How to Start a Home-Based Greeting Card Business

Written by samantha hanly
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How to Start a Home-Based Greeting Card Business
Unique, hand-painted greeting cards--unlike store-bought cards--add a special touch to any gift. (Christmas greeting card image by Attila Toro from

Crafters who scrapbook or paint or draw can make handcrafted greeting cards. With a small investment, crafters can earn a profit from selling their cards wholesale to small gift shops and retail to the public at inexpensive venues such as church bazaars. Even the smallest home-based business, however, must obtain the relevant licenses and pay appropriate taxes to be in business.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Business license
  • Resale license
  • Art Supplies

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  1. 1

    Obtain a business license from your local town or city offices. Be prepared to fill out forms and pay a license fee. Fees are renewed periodically, usually on an annual basis, as long as you remain in business. Fees vary by locale.

  2. 2

    Obtain a resale license from the state in which you reside and do business. You must present your business license to receive a resale license. A resale license allows you to do two things: purchase supplies in bulk without paying sales tax and sell your wares to the public.

  3. 3

    Shop for supplies with your resale license in hand. You will need to give local and online stores your resale license number. They will not charge you sale tax for anything you purchase to make your greeting cards. This includes paper and cardstock, inks, paints, glues, charms and other items.

  4. 4

    Figure your wholesale and retail prices. In general, the wholesale price is twice the cost of supplies, and the retail price is twice the wholesale price. However, look at the competitions' prices and see if you can afford to offer your cards at a lower price than theirs. If the competitions' prices are already higher, you may be able to raise your prices a little and still be able to sell your cards.

  5. 5

    Approach gift stores with samples of your greeting cards and wholesale price lists. Visit stores during regular business hours, normally, 9 to 5 on Monday through Friday. Store operators do not like to deal with vendors on the weekend because they do most of their business when offices are closed, which is typically weekends. Ask to meet with the buyer, or take the store's business card and call to make an appointment. Be prepared to let the buyer keep a sample greeting card.

  6. 6

    Apply to small craft fairs. Large fairs are expensive, but you can start small. A good opportunity for you to sell your wares directly to the public may be an indoor Christmas craft fair at a local church. Outdoor street fairs require you to bring your own shelter, so start by looking for indoor venues. When working at a fair, display your business and resale licenses so people can see that you are a legal business. Charge retail prices for your cards.

Tips and warnings

  • Create a handful of designs and make duplicate cards of the most popular designs.
  • Starting a home-based greeting card business is not a get-rich quick scheme. It takes time and work to run a small business, and the initial profits will be small.

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