What??. That was my reaction when I grabbed a card at the local Safeway and walked up to the self serve checkout. Hopefully you've already purchased your card because many card holders are empty at area stores.

THE AVERAGE CARD PRICE IS $4.50 BUT THE FANCY CARDS COST MORE

114 million that's how many cards Americans are buying on this Valentines Day. Officials form the Greeting Card Association say the average card is selling for $4.50 a card. Wait, that's not close to what you paid right?
A nice card located in the upper part of the card section (because location in the rack seems to coincide with the price) cost me $8.95. $8.95???? What?
The association says the cost has a lot more to do with the "perceived value of the card."

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THREE LARGE COMPANIES DOMINATE THE MARKET THE SET THE PRICE

So who is making the cards and all the money?
Large companies like Hallmark, American Greetings and Papyrus dominate the market and some 40 other companies fill in the gaps. The large companies grab 82 percent of the market with a reported 11 percent average profit.
The Greeting Card Association says with 82 percent of the market the larger companies have more power to set high prices.

COMPANIES ARE HOPING YOU'LL PAY MORE FOR A FANCY CARD

So how are the companies reacting to digital cards and social media? They're making more fancy more expensive cards like the one I purchased. Obviously the companies face strong competition from social media with fewer people are buying cards.
So to attract you the companies are now adding music, foil, a thicker cardstock and wrapping the fancy cards in plastic.
But if you waited until this Valentines Day your choices may be limited so hurry up and get to the store and be ready to pay a premium price to show your love.

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