First 5 Postcards should be more local

I didnt realize when I started that my address wont go out until 1(? I think 1) of my sent postcards is received. All of mine are traveling out of the US to Europe or China. Just a bit disappointed it might be weeks before I get cards, or if I have bad luck and they arent registered recieved then idk what happens.


Postcrossing is an exercise in patience.


Hi Whitney,
Welcome to the wonderful world of Postcrossing :slight_smile:
To start with,

A bit of patience will be helpful & rewarding :yum: just sometime before you’re used to this.

In the meantime - if you’re really eager, please share your address & I’ll send one across; who knows it might hit your mailbox even before the first one is officially registered :wink:

Till then, keep writing, keep sharing.
Best wishes always.


If you think traveling time of a postcard depends on how far it’s destination is - you’ll be disappointed. Sometimes “local” cards take much longer to get to the receiver, it’s always a mystery. You can check traveling time of received cards on your recipient’s pages and get some vague ideas of how long it’ll take. Most cards arrive within 60 days anyway.


It is snail mail…sadly even US to US now takes more than a week to be delivered


I understand it can be boring for newbies to wait until their first postcard is registered, but in general, postcards from the US to Europe are registered within 2-3 weeks. It’s actually not that bad :smile:


Welcome :grin:
Ok i agree with you on one side because it’s really hard if you have to wait two months or something at the beginning…but don’t forget that you can use the forum to send and receive cards (tags,RR,direct swaps and so on)…means you could use this options to make the waiting a bit easier :blush:

Btw i have sent two cards (one expired one will expire soon) to two new members who aren’t active for months and haven’t registered any cards after sending their 5 cards…i even contacted them but no response…it’s way more frustrating than waiting for a postcard so don’t worry Postcrossing will teach you patience :grin:

I wish you a Happy Postcrossing


Hello @MissWired I’m glad you found your way to the forum! Here you can also participate in some tags to help the waiting for your official cards, or even just participating in discussions or games (there are lotteries specially made for newbies!!). There are tags for the same country too!
Welcome! :hugs:


If you haven’t already, turn on the option in your profile settings to send and receive cards to/from your own country!


This is very normal that in the beginning it takes long time to receive cards.
Also, now you will get more Chinese addresses than normally, because there was a suspension, when their addresses weren’t given to other countries (I don’t know if they could send within China). Now these addresses are given again, so if you choose to send to repeated countries, you will get mainly Chinese addresses. (As you are new, you will have automatically put no to repeated. and I would keep it that way.)

If the card isn’t registered within 60 days, it’s expired and you can take a new address. The expired card can still be registered after that.

The start is slow, especially nowadays, but good time to read through the guideline, f.a.q and help sections and read this forum.

1 Like

I’m in exactly the same position, Whitney! While I’m waiting for my ‘official’ cards to arrive I’ve gone through the forums and found TAGs and Random Acts of Smileness that I’ve responded to - it’s been nice (and good practice!) to send more than my first batch of cards, and hopefully I’ll get some responses back soon :crossed_fingers: If you fancy a card from the UK I’ll be happy to send one over to you :slightly_smiling_face::+1:


US to many European countries isn’t too bad in regards of travel time. E.g. to Germany it’s 1-2 weeks mostly.


For me, the first five postcards were a real test of patience. USA - 127 days (I had to resend the postcard because it most likely got lost) Taiwan - 77 days, Greece - 35 days, Germany - 24 and the Netherlands - 22 days. I
sent the first postcards on December 12, and received the first one on March 12. But thanks to the forum, I started receiving my first postcards much earlier :blush:


Oh I understand you, my first ever sent card got lost somehow, it was a bit disappointing. Just be patient )

1 Like

Since this is in suggestions - I think the proposal is a good one and might be helpful for newbies to keep up their motivation.
No idea how difficult it would be to implement, but it took me almost a month to receive my first card - despite having one to my own country in the first batch which was registered after just a few days.

Of course, not everyone has sending/receiving within own country enabled, but that’s a personal choice.

I’ve sent my first cards in february 2020, those took quite some time to arrive :smiley: (but they, I couldn’t leave the house to send out more, so it wasn’t that big of a deal, I guess).

But yeah, geographical distance isn’t that big of an indicator for the time spent traveling: once a card has been loaded on a plane it can be in EU or China in just a few hours, most of the time is spent domestically (on either side) and depends on the quality of the post service.

If one of your cards is e.g. to Germany it has quite a good chance of arriving soon.

China is afaik a bit more of a problem.


I think some people would actually be disappointed by that, that none of their first cards were going anyplace far away and exciting. In my opinion the ideal would be to have at least some of the first five cards travel locally or at least to fast countries, but unfortunately, I suspect it would be too complicated to implement. The addresses are assigned by a complex algorithm, not a human being, and there might be reasons why it can’t select addresses for newbies any differently than for anyone else.

Also, travel times seem to depend more on the efficiency of each country’s postal system and whether it’s traveling to/from a big city or a remote village, than on geographic proximity. Even with everything going on in the world right now, I’ve recently received mail from Moscow, Russia in as little as ten days (most of which was probably spent winding it’s way out to my small rural town in Michigan) which is slightly faster than mail from a rural part of Oregon gets here. Meanwhile letters to and from a penpal in Canada, who lives only 200 miles away, take 3 to 6 weeks to make the journey from my small town to her small town - if Lake Huron wasn’t in the way, we could walk them there faster than that! :sweat_smile:

This hobby teaches patience, for sure! I see you joined 14 days ago, so your cards to Europe should start getting registered real soon. And yes, as soon as 1 card is registered, 1 person somewhere in the world will draw your address to send a card to, and also 1 new slot will instantly open for you to send your 6th card while waiting. Maybe it will happen today :slightly_smiling_face:

You might already know this, but if you want to exchange cards also within the US, instead of only with other countries, you have to turn that option on manually. To do so, click the blue “Edit my profile” button, and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. The second-to-last item is “Check if you would like to also send and receive postcards to and from your own country” and if you check that box, some of your cards will be local in the future, though still not a majority.


That may seem better in theory, but I have had one American member who forgot to register her card, doing so only after I asked at nearly 60 days, another who went on a month-long vacation just as my card arrived at his place, a third person who only registers cards every few weeks (perhaps doesn’t live at that address), and one that took three weeks from the postmark to my mailbox.

My experience with Europe is that Britain, Germany and Netherlands are usually faster than other countries. Japan is fairly quick also.

1 Like

but then there would be many people who would be very disappointed that their cards aren’t going to more ‘exotic’ places.
there is also a topic with a suggestion that newbies should get all the cool countries to stay motivated.

i think i got quite lucky because i got an address to germany so i got a card my way within a week. came from china though so there’s still a month between my first sent card and first received card, but not so bad. and totally worth it. i still remember that message after 10 years.

if you want a more regular flow of incoming cards i would suggest you join a few tags. there are a lot of great ones in the usa section as well. you don’t have to wait until your card has arrived, someone will send a card to you straight away.

either way, especially the first months it’s just a whole bunch of waiting. i really hope you will find some patience and discover how awesome postcrossing is :slightly_smiling_face:


If you are using Postcrossing exclusively on the Official side, you are missing out on a whole range of opportunities here. Please heed what others have said about patience and exploring the Forum.