Postcard preferences/demands


I’m a brand new postcrossing member. I read in the guidelines that users aren’t supposed to make demands, but 2 of my 5 first postcard pairings had long lists in their profiles of what they have, want, don’t want etc…Reading their lists makes me feel like I really don’t want to send them a postcard. I’m not a store and I’m not going to buy special postcards to finish out their collection. I thought this was just a way to send and receive postcards and be surprised but it seems that some people (and one of these folks was a 10,000+ sender) assume this is like Amazon shopping? I see that that there are places on this site to set up specific exchanges but the general user profiles are not what I expected. Once I’ve been “given” a person to send a postcard to but my postcards don’t seem to meet their specifications, can I reject them and get another address?


You can not reject an address you have received and get a new address.

Hopefully the received have favorites, and you can try to see if you got a postcard that matches their favorites. If not, send a postcard you got.

Postcrossers should not demand postcards, but give hints/whishes to give an idea of what kind of postcards the sender can send.


No you can’t. But you can absolutely ignore any demands and you are free to send whatever you want to send. A lot of users (including me) have a list of preferences. I’m not a collector of postcards, I’m interested in messages and contacts. But of course I like some postcard motives more than others, that’s why I published a list of preferences. Preferences, not demands. If you’d sent me something completely different with an interesting message, that would be wonderful. If you’d sent me something completely different with a boring text - okay. The rule is: send a postcard. Not less, not more. This is a game, and as you already mentioned: you’re not a shop. :+1:


When you have a good variety of postcards in stock, it’s nice to try and send a card that matches the receiver’s profile. However, you are under no obligation to do so. If you don’t have any of their specific wishes, just send what you have, it’s perfectly fine!


You may send any of your postcards, but you can not refuse to send them.
I also have a wish list. Its function is to avoid the other party from feeling confused about the choice of postcards. It is not for collection.


I felt 100% like that when I started, and sometimes I still feel it. I decided to stay because the rules say you can send whatever you want and demands are not permitted (though wishes are. The difference is very subtle in some cases…).

True, most people have it as a guidance, but to a newbie that read on the rules that demands are not permitted, that is not clear and can be shocking. I got very stressed about a couple of profiles in my early days and reading them back after a year or so they were not demanding at all, but I had not expected anything like that.

I even state it on my profile how that is the part of Postcrossing that I enjoy the least.

But on the original question: No, you cannot skip an address. You can send whatever you want, as others have said - if you have something that meets a wish, great! If not, send what you have. A vast majority of people are reasonable and understand that, as those who posted above.


Your only obligation is to send a postcard to the recipient and that’s it. You don’t need to match their wishlist/demand list or whatever. I’m sure people use Postcrossing for many different purposes, but being a place where you can collect specific types of cards is not the original intent for why this was created in the first place.

To be honest, there are going to be picky, demanding, and grumpy people in any group. I’ve picked postcards that perfectly match people’s wishlists and written a nice message on the other side before and got cranky hurray messages in return for all my efforts. I’ve decided that I’m never going to win no matter what I do–so I might as well just do my best on the postcards I send out and not take anything else too seriously.


They are preferences. Consider them like wishes. If you can grant one, why not? If you can’t, then select something you think they might enjoy based on other things they like.

Hope you enjoy Postcrossing!


Send whatever you have( but a postcard please!), if you can fit people’s interests it would be great, if you don’t have cards from their wishlists, it’s not a problem at all, postcrossing is not just about postcards, the message on the postcard is more important to me in some way.


I agree with most sentiments here.
I personally made a huge list because it was fun!
Plus when I send and the profile is empty I feel unsure of what to send so I like it when people have wishes/likes.

If I don’t have what they want I just send what I have!
I have seen some that are really demanding… So I get where you’re coming from.

But I hope you enjoy your time with :postcrossing: because most of the community is really nice


Often those lists are really not more than wishlists although you might find them quite demanding.
If I get such a profile snd cannot fulfil one of their wishes (my stock is quite small despite being around for years now), I sent a simple card, maybe even a nice looking advertisment card and usually they are registered. So do not bother too much about long and picky wishlists!


Choosing a card from my collection to fit a persons “likes” is half the fun for me. I wouldnt want to send a cat postcard to a person that cant stand them for instance. You are telling a story about yourself in a way when you list your preferences.


But what if the addresse only wants cards that you don’t have and wouldn’t like to buy?

Then you just send something else. Also, even if the list sounds like demands, they could actually be just wishes. Sometimes language barrier makes things sound ruder than they really are. I once sent a card to a postcrosser who had very demanding wishes and I got nothing suitable. However, their hurray message was super friendly and they told me how much they liked the card. :slight_smile:

This! I know it can be sometimes difficult, but it is good to relax and remember this is a hobby. Put your energy on the things which bring you joy. :slight_smile:


Thanks, but my question referred to beeknees posting.

Thank you everyone for replying with your unique perspectives. I do appreciate it. That being said, I feel I can relax a little, send what I’ve got, while also browsing for interesting postcards to purchase for future use. Now, being pretty much isolated for 10 months means my problem is now figuring out something interesting to say. When you have to squeeze something interesting onto 2 inches of space, it kind of highlights how banal my life has become. Ouch.


I absolutely felt this way too, and still sometimes do. Someone mentioned that we are not Amazon and I try to remember that when I feel badly. Sure, I would love to have a massive stash of cards to choose from but I have a budget for this hobby and can’t afford to spend a bunch of money on super premium cards.
I think it’s in how the lists get worded, we have all seen the super rude ones. My ideas list has gotten longer as I’ve been here, mostly because I didn’t know some fun subjects were even possible. But I also make it very clear that this is a fun hobby for our family and we love each and evey card we get.


When I first started out I was pretty surprised too by the seemingly lists of demands. I remember excitedly requesting my first address and feeling slightly panicked because I didn’t have that many cards yet and none of them seemed to fit with what that person liked.
However, I came to understand that it’s more meant as a guideline, and it’s actually pretty satisfying when you find that one postcard in your collection that would be perfect for a person.
Still, you can send anyone any postcard out of your collection. The only thing you might check is if they have a list of no’s and such.
I’ve had people who had a phobia or something of the like, so they didn’t want any cards associated with what that phobia entails, but otherwise you can send anyone any card you like.
I personally have no real preferences stated on my profile, simply because I like being surprised and I sometimes feel so bad whenever I don’t have a card that matches people’s exact wishes. I don’t want people to feel the same when sending me a card.



Agreed, I look at the front of a postcard for about 20 seconds really, before I excitedly flip it around and read the message, something which I will probably reread many times in the future. The only postcards which I ever felt sort of disappointed over, were the ones without much effort put into whatever was on the back. Like only a stuck on printed out happy postcrossing or something.


Well, on a philosophical note, most people lead pretty ordinary lives. :thinking:

Regarding figuring out something interesting to say, write about the postcard which you are writing on, that should get you started.

That was exactly my point in a recent thread here. Long lists and long profiles can be offputting to new people. They’ve just joined up, all squeaky clean and full of enthusiasm, then they get…OMG! on the first five profiles they draw. No wonder so many people give up in the early days. :slightly_smiling_face:

@TwoDoggies I hope you take heart from the fact that many many people have felt that way too. I can only counsel you to give it some time: this is hobby teaches patience, I had to learn that the hard way too. :wave: