Direct swaps - what's your experience?

I just turned on my direct swaps last week, then I donated to become a supporter and people started massaging me about swaps….are the two connected?

Also I am sorry to ask but can someone explain the difference between doing direct swaps through the sites messaging or what some people say is “swapping theoigh the forum”? I am
Not sure what that means and would love to know the most effective way to swap. How do I use the forum for swaps?

Thank you for any advice you can offer!

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In the Forum, you post offers and people respond to them. Or you respond to offers others post. You also have moderated tags and round robins where you join groups of 4-5 people.

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Not directly connected so far that I know, but when you donate you get a badge and you will be more visible (featured on “latest supporters” list) and sometimes people just prefer to send offers to supporters and browse the profiles that have donated. It seems like it is a common trend for member to get increased amount of requests shortly after they donated. I think it is just because you are more visible on site for a moment

It is purely about what you prefer. Through the site you use the site built message system which means you have to go to member’s profile each time you want to send them message and their message will come to you as email. In other words, you can’t reply the message directly or send pics. This works for those who wants to have more anonymity and “easy way out” if the swap doesn’t sound good, but it is clumsy to use so if you want to make more swaps then forum is much better.

On forum you can have a private message chat so it is easier to reply and talk. You can also send pics etc. and have bit more info about your partner by checking what they have wrote on the forum before and so on. You also have a chance to make more detailed post about what you are looking for and connect with people interested on swapping.

I prefer forum more for swapping because it is less clumsy and faster to use.


Not to jinx it… but I’ve had no problems with swapping directly via the forums, as well as random requests which is not surprising since I did indicate an interest in direct swaps on my profile.

In fact, it’s been really really fun doing so because this has allowed me to send and receive so many more postcards and letters than if I were to rely solely on the official system. Especially with CoVID-19 slowing down postal services significantly, it takes so much extra longer for my postcards to get registered… I would be quite inactive as a result.

So the round robins and direct swabs have been really wonderful in allowing me to send and receive postcards with greater frequency and regularity.

And again not to jinx it… but I’ve received every single one of them and so speaking from my own personal experience, there hasn’t been a problem at all.

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When I started here, I was too very surprised, that only so few members wanted direct swaps, but now I know why. If you are participating in the tags in the forum, there really is no need for it.
It’s much better and easier to just put on a new post, say: “I want to swap cards with s/o who also collects cards showing The Beatles”…So whoever is in the same game, can answer you.

I have had some request about direct swaps, but they all came out some kind of odd.


Hello, I have done a private swap with a member in Europe, but I never got anything back. I know post is sometimes slow and after a month (6 days ago) I asked if my cards were recieved and saying I hadn’t recieved his yet, but he never replied to this message even though he has been online sometimes since. This makes me unhappy because so far I have only met great people here. I would also understand if someone went “oh no, I completely forgot, will send it soon”, because I am a scatterbrain too sometimes :slightly_smiling_face: Can I report this member for a private swap?
Thank you 🫖

Hello @smileandgo

from the Community Guidelines:

Direct swaps are your responsibility.
If you engage in a direct swap with another member, please keep in mind that it is not tracked by Postcrossing in any way. We will not be able to help you if you have problems with direct swaps you participate in. Some members are not interested in direct swaps (as displayed in their profiles), so please respect their wishes and do not contact them for that.

I moved your question to this Topic here.
I can’t give you an answer because I didn’t do direct swaps, but maybe you find already an answer her in that Topic or someone can tell you what’s to do.

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Thank you! :slightly_smiling_face:

Same here. Four times over the course of a few months, when I was new and excited about making new friends, I received very specific swap requests and I went out of my way to get exactly what they wanted. For one swap, I sent a package of small gifts along with the postcard (we had both agreed to do this). After mailing them, I never heard another word and never got anything in return. Like you, I learned (way too late) that if someone wants to swap, you need to wait for their card first. But I decided not to do swaps anymore. It really changed my opinion of Postcrossing and I didn’t want any more negative experiences.


What a horrible experience! I don’t know why people are like that. It’s very sad because you sound like a nice person. Most people here are not mean like that.

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I wonder if there’s a way to report people who don’t fulfill the swaps they promised to. I know that in the old forum, people could get banned for it. :thinking: I think you could probably contact the admins, but of course they couldn’t do anything to make them send their part. Maybe it helps if multiple people report the same person, though. :thinking:


So far I’ve only had good surprises, except for one card. In this case, I asked the person if we could make an exchange and he asked me to send my letter first. Afterwards, I asked him if he had received my card, but he did not answer… But well, maybe he has a health problem and he will answer me in a few months (I am optmistic :hugs:)

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I am tempted to reply to this person in the thread he replied in when wanting a swap, nothing mean, but just so other postcrossers can be weary. I think it is fair in a thread to double check that the person’s DM is working. What do you think?

I would do as you say. The person might have just forgotten to answer you. Some people get a lot of notifications. Either way I think asking in the thread is a good way to make yourself seen.

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Interesting topic. I never ticked off the direct swap option. But I had one direct swap and it worked out well. Took them a while (were busy) but they always answered my messages and sent messages themselves either. They have a history of being a long-term postcrosser for several years.

I really wonder, if it might help to check the asking person out: For how long have they been a member of postcrossing. Any expired cards (with that I mean a lot (!) of expired cards, not just a few).
But finding out, how trustworthy one is, is quite difficult. And sometimes life happens, so to speak.

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I have a couple of bad experiences, but all swaps based on photo proofs were ended up nicely. So I only do direct swaps with photo proofs in future. However, my financial status is preventing me from do much direct swaps :cry:.


I have done only a few direct swaps for now, and they were all good experiences: I always received the cards and they were what I chose etc. I also always have received pretty fast anything!

But, to be fair, I am more worried that what I send to others can get lost.
I always send proof, take a picture of the card and sometimes also a video showing the front (if it’s not a surprise) and the back. The first time I swapped, I also took a video while I was inserting the card in the mailbox at the post office, just to reassure the other person… :sweat_smile:

But I know that Italian postal services can be reeeeeeally slow, especially in this period, so I don’t feel like accepting swaps because I fear that the other person can feel scammed when taking so long to receive.
I don’t know if this makes sense, but for sure I am an anxious person :see_no_evil:

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I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with direct swaps on the forum. I have it mentioned in my profile about interest in direct swaps, but I don’t believe I’ve ever been contacted about a swap there… All of my swaps have been through a thread I created the very first day I joined. I’ve swapped with some very kind people. I don’t have a way of showing off what I have for swaps (I’m just not sure exactly how to do that and I have so many postcards I don’t really know where to begin), but they all swapped with me on good faith that I would send them postcards that matched up with their likes.

I am relatively new to Postcrossing (couple of months) and have the “not interested in direct swaps” ticked on my profile. However, Following a posting on one of the forums, I was messaged by a member asking for a card along with “small ornaments”. On his profile he asks members to send cash (to feed stray animals). He said he would send the same to the people who send him cards +cash.
Perhaps I am too suspicious/cynical but I won’t be sending him anything, for sure.


I have some swap now that i love but i received a lot of messagges for swap from people that disappeared as a Phantom. I would say…you asked me to swap. I told you ok let’s try but it’s not good to disapper. Anyway,i wait for some other goood swaps around the word.