Expired Postcards

Apologies in advance if this has been answered. If so, I kindly suggest it be added to the FAQ.

When a user sends a card and it is registered, our address goes into the rotation and we can also send another card. However, when a user sends a card and it expires, I understand we can send a card to another user, but does our address get re-added into the rotation to receive another card?

It isn’t clear to me after much research on the topic. Apologies in advance if this has been answered. If so, I kindly suggest it be added to the FAQ.

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@kissthebeehive You find the answer in the FAQ, question 2.5:

How does Postcrossing work?

Once a postcard you have sent has been registered, you’ll be eligible to receive a postcard! It may take some time for it to be delivered, but as soon as your postcard is registered, another random user will send a card to you.

Your card needs to be registered to be eligible to receive a card. So this doesn’t apply to expired cards, as they didn’t get registered.

When a card of you expires a slot get free and you can draw another address.
For this expired card you don’t get a card back, because it isn’t registered.

I move your question to another Topic where we discussed about Expired Cards.

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Billie explained it clearly. Yes, I see in the FAQ how postcrossing works, but the FAQ doesn’t clearly explain my inquiry. I stand my my suggestion to more clearly explain that expired postcards will not prompt receipt of a postcard from another user.

Thank you for your response nonetheless.

I’m serious! I get so upset when postcards expire, especially when I put a lot if effort into finding the perfect card! In some cases, like when its a very far away country, or the address is very long and originally in a different alphabet, its understandable that something could have happened to derail their way so they get lost and never arrive.
But some time ago I sent a card to the Netherlands, a neighbouring country, which usually only takes 2-3 days, and the address was very easy to write, and it was so surprising that this card got lost and expired on such a short journey… It was especially disappointing because it was to a lady who collects teddy bear cards, and I had one in my collection that was perfect and which I had kept especially for such an unusual request.
I really wonder what could have happened? Sloppy mailmen, fallen behind a counter, got ‘taken’ by someone who also collects cards? Any ideas? I think i will wonder forever about this card…and all the others too, of course…


Aside from what you said about far away/not easily accessible countries or adresses in other alphabets… well, postcards are small pieces of paper, after all.
They can get irreplacable damaged and some times they just… fly away and get lost forever (I suggest reading about “Ambulance covers” or looking about that on youtube, I think Explore Stamps has a topic about that).

HOWEVER. Sometimes the system works, it is just the slowest of the snails. And the postcards that we lost in a fairly easy route found they way home many, many months later.
To put an example on something that happen to me months ago:
I sent a postcard to my aunt and her family. My aunt lives ten minutes driving from whre I live, in the big city next to my smaller town that takes 15 min to reach by public transport. Same area, same postal system… You get the idea.
I sent it in July, it should have taken a week… IT ARRIVED IN OCTOBER!!!
It would have taken me half an hour to walk there and hand deliver it myself!
It got lost along the way in the system and it ended up with a pretty cool cancellation, I wrote a post here [Triple inverted]

My point is… postcards that expire are marked as so after just 60 days. If postcrossing teaches you anything, is to be patient and never loose faith!
And yes, it is frustrating when a card that you so thoughtfully loved never reaches destination, but hey, that’s why we have emails, phone calls and even video-calls, so the actually important messages never get lost again.
I hope you card finds its way home, eventually.


I once sent a card to myself from vacation in Luxembourg - also a neighboring country. It arrived several months later. Or, more precisely, half of it arrived, protected by a plastic bag. A large chunk was torn off. Even on a short journey horrible things can happen to innocent postcards.


Wow, that is amazing! I guess if I ever have to send a postcard within my city, I’ll consider delivering it myself! :sweat_smile:

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Postcards are so brave, facing the world as just a piece of paper with some shinny coat. :saluting_face: :relieved:
Oh, and that half of postcard in an envelope is an Ambulance cover.
Some people collect those unfortunate accidents!


Oh my- thank god there is a good cancellation though XD

I remembered I had tried mailing a short-distance postcard from to my school address from a mall right next to my school (yes you read this correctly). I mailed it at 4pm on a Sunday and it arrived at my school on Monday around 10am. That’s surprisingly fast :joy:


Watch this video on sorting machines from the US Postal Service - the majority of larger countries in NA & EU use these kind of machines to sort mail - it’s amazing that as many postcards make it through these machines as they do. Small pieces of paper are pretty easy to lose or get mangled.


We have many cards lost inside our own country…
It’s so sad and frustrating, our postal service is a big joke. They keep rising the prices when the service quality gets worse every year.

It’s always sad when it happens in postcrossing because you choose something perfect and they might never see it.

But it’s part of the hobby and we just have to accept it. We can be sad or even angry about it but it’s unfortunately reality.


If postcards didn’t expire, the whole chain would come to a halt. I’ve only been postcrossing for under a year and already about 8 of my cards expired. If those 8 didn’t expire, I wouldn’t be able to send out any other cards.:woman_shrugging:


I have 3 cards expired forever in the Netherlands and I still don’t understand what could have happened. Of 4 cards I sent there last year, only 1 made it. But mail to my penpal gets there okay, so I wonder if I should use envelopes to the Netherlands… Okay it is not a short journey but it is a usually efficient country and other places in Europe give me no problems. I am very puzzled. (one of the 3 will get to 365 days next week, one is at 200+, one at 100+. I don’t think they can still arrive because to such countries, if they don’t get there in a normal time then they never will. And yes none of the recipients has disappeared, they are all active).
I got a Netherlands address again last week, I am crossing my fingers :confused:


Why do so few people from Russia give their address in cyrillic writing ? I always use it when available.
At the moment I have 12 cards to Russia expired. 11 of them did not provide their address in cyrillic writing. I don’t think that is a coincidence.


Just looked at my expired and long traveling cards to Russia and I must agree: none of them have their address in Cyrillic letters :thinking:

As you I always use the address in Cyrillic if it’s provided.

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Interesting, that you had the same experience! Like you I was very surprised because I never had problems sending to the Netherlands before. Maybe the ‘mystery’ will be solved one day (there is another thread about postcards being redirected via Asia!), and if not hopefully sevice will get back to normal soon!

Funny story: once I got a postcard from the UK inside a plastic bag with a sticker from a ferry company that said something like “the sender didn’t pay enough for the stamps and this postcard had to cross Europe by ship and train and we had to transport it although it is not our job to do it”. It took 3 months to reach me but the sticker with the explanation was awesome.


It’s not so difficult to transcribe from Latin to Cyrillic. Some letters are the same anyway, A=A, M=M, most letters have only one counterpart, S=C, R=P, the rest is possible to learn. Most difficult for me are some of the diphtongs like CH or TS …

Another trick is simply look up the adress online - many maps show both the Latin and the Cyrillic scripture (the postcrossing map does too, but of course you only see downtown, not the user’s house)

85 cards sent in December in Travel Mode Germany for the good cause. 16 expired of those. Fingers crossed for the last counting day of this analphabet project.

Total expired on today: 48.