Mail travel scars on cards

Aw. I also think it’s cool, but I can understand being so disappointed in that circumstance. Hopefully one day you’ll learn to love it. :slight_smile:

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Yes… I can’t help being disappointed if the stamps are not cancelled. :frowning_face: Fortunately it is rarer when cards come from abroad. However… It is so sad to know many cards sent by me have quite likely disappointed many! I know that Finnish Post cancels very rarely postcards and letters. Some fail to be stamped during the process and some are never even tried to be cancelled because of the time restrictions. It is a disgrace. Some have estimated only shocking 10% get cancelled. Anyway it’s certainly an exception to get a cancelled mail.

The only solution is to go to the the post office to get the cards cancelled by hand. I have done it sometimes if I got lots of mail going out at the same time. However, now with the virus I very rarely visit the center. I have tried to accept that I cannot control what happens with my mail. I just hope for the best.

Worse the not cancelled stamps (I don’t mind it too much) is when they are cancelled with a pen! That’s a shame! :see_no_evil:


Postcard to me: CN-2816957 was damaged badly during its travel from :cn: to :czech_republic:. The scan of sender shows it was okay when he/she sent it, but it travelled for long and my scan (below) doesn’t show it was probably in some wet enviroment, as the ink based text is smudged, hardly readable and all together is somehow creased, bit torn… but it happens! I think it is part of the fun of :postcrossing:

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As long as the picture is not totally ruined I don’t mind scuffs and rub marks. I love the thought of my card wizzing through the post machines. I do wonder how many fall out and become expired postcards.

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That’s actually quite true! I have no idea what’s happening with all the Nordic countries, to be honest… Even Norwegian postcards are often cancellation-less… Once I sent myself 3 postcards from Norway (Tromsø and those places further up north), and two of them had no postmark at all!

Yeah, I hate those haha, I think the United Kingdom is the worst offender! I’m lucky to live next to a post office where those horrible pens are never used – if a postcard escapes the cancellation machine, it gets a very neat handstamp!

It doesn’t even look that bad! Notice that little section on the left – many postcards from China are actually entry tickets (to museums or parks or whatever), and they often have one part that can be torn off, just like a normal ticket! And you’re left with a perfectly sendable postcard. Many users send the whole thing though, which is why these postcards are often bigger than average.

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Interesting, I was confused what is that part for! Ehhm, as I said, it actually is much worse than scan shows! Especially backside is especially bad. I think I had to use support for ID for first time for this postcard.

@Axolotl_, @Cassiopheia, @CorvusCorax, @ChristianJ, @saintursula, thank you for your answers! I feel kinda better after sharing it, only sorry for my clumsy attempt to erase the postmark. At least this was a lesson.

I didn’t know that the waves are sign of machine cancellation, it’s very interesting. And now I’m relieved that it wasn’t some supervillain who despises postcards :rofl: All this time I tried to justify the imaginary postal worker, imagining how tired he must be. I should have thought of this earlier. Even more, I only now noticed that the zip code belongs to our automated sorting center which stamps my outgoing postcards (because I put them into street mailboxes instead of going to the post office), while my incoming postcards should be stamped manually at my post office. What a mysterious postmark.


I didn’t know that! I thought that automated sorting centres were rare in Russia, but all it takes is just to drop the cards into street mailboxes? By the way, postmarks aren’t really travel scars… I’m considering opening a thread where we can talk about postmarks, so that we don’t fill this discussion with an unrelated topic?

PS: Don’t worry about your “clumsy” attempt! We can’t really see that an eraser has been used on that card, and that’s all that matters!

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Some postcards do not have cancellations on them.

You can see my reply a few posts above. It is how it happens. However, why it happens? Because the management couldn’t care less about the letter mail.

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Missing postmarks is wrong but I’m not disappointed at all. From my 44 received cards I found 4 without cancellation postmarks. Though it’s too little to think about statistics. Now I’m getting interested in postmarks.

@CorvusCorax, I got 4 of 5 Finnish postcards (my most beloved country :heart:) postmarked, seems I’m lucky :slight_smile: The postmark resembles our machine cancellation with waves.

I’ve never seen pen cancellation and would be interested to receive it, I find it something old-fashioned :face_with_monocle: Though maybe I’ll change my mind when I get bored of it.

@ChristianJ, I fear I might achieve “Offtopic Mastery” badge, so I’m just answering and won’t continue :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

postbot taught me to hide details

I don’t know much about how Russian Post works (now I’d like to learn more). As I get it, in St. Petersburg mail from street mailboxes is collected every night and headed directly to the automated sorting center. At local offices operators cancel stamps manually, and then they forward mail also to the automated sorting center, that’s why it can be slower. By the way, in our largest museum the Hermitage there is a special post office with its own museum-shaped postmark. I sent some postcards from there, the postmark was dated few days after I dropped postcards into mailbox. (However, I would send postcards from there all the time if I didn’t have to buy a ticket to get inside.)


A “pen cancellation” is simply a slash drawn across or on the stamp with a ballpoint or felt-tip pen. It could easily be mistaken for a stamp that someone’s child accidentally got their hands on. It is absolutely not “old fashioned” and has nothing to do with old-style hand-cancelled stamps.

Don’t worry, if you stay with Postcrossing long enough you will get your share of these! :grinning:


Yes! Big black Sharpie scribble - Canada seems to be the worst for that.

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Since I noticed that everyone is talking about postmarks, I decided to open a new thread where we can properly discuss them, as they’re not really “travel scars”. Click here! → “Your country’s postmarks and cancellations”

We can keep talking about real travel scars here :wink:

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This is … some kind of a stamp but I still consider it a “scar” since it doesn’t seem to be a cancellation stamp and I’m not sure where it came from, I guess transfer from something on top of it.

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From a few years ago, damage in front of the girl’s face looks like she’s talking. I ended up amused by it, I appreciate travel wear, except when there’s orange barcode :cry:


This card came in a plastic bag - it’s hard to see, but it’s horizontally torn. :confused: Holding together only because of a strip of clear tape on the address side …

this wasn’t meant to be a puzzle postcard but it became and now it’s the most peculiar postcard of my collection.
some years ago i received an envelope from the italian mail public service, poste italiane, containing these pieces of a postcard a friend of mine sent me: it didn’t travel around the world, it only made 250-300 kms, but somewhere along the way into a mail office it got sliced and a diligent employee put the surviving piece into this envelope, apologizing for the inconvenience.
did it happen something similar to you?


Hi @stefbot75, there’s a similar existing thread about this called “Mail travel scars on cards” here! :smile: