Previously on Rudeness Rulez Blog: So I sent emails/filled in web forms/looked at some web pages for about 20-ish printers, both local and global, for a price for printing a deck of 100 of my own custom cards and packed in a tuckbox; I asked for prices for 1 or 2 decks (for prototyping) and for about 100 for selling if the project ever got that far.
The range of prices was incredible - some were quoting about £130 ($150) for 2 packs - presumably made from leftover material from the Turin Shroud. About 7 never got back to me, which does make me wonder if some of them had "broken" web forms and never got my request (I wonder how much business they're losing out on because of this?).
Anyway, to cut to the chase I came across http://gamemaker.ivory.co.uk/ , which provide pretty much exactly the same Print-on-Demand (POD) service as The Game Crafter but are based in the UK. All I had to do was tweak my "card generator" program to output the cards in .pdf format and I was away. I uploaded my cards and got a pack printed and delivered for only £15 ($20). Bargain! They came a few days later and they look great, as professional as anything coming from a shop. Everyone I showed them to were quite impressed.
However, my problems still weren't completely over. £15 was the cheapest quote, but even at that price, I'd need to sell them to punters for about £25 in order to cover postage and make a profit, and I doubt many people would be prepared to pay much more for a card game. Still, the same company did quote me approx £4/pack if I bought 200+ packs, so if their POD service can incorporate discount-for-quantities, it may all be financially feasible. So I sent them an email...