Damaged postcards

I have been wondering something for a while. What do you do when you get a damaged postcard? Do you notify the sender or not? On a related note would you like to be told if a card that you sent arrived damaged?


For me it’s part of it. It shows the card has travelled so I don’t mind that much.


Yes to both: tell them and tell me.


I’ve been a Postcrosser for less than a year and already I’ve received some damaged cards…a couple of rips and tears, one folded card in an envelope that had gotten completely soaked through at one point and was all stuck together, one that had been folded over and crushed.

No, I don’t bother telling the senders. It’s not their fault. And it’s a good reminder to me of just how amazing it is that I ever get any postcards at all through the mail, let alone ones that have not been damaged. So much distance travelled, relatively quickly, and with so many other heavier things involved, limited spaces, countless changeovers, sorting, delivery. I’m just amazed…every time anything arrives in my postbox. :heart:

I wouldn’t mind being told. I know it’s out of my hands. I wouldn’t expect to have to send another though…in replacement. Would you?


I think it´s no use to tell, what else it bring than a bit sorry feeling?


I agree with this @lemontoffy! As I’m not going to send another…what purpose would the information serve? Finding out about it would only make me feel a bit disappointed that my time and effort had been damaged. But then I’ve read in the forum that some people in Postcrossing also throw out the cards they receive. :scream: I definitely do not want to know about this!!! So yeah…maybe I also don’t really want to know that something I’ve sent has been damaged. It’s an interesting question. Thanks for making me think! :+1:t2:


If it were damaged in a normal way to be expected when sending a piece of card across the world I wouldn’t and I like postcards that show they have been on a journey.

If it were something that might help the sender to know… for example washi tape hanging off or a pen that had smudged really badly while the card didn’t look like it was water damaged I might. I would want to know these types of things so I could change how I did it and have the best chance of my card arriving looking as I had intended it to.


This is such a great question. I struggled with figuring this one out too. I had a postcard where the person highlighted the whole backside, but it came in contact with water on the journey and the highlights soaked through the postcard and all the words were smudged. I could barely make out the postcard ID. I just let the person know that it’s too bad it had some water damage, but did not expect a replacement card.

I would totally want to know because I would want to send a replacement card. I would probably just put it in an envelope the next time.

I wonder if folks would or would not post the image of the damaged postcard ?

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I don’t tell people if cards arrive damaged. What’s the use? It could have happened at any point in the postal journey and what is the sender to do once the postcard leaves their hands? I’ve seen people write polite notes on their profiles like, “Many of my cards arrive damaged. If it doesn’t cost more to send in an envelope, I appreciate the protection of an envelope very much.” I do send in-envelope for people in those cases.


Agreed. The wear and tear is a part of the card’s story.


I got one that was missing the whole front off it. Lucky they took a photo of it before posting so i knew what it was lol


The possibility the card gets damaged on its journes is the most important reason why I think the sender should upload a picture - than I can see it, even if the card has been hurt.

Very interesting topic. Never thought about it before. Reading the posts I would also tend to only notify if it could be useful for the sender or if I want to explain why I can’t answer the writing (because I couldn’t read it).


For official cards, definately not! Tags, RR, etc. I might.


Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. If it has been severely damaged I always tell, because that’s often a reason for long travel times (when it needed to be packed by the postal services, e.g. when the card was torn in multiple pieces)

For officials: Yes. I scan every card I receive and upload it to the wall, even if the sender already uploaded it. No matter if it’s been damaged or not.


No, nothing can be done about by the time it arrives. This is why I scan everything before I put them in the post, likely our US machines scratch it along the way.

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I think that it is interesting to see how my card looks like after a long journey. So I don’t upload the images of the cards I sent. If the receiver upload, I will be glad. But I uploaded every card I received if there isn’t a image uploaded by the sender. In that case, no matter what does the card look like. (A card of rabbit from Russia even lost most of the letters on its front.:rofl:) Damage is part of the journey.

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That made me sad to read people throw them out too.I usually put great effort in sending one they request then to hear its just tossed made me sad…if I knew it was going to be tossed I would never send vintage and put a little less effort.


I don’t keep the cards I receive. I enjoy them thoroughly, my daughter and fiancée both look at them as well. I send the stamps to collectors I know and the card goes in the recycling. In my defense, I grew up in a hoarding household and I’m trying very hard to keep that behavior out of my own life. I’m also preparing, hopefully, for an international move in a few years to a much smaller home, and am trying to keep as little clutter as possible in preparation for that so the move will not be as expensive.


I do notify sometimes, if it’s useful, like they’ve used a pen that didn’t last or the address label was about to fall or torn because of not properly attached.

They can choose different pen, if they used a marker that bleed, or write the address by hand, so the address label won’t fall (or use different glue). Telling about this kind of “damage” can help them to not have their cards expired/lost too. And of course help them understand why I don’t comment their message, if it’s not readable (but this is very very rare).

But of course “normal” damage like softened corners is something not worth to tell.

I’ve been told sometime that my card has huge scratch marks and I should use envelope, but when they uploaded it, there was no scratch mark at least not on the picture side, and they commented my message too, so it maybe was not very severe.


I am actually surprised that people do not mention to the sender that card arrived damaged, although I can see the point. I do mention bigger damages because I think it is interesting to know, but I do it in light-hearted way to make sure they don’t think I am upset or demanding a new card. Sometimes the damage can be caused by something I can’t see, like a bigger sticker that got teared off so I would like to know if something like that happened to a card I sent. This also makes really interesting point if you count how many times people have said “I sent card like x and it arrived fine” and then you read here that people do not tell the sender that card was damaged so… There is an interesting note right there :thinking:

Sometimes I want to let them know also because it would explain why I am not reacting to specific things. Like if they wrote something interesting but I never saw that part. I think they would feel sad about that if they didn’t know I couldn’t answer because I didn’t know there was something to answer to. I can neither make myself lie so I had to be honest and let them know that the stamps had been damaged badly when they were so happy to send exactly the ones I like. We were both upset of course, but things like this happens and nobody got hurt.

I am one of those who eventually throws the received cards away, but once again I want to mention that every card is still loved and I do keep the ones that are either good for my little collection or have nice message, and even the ones being thrown away are kept for months so it is not like I am walking to recycling straight from the mail. Sometimes there is a recipe or book recommendation or maybe a song I need to check out so I keep the card until I have done that. The cards have completed their duty and are sent to recycling to become new cards (or something else) so they can tell yet another story, and the stamps are sold to collectors so I can buy more cards to send. Much better than be forgotten at my home, I believe.

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