Cards sent by friend in a different country

Is this allowed? It seems unfair to be sending cards in a different country by a different person (giving away our personal information). It seems like they’re using this method to send out cards quickly. It would bother me less if the card was tailored for me, like if my name was written on it or the text was clearly written for me. Instead, this comes across as impersonal and zero connection.

Text modified by moderator as the sender of the card was too easy to identify.


This does not sound like a great Postcrossing experience, I’m sorry @luckycherry.

It sounds like a manual version of what some users are already doing when they use certain online services. This has happened to me a few times, where someone in another country pays a service to send a card for them. Within the last month I received a card from a user in a not-rare country who used one of these services. It was a printed card with a US stamp.

My guess is that they did the math and saw that it was much cheaper to pay this company to send their card than it was to buy their own card and stamps. It seemed a purely economic calculation. Further, the card was devoid of any personal connection. I registered it and recycled it.


The below is copied from the community guidelines:

Keep private information private.
The addresses given to you are private information and can only be used for Postcrossing purposes. Do not share them with anyone or make them public on the internet. This also applies to what is written on the postcards you have received, so please do not scan it.


I’m sorry to hear you’ve had similar experiences! I don’t understand why those people join Postcrossing, but I suppose we all have our own reasons.


It’s a tough call for me to make. I haven’t added a line like “Please no Touchnote, MyPostcard, etc” to my profile, but I’ve wanted to. The main concern here is with privacy - I don’t want my address to be shared with any third-party service without my consent. And while some Postcrossers may disagree with me, it does seem to be against the rules to use these services for Postcrossing, in the line that @RuhRohRaggy pointed out above.

However, I’ve left the line off because I have several folks in my life who have physical disabilities. Even though I disagree with these services, I guess there is always the possibility that someone with a disability may use them to enable their hobby.

What happened to you, though, sounds like “gaming the system”. And I’m not a fan!


Speaking as someone who struggles with chronic pain myself, I avoid using these services. If I can’t guarantee that I can pull a card and get it to the post office myself, I usually just don’t pull cards until I know I can send them off. Of course others might not do the same, but these are my thoughts :slight_smile:


Heard and honored, @blazingstar ! :heart: This is why it is complicated for me. In my experience, my loved ones with disabilities would rather not use such a service. But then I wonder who might (and since I can’t know people’s experiences), I don’t say anything because I don’t want to exclude.


What a horrible experience! Personally I would report it to Postcrossing because:

  1. your private info ie name and address have been shared with 3rd party which is a big no no.
  2. the postcard wasn’t mailed from the correct country. If they’re sending from USA they need to change their country on Postcrossing to USA. From what you said it is a regular occurrence with this user.
    Definitely contact Postcrossing team for advice and help and hopefully they don’t let it slide

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My thoughts and experiences with this topic.

I used those services in the past, but only for friends and family. For me it was convenient and fun to design the cards with my own images and text and to be able to send it without trying to find stamps.

But for Postcrossing I would not use it. But I would totally understand, if some people do it. I only once received such a card. And in my case the picture and text was personalised. I think it was a decision based on money, because inside Germany the postal rate is very low. In Postcrossing you can get „disappointing“ cards one way or the other.

About the personal data protection: those companies (at least the big ones) have their security systems in place. So I don’t think that there is more potential risk than on the Postcrossing side itself.

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If here the address and personal information was shared to just another normal person, that is not ok and should be reported.

But I’m also curious, do they send an envelope full with cards to someone, who mails the cards, or what happens? Isn’t that two mailings then, and how is that faster?

That means nothing. The data cannot be shared with anyone. That includes people and companies who promise they’ll be good. It’s not your data to share.


What I imagine happened was someone got an American address, and knowing that between their country and the US the cards takes forever to arrive, so they asked a friend that lives in the US to write and mail the postcard
(That’s my interpretation of what I read, I don’t know if it’s right)

Oh yes, that would make it faster, and not right at all to make someone else do your postcrossing.

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I have gotten cards from people who live abroad but close to the German border, mailed in Germany. The card explained that it was because they struggled with the money for postage and rather went there regularly to post their cards. I do not mind at all. But I do not enjoy cards that are written like in a factory…


Yes, this is different because they still send the card themselves and no one’s personal information is given to any extra person. A little like sending a card from their travel, when not using travel mode.

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We all send

A lot of postmen and postwomen handle our cards - can read the adresses and even the messages. We trust them that they don’t misuse the information, But WHY would we trust them MORE than we trust a good friend of ours???
In other words: Why not consider a friend who delivers my postcard to the mailbox (be it abroad - because postage is cheaper there - or in my hometown - because I am ill and bound to my bed) “just another postal worker”???


Some of my thoughts are:
I don’t know you or your friend. They have no duty to deliver anyone’s mail. (I have experienced so many cases, where the mail/swap was not sent or was late because boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/mother/daughter/cousin forgot to mail it, or intended to, but something happened.) So, I think: you sign here, you are responsible.
Also, I have not accepted you give my address to anyone.

Everyone has agreed the rules, so if someone doesn’t follow it, why would I trust this person? Or their friend? A person who doesn’t follow the rules and doesn’t respect my privacy first time we “meet”, why would I trust them, or their friend? Yes I might trust more a person who has a job responsibility towards mail.

I have accepted my address will be given to the one who sends the card to me, they have accepted to keep private information private and not to share it, and I understand mail will go through mail and pass maybe a couple of persons. These are things I knew and understood beforehand.

But not that the one who gets my address, gives it to someone in my country (which I chose to not receive cards from), and asks them to write and/or mail it, no.


Also a person who think they and their money saving is more important than another person’s privacy, and to follow the rules here, for me, not a good foundation to ask for trust.

When I think who I trust, I think how do they treat me and are they worth their word.


Hmm, this is an interesting and complicated case. Trying to decide how I feel about it :thinking: :thinking:

First of all, services like Touchnote are allowed by Postcrossing, and although I’m not a fan of them, I do accept the rules. We don’t get to choose what cards we receive or how they’re sent, and it’s up to the sender if they want to use a (professional) third-party service.

This case seems different to me because it wasn’t a professional service, and I’m not sure if it’s technically allowed or not.

I guess I would think nothing of it if a blind person or someone who couldn’t use their hands dictated a message to a friend or family member, or a bedridden person wrote cards and then had a caretaker drop them in the mailbox, et cetera. That would fall under using the address “for Postcrossing purposes” because for them, help from another person is a necessary step in sending the card.

It’s very different than sharing an address in the sense of adding someone to a mailing list, posting their info online, or even a well-meaning “They have so much in common with my friend so-and-so, who’s looking for penpals, I’ll give her their address.” which I believe is what’s meant by not sharing addresses, not some draconian rule against having help mailing the card :upside_down_face:

I guess to me, it comes down to how necessary the help was, which we really have no way of knowing. If mail from the sender’s country is so horribly unreliable, or postage so expensive and themselves so poor, that that’s the only way they can participate, then I’d rather have them part of this beautiful community than not - even if that means getting creative with how they send cards.

Still, as the recipient, I would probably feel disappointed if I suspected they could have sent the card themselves, and just didn’t have the patience to wait for cards to travel through a slow-but-reliable postal service.

Maybe the sender is new, and will gain more patience with practice :snail: :mailbox_with_mail: