Questions about inactive mode

Hey everyone :wave:

So I’m in a bit of a predicament at the moment landlord issues I’ll leave it at that.

I currently have 16 cards travelling to there destinations.

To be honest I want to keep sending cards I try to send 5 a week if I have the free slots for it.

Let’s say I switch my account to inactive and I end up sending 130 cards and then decide to make my account active again.

How does this work do I get the 130 cards I’m owned in return? Ones I make it active?


That is basically right.

But you are limited to how many you can send on inactive - once you reach a certain level of difference between your sent and received, you won’t be able to send any more. It’s not a set figure, it depends on how many total cards you have sent (and I don’t believe that information is published anywhere).

I don’t think you could make it up to 130 cards, but you can definitely keep sending for a while.


Ok maybe im missing something ?
If people keep sending without receiving the system will run out of addresses for sending ?


I assume it works out because at any given time only a small percentage of members are inactive yet still sending.

I’m sure between the human admins and the all-mighty Algorithm, someone is making sure Postcrossing doesn’t just grind to a halt. Perhaps inactive senders are one of the reasons why we sometimes end up with more received cards than sent cards?

Anyway, I think it all evens out again when they eventually become active and receive all the cards they are owed.


My landlord is trying to force me out. If I have to put a postal redirect my concern is the post office just slap a sticker over ur old address with your new address and my concern is some postcrossing members print out the address with the ID code above the address and I might received post cards that I can’t register as the address has been stickered over.

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Go inactive, send for as long as you can, and don’t worry! :smile:

Otherwise ask in your profile for the senders to put the ID in 2 different places on the card! :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes it is.
I was inactive from December 2021 - 27 Jul 2022.
At 27 Jul 2022 night time I set my account back to active again for only 1 hour.
My statistic at that time was 388 sent and 305 received.
As per today I already received 97 cards sent on 27 Jul 2022.
And still more to come. How do I know? When I activated my account I received message from people who questioning my statistic and asking if my address is right, if I was inactive, bla bla bla bla… I answer them but until now I still haven’t received cards from them :smiley:


If you go back to active after a longer absence, you should write a corresponding note in your profile.


I paused Postcrossing around December 2019 after I registered my last received card. A little while after that I got a mail from Postcrossing saying they put my account inactive. Since it was the start of the pandemic and the postmarket was flat I was fine with that. I started sending out cards again in October 2021 when the postmarket was a bit more normal, but only for that one month and I stayed inactive thus not receiving postcards. I started sending cards again now in September 2022, but still inactive.

I love receiving but I just don’t have the time to enjoy the card, register it straight away and write a good hurray. With sending, I can decide when I send and how much. Just 1 or maybe 5 cards when I have the slots open. I hope soon all will be more quiet so I can go back active. I did already add a line on my profile “I have been inactive for a long time which explains the sent/received difference” so people know why there’s a difference for when I go back into active state and that I am not a person who doesn’t register cards or such.


Don’t let that hold you back. If you cant read the id, the postcrossing team can find it for you - there;s a link on the registration page, on the right.


In the US, the mail forwarding sticker is easy to peel off and does not damage the underlying surface or printed details. Sounds like the forwarding address sticker there is a bit more permanent? That’s a shame.

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Great reminder to ask senders to always put the ID in two places on the card! Thank you! Writing the ID twice is always the best plan.
I know we can request help from the admins when the ID is missing digits, illegible or not written at all, but that takes up the admins time and energy, even though I get the impression the ID retrieval system might be partially automated?

Additionally, in the US, there is a processing bar code that gets stamped directly on the card, just like a postmark. Unfortunately it’s permanent and hard to read through any ID numbers.


Keep in mind that the days/weeks after your adress’ ‘return’ will be very busy with cards from neighbouring Europe coming in. So you might need some extra energy resp. some extra stressless time.

(I had it this weekend, surplus was ~25 when I went back to active on WPD).

Of course I don’t wanna scare you ;-)) - you will make it through is, esp. it’s some enjoyable ‘stress’


I know, I had to go inactive a couple of years ago and when I went back active I had one day that gave me 15 or so cards to process hahahaha. It was both an awesome as an overwhelming feeling. But as you say, this is enjoyable stress :grin: It is fun to see your mailbox so full!


There doesn’t seem to be any real information about how long a person can stay inactive. @paulo @meiadeleite I don’t want to receive cards right now but I still want to continue sending all my available slots. Can you tell me how long I’ll be allowed to do this, or how many cards difference I’ll be allowed?

I don’t have an exact number to give you… but at your current rate of sending, maybe around 3-4 months of sending postcards.


That sounds great! Thanks so much!

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That is so weird! The first time I went into active mode, I kept it on for 24 hours, and yet I only received 1 card! although this was my first card and I wasn’t owed as many as you, the difference still seems crazy.

I was owed about 60 cards when I decided to just even it out, and I still hadn’t been told I couldn’t send anymore. And those were my first 60 cards, I don’t know if there would be differences in how many card you can be owed if you have sent few vs loads.

When sending cards, you receive the same (or simillar) amount of postcards back, so it reaches a balance.
Suppose you’re in travel mode and you decided to travel for a long time, or you set your account to inactive, are you allowed to keep sending cards? How off can the send-receive ratio be?

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Yes, you are allowed to send cards when you are set you account to inactive.

This is the answer: