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ClintonCards.co.uk is an online version of the well-known high street card store. Unlike some of the other sites in this category, ClintonCards.com specialises in greeting cards and so doesn't offer them as just a sideline. The site looks very good, having an almost cartoon-like quality about it. There are plenty of features on the homepage, including articles and animated features giving you an idea of what the site offers. Another nice thing about the site is that it's relatively uncluttered, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding your way around.
Near to the top of the homepage you'll see a number of clickable orange tabs that link to the products available on the site. Hovering over 'personalised' brings up a menu by which you can browse their range of personalisable greeting cards by occasion (e.g. anniversary, birthday, general), by recipient (for her, for him, for kids), as well as a range of personalisable gifts (e.g. champagne & wine, jigsaws, keyrings). Probably the easiest way of browsing cards is to do so by occasion. Selecting an occasion takes you to a thumbnail display of all available cards for that occasion. The number of cards will vary depending on the occasion you're interested in. At the time of this review there were 402 birthday cards, 84 general greeting cards and 26 anniversary cards. Moreover, there were very few retirement (5), get well (5) and thinking of you cards (4), all of which were lumped into the miscellaneous category, 'other'. This means that, depending on your reason for wanting a card, you could be well catered for or left feeling disappointed.
The advantage of other sites (e.g. Zazzle.co.uk) is that there are vast possibilities for cards, whereas here the choice isn't as great. In addition, because cards aren't printed to order, it's possible that a particular card may be out of stock. However, you're compensated by the quality of cards and the designs available; it's essentially buying high street quality cards online. Unless you're artistically adept, your own creation, no matter how original, might still seem a little naff compared to what you get here. Once you've chosen your occasion, you can filter cards by a number of criteria such as card size, recipient, character/range, age and style. Whilst all cards can be personalised with your own text messages(s), not all cards feature photo upload customisation (only 58 out of the 402 cards in the birthday category offer this). A personalisation key next to the thumbnail lets you know what you can do in terms of personalising that card. So, if you're keen on uploading your own images and making a photo card, this site lacks the scope of other sites (e.g. Zazzle.co.uk). However, the filter feature can be quite handy if, say, you want a card for a particular relative, or just want to browse funny cards.
The card quality is very good, just as you'd expect from the top-end high street card stores. The card editor is also very good, with a great high-res close-up zoom view of your card so you can check every detail and a simple step process to help you personalise the card. You can also choose things like envelope colour. Pictures can be uploaded from Facebook or your webcam in addition to images stored on your computer. An additional card feature is that of the 'augmented reality' card (21 designs available). It works by embedding a code in your card that the ClintonCards.co.uk website recognises via your webcam. This creates an interactive experience that brings the card to life. It sounds a little whacky, but you can see how it works by watching the video on the site. Instructions are given on the back of the card, so it shouldn't confuse the recipient; just make sure that they have a computer and webcam. Whilst adults probably won't appreciate the novelty, kids would enjoy it, so an augmented reality card may be worth getting for the younger person in your life.
You can supplement the occasion by purchasing gifts (e.g. balloons, books and calendars, champagne and wine), experiences (e.g. Ferrari driving, paintballing and tea for two), flowers and party accessories, to make your celebration even more special. There are plenty of products to peruse, the prices are reasonable, and you can get your celebration more or less kitted out in one fell swoop. If you require any help, you'll also find a detailed FAQs section and email support should you need it.
ClintonCards.com offers a range of tried and trusted quality products that you'd find on the high street, with the added convenience of buying online. Whether it's cards, gifts or other party products, you're sure to find something here. The limited range of cards is a slight downside, but you're unlikely to be disappointed by what's in store.
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