The fact that Chinese New Year is anywhere from several weeks to almost two months after the Gregorian New Year notwithstanding, the presence and popularity of Chinese culture in the U.S. presents businesses plenty of reasons to want to send Chinese New Year cards to well-defined audiences. Still, if someone offers to give you free Chinese New Year cards – you're probably better off walking away from the deal.
Let me tell you why. First of all, free Chinese New Year cards probably aren't free at all ... though they might be heavily discounted. And if they are free, unless you can read Chinese you might not know what they say – and it would be risky indeed to send a message to your customers that you do not understand: “Free pizza for a year – unlimited!” or “I hate you. Don't ever call me again!” Second, long shipping times, the inability to get a good proof in reasonable time, and other factors lead me to believe that printing your Chinese New Year cards domestically is the best choice. There is no international enforcement for small deals. I have a friend who works at a print shop who tried to go with a long-distance printer (as a broker) in order to meet his clients' tight budget. Guess what he got? In his words: “The most rank, foul-smelling, dirty, messy print job I've ever seen!” Do you think he got his money back? No way! Do you think he kept his client? Well, he did, but he had to eat the cost. Don't be scammed – if you're ever offered “free” Chinese New Year cards, just walk away. Some things might be free, but seldom do you find something good at that price.