Find good price on glossy card stock with a specific weight

According to this US Postal Service page http://postcalc.usps.com/Postcards.aspx?m=8&dz=76710&oz=76710&dpb=0&mdt=2015/04/21%2000:00, the maximum thickness (calliper) for small postcards at standard rates is .016 inches.  I would like to find either A4 or 8.25 inch x 11 inch glossy paper that matches that thickness.  Those sizes can both be simply quartered to make the mailable postcard sized advertisements.  Most paper is measured in gsm (grams per square meter or g/m2) which appears to be 102.1 gsm.  Assistance in finding an inexpensive resource with the highest thickness is greatly appreciated.
frugalmuleAsked:
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David BruggeCommented:
Sorry, I am not able to come up with a source of 160# super heavy card stock with gloss coating suitable for inkjet printing. The few sources that were close, has reviews from customers saying how the product didn't work and that the colors came out smeared. They also mentioned the high cost of shipping.

So far our suggestions don't seem to be too popular with you but once again, I suggest that you use an online service to print your cards, or if you insist on printing your own, you go with a lighter weight stock.

If you insist on that heavy of a stock, keep in mind that if the humidity in the air causes the paper to swell by a hundredth of an inch, the post office will cancel all of your postage and return it to you as undeliverable (in my case, they told me to come pick it up).

But if you still want to go that route, then call a local printer and ask them if they can get you some through his paper supplier. In all likeliness, that will be much cheaper than paying postage on such a heavy package of paper.

Once you have your paper, I wish you all of the luck.
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David BruggeCommented:
Where do you live, how will you be using the paper, and how much do you need.

Where you live, say New York City vs a research outpost in the Antarctic can have an impact on what resources are available to you.

Do you want this glossy stock for desktop publishing? If so, do you need it for ink jet or for laser?

Do you want this glossy stock for commercial printing? Offset printer or web?

Do you need a few sheets, a few reams, or a truckload?

A few sheets is best purchased on the internet from a host of paper suppliers. A truckload, depending on where you live, can be purchased through a paper wholesaler. A few reams can best be purchased through your local printer. Call them up, tell them what you are looking for. They can get it from their wholesaler for you, even trim it to size if necessary. Weight their price against purchasing online (including freight)

As for the thickness, all you need do is tell them that this will be used for a postcard. Every paper supplier and every printer in the U S knows the postal regulations.

If this is for postcards that you are planning on printing yourself to mail out, unless you are only printing a handful at a time, make other plans. Self publishing postcards isn't worth it.

Desktop printers usually have a very hard time feeding glossy card stock without them sticking together and causing jamming. If you are only printing a handful, you can feed them through one at a time, but more than a few costs you both in time and in every expensive ink.

With laser printers, in addition to the jamming problem, it is very difficult to find stock thick enough for the U S post office that will still let the heating element on the printer fuse the toner on the paper. (the thicker the paper, the less heat is allowed through)

Read this forum post about desktop printing vs commercial printing
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
Ink jet printing,  Waco tx
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David BruggeCommented:
Good, you have both commercial printers and paper wholesalers in your area.

Like I said however, unless you will be sending out only a handful of postcards at a time, I would consider using an online printer that specializes in printing economical postcards.

I speak from years of experience. I send out between twenty and thirty thousand postcards a year. Some are for massive bulk mailings, some are for private invites of just a few at a time.

I have tried sending out cards that I print on my inkjet printer, on my laser printer, by going to the local Kinko's and having them printed and cut into quarters, using local commercial printers, and using online printers. None are without their problems.
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
that doesn't directly answer my question though.  I might need I ream or less at a time at .016 thickness.
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David BruggeCommented:
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
So far, according to Jeff at your forum link http://www.colorprintingforum.com/print-community-general-printing-discussion/what-minimum-paper-weight-for-usps-postcard-printing-327.html , we have the following new information:

80 lb (.08 or 215gsm)
100 lb (.10 or 270gsm)
110 lb (.11)
120 lb (.12) - typical stock is 80-120lb
160 lb (.16) - maximum us postal thickness
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
These are business cards http://www.ebay.com/itm/1000-COLOR-FREE-Professional-Designer-CUSTOM-BUSINESS-CARDS-Thick-16PT-Glossy-UV-/300996462539?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4614c987cb which is not what I am looking for but it turns out we need to find the translation to pt size also.  Above are pounds, grams per square inch, and thickness in terms of decimal.
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David BruggeCommented:
So what shall I tell you. U S Postal regulations for postcards state that they must be .007 inches thick (7 mil) or thicker, but must not be thicker than .016 inches thick (.17 mil)

This means that you can use:

80 lb (.08 or 215gsm)
100 lb (.10 or 270gsm)
110 lb (.11)
120 lb (.12) - typical stock is 80-120lb
or
160 lb (.16) - maximum us postal thickness

any of which will be acceptable.

There is a direct correlation between basis weight and thickness.

Here is another chart from this page

As you can see, the basis weight in the case of glossy coated stock is nearly 1:1

chart showing relationship of basis weight to average paper thickness
When shopping for paper, if you cannot find the thickness of the paper listed in the description, then you can use the basis weight to make your selection.

This gsm to basis weight convertor might come in handy.
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
Ok interesting.  I'm trying to fill in the maximum values so that I can get a decent comparison.  No wonder paper prices are all over the map.  It is quite challenging to compare apples to apples.  All I really want to do is print on the heaviest paper that the post office will allow.

We are getting closer.

paper thickness and weight
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nickg5Commented:
I have tried sending out cards that I print on my inkjet printer, on my laser printer, by going to the local Kinko's and having them printed and cut into quarters, using local commercial printers, and using online printers. None are without their problems.
...............You can print your cards yourself 4 per sheet if you have a Windows machine. Why pay Kinko unless you can afford it. Here is what is might look like on my pc. Also, Office Depot has a paper cutter you can use and it works great.

t
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
We have honed it down to 160 lb card stock.  That's what we need to purchase.  Note that the printer used has to be capable of feeding that thickness.  

At any rate, as far as the paper itself goes, I am looking for 160 lb glossy card stock
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David BruggeCommented:
I think your best bet is to call a paper distributor on the phone. Talk to the sales person and tell them exactly what your needs are. They should have the ability to tell you exactly what papers they have that meet your criteria without your needing to spend hours reading descriptions and doing calculations.

Do this with several companies and compare prices.

In spite of all the advances in the age of the world wide web, direct verbal communication is still the best and fastest way to get the information that you need.
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nickg5Commented:
Well, if you have a $5000 printer you may have issues above 80lb......maybe 110lb if you want to feed it manually one sheet at a time.

$5000 laser printer works like a gem except on card stock heavier than 80 lb. And I've had 110 lb, smooth card stock to go through it via manual feed, but it won't even do that weight with the less smooth or pre-embossed wedding invitation
stocks you find at professional paper supply stores.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/16428-3-printing-card-stock-heavy-paper
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
160 lb      
433.28 gsm      
16 pts      
0.016 inches      
.17 mil      
This is the maximum US postal thickness

Thanks for the toms hardware link.
I also found this wholesaler resource:  https://www.go2paper.com/Home/index.asp
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
So now that I know to go after 160 lb card stock, I need an inexpensive resource for 500 sheets per purchase.
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frugalmuleAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the input.

The search is still on for the following card stock:

Weight 160 lb (433.28 gsm)
Thickness 16 pts (.016 inches or .17 mil)
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