Do you purchase postcards based on requests?

Hello! I am relatively new to Postcrossing and I have a question for more experienced Postcrossers. When you see in someone’s bio that they’ve requested a certain image on their postcard (stills from a movie, certain animals, etc) do you go out and buy a postcard for that person or do you just see if you have one related in your pre-existing stash? I’d like to cater more to people’s preferences but I don’t know of a good place nearby to purchase postcards, and I don’t want to buy one online as it would delay the mailing of the postcard. Thanks in advance!

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To answer your question: I only send postcards from my existing stash. (And even with a large stash I still encounter wishes I can’t fulfill!)

When I started Postcrossing, all I had were a few local postcards and a few foreign ones I bought on my travels, so I just sent whatever card I had. Two years later I am a little obsessed about buying postcards every chance I get, even designs I don’t personally prefer, because I know someday they will be the “perfect card” for a Postcrosser.

Once, though, I did delay sending a postcard until I could buy the perfect stamp for a railroad train enthusiast:

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Hi! When I started postcrossing, I went shopping nearly after every new address I drew, cos’ I had just a few cards to start with. It didn’t take long until I learned what the most popular themes were and started buying more of those plus a few to cater to more specific wishes. Nowadays I am adding regularly to my stash and even if I can’t fulfill all the wishes, I usually have something suitable.

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During my early five years of postcrossing, yes. It was a challenge, and I love the thrill of adventure. But now that I have a stash, I rarely do it anymore as I I think I have accumulated enough topics to send one based on their preferences.

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It depends on the wishes. If it’s something I can find easily and won’t be too expensive, I’ll probably go and buy it. If it’s something I can’t easily get (for example, Inge Look or blue cats), then I just send something from my stash of cards.

In the tags section there are a few “wishlist” tags and a few “send me a card from my favourites” tags too. You can get an idea there of the most common types of cards people ask for :slight_smile:

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This is a good question! My wish-fulfilling abilities have changed after Covid. Pre-pandemic, I loved to linger in book stores and stationery shops and casually browse the card section for unique and interesting designs. When I had a diverse, tangible selection right in front of me, it was easier to find cards that were often requested and add a variety of singles to my basket. Now, I buy cards online, and the most economical way to do so is in sets, which usually have a single theme. Because of this, I have chosen mostly themes that I prefer; lately, though, I have considered buying outside my interests. If I could still make a quick trip downtown and spend forever browsing in my favorite card shops without a care in the world, I would absolutely be willing to hunt for a particular design! But since that now involves possible virus exposure, I would rather send what I already have at home. Occasionally, if the recipient enjoys handmade cards, I will try to draw them something they like. Overall, I think you should do what you feel most comfortable doing! Requests are just requests; you can send whatever you want without pressure to meet everyone’s desires. :blush:

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For me whiich cards I send depends on my current place.
WhenI was away from home ( and my postcards stah) i often take nptes what rhe people I draw adresses from like and go for a shop. That was in bigger towns with a wide variety of card shops easy to reach. Usually I end up with more cards than I actually needed :sweat_smile:

When I am at home, I send what I have in my stash, because I luve on a small village with no card shops and the next town, well, they do have card shops, but not really a wide variety.

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Short answer is: very, very rarely - almost never.

When I joined, I thought I could choose a card first, then find a recipient. The wishlists shocked me and almost drove me away from the site. Since I absolutely love buying postcards, I started having a stash too, but I mostly buy things I like and I will not go out of my way to fulfil a request. However, if I can easily find the card I have in mind, then I will. For example, someone enthusiastically likes some theme and I remember seeing the perfect postcard in a shop that I can reach within a few days without to much trouble… then I will go and buy it. Or the perfect card was in my stash but I have no more copies, then I will go and buy some more copies. Recently, one guy loved bridges and trees and I had a card with a bridge among trees but not copies left, so I ordered more and waited over a week before sending, but it seemed reasonable. This is if the recipient seems like someone who genuinely enjoys a given theme and seems like an active member, I wouldn’t do it for rude demanding people with suspiciously low activity… (ie card might not be registered).

Wishes are only wishes, you don’t have to fulfill them. But if you want to, go ahead. I guess I only do it when it suits me, might be selfish but that’s the way I want do it :smiley:

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I can’t even if I wanted. The nearest shop with postcards is 45 km away and even they have very limited amount of cards. There aren’t really postcard online shops for Swedish cards, and I don’t want to use the global ones because I think Sweden is bit rare country so I should at least try to send a card the receiver might not get from other country.

