When I was running my business, for reasons beyond my control, my phone number got changed. I was hopping mad about that, I can tell you! It meant that a box of 500 business cards that had just arrived had to be thrown away. Over the years, this has happened many times. I get the cards and use a few then something changes and they're no good any more.
Possibly the worst experience was when I rebranded my business in order to get away from all the wrong phone numbers that had been advertised online that I just couldn't change. I had to change not only the website but the business cards, the flyers, the magnetic signs and the Yellow Page advertising.
I remember I spent $120 on my first set of magnetic signs. Great business for the local people that made them. After that I looked at cheaper signs and tried different designs of cheaper and smaller signs. None seemed to have any positive effect, however. It didn't matter whether the signs were expensive or cheap or what size they were. In fact today I saw a pair of 12 x 24 inch signs for about $20. Cheap or not so cheap?
Today also I saw an advert for 500 business cards for $8.50. Add postage and that could well triple. I have never yet managed to give out a complete box of 250 business cards. These "cheap" offers all end up being quite expensive if the cards are not all used. It's all waste at the end of the day. Websites are your online business card but they're also a catalog etc. If nobody visits, they're wasted money too.
So, what about the cheapest ever business cards? Simple - use the vCards that can be sent via email or put a QR code on your phone. Most people that have smartphones have QR readers that can read a QR code and enter information into their phone memory. The era of the physical business card is probably passing slowly into history.
Or is it? Do you really, seriously want to spend time scanning QR codes? Do you really seriously not feel a bit of a fool every time you scan a QR code that turns out to be worthless? I don't even have a QR reader on my phone but then I'm not into techy fantasy stuff. In fact, I'm thinking of cutting costs further and using a simple voice only Tracfone instead of a smartphone.
So what really is the cheapest business card ever? I'm going to say that they're going to be the print-them yourself cards. There are 10 per sheet and I can guarantee that you're not going to need more than ten per day. I printed some a few weeks ago and still have all ten. The edges are fuzzy but who really, truly cares? They're there for contact information only. For the ordinary Joe like you or I, we don't need anything fancy. Like as not people will just take the cards and toss them in the trash within moments.