your main account page under Calendar. Very handy if your grey matter is constantly otherwise engaged.
**So Why Hallmark?**
Hallmark cards are generally known for being decent in quality and printwork. Their need to maintain this reputation and thus you can be fairly certain of the quality you will receive.
There are, of course, other such online card sending facilities online (Moonpig for example are currently running popular adverts) but Hallmark appear to have the greater choice available. This may be due to the huge number of artists' copyright they already hold or simply to the fact that they have already very established art and PR departments. Either way, Hallmark is worth a look alongside the others available.
**More useful info:**
Other Hallmark sites:
* Hallmark America
* Hallmark Netherlands
* Hallmark Japan
Phone: 0845 094 5094
Hours of operation:
8:00am - 6:00pm Monday to Friday
9:00am - 1:00pm Saturdays
Bank and Public Holidays not included
Plus the site has job information and facility to track the cards you have sent.
**THE ALL IMPORTANT SERVICE VERDICT!**
Of course, none of the above is any use at all (..hang on ..let me finish!) if the cards don't arrive.
I have to admit to having just 4 experiences of Hallmark online.
Three cards I have sent myself having had great fun personalising them. All of them arrived on the day requested and were very gratefully received. (Not entirely true - one friend was very offended and has since trumped me with an even better e-card insult! The battle is on!)
The third experience I have had is not so happy. My own birthday card from a cousin of mine arrived 2 days late. However, this particular cousin is known for his scattiness (I have plenty of cousins so no-one will guess!) and it is entirely possible that it was not ordered on time!
Thus this particular experience can only be useful in terms of the card quality - and I can confirm it was a howler!
Everybody knows of Hallmark, the most famous card manufacturer around. Everybody will have given or received a Hallmark card at some point in their life, whether it was for a birth, christening, birthday, first communion, Christmas, birthday, get well soon, thank you etc, there is a huge variety of Hallmark cards out there which you can buy for every occasion imaginable.
Hallmark.co.uk is a website where you can go to see all of these cards, and gifts in one simple to use place, where you can browse and buy online in the safety and comfort in your own home.
Hallmark.co.uk was launched in 2008, and on the 8th September this year they celebrated its first year anniversary with a huge card give-away, which was when I first started using the website, to buy cards for a few special occasions I had coming up; anniversary, sisters birthday, parents anniversary and best friends 21st, all of which I needed good quality cards which weren't going to cost me the earth. I was going to use Moonpig.com, but changed my mind and decided to use Hallmark.co.uk as they have a much bigger selection with famous characters and a HUGE choice! Since then I will certainly be using the service again!
The website is neat and tidy to look at, the home page is a simple design with a purple heading with just 5 sub pages; Home, cards, eCards, In Store and finally My Account. Below this is a simple blue animated section to the page which shows the new personalised cards section to the site, with a simple starting point to making your own personalised cards (I will go into more detail of these cards in a little while). Below this is a well laid out section where you can easily find the occasion you need (i.e. Christmas, Age cards etc), meaning that you can easily find the correct section for yourself without having to faff around too much and without going through hundreds of images of cards for anniversaries when you want a card for a 1st birthday. The layout makes the site very easy to use and as it's attractive and tidy, it means you're not confused by the site before you even start navigating it, making it completely un-intimidating and simple to use for all, whether your computer literate or a complete amateur. There isn't too much colour and brightness which makes the site seem "grown up", and respectable, and you know you'll be able to find sophisticated cards as well as fun and exciting cards. (Basically you can find the perfect card for your 80 year old grannie who likes to talk about the war, and you can find something for your 16 year old brother who likes to talk about girls and cars!).
Navigation around the site is very simple and as I said earlier, you can find your way around the site whether your an expert with computers and the internet but also if you're someone who has difficulty finding the on/off button.
At the bottom of the home screen, there are 4 lists of occasions and types of cards (i.e. popular ranges of Scooby Doo, OK! Cards from the popular magazine and Disney), which makes it extremely easy to find what you're looking for; as you simply click on the occasion you want.