I have picked up postcards from here and there so it is pretty big pile I have, mostly all different ones (my best card source is second hand shops and buying from collectors who are done with collecting), and I try to pick up bit of everything for every taste, so all cards I send are from the pile, but it gotta be very picky profile if there isn’t something at least slightly fitting. My problem are the ones wanting only “cards from your town” as my town doesn’t have own cards. Been thinking about printing own from my photos, but so far I have sent cards from other towns instead.

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I buy postcards based on 1. what I like and 2. what I’ve seen people are often interested in. I personally wouldn’t buy postcards showing trains or whatever, but I know people like them, so I will tuck those away for someone who has that interest.

But I don’t go out and buy cards specifically to meet a certain user’s interests. That would be too much work and stress!

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I don’t think I’ve ever bought any postcards specifically to cater to anyone’s interest. Obviously, when I first started, I didn’t have many postcards, but I did try to pick from what I had that mostly matched people’s interests. Nowadays, I have a far larger stash of postcards so it’s a bit easier to either closely or exactly match what people are requesting. I usually only buy postcards that I find on sale. So if I see a good deal even though the postcards aren’t exactly to my personal taste, I will most likely buy them because I know I can send them to someone who will like them.

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On the first day I joined Postcrossing, I didn’t have any Indonesian postcard. I only had some foreign cards I bought when I traveled overseas.
I signed up, I drew 5 addresses, I read their wishes and I searched the cards on online shop. I ended up buying 25 cards.
Then I joined the forum and involved in several tags. I noticed from the forum (and reading so many profiles) what kind of cards that are popular. Then I bought them for stock :blush:
When I didn’t have card matched the wishes, I tried to send something close to it. Once I drew address of member who really loves cat and her profile was about her cat who recently died. At the time I didn’t have cat postcard but I have Dorameon card (the robot cat from Japanese cartoon). I sent her that Dorameon card.

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I don’t buy a single card for a single request, but I do have a very diverse stash. When you’re more experienced you’ll find a lot of requests are general and you can buy your postcards according to what you know/anticipate. I also sometimes buy cards with things people request less, just to have them (for example I found some super cool illustrated fantasy cards at my local thrift store last week).

When I really don’t have any card that matches that person’s preferences, I send them a card that either comes close or a card that I’d like to receive

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Thank you all for your thoughtful replies! I think I will build my stash over time and will then be able to fill more requests :slight_smile: I mostly asked because I’ve received a few wish list postcards since joining and they absolutely made my day, and I was wondering the chances that the sender had gone out of their way to find it. So happy to be part of this community!

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I only send cards from my stash, but when I see the same wishes over and over again I might add those to my stash.

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In the past, if the wish was something I could fulfill easily (meaning - I knew a shop in my city which had the requested card), I would delay sending by 1-2 days, travel downtown and buy a card. This usually happened when I had run out of a not-used-often card topic in my stash .

These days, as I limited the trips to the city centre and also not all shops are open (museum ones for example), I would send something as close to the request as I could get.

I do, however, base my stash on requests - otherwise, I would never have bought cat or dog postcards, for example :wink: So in that sense, yes, I do buy postcards based on requests.

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I mostly send a postcard from the pile of postcards I already have. But if I run out of a certain postcard (map or train for instance) and know I can easily get it in a nearby store, I might head to that store to get such a postcard. But that depends on their profile in general and other wishes and if I have something else at home that would be fine to send. If they wrote “I absolutely love train postcards! It makes my week if I receive a train postcard!” I am likely to buy a train postcard if I don’t have any left, as I know I easily can get a train postcard in my nearest city. But if the profile says “I’d like to receive trains, views, wild animals, cats ++++”, I will pick a card from the pile of postcards I have at home.

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Never. I always send cards that I have at home. I also abhor demanding wishlists because they drive newbies away from postcrossing so if I don’t have a card that fulfills their narrow wishes – that’s even better :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
I buy cards because I like them and not because they are popular with postcard collectors. However, I make an exception for cheap and ugly tourist cards (at least they are cheap.)

I am amazed whenever someone buys postcards based on profiles though. I received a very awesome card once from another postcrosser who likes to request an address and then go on the hunt for the perfect card – I guess it is a different way to go about this hobby, there are so many ways to enjoy postcrossing! :smiley:

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I have done so, a few times, and the addressees liked them.

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Good to know! So many have the “no self/hand made cards” on their profile, but I guess if I use a printer service and not my home printer the quality will be so good it looks just like a normal postcard.

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