Where to buy cheap blocks of tourist-y postcards?
October 4, 2018 8:48 AM   Subscribe

I am doing Postcards to Voters and need lots of cheap, interesting, and inoffensive postcards to send. Since I am in the Washington DC area, I thought that it would be good to get tourist-y style postcards of the area. But where can I buy them?

I am interested in both in-person and online shopping, but would prefer in-person for now.

This past weekend, I went looking for postcards at my neighborhood drug store (CVS), Barnes & Noble bookstore, and Michael's craft store, but found nothing. Well, Michael's had some postcards, but they were all Halloween-oriented, which I thought wasn't quite right for this use.

Tourist-y postcards are preferable because I think that voters are more likely to want to keep them for their own sake, especially if the voters aren't in the DC area themselves. In any case, I don't want to have to decorate/draw/paint or even print out each postcard because then I will procrastinate and not get as many done. I want to just be able to pull a postcard from a block and write. If you have other recommendations for what postcards to use, though, please feel free to share them.

Specifically, I work in Rosslyn (Arlington) and live in Alexandria City, so I'd especially appreciate recommendations for stores there.
posted by rue72 to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are several wholesale souvenir stores in the DC market (aka Union Market) area, such as NT Souvenir, which ships if you don't want to make the trek.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:59 AM on October 4, 2018

posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:43 AM on October 4, 2018

In Chinatown in my city, there are dozens of small shops that sell city souvenir merchandise like postcards (and magnets and pens and keychains and shot glasses and snow globes and teddy bears and and and) for very cheap, and often the shopkeepers will give you a discount of like 20% if you buy in bulk and/or pay cash.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:45 AM on October 4, 2018

Buying individual postcards or even sets of the same ones seems like it will be needlessly expensive unless you can get a discount or some deal with the shopkeeper. A local print shop should have no problem creating and cutting out a bunch for you at a cheaper rate, though there will some legwork in figuring out design. Probably simple as landmark photo + word art of city name.
posted by GoblinHoney at 10:12 AM on October 4, 2018

Have you (or your org) considered printing some with, say, a calendar on them, or something else useful? It's just a piece of cardboard, and printing your own might be less expensive than buying them.

That said, I love the art postcard books from Pomegranate Press (if they're still making them).
posted by amtho at 10:36 AM on October 4, 2018

I find them in thrift stores, the local Reuse center, and a local antique shop
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:55 PM on October 4, 2018

I write Postcards To Voters. I ordered 1,000 cards that have a design shared by another writer from an online site for about $80. Let me know if you’d like details - happy to go look through my email and find them.
posted by hilaryjade at 4:29 PM on October 4, 2018

Half Price Books use to carry tear out post card books. I've got a couple different art ones. I think they were about $5 for 30 cards.

Amazon has some cheap Animal Box: 100 Postcards by 10 Artists for $4.98 right now.

VistaPrint will let you print your own design on 4" by 6", standard, qty 1000 for $56.24.
posted by stray thoughts at 6:48 PM on October 4, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Walgreens in Chinatown had a bunch of tourist postcards and other knickknacks last I checked, but yes, the wholesalers will be the absolute best option here.
posted by capricorn at 6:58 PM on October 4, 2018

Here's a set of 100 postcards, designed for voter mailing.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:39 PM on October 4, 2018

I was thinking about this today as I finished up a block of PtVs. I know that buying postcards with images and paying for postage can get expensive. Thought of a quick and cheap solution. Buy a block of the pre-stamped postcards from the post office, either online or in person. Then pick up a self-inking stamp of an appropriate size at a craft store. Stamp, write, mail!
posted by bq at 7:44 PM on October 6, 2018

True to my word, I made myself a 'VOTE' stamp out of foam, following this tutorial, and used it on a bunch of pre-printed USPS postcards. But those ran out and I bought the Animal Box linked by Stray Thoughts above and I can testify that they are very high quality and adorable.
posted by bq at 1:11 PM on October 17, 2018

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