Newest Review: ... through the site and going through the steps to make your own cards is very straight forward. Up until this point I was satisfied, comple... more
Getting funky with the Pigeon
Member Name: bollinger28
Date: 07/03/12, updated on 30/01/13 (823 review reads)
Advantages: Personalised cards and gifts for every budget. Free postage with many items.
Disadvantages: Website can be very slow and the images often take an age to load.
"Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue."
Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas....there aren't many occasions that you can get away without giving someone a card. You can plead poverty and avoid a present, but you'll look pretty dismal if you don't at least stump up with a measly card. That said, the price of greeting cards on the high street is shocking - £2.50 to £3.00 for a thin bit of decorated cardboard and an envelope is a real rip off when you think about it. And all that happens is that 95% of cards tend to end up in the bin once the festivities are over. That is unless they're special enough to treasure as a keepsake....and that's where FunkyPigeon.com can lend a helping wing.
In case they're new to you, FunkyPigeon is a website that sells greetings cards. It's bit like its better known sister MoonPig.com ...only a little cheaper and a bit more flexible. If you're looking for that special card, gift or calendar, then chances are you'll find just what you're looking for on FunkyPigeon...and they'll even let you personalise some of your chosen items for not very much extra.
*** GETTING FUNKY WITH THE PIGEON ***
FunkyPigeon has cards for every occasion you can think of...and probably a few you've never even considered celebrating. As you'd expect, the home page at FunkyPigeon is very, very busy and as colourful as Mr Cadbury's Parrot ever knew how to be. The site is largely purple, and quite bewildering when you first chance upon it. However, once you've got your bearings, the site is actually rather well laid out. There are tabs across the top of the page breaking the site down into the different products they offer i.e. cards, calendars, gifts and so on. However, for the purposes of this review I'll discuss greetings cards as this is the most popular product on FunkyPigeon.com, and the service I tend to use most often. Once you've chosen the tab you require you'll notice that the left hand side of the page now shows a comprehensive list of all the different occasions they can help you celebrate, starting rather obviously with Birthdays and moving onto special one-off cards for occasions like a Graduation, a Christening, St Patrick's Day and so on.
When you click on your chosen celebration i.e. Birthdays, the site then breaks the cards or gifts on offer up into further categories i.e. Mum, Dad, Spoof, Humour, Photo Personalised, Cute and so on. You can then personalise your chosen item by adding your own photos to some designs, or just adding some text to the front of a card if you don't want your ugly mug displayed for all and sundry to see. The cards are all displayed in thumb-nail size images, but you can enlarge them if you see one that catches your fancy, and then it's best saved to your "Favourites" tab so you can make your final selection once you've had a good browse. There really is a truly massive selection of different cards on offer at FunkyPigeon (over 5,000+), and you can waste hours just browsing and then adding photos and text to your chosen selection.
Although they specialise in greetings cards FunkyPigeon offer a whole raft of other products from posters, calendars, notebooks, gift cards, mugs and hampers. FunkyPigeon can personalise a balloon for you, a bottle of booze or a photo frame. They also offer flowers, chocolates and experience days. Obviously I'm not going to list everything they do and how much it all costs, as that would be pointless and very boring. Suffice it to say that the site has plenty to offer and is chock full of gift ideas for everyone - yes even that hard-to-please-aunt or the nephew-that-has-everything-already.
*** PIGEON FANCYING ***
Once you've narrowed down your selection of cards or gifts, the fun bit can then begin. To be honest it can get a bit boring making your selection as the FunkyPigeon website has got so much choice and the images are not often that quick to load. After scrolling through five or six pages of different cards and saving the best to my "Favourites" tab, I tend to get rather bored and frustrated and stop looking. I then go to my "Favourites" tab and have a play around with the selection I've chosen. If you're planning a photo card, you'll need to upload the images you require onto the site. This is a very quick and painless process and they will store the images in your account forever more unless you delete them. Once you've uploaded your photo, you then need to have a play around with the cards you've chosen in your "Favourites" as some will definitely display your image within the card better than others. I recently ordered a Valentine's Day card for my partner featuring our dog holding a photo-shopped rose in her jaw. From my selection of five different cards, Tattie's image only really stood out in about 2 of the 5 cards I'd earmarked. The remaining 3 cards were all too "busy" and the slot for the photo too small to be effective. I wanted the card to be about our dog holding the rose and not about the pre-printed images already on the card. In the end I found a perfect match with Tattie's head inside a large heart displaying the rose dead centre.
