I have, for many years, been using Staples and FedEx Kinkos handy print online features to print up postcards. I use these postcards for package inserts, marketing handouts at events, etc.

These postcards are all different but they all share one thing in common: they are a single, letter sized sheet of cardstock cut into fours. Thus, the resulting product is a quarter of a piece of paper large which is an excellent size to get all the info on it but still keep in small enough to stuff into packages.

I would get these printed in black and white ink but printed on brightly colored, double sided cardstock. This made them attention getting but cost effective.

I used to go back and forth between Staples and FedEx Kinkos for these orders. I finally started to prefer Staples because they were closer and more reliable. Most of all, I loved that I could order them from my computer and pick them up only a few hours later because they were a bit faster than Kinkos. This made smaller orders cost effective and was great for last minute needs. I could do a small order every few months instead of a ridiculously huge order once a year. With how often eBay policies change, this was the best way to go to not get stuck with inserts where the policies had changed.

So I placed an order last week for my standard package insert and a second order for some inserts of the same size promoting a deal we have going on in our store. Nothing that I haven’t ordered hundreds of times before. As always, I ordered them on two different colors of paper so that I can easily tell them apart while packing items. Specifially, I requested yellow and pink. (Yellow because they discontinued my usual orange.)

I get a call from Staples. “We can’t fill this on yellow. Is blue OK?” Yeah, I say, blue is fine if you are out of yellow. So the lady says, “OK, we will fill both orders on blue then.” Wait, whoa, I say. I need them to be on different colors. What other colors do you have?

Ready for this wide array of selection? In addition to blue they offer white, off-white and beige. That’s it. Consider that only a few months ago (and for many years before that) they offered all the primary colors and then about 6 “bright” colors which were basically neon. So we are down from a whole rainbow of colors to blue and some varieties of white.

I told her to print up the bigger order on blue but I would go somewhere else for the second order. I went back to good old reliable FedEx Kinkos. They have also discontinued their entire line of colored cardstock. (They didn’t even offer blue!)

Now I am sure there is somewhere out there that could make me what I need but that is besides the point. Staples and FedEx Kinkos were fast, inexpensive and, most importantly, everywhere so I could place orders from home and pick them up anywhere I needed them. I find it very strange that they both, rather suddenly, got out of this business. I can still use Staples for a single type of postcard at a time thanks to the fact that they at least still offer blue but doing orders of multiple inserts is impossible since they only offer one color unless I opt for the thrilling beige.

Those two are the printing big boys. Why did they both drop these products so suddenly (the Staples website still lists all the original color optons)?

What I find especially odd is that they still sell the other colors of cardstock in the stores, they just refuse to print on them. Can’t they just add the cost of the cardstock off the shelf to my print order and call it a day? This makes no sense to me.

Are they trying to force me into upgrading to color ink on white cardstock or use their premium postcard services?

Annoy me into taking my business elsewhere?

Was opening a package of colored cardstock and putting it in the printer really such a hardship?

Is this just something going on in my area or is it worldwide?

Either way, it is really irking me.