Let's show you an example: You have a birthday for a 5 year old boy coming up and you need to find a card for him, he loves Power Rangers and watches his shows every morning. So you have two choices, you can go to Age Cards or to Power Rangers under Popular Ranges. Let's choose Age cards first...
Now at the side of the screen you can simply click on "kids", or if you are looking for another age, you choose that age range. You can also choose from a drop down menu who the card is for (i.e. brother, sister, nephew, Grandchild, boy or girl) to narrow down the search. Now you can narrow down the search even more by looking again on the left hand side of the screen for "characters", and up pops a variety of cards with characters on them, and sitting right there is the perfect card. A Power Ranger card for a boy with the number 5 on it. And it only took me a couple of seconds in a few clicks to find it, no walking to the shop and rummaging around the shelves!
So as you can see, navigation is so simple, it's even easier than going to the shops!
Since I have been using the site it has been updated with a couple of extra cards been added. The content of the site is updated often with new cards been added when new characters arrive (i.e. when there is a lot of interest in a new Disney film for example), making the site brilliant and up to date with what people want now, rather than what people wanted 5 year ago. The site is only a year old, and over this last year there have been hundreds of new cards added to the site, and it is been made better all of the time. The site is updated also with each season, at the moment there is a huge section on Christmas cards, which in Spring will be changed to Easter cards and then it'll be changed again and again, until again in a year's time more Christmas cards will be on sale once more! Of course with this kind of site, it doesn't get updated daily, as there is nothing for it to update in the content side of things! But the site is updated when it needs to be, so when a new occasion comes around, or when there are new cards made, and also when the site is improved and new products are brought out!
Quality of Content
The content on the site is excellent, as I said earlier on in this review, the content is up to date and reflects what customers want NOW and not a few years ago which makes it excellent quality, when you have the cards delivered, they are just like how you would buy them in the shop, only with your own personal message printed inside and the name on the front of the card which is amazing, and definitely not something you can get if you buy the cards from a shop, although they do seem a little impersonal as they're not hand written, but such an amazing idea.
The cards are typical Hallmark cards, they're great quality, a good thickness and they don't feel like they have just simply been printed from your home computer onto a bit of card, and the quality is exactly the same as the quality of the cards from the Hallmark shops!
Range of Services/Products
I have picked upon this before, but once again the range of products is huge. You can buy cards for
all occasions imaginable and within each category there are hundreds of cards which you can choose from, the subjects and occasions you can choose from are: Christmas Cards
Age 18 - 21
Meaning you can find a card for every occasion imaginable, along with these above occasions there are also other subjects to choose from and you can also have photo upload cards, where you upload your own pictures and they become part of the card, which is great and a very personal touch.
The search facility on the site is average, and I find it much easier to find a card I want by going through the pages myself, but you can search for a specific character or occasion card yourself by simply typing it in the search box, and it will bring up all of the cards with the word in its name or description. Very simple to use, but with a website which is so easy to use it's not really needed much!
The cards vary in price, as with everything in life! There are three card sizes; small (103mm by 144mm), Regular (137mm by 195mm) and Large (204mm by 290mm). Prices are as follows:
Small cards cost £1.95 for one card with P&P from 49p.
Regular cards cost £2.90 for one card with P&P from 49p.
Large cards cost £5.80 for one card with P&P from 75p.
When you buy the cards in bulk (a group of say 20 cards with the same personalisation and of the same size), you get money off each card. So for example if you were buying 40 regular cards to send for Christmas cards with simple personalisation of "From Steph and Sean" inside all of them, you would pay £1.45 per card instead of £2.90 per card, with P&P from £3.17.
There is a very easy to use table on the website to show this, and to show the savings you can receive by buying in bulk.
