I've had agents say, "Don't bother to give me your card, I'll just throw it away." Uh, geez, thanks, but polite, professional courtesy would be nice even if you are going to throw it away. So some agents don't want cards. I've had other agents not want to give out a card, hording them as though Clooney might walk in at any time and beg for the whole lot.
uh oh. I've said that very thing to authors at conferences. Miss Snark was not trying to be more hostile and curmudgeonly than normal but oh well, not the first time.
I throw away the cards that come with query letters too. Why would I keep it? So I can call you up next year and tell you I've been ruminating about your tome, and I clearly made a horrible mistake by passing, and oh hope hope hope it's still available. Chances of this happening approach zero.
At writing conferences everyone knows the agents by face and name, particularly smaller ones. We know NO ONE. If I keep your card I still won’t know who you are. If you send me a query, your cover letter reminds me we met at a conference, and probably I still won’t remember you if it’s more than a month since the conference.
If you become a client I'll have all your info on my data base including the name of your cat. I still won't need your card.
If you have cards (and you should), use them with other writers or give them to people who ask for them. Handing them to agents or editors who don't want them is just throwing money away.
As for giving you my card, I've been less than willing to do that too. Why? It has my phone number and email on it. I generally do not put those on form rejection letters. Yes, you can find it if you look but I like to make it just a bit harder to get a hold of me if you think I'm dead wrong about not taking on your magnificent work of art.
I don't hand my cards out at conferences. I hand out my address.
I may have to rethink this strategy since it clearly sounds from this Snarkling’s email that it's perceived as rude hostile and well....snarky.