Do you send extra “surprises” with your postcards?

I’m curious!
For international mail, I always use an envelope, and I usually send extra stickers or a bonus card. For Valentine’s Day, I’ve also been including a Silly Bandz bracelet for official swaps.
For my pen pals, I’ve received everything from stickers, wooden cards, extra cards, cute sticky notes, washi tape, stamps, bookmarks, etc. I recently picked up a small giraffe pin to mail to one of them! :blush:
Do you have anything special you like to include when you send your mail? This also includes wax seals, doodles, etc…

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I keep all the used stamps off envelopes sent to me and add them when I know someone is a stamp collector. I also buy mint vintage stamps and put lots of stamps on cards when someone expresses and interest in the stamps.

I have a couple of penfriends, I sent one personalised stationary recently. The other is from Uzbekistan and Postcrossers there find it challenging to buy any sort of postcards as the country has only been open to tourism for a few years. I recently sent her 40 cards so she can continue to Postcross. It would be a shame if she couldn’t participate.

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I wax seal my cards with my initial (if I remember!)
I also include my avatar as a sticker on the card so recipients know it’s from me.

Example picture

I will send extra goodies to my penpals. This can be random cards, some stationery (paper) etc.

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It’s so beautiful :heart_eyes:

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I only send postcards in an envelope if someone clearly states that they want it that way. I am a big enthusiast of postcards sent without envelope, I love that they carry story of the road they went through to reach me. I stress it in my profile because this request does not bring extra cost to the sender (it’s not like insisting that you only want one series of postcards, I just ask for no extra envelope). As far as I like stickers and freebies, I like stamped and written postcards more. I get it why some people send their postcards in an envelope and add the bonuses, but for me it’s actually less enjoyable to see an envelope in my mailbox than to see a “naked” postcard.

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I keep all the used stamps off envelopes sent to me and add them when I know someone is a stamp collector.

I do the same :slight_smile:

If a person states that he/she wants a fridge magnet I can include one

I have a few beer coasters I’ve sent when profiles have requested them, as well as some used stamps.

I prefer to receive postcards without an envelope, and I don’t care any extra stuff either (for example, tea bags). Please send surprises only to those who wish for them. Not everyone is excited about them.

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Same here. Unless asked, I never use an envelope and I hope for the same for my Postcrossing cards.Envelopes are only for letters :smiley:

And there is a practical aspect to it too, as Polish Post has started to add a “handling fee” sometimes, if someone decides an envelope should go through customs, even if there is nothing inside that would need to be paid for. My Mum had that recently - she had to pay extra for an envelope from our Canadian family, even though it had the CN22 sticker, the contents were clearly described, with low value and labelled as a gift. Luckily, this sort of thing is rare for normal letters.

I’m not sure I would accept a Postcrossing postcard if I had to pay extra for it - maybe I would just let the post return it to the sender.

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For sending officials, even if I read that the user is a stamp collector, if not stated in their profile I’ll not send in envelope.
For those who write it’s ok envelope, or to penpals, I may send an extra bookmark or cute things that fit and are light enough to not affect the shipping costs.
It would be nice if everybody wrote their preferences in profile. I thought about suggesting a check button, so everybody could have that stated in their profile but again, we fall in that subtle line of preference/demand and could be a problem to many…(many countries have different costs to naked postcard and envelope)
I personally am happy receiving postcards either naked or in envelope and I wrote that in my profile. :relaxed:

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Sometimes I write my name in Chinese Characters. Maybe… This is a surprise? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I love when someone does that. I often wish they would write my name in Chinese Characters! Always so pretty!

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I’m willing to write your name in Chinese on postcard. Just give me your address by PM me:)

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Thank you! :blush: :heart: :blush:

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I like to add a surprise, but only do it if their profile asks for something I happen to have. It seems a waste to randomly send extra things people won’t care about.

I have also received some not great surprises, like:

  • blank postcards showing places I’ve never been (can’t often use those since most people want views to be sent from the matching country)
  • clippings of half a magazine/newspaper article (So frustrating, I want to read the ending too!)
  • confetti (it made such a mess, and I have backpain so it hurt a lot to clean up)

I think if you do add a surprise, at least make sure it’s welcome and useful :wink:

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Nope. Closest I come to that is using old unused stamps for the postage for those who like stamps, and decorating with wash tape on occasion. I don’t send postcards in envelopes; in my mind once you put something in an envelope that is called a letter, and this is a postcard exchange, not a letter exchange. Just can’t bring myself to do it. Not judging anyone here, that is just my own little peccadillo. If the travel weary postcard arrives at my mailbox a bit scarred and marked up, so be it. Kind of heroic, like a de-masted ship still making into port!

It does make me very sad when I receive a card in pieces in a plastic bag (which is how the USPS delivers damaged mail) which clearly happened because the automated sorting machine shredded it to some degree. More often than not one can see the root cause: the sender attached a three dimensional object (one of those puffy little stickers, or a wax seal) to the card which got hung up in the machine. Sometimes they make it through, sometimes they don’t, but the sorting machines are not really designed to process non-uniform three dimensional objects. Mail of that sort should be hand cancelled and hand sorted; in the U. S. there is an extra charge for that. People often do wax seals and pay for that to send fancy wedding invitations.

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I often did before joining the forum.
I now keep the goodies for the tags.

I still occasionally send surprises.
For example, if I have nothing that matches the recipient taste, around Xmas, if I get the address of someone that is going to have a birthday soon, if I have something interesting to share based on the recipient bio, etc…

I’ve done this only a few times, when the profile was nice and I felt like the person really would appreciate the extra (like a beer coaster for a collection, or stickers for a child).

Sending envelopes is more expensive, only 0,15€ but it adds up when you do this often.

I sometimes get tea or bookmarks although I don’t ask for these extras, and I’ve got no use for either of them, which honestly is a bit embarrassing because I don’t want to say so in my hurray message… :see_no_evil: And on top, I prefer postcards sent without envelope.

I never would send a fridge magnet because in Germany you can’t put these items in an envelope sent as a letter (3,70€ postage) but have to pay postage for a small parcel, which exceeds 10€ outside of Europe.

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Those not my country cards can be used when the profile says “Send me anything! It’s all about the message!”

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I almost always send my postcards written and stamped (I prefer to get them this way so this is the way I send them) so there’s no envelope for me to include anything extra. This applies to official and unofficial Postcrossing cards.

With my penpals (I have several) only one is strictly a postcard pal, so for the others, I do generally include a few extra things that I think they might like or find interesting. Could be a small, cute gift I saw at the store somewhere, a souvenir from a trip I took like a magnet/keychain, stickers, teabags, a map of a place I visited, restaurant menu, store flyer, pictures I printed out, a cool article I read… I have a pocket folder where I keep info on each of my penpals and they each have their own pocket, so it’s easy to put things in there to send when I reply to their next letter. For example, I visited the Philippines last year and my penpals each got a few sheets of stickers from an iconic stationery store there. I got married a couple months ago, so with my current replies they are getting a few wedding photos. I also found a cool magazine article by Stephen King and they’re getting a copy of that.

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