The prices are less than what you would pay in the shops for the excellent quality cards, and it gives you the knowledge that your cards have been sent without the hassle of having to go out and buy your cards, write them, go out and buy your stamps and then actually send the thing, when you have a busy (or a very forgetful...!) life, it's a great idea and so helpful as it's just one little thing you don't have to worry about!
The prices are very acceptable especially for the quality of the product you receive!
Security & Privacy Statement
Hallmark, like every internet order site, has its own Privacy statement, which can be found easily on the website for anybody to read should they wish to. This gives you peace of mind that your information is not going to be used for anything other than for your order, and will not be sold on to other companies (as some companies do, resulting in junk mail through your letter box and email inbox telling you about things you have no interest in...like Viagra and weight loss pills). The site of course needs to collect information from yourself in order to make your shopping experience perfect and in order to personalise your orders. But in today's society you do have to be very careful what information you give out, and you have to be sure that information is not going to be used to steal your identity!
Hallmark use your personal information in the following ways:
Customer Communication, Customer Satisfaction and Customer Convenience; all of which make your online shopping or browsing experience much more satisfactory! Hallmark does not share your personal information with any third parties, unless requested by you (i.e. technology providers, credit card authorisation companies, merchandise distributors, delivery companies and vendors), and Hallmark can guarantee that these third parties do NOT store your personal information.
With the personalisation part of the site, you can upload your own pictures, and sometimes it may be a worry who may be seeing those pictures, especially when they may be of our children. But you can be rest assured, the pictures will only be viewed by the Hallmark employee who is processing your orders, and other Hallmark employees who may have to correct and validate your orders, but no outside parties will ever be shown the pictures unless you yourself show them to those people!
IP addresses and Cookies are used in a limited way (this is where information is shared between your computer and the website), and they will only store information which they need to store and will not be able to access anything which is on your computer!
Your personal account on Hallmark is password protected, so only you can see it which is also something which you can be sure will not be shared with anyone! For more detailed information on the above, there is an excellent page on the website which goes into much more detail, but these are the important facts which Hallmark state in protecting their customers privacy.
Purchase Tracking Function
You can track your order with Hallmark.co.uk as you can with most online shops these days, it's very simple to do, just enter your order number, and it will tell you where the order is in terms of ready for dispatch, been dispatched, or even whether it is still been processed or delayed. It's a fantastic function which means that you can see when your items are going to be delivered and so you can be sure they will arrive on time, but also so that if your items are delayed, you know why, and how long they will be delayed for.
Speed of Delivery
As with everything, you pay for service. And you can expect to pay more for next day delivery than you would for normal delivery.
When I used the service, I had the next day delivery as I was having my card delivered to a friend for her birthday, I ordered it at around 10am the day before her birthday, and it was delivered the next day with the normal post, less than 24 hours later! If you are having your items delivered to your own address for you to send yourself at a later date, then the items will cost less to have delivered (specified when you order!), but will take between 3 and 5 working days. Nothing I have ordered has taken more than a day to arrive even with the postal strike last month!
Ability to Customise
As I have touched upon, you can customise each card either with a photograph or your own typing, whether it be a name or greeting, and also you can customise the inside writing of the card to say whatever you like.
It's very simple to customise your cards, and you can go through the easy to use system which will help you with a step by step guide through customising your cards, making it simple for everybody to use, whether it be the old the young, the smart and the not so smart...well I managed to use it!!
The customisation tool on the site makes it possible to make your cards much more personal than the shop bought varieties!
Well in conclusion, the site is absolutely amazing, and much better than its rival, Moonpig.com, I will definitely be using the site again whenever I need to send a card to someone, it is so easy to use, and so fast, cheap and everything else you want from your online shopping sites!
100% recommended to everyone who needs to buy cards for any occasions!
A few months ago, I wrote a review on a card site called moonpig. When I went to order another card from moonpig however for my sister's birthday, I found myself looking around a little bit more. I had always stayed away from Hallmark, due to the fact that in my mind, I thought the fact that they were such a well known name, meant that I thought that they would have a very big price tag. How wrong I was? The price tag is even better than it's competitors and it's such a fantastic site to use.
For the moonpig review I did a while ago, I found that I wrote a lot of unnecessary information, which was very helpful, but wasn't really needed. I will not include this within this review, everything I write about is important in my eyes and I won't try and fill out the review with said unnecessary information.
Who is Hallmark?
Back in 1910, J.C. Hall moved to Kansas City with a vision, and then when he was based at the YMCA he started selling postcards via a mail order business. This small tiny business became probably the largest company for greeting cards in the world. The company currently sell greeting cards, gift wrappings and much much more, in not only English but 29 other languages as well in about 100 countries.
The UK version of the company did not happen until 1958 and it's now one of the company's biggest sellers of the cards. You will always know if you are getting a hallmark card, by the familiar crown on the back of the card with the Hallmark script. Everyone pretty much knows of Hallmark around the world now.
The website is generally kept very simple; I think the fact that they have only put a small about of information onto each page is very good. After being on websites like amazon.co.uk and even hallmark.co.uk's competitor moonpig, I found this website to fall into what I had been taught when I learnt about website creation and that is keep it simple and you will get the audience involved a lot more. The website is kept very simple, you won't find too much information about the site on the home page, you will have to go searching a little bit, but there's no problems about that in my eyes.
One thing that I have noticed, was at the top left of the page, you will see the well known Hallmark logo. On most webpage's if you click on the logo, it will take you back to the home page. This one doesn't have a hyperlink on it at all, it just seems to be there for decoration. It was a bit shocking as I thought it was a general thing now, that websites used their logo as a hyperlink to get users back to the homepage.
The website only has five links at the top, here is my opinions on them:
When you get to the home page, you will notice how simple the page is kept. They have only put as much information as they need and have kept it very, very simple and easy for people to see. Whereas most websites have a lot of links at the top or left hand side of the webpage, this one only has four main links and one My Account link.
The first thing your eye gets drawn to, to begin with when you enter the website, is the looping animation right in the middle of the page. It just shows you how to order a card from this website. It is a simple and easy to use animation, below the animation is a Find button, to the left of it, it allows you to search 'what occasion the card is for?' and 'who is it for?', it is a brilliant, easy section which allows you to search for what you want quickly.
Right at the bottom of the page you will see that they have listed only some of the card ranges that they have available. At the moment the four sections that they have Christmas, Birthday Cards, Popular Ranges and Other Occassions. They list about 6 different types of cards under these sections, it just makes it a lot easier for you to search for a specific thing. If you want to search for a Friends Card then you would scroll down to the bottom and it's right there for you.
Cards and eCards
These links are actually two different ones but as I don't have too much to say about either of them, I thought I'd include them in the same section. On the first page you will be able to find whatever card you want. It has a lot of types of cards listed, but if you want to search for a specific card for someone, then you can use the search section on the page which allows you to search for a specific occasion and who the card is actually for. I found this 'search' section to be very easy to use and I thought it was a great little addition to the website and made things go a lot smoother.
The E-cards section is brilliant, they are free, somewhere in the review I say I wasn't sure, but I'm can't find it at the moment. I would rather send an e-card now than a proper card, especially to my mates. Money is very tight for a lot of us now and some of these e-cards are fantastic. The selection of e-cards on this website is amazing, there are thousands and they seem to be there for any occasion. If you don't want to spend any money on a friend, but want to let them know you're thinking of them on a special occasion, then why not send an e-card from hallmark.co.uk.
If you want to create an account on the site and you really need to, to buy anything from the site, then you will have to enter the usual details. It's very easy to do, it should take you 5 minutes tops to enter all of your details, get the confirmation email through and then you should be able to buy all you want from the site. If you are already a customer, then you will just need to either sign in before buying your cards, or it will ask you when you are in the process of buying cards. It's very easy to do and will only take you a few minutes to sign up.
