Believe it or not, there was a time when you went down to the dime store (yes, there were such things) or drug store and bought greeting cards to send to friends and family for special occasions. You could buy birthday greetings, get well cards, congratulations on your new baby, sympathy cards, and not much else. Now that the internet has made our world into a global marketplace, there are special greetings for occasions you'd have never thought of, in styles that no national distributor would've taken a chance on selling just ten years ago. Many ecards are free, which only forces sellers to raise the quality of greetings worth paying for. Niche greetings are not limited to ecards, either -you can buy paper greetings in a range of styles that would make Grandma's eyes pop. This is by no means an exhaustive, or even representative list, just some greeting sources you may not be familiar with.

Depressing Times holiday cards

Order of St. Nick offers Depressing Times greeting cards for all occasions, because no matter how bad you've got it, someone else is worse off... and you may as well laugh about it instead of crying! The card shown is actually a birthday card. The 5x7 cards are printed on glossy cardstock and are made of 50% recycled fiber.

Some Ecards

445someecards

Some Ecards uses the tag line "for when you care enough to hit send." These greetings are free, but require registration. This company is right on top of the current buzz, with ecards available now on the topics of the Iranian protests and the death of Michael Jackson, as well as the example you see here. You can also customize cards with your own text, colors, and a huge library of images.

Three Squares Greetings

445threesquares

Three Squares Greetings are cards specially designed to be sent to those who are incarcerated. Some are humorous, many are supportive, and some say the things that you might find really difficult to say in your own words. You can order cards individually online or find them in stores in California.

Wrong Cards

445wrongcards

Wrong Cards are "ecards that are wrong for every occasion", but are fine for your friends who have a sense of humor. Subjects range from apologies for every dreadful thing you could have done to the event of zombie attacks. And they are free to send.

Gramkin Paper Studio

445gramkin

Gramkin Paper Studio is an Etsy seller of high-quality printed notecards, stationery, and greeting cards. The greeting cards are slightly rude and somewhat generic, sold in boxed sets with blank interiors so you can customize them to any occasion -or no occasion at all!

Mean Cards

445meancards

Mean Cards features "stories of daily peril, both real and imagined." Many of these are situations you'll relate to, but have never before seen on a greeting card. Cards are blank inside, and are made of recycled paper.

Wondermark

445wondermarkbedpan

Wondermark is not specifically a greeting card company, but artist David Malki ! has a store attached to the site where you can find his strange ideas in greeting card form. See what the inside of this card says here. Greetings are printed on premium linen cardstock.

Cute Baby Animals

445babyanimals

Amanda Mccall and Ben Schwartz published a book of postcards called Grandma's Dead: Breaking Bad News with Baby Animals.  The removable cards feature distractingly sweet puppies, kittens, and other fuzzy critters to mitigate the news that you are having an affair, think the recipient is too fat, or that you may have given the recipient an STD. Some reviewers recommend buying two copies, so you can send the cards and keep a book for yourself. Get a preview of some of the cards here.

See? Now there is no excuse for sending anyone a boring greeting.