When you've had a good play around with the images, you can then personalise the text of the card by adding in someone's name or a message to the front of the card. The next step is to write the message inside in the card, or you can leave it blank if you prefer to hand-write your cards (after all sometimes it's nicer to handwrite the message inside the card rather than send them one that's been printed). If you're happy to have a typed message inside the card you then write your text and you can then alter the size of the font, the type of font and what colour you'd like it in. FunkyPigeon will also let you add a message or an image to the left hand side of the card too...for no extra charge. If you're not happy with the layout of the text or photo, there are arrows to align it so it's more presentable. They also offer a spellcheck on your text, which is a fantastic idea. There's nothing worse than spending hours choosing a special card and writing a personalised message only to have a glaring typo screaming out at your chosen recipient :o)
Once you've uploaded your photo and personalised your text, you really must preview what you've created. Sometimes the photo will need aligning, or the text might look better centralised or in a different colour font. This is a very simple process and it takes literally seconds to make any alterations.
*** PIGEON POST ***
When you're happy with your card, calendar, mug...whatever, you will need to open an account with FunkyPigeon. This is simply itself and you only have to give them basic details such as an email and home address. Once you account is set up, you have to decide where you would like your item posted. You can choose for the card to be sent direct to the recipient (with the option of a "do not open before date" on the envelope), or you can ask FunkyPigeon to send the card (and a blank envelope) to your home address so you can either give it to your friend/relation or post it out yourself. Once you've made a decision on the address, you can preview the envelope so you'll know what that will look like too. FunkyPigeon will also ask you to choose the date you would like the card sent, and they have a useful online table so you can work back from when you want the item to arrive, bearing in mind Royal Mail standard delivery times. Addresses can be stored in your account for future use, and they also offer you a reminder service so you need never again forget someone's special occasion.
All cards are sent out first class free of charge to any UK address ...or you can pay extra and have them go Special Delivery from around £5.25. They will post your card all over the world, but that's not a free service - you only get free delivery on UK addresses. Depending on the size, airmail charges to Europe start from 80p and the rest of the world from £1.40 - all of which seems fairly reasonable to me.
When you come to pay for your item, FunkyPigeon accept all the major credit cards and debit cards, or you can pay them via PayPal. If you have a huge circle of friends and a large family, you might want to consider their Pigeon Prepay account. Basically loading up some credit in your Prepay account gives you a 20% on any future greetings cards. So if you pay £10 into your Prepay account with FunkyPigeon then they'll give you £2.50 extra to spend on cards of your choice. Once you've paid, you'll get a swift email summarising your order along with a picture of the card you've ordered. If you spot a glaring error, you can then log into your account and make changes. However, do bear in mind that once your card has been printed you are unable to make any changes.
Since I created my account with FunkyPigeon last year, I'm pleased to say they have sent me no spam or unwanted missives. The only time I've heard from them is when they have emailed me with confirmation of any order I've placed. Having an account is useful as you can browse through your account history and see tiny images of the last 15 cards you've ordered and when they were sent. You can also have an online address book for family and friends so sending cards and gifts becomes even more simplified. There is also a reminders section where FunkyPigeon will send you an email so you never forget an important date. I can't say I've ever used this section as I'm pretty good at remembering birthdays without any help.
You can also use your FunkyPigeon account to store favourite photos. They also offer a referral system whereby everyone you refer to the site earns you a £3 credit to your account. And it works - as since I joined, my mother has too and her joining gave me £3 in my account. She in turn signed up my sister-in-law....so now we exchange FunkyPigeon cards all year round! As a further bonus, after my first order FunkyPigeon sent me a voucher code offering 50% of my next card, and that worked too.
*** PIGEON ENGLISH ***
What I like about FunkyPigeon is that it not only offers free postage on all UK card deliveries, you can also pick up a personalised card from as little as £1.79. This is better than MoonPig as their minimum spend for a card is £2.99 plus 50p postage. The £1.79 card on FunkyPigeon is A6 size (148mm x 105mm), but you can spend £2.99 and get an A5 sized card (148mm x 210mm) if you want to go bigger and better. They also do A4 sized cards (297mm x 210mm) for £5.99. All the greetings cards are sent out first class free of charge - which I think is excellent value for money.
On the whole the card designs are very nice and there is more than enough choice design-wise. If you like branded greetings cards you can personalise one from the following better known card brands - Knit & Purl, Violent Veg, Where's Wally and Me to You.
In the last year I've ordered a good selection of personalised cards from this site, and they've all been printed on good quality, glossy card. The images and colours have always been crisp and clear, and most importantly, looked just as I expected them too from both the online preview and the emailed proof that they send. The calendar I ordered in particular looks great and it was a lovely Christmas present to design and give.
*** PUTTING THE CAT AMONGST THE PIGEONS - MY EXPERIENCE ***
I've placed a whole host of orders with FunkyPigeon since I discovered them last year. My first order was for a Wedding Anniversary card for my parents, which I was able to personalise by adding one of the better photos of them stood together and smiling. Since then, I've ordered Father's Day cards, and many, many Birthday cards. At Christmas we ordered a special personalised card for my mother-in-law featuring a photo of our dog looking rather cute in the snow. She was delighted with it, and it'll be one that she treasures and keeps for yonks. I also added a photo of himself to the inside cover of her Christmas card, but she was less pleased with this image, pronouncing it unflattering. I'd taken the photo on a lovely autumnal day when himself was sitting on a bench in Jane Austen's House Museum, managing not to look too bored and te'ed off with having to tour a museum for the next couple of hours. We both thought it was a good likeness, by mother-in-law begged to differ!