Different Types of Cards Available
You might hear me compare this site to moonpig quite a bit throughout this review, it I think will add a lot more depth and I think it will make the review a little bit better. Underneath the animation, you have four boxes. You will see these types of things on the moonpig website, but they do seem to work. These boxes show different kind of cards, more specialised cards to what we're used to. You have the first box, which is Personalized Christmas Cards. These sound like a good idea, I have just had a quick glance over them and they really do look beautiful. I would love to send something like this out at Christmas, but we have such a large family that it would cost us a bomb to send everyone a personalized one.
When you get onto this section, you will find a huge range of Christmas cards which allow you to add the name of someone and I believe the ones with the camera next to 'Select' allow you to upload a picture to the card. I loved this little feature with moonpig and at the time I thought it was the only one, but apparently not. These cards are really lovely and I am thinking of sending some to immediate family members.
The next link is a load of cards dedicated to OK! This section allows you to create your own OK! Card, I myself don't see the point, but I'm sure a lot of people would love this and think it's a great idea. I think it looks a bit tacky myself and wouldn't send something to do with OK! to my family members and friends. If you want to send one to some little kids, then you should click on the Disney link. Most of this is my personal hell, but you can create cards with Forever Friends on it, or even Pirates of the Caribbean. The rest of the cards are things like Toy Story, Power Rangers and Disney Princess and of course the obvious annoying singing Disney shows.
I believe this section is free, I can't see a price for it at all anywhere, but it is the 'ecard' page that I am talking about. I have always preferred the idea of e-cards to normal cards, it means that you don't waste any paper, and they are a lot more funnier than normal cards. The site allows you to send e-cards and it looks very easy to do.
I have used this site twice now to order cards, I have to say I do prefer moonpig overall. The first time I ordered from this site, I ordered a card for my sister's birthday. I did order a bit late due to forgetting about getting a card, but the site said it would get there for the 29th (sisters birthday was on the 1st). Her birthday was a Saturday and it still hadn't turned up. It came on the Monday which was quite annoying; it made me look quite bad. My sister didn't really care to be honest, so I didn't complain about it to the site.
For my friend's birthday at the end of August I decided to try them out again, this time they arrived right on time. It was perfect and my mate loved them. I think the price of postage for the card is fantastic at just 49p, it's a little bit more than moonpig's price which was 44p, but to be honest, if you like the card then 5p is no difference at all really.
I found the site incredibly easy to use, it was very easy to upload a picture when I wanted it, and very easy to enter all of my details and all of the information that I wanted. I found it to be one of the easiest sites I have used and I have to say in comparison, I found hallmark.co.uk to be a lot quicker and a lot easier than moonpig ever was.
Uploading pictures to the site couldn't be easier; it takes what 10 seconds at most for a normal sized picture. Anyone with basic computer knowledge should be able to upload a picture with the help of this amazing website, it does put a smile on your love ones faces when they see a picture of you and them or something special to them on the card. It does make it very personalized in my eyes, to add a picture to a card. The first card I sent using this was to my mum and she loved it, it was a very new idea and she loved it.
Comparisons With Moonpig
For those of you who have taken the time to read this review, you will know I have compared the site to moonpig a lot. The reason for this was because they are very similar and I have used both of them in the past. Here is the comparisons to Moonpig and my opinion on which one I would recommend over the other.
The first thing we should really look at is the price.
Standard Card Price
Moonpig: £2.99 + £0.44p
Hallmark: £2.90 + £0.49 p&p
Large Card Price
Moonpig: £5.99 + £1.05
Hallmark: £5.80 + £0.75
As you can see, for the standard card price, Moonpig would charge you £3.43 and Hallmark would charge you only £3.39 for just one normal sized card. Hallmark are the cheapest, however it is only 4p. For the large card, it is pretty obvious that Hallmark is the cheapest at only £6.55 for a very large card, whereas Moonpig are a staggering 51p more. It's not too much, but for what you get, I think Hallmark turns out to be the better site when it comes to prices.
The next thing we should look at is the website.
