Question: How do Direct Swaps Work?

So I just joined Postcrossing and I am confused on how Direct Swaps work. I tried reading the FAQ about it but that didn’t help. I’m not interested in participating in one, I just want to know how it works. Can someone explain to me how they work? Thanks!


Sure! The simplest explanation is that two Postcrossers contact each other, either through direct message or through an offer in the Swaps forums, and exchange addresses to send cards to each other.


Wow thanks! Is it supposed to be for collectors to attain specific postcards, or just for fun?

1 Like

both :blush: every member has different reasons


It’s for all kinds of reasons! Sometimes, postcrosser want to send more cards than they can on the official postcrossing website. Sometimes, they just really like the profile of this one person and would like to get into contact with them (maybe they can even become penpals), sometimes it’s to get the card that is still missing in their collection and there are many more reasons why people would search for or agree to a direct swap.


I always do direct swaps when I can. This way you can make new friends from all over the world and you get a few new postcards or letters. I always ask if anyone is interested in direct swaps. I also write my address small in the letters or postcard.

If you want please contact me for direct swaps vie my website


I’m not very experient in the postcrossing world yet. Some people have contacted me to do direct swapping, but I don’t know how they found me, and I don’t know how to look for profiles to do direct swapping with them! :frowning:

1 Like

Hi @Kitaloko !
On the official website under “explore” you can search for members by name, country, recent activity and so on. And one option is “interested in direct swaps”. :slightly_smiling_face: It looks like this:

Another option is the “Tags, requests and offers” category in the forum. When people offer something, you can check if you want to trade with them or create a new post saying that you are interested in swaps and looking for partners.

And finally you might find someone you find interesting (because of their sent cards or a post in the forum…). Then you can check out their profile, to see if they are interested in direct swaps and if they are, you can message them.


To go to the official profile via the forum, you can click on the username and then on the read [P]:


It was super helpful! Thank a lot :slight_smile:


For example, how it happens. In general I don’t want any Direct Swaps, because I am a new one and have not hundreds or thousands of cards for the choise. But I have seen that one lady from Pensilvania, US, sends the cards about Amish. I am interested in those groups of people- Amish and Hutterites. Therefore I wrote a message to that participiant and we agreed that she will send me Amishes and I will send something about my country.
But in general we don’t participate in the Direct Swaps non me, non Carolyn.


Same here. Usually I don’t do direct swaps via the official site. But once we contributed to the Postcrossing blog and were warned by Ana that there might be many people contacting us for swaps and whatever. Luckily that never happened :slight_smile: Except for a lady from the UK who asked me in a really friendly and polite way for a swap for the card shown. A lovely penpal-friendship started after that. Unfortuntaely that user passed away two years ago :cry:


I would like to ask whether the postcard exchange is blank, or I can write something up.

1 Like

Hi @MildredYe, that depends on what you and your partner arrange. Most people prefer to swap written and sent without envelope, but there ares so many people here and nearly as many different opinions. As long as there’s nothing different agreed, I would send written without envelope.


Hello everyone!
I am still confused how to maneuver around. I still can’t figure out where to find only USA swaps as opposed to everyone else.
Thanks to @aerobear I did locate the specific country I wanted to swap with under “ languages… “ I posted there yesterday. A members reassured me it was the correct area.

I saw “Everything else” too and I go there often. But where do I swap for USA? I see NA but USA?
I want to swap a Marilyn Monroe Postcard for a Greetings from your state.
Then I want to do a general one for anyone on the site.
Do I “start a new topic” in EVERYTHING ELSE for both swap topics ?
Thank you.

Sorry, but what is “with avatar” mean? Does it mean a photo or no photo?

Are you referring to the mystery random person? Yes, write something. Your writing is anything you like!

1 Like

Got it. Thanks so much!

Got it!Than you so much!!

I think in this case you can either post a thread in ‘Postcards’ category under ‘Trades, requests and offers’ (since it’s a swap offer/request)… Or post it in ‘North America’ category under ‘Language & Geographical Communities’ (since the USA is in North America).

Either way, you can include “USA only” or something similar in the title so people know what to expect :slightly_smiling_face: