Does the algorithm choose addresses for each postcrossers fairly?

I understand your frustration but the countries where you send depend on where are active postcrossers. If you look at the statistic, around 2/3 of postcards are sent from Europe so inevitably the same amount must go to the same place as well (because for every postcard you send, you get one back).

There is nothing Postcrossing can do about it. Sending more postcards to less active countries and less postcards to the more active ones would mean that people from less common countries would receive 20 postcards for 1 postcard they send and people from countries where Postcrossing is popular would have to send 50 postcards to get 1 postcard back. That would be far from fair.
If you want more variety, you can search for people that you would like to exchange postcards with either here in the forum or through the search page on the main website (don’t forget to tick the “interested in direct swaps” box).

It is a great way to expand your collection!


I’ve spotted a quirk in the system at the moment which is that my address seems to be released to 10-15 postcrossers, all at once, every now and then. This results in me being inundated with postcards at one time - then nothing for ages.

This is my received list. You can see almost everyone pulled the addresses on one or two dates.My sent dates look nothing like this!

Anyone know why this might be?


I noticed this too some time ago. It seems that whenever you get 1 more sent that received, your address is given out not only for that one postcard that has just been registered but for all your travelling ones as well. So if you have 9 more postcards travelling at that moment, your address will be given to not 1 person but to 10 people or so.


How weird! Thanks for explaining.


After reading your post I thought to go & check my own, I’ve only been Postcrossing since last August (99 cards sent & received at present) & on 6 occasions my address has been given out 6 times on the same day & on one day last month it was given out 11 times! Crazy x

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This is discussed already in this thread:

From what I remember from the answers in the thread, it’s an inevitable part of postcrossing, especially for all of us who don’t live in one of the top three countries.

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This is how I think it works too, after you seem to be reliable member, and your travelling ones are truthfully travelling, and eventually arriving, it’s “safe” to already give the address.

In optimal world, it would also give a somewhat even flow of cards, thinking some cards need longer time to arrive than others.

But, if and when all go to same/same speed country, it can cause mail to arrive soon, even before some travelling are registered. And if your country collects the mail certain way, delivers certain days, this makes the effect more strong.

Good thing is, you can never know if there is still one or few travelling to you :slight_smile:

One example where I think the algorithm succeeded:
On 21st March my address was given 13 times. Only 1 of mine was registered that day!
But: the cards arrived after travel times 7-23 days, me getting those one 5 different days. (And I only get mail 2-3 times a week, so I think this could not have been better.)
My address had gone to NL, US, GE, GB, TW, JP and CA. Maybe there still is some travelling to me from that day :slight_smile: ?

So, even when it looks unbalanced, to get so many cards when only one is registered, it can result this well, and how I think it’s meant.


I think the algorithm does the best it can. I’m fairly sure that right now, Russia, Germany and the US are in the top 5, possibly the top 3 countries. I live in the US and to be fair, have my account set to allow me to send and receive within my own country as well. I have to admit, though, that since USPS doesn’t accept mail for Russia, something like 49% of my cards go to other US addresses, 49% to Germany and 2% to the rest of the world. It’s great for my budget, but I have to admit, lately, I get super excited when I get a “rare” country like France.


We are still very new to PostCrossing. My 8 year old is obsessed with it and just loves to send postcards that she hopes will make the days of people brighter. So far, we have mailed out 9 cards. We have the options to send domestically and to repeated countries ticked to be fair and because for us, it’s definitely about the friendly connection, not the country. Two of our cards have so far gone to Russia and we don’t really mind :blush: We have a blast picking and writing the card. The rest have gone to places my 8 year old finds exotic and fun, though. But for her, anything that is abroad is fun and exotic, so… :grinning:


That isn’t true. My address is also given out in batches. Sometimes the same day I draw addresses.


I also get batches sent same day, which I am not happy about as it takes my ratio of received above sent. And as I live in Australia the travel time is approximately over 30 days for my postcards to reach recipients, which means it takes awhile for me to balance the ratio up to receive more postcards. So far , I missed key times receiving birthday, Christmas and Easter cards. If I had a steady one sent after registering then I would be sure to get cards during these special occasions.


I don’t really care which country I send to. It’s more interesting to receive from unexpected places. But I’m happy with every postcard, because behind each one is a new person. I also want to say to people from countries with fewer users - when you get Germany or the USA again, there’s a good chance that for that person, your postcard will be the first from your country and will bring joy. Even sending 10 postcards to Germany - 10 recipients will get a postcard from a rare country for them. I currently live in Germany and always rejoice when I get a German address, as it means it will arrive sooner. Provided that people register incoming mail immediately. Unfortunately, many of my recipients register once or twice a month and then register a bunch of postcards at once, leading to inaccurate delivery data. And that’s important for me as a newcomer.


Well, even in Germany not everyone is getting mail every day. I know a lot of people who get mail only once a week.

In other countries people have to go to the post office and pick up their mail. If the next post office is far away not everyone has the chance to go there regularly.


Yes, I understand all the nuances and factors affecting registration and delivery. But sometimes it’s obvious that a person has little free time for registration, so systematically the mail is registered in batches 1-2 times a month.


It will get easier, when you can have more travelling.
Even when your received is more than sent, if you have cards travelling, those can arrive and your ratio is more sent again, even when you don’t do anything.


My traveling cards are running around 25% USA, 25% Germany, and 50% other.

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I might be the rare exception here…drew 10 names Saturday morning wth a nice variety. Only 1 to Germany and none to the US. They are going to India, Brazil, Australia, Korea, Japan, China, Finland and Netherlands. But maybe the recipients will be sad to get another card from the US?


Hi all! I’m very new to this, and have sent out 7 postcards so far. I do not have it ticked to send to repeated countries, which I might change to, as I drew Turkey, US, Japan, Malaysia, Germany, Taiwan, and China for my addresses. Thankfully my second sent postcard was the US address, so that was received fairly quickly, followed by the one to Japan. I feel like I will be waiting a long time before I am able to send more cards based on the countries the other ones are traveling to (minus Germany).

I’m not the most patient person, so this is a project in teaching me patience :slight_smile: I have a ton of postcards piled up and placed an order for some different stamp designs… and have no one to send them to. I know the rewards will pay off soon enough!


It gets easier the more you send, but those first months are so hard to wait!

Have you checked out the forum? I have gotten hundreds of cards from participating in Round Robins & Tags. Plus you can pick what sort of postcards you want, get to know members, and it’s a lot of fun!


I just started poking around in those. My brain is having a hard time wrapping around some of the things, but I did find someone looking for a postcard that I have so I messaged them for a swap.

I also participate in a group outside of Postcrossing where if anyone in the group is traveling that month, we all send a postcard to each other. Just started this month so that should get some mail coming. That is actually how I learned about Postcrossing and signed up when I found out!