Both websites are very easy to use, I think however moonpig is a lot more exciting to use, but I think the site that compensates for all different types of users is Hallmark. It is a lot simpler than moonpig is and I felt it was a lot more sophisticated and it just overall came out as the better created website. I think a lot of people will find it a lot easier to use than they would if they used moonpig.
The last thing I will look at is the delivery.
I have only used moonpig once and it arrived the next day pretty much, a very good service and at the time I thought it was very cheap to use. Hallmark the first time I used it, came very late, and it actually missed my sister's birthday. It wasn't too much of a problem and I still used them the next time I needed a card, they arrived the next day and haven't had a problem. All in all, I can't really comment on the delivery too much. I did have a problem with Hallmark's delivery the first time, but I think it had something to do with the post rather than them. I think either site delivers the cards very fast, which is what you want.
Final Opinion on the Comparison
I think that Hallmark is the better site overall, they are a lot cheaper when it comes to ordering large cards, however they don't offer things like flowers unlike moopig does. (Sorry if this is wrong). I think that price wise you are getting a lot more from Hallmark, but for some reason, weirdly, I do prefer moonpig. It just has a better atmosphere and I think Hallmark comes off across as quite snobby in my opinion. I don't know why, but this is my opinion. If you're not too good with computers, then I would recommend checking out Hallmark, if you prefer a more sophisticated site I would recommend using Hallmark, if you want to save a few pennies then I recommend using Hallmark, however if you don't really care about 4p or 50p and everything else I talked about here, then I would push forward moonpig rather than Hallmark. I just prefer them for some reason.
It is a very good site and it is very easy to use. Like I said in the previous section, I myself do prefer Moonpig, but Hallmark is still a fantastic site to use. It is technically cheaper than Moonpig is and a lot simpler, but I think Moonpig has a better atmosphere and I found myself having a lot of fun choosing the different cards on that site, a lot more than I had on Hallmark.
All I can say is try both of them out and make up your own opinion, I would recommend trying to send out at least one personalized card in your lifetime, I know you can probably make them yourself, but for £3 or so, I would rather get someone else to do it for me. I was very shocked that Hallmark.co.uk was cheaper than Moonpig, I seriously thought the first time that I used Hallmark that it would have a really large price tag, however obviously it doesn't.
If you are like my mum, you do prefer to send out cards the 'old fashioned' way, only joking, then this site might not be for you, but I would recommend using either Hallmark or Moonpig and attempting to upload a picture and sending out a personalized card to someone, it is new and different and I promise you it will bring a smile to people's faces.
A great site, I hope this review helped.
2009 (C) Kirsty
~~~ Introduction ~~~
Sending a card to someone can have so many positive outcomes. A card can provide comfort, reassurance or even a much needed giggle. A card can also cheer someone up or give someone a confidence boost. A card is a great way to let someone know you are thinking about them, or let them know you're sorry and it can also provide a way of telling someone something you could never put into words.
Choosing a card for someone is, therefore, an extremely important task. It is also something that takes time, effort and a great deal of thought. From the basics such as "what colour do they like?" to the more intricate choices such as "does that verse really let my wife know exactly how I feel?" Greeting cards are, of course, sold everywhere these days and buying a card for someone is something we have probably all expereinced at some point. You may be the kind of sensible person who buys their cards in advance. Alternatively, you may also be the kind of adrenaline junkie who rushes into a card shop ten minutes before closing time on Christmas Eve to buy your wife her card !!! You may even have purchased a card online, which is what this review will examine ... but first a little background information !!!
~~~ Background Information ~~~
From an early age I have been aware that Hallmark cards are of a high quality ... it's something I picked up from my mum from my childhood experiences of being dragged from shop to shop in search of a various greetings cards. I would hear my mum muttering comments such as "We're not going there again, they don't sell Hallmark cards". Although at the time I was probably more interested in going to the comic shop I guess the word "Hallmark" and a sense of "quality" has been subliminally implanted in my brain. Just last week I purchased a sympathy card and as soon as I arrived in the town centre I headed straight for the Hallmark shop ... the card I purchased was beautifully designed with a verse that was both simple and touching.