All the items I've ordered from FunkyPigeon have arrived when they were supposed to, and they've all met, if not surpassed, expectations. If you order the card to be sent back to your home rather than direct to the recipient it is delivered well packaged in a cardboard envelope advising the postman not to bend it.
At Christmas I also branched out from ordering just greetings cards from FunkyPigeon. I don't know if you saw those TV adverts from Vistaprint just before Christmas? The one where they were offering a personalised wall calendar for 99p. I headed straight on over to Vistaprint to order my 99p calendar, only to discover their 99p was a complete fallacy. By the time they'd charged you for uploading your photos and the paper you wanted the calendar printed on, the cost was closer to £15. What a scam! I aborted my uploading session on Vistaprint and headed on over to FunkyPigeon instead. There, I managed to create a lovely A4 sized personalised calendar for just over £8 inclusive of delivery. Each page had a different photo of our dog with a silly caption I invented, and it made delightful stocking filler for himself. It's now hanging on the wall in our kitchen and is not only practical (plenty of space to write in appointments etc), but an amusing conversation piece for any visitors.
You do need to create an account in order to place an order on FunkyPigeon, but that's all to your advantage to be honest. Once you register, they'll keep a record of your orders, and send you timely reminders of upcoming birthdays, anniversaries etc; Once you place an order, you receive an almost immediate email confirmation showing what you've ordered. They then send you another email once the greeting item has been dispatched.
So far I have not found any sites offering cashback for items ordered on FunkyPigeon, which is rather a shame. However, where you will make savings with this site is by searching out voucher codes. You simply key into Google (or Bing) "discount codes at FunkyPigeon" and then check out the results. To be honest I don't think I've ever paid full price for any of the items I've ordered on FunkyPigeon, as there is always some kind of code offering "half price birthday cards" or "50% discount on Valentines' Day items". Check out http://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk or http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk if you don't believe me. The best thing is that these codes do actually work; there's nothing worse than an out-of-date code that isn't recognised once you reach check-out stage, and all the ones I've tried on FunkyPigeon have worked fist time. The discount is displayed immediately and unambiguously. For example, my A4 2012 wall calendar should have cost £10.99 but I found a voucher code giving me 25% discount off all FunkyPigeon calendars, bringing the price down to just over £8. It was the same with the mother-in-law's Christmas card - I found a voucher code for a whopping 50% off - giving me an A5 personalised card for £1.49 instead of £2.99.
*** STOOL PIGEON - WHAT'S NOT SO GOOD? ***
The worst thing about FunkyPigeon is the speed of the site. To be honest it's not at all speedy and at busy times the images take ages to load.
With over 5,000+ card designs to choose from, if you're in a hurry you can rather quickly loose the will to live in selecting the one you want. The best thing to do is choose the occasion, then the type of card you want (funny, contemporary, photo, cute.....), and then start looking at the selection on offer. If you see one you think may be a possibly, save it to your "Favourites" immediately. That way you won't have to go back and scroll through all the pages again to find it! Once you've narrowed down your search to 5 or 6 cards, have a play around with any images you may wish to add as not all of them will look good with your chosen card design. Uploading photos and editing your chosen design is fast enough, it's just the initial search for the item you want that takes an age.
*** NOT MY PIGEON OR RECOMMENDED? ***
Despite the slowness of the site at peak times, I thoroughly recommend FunkyPigeon. The selection of cards and gifts are wonderful and there's something to suit all ages, all tastes and every conceivable occasion. The fact that you personalise a card from as little as £1.79 is an absolute bargain as far as I am concerned. Sending someone a card with a special photo and a personalised message is a sure-fire way to ensuring your card is kept, treasured and retained for years to come. And that's not going to happen if you pop in and buy any old card from Clintons is it?
Once you have done the laborious bit of choosing the card you want, the site is very easy to use. Any order I have placed has arrived in a good timely fashion, has been of good quality and looked just as it should.
There may well be no cashback on purchases from FunkyPigeon, but the discount codes (that actually work!), more than make up for this, and it's really not hard to find a code that will give you 10%, 15%, 25% or even a massive 50% off if you have a bit of a trawl on the world wide web. With Mother's Day coming up I'll be heading on over to FunkyPigeon to order a couple of cards....armed off course with a 50% discount code I found on one of the voucher sites. The code is FUNKYMUM50 in case you want to try it too :o)
Recommended with four stars from me. Despite their excellent range, keen prices and superior service, they do lose a star for having a rather slow website.
*** CATCH THE PIGEON ***
FunkyPigeon.com is owned by Split Ink Studio Ltd.
Telephone No: 08452 600 800
Summary: Website selling greetings cards and gifts which can be personalised with your own photos and text.