One of the main reasons that Hallmark has this reputation of quality is simply because the company itself has been around for such a long time. The company's roots were in America where a businessman named J.C. Hall started a small company to distribute postcards. But, from small acorns mighty oak trees grow and Hallmark became an international company within a couple of years. Hallmark PLC was established here in the UK in 1958 and quickly became the leading manufacturer of greeting cards. This year alone the Hallmark Group expect to produce 2 billion cards for the UK market and are proud of the fact that they have almost 20,000 designs available throughout the year.
Despite being such a successful company competition within this industry is fierce ... it was, therefore, only a matter of time until Hallmark Cards made the decision to sell their products online !!!
~~~ A card shop online courtesy of hallmark.co.uk ~~~
In a nutshell, www.hallmark.co.uk, provides the same high quality products that are available from any Hallmark Card Shop on the high street but with the additional feature that enables you to "customise" the cards that you buy. Now, this is hardly a new idea is it ? Infact, companies such as "moonpig.com" are already making a huge success out of this concept. However, in my opinion, what gives hallmark.co.uk the edge over companies such as moonpig.com is the fact that there is a far greater choice of cards at hallmark.co.uk. More importantly, however, they are the same quality Hallmark products we have been buying for years from the high street !
~~~ Exploring the website ~~~
As soon as you arrive at the website you are greeted by a beautifully designed homepage and your eyes are instantly drawn to a large menu featuring links to the three simple steps that make using hallmark.co.uk such an easy and user friendly experience ...
1. CHOOSE A CARD (WE HAVE THOUSANDS)
2. PERSONALISE IT (NAME, PERSONAL MESSAGE, PHOTOS)
3. WE'LL POST IT (TO YOU OR YOUR RECIPIENT)
In addition to these three options there are also a number of additional features and links (located at the bottom of the screen) which let you explore and browse their entire range of cards either by card type, theme or occasion. Be warned though ... because there are seriously thousands of cards to look at and if you are the type of person who finds looking for a card in an actual shop difficult then searching for a card you like the look of online could be extremely daunting !!!
~~~ The Search Facility ~~~
One fantastic feature that hallmark.co.uk does offer is it's "search" facility. The search is extremely effective and is activated by simply clicking two drop down menus.
* The first menu asks you to select "WHAT'S IT FOR ?"
* The second menu asks you to select "WHO'S IT FOR ?"
* You then click the "FIND" button.
* Within seconds all the cards that match your search criteria are displayed.
* You can then browse each card in detail.
This is an excellent feature and provides you with a number of potential cards without the need to be spending hours trawling through each individual section looking for the card you would like to buy.
~~~ The Types Of Cards You Can Buy ~~~
In addition to the most popular card sold (the birthday card) hallmark.co.uk sells an impressive range of cards for almost every occasion. The wide variety of occasions covered include Anniversary, Wedding, Engagement, New Baby, New Job, New Home, Retirement and Get Well Cards. There are also cards for special times of the year including Chistmas, Diwali, New Year, Easter and Halloween. In addition to this hallmark.co.uk also have a range of Thankyou Cards, Congratulations Cards, Good Luck Cards, Charity Cards, Religious Cards and Sympathy Cards (as well as a range of Invitations for a number of events such as a Christening).
~~~ The Ranges Of Cards You Can Choose From ~~~
Having selected your occasion the next task is to choose what you card looks like. Once again, there are thousands of cards available (but the search facility can help you to narrow this down). There are so many different designs to choose from ... including cute cards, arty cards as well as a number of traditionally designed cards as well as cards which are much more "modern". However, you can also choose from a number of popular themes and ranges. These ranges include; Disney, Purple Ronnie, Forever Friends, Wellington Bear and OK! Magazine Style Cards.
~~~ Customising Your Card ... The Options Available ~~~
Once you have selected your occasion and decided who the card is for the real fun begins as you then add your own personal touch to it by customising the card you wish to buy. Once again, there are many options, but hallmark.co.uk is extremely user-friendly and at all times you can see your "work-in-progress" which makes this an extremely easy process.
On a basic level you can simply add your message to the card and keep everything else as it was when you first looked at it . If, however, you want to fully personalise the card then there is an opportunity to do so. ***
To begin with you have the option to add someone's name to the front of the card (which is a nice touch) and if you are feeling particularly creative you can even write your very own verse. Many cards also have an area within the design that has been created so that you can add a photograph to the card ... and once again hallmark.co.uk make uploading and adding your images extremely user-friendly.
When you have finished you can preview your card online before proceeding to the checkout, entering the address to which the card will be sent and finally paying !!!
*** please be aware that whilst the majority of cards can be fully personalised there are some cards where customising is limited to what is written on the inside and the actual front of the card cannot be changed !!!
~~~ The Cost Of Using The Service ~~~
Surprisingly, the cost of buying a card from hallmark.co.uk is actually quite low. Once you have decided upon the occasion, the person who it will be sent to and the design (including personalising it) you can select the size of the card. The size of the card determines the cost.
* A small card (103mm x 144mm) costs £1.95 (plus 47p postage)
* A regular card (137mm x 195mm) costs £2.90 (plus 47p postage)
* A large card (204mm x 290mm) costs £5.80 (plus 70p postage)
This is roughly the same as you would actually pay for the card in the shop and if you consider that you do you not have to pay for transport and parking (because you are buying your card online) then this is possibly more cost effective !!!
Once you finally reach the checkout you can pay by debit or credit card (wow a site that doesn't insist on using paypal) and can have the card delivered to your door or sent dircetly to the recipient.
~~~ Additional Services ~~~
In addition to standard cards, hallmark.co.uk also have a massive online selection of eCards. The great thing about these is that they can be sent completely free of charge !!! All you need to do is browse the many designs available, type your message, enter the email address of the recipient and click to send. This is an excellent service that costs nothing to use and is a fantastic way of sending a special message to someone you care about !!!
~~~ Hallmark and the Breast Cancer Campaign ~~~
Finally, in addition to selling cards I think that it is worth highlighting the fact that Hallmark support the Breast Cancer Campaign. Hallmark's campaign is called "Cards For A Cure" and in March 2009 they donated £225,000 to the Breast Cancer Campaign which was raised through sales of their greetings cards. Therefore, buying a card from hallmark.co.uk is also an excellent way of supporting a very worthy cause. Full details of the Cards For A Cure Campaign can be found by pasting the link below into your browser ...
~~~ My own experience of using hallmark.co.uk ~~~
I have used hallmark.co.uk several times now and have been impressed by how easy it is use the website to create the cards, the quality of the cards that were produced and the speed in which they were delivered. The people who I sent the cards to were also pleased with their cards (which, I suppose, is the most important thing really). I have also used moonpig.com and although similar to hallmark.co.uk in terms of features I would have to be honest and say that Hallmark have a far greater choice and produce cards of a much higher quality.
~~~ Summary ~~~
An excellent website which is user-friendly and exremely easy to navigate. With thousands of cards to choose from you are guaranteed to find the perfect card to send. And, if you don't have the time to spend hours browsing then the website's search facility proves to be an effective online tool.
I can thoroughly recommend a visit to hallmark.co.uk as it has proved to be a creative and cost effective experience when buying a greetings card.
~~~ A Final Thought ~~~
Although I have given hallmark.co.uk a glowing review I do feel that even though you have gone to the effort of personalising a card the actual "personal touch" involved in sending a card to someone that you care for is missing. Maybe I am a traditionalist at heart but I do feel that there is something special about the fact that someone has gone to the effort of choosing you a card and writing something personal in it for you to read ... I think that reading someone's own handwriting has something to do with it.
Anyway ... just a thought !!!