Randomly Selected Postcards for Users

In another thread, a user talked about when sending out postcards to Postcrossing users, she used an approach of random selection.

No agonizing over lists or collections. A postcard was randomly selected, written and sent off. I was curious to hear the reactions of her recipients; many were thankful for her card.

What are your thoughts about this approach? For me, I recently drew a profile, and despite my many postcards, I still could not meet her preferences as they were too specific or too unusual that I did not have a postcard design readily available for her.


Without this kind of people I would never have received this beauty.


Technically, I do not think we are required to read profiles at all. You are only required to send a (any) postcard to the addresses your receive with the code written on the back. So, I say, do what makes you happy.

I personally do enjoy reading profiles and looking for a match but if one can’t be struck, I more or less pick a random card.


Well, I don’t care about the picture itself so it wouldn’t be a problem. My issue would be if the text side was wasted with some kind of generic explanation about how they choose randomly, as I don’t care for it and would rather read about something else.

But! It would still be my issue, so I’d thank them and move on. :slight_smile: Everyone does postcrossing the way they see it better, so I wouldn’t be upset about it.

It’s as valid/good way to choose postcards as any other.


I think I’m the person OP may be talking about. My unwritten postcard collection numbers into the 10,000 range and they are not well sorted/categorized so it would be very difficult and time consuming for me to try to find a card to meet the wishes of each person. For a while, I tried but it was taking me a very long time to find a card that seemed good and even then a lot of times I was not able to meet a specific wish. My random approach frees me from any agonizing over this, allows me to send cards much more quickly, and honestly I do mostly get good comments from people. I do handwrite a personal message on each card, so people needn’t worry that they’re getting one of those generic printed out ones that’s the same for everyone.


My approach is to review the list(s). If I have something on them, fine. If not, then I select a card from my extensive stock and send it on.


@jaenelle is correct; I was curious to learn of her approach of sending a randomly selected postcard to Postcrossing users and to discover that most users seemed receptive to the postcard choice.

The idea of a random postcard selection certainly bring back the fun and ease of sending out postcards to Postcrossing users. While it’s nice having profiles that could inform fellow users as to what to select and send out, sometimes the demands and specifics from some users became exasperating.

How do users feel about receiving a postcard with a random image? Any tips or suggestions for users wanting to use this approach?

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I don’t collect any particular types of postcards so I’m happy with whatever anyone sends me. I would be perfectly fine with receiving a random postcard. While I do have preferences, for me, getting a variety of postcards and being surprised is part of the fun of postcrossing.

For sending postcards, I enjoy trying to find a card that matches the person’s interests and preferences. Sort of like trying to find the perfect gift for someone. If I don’t have anything that matches, I will send whatever I have that I like and hope that they like it, too.


My advice would be not to write a justification on the card (“I am choosing random cards because whatever”) because this is as a valid way as to choose a card as any other and instead write something else that you feel like writing (but that’s me who rather prefer a nice personal message then whatever is in the picture). :slightly_smiling_face:


I really enjoy to find a matching postcard for a person, so I’m not team random. Though if there is no clue, I’ll chose whatever I like to send at that moment - also not very random.
I’ll at least see not to send something they say they do not like, because you never know why and I also hope that no one will send me the things I say I really don’t like, but then, for the rest - it’s part of the fun. I like getting cards I’d never even have thought they exist, how sad it would be not to receive a card that “feels random” once in a while. There are so many great postcards out there, it would be a shame if I only got such matching my (random) list of things I like.


I think sending a random card is totally ok. I always think of wishlists as mere suggestions (on official PC). And I don’t think I’ve ever come across a profile with a wishlist which didn’t also say something along the lines of “if you don’t have any of these, that’s ok too”.

That being said, I rarely send “random” cards. I don’t have that many cards to choose from and I cannot afford to send that many cards either, so in my case it’s very easy, because I know exactly what I have and what I don’t. For instance, if someone says they like maps, when I read their profile I immediately think of the one map card I have available, so I send that one.


I think randomness is great but it must come with some kind of a process of checking the chosen card against the profile as well. You don’t want to send pinups to kids and pictures of bugs to people with phobias, for example.


I and many other users have written on our profiles that we are delighted with any postcard someone wants to send. I don’t have a postcard wishlist. Instead, I put down things I like and info about me. I do that so that something might spark a thought in the sender about what to write as it’s fun to discuss things we have in common or to ask questions about differences. So, to answer your question, I’d always be happy with a random card.


Well, thank you for this topic.
I’m new here and reading some of the profiles with Very Clear Do’s and Don’t’s was a bit intimidating. It felt like the pure enjoyment of spending someone a postcard I like with a nice message was not really the point.
Anyway, I’m just starting out, so I will observe some more.


I try to send something they like. I skim through and if I don’t have anything I randomly choose. I don’t spend too much time on it. I do actually enjoy sending a card that I think they may like.


I have received a randomly selected card, where the sender told this, I think they wanted to get rid of some card they had for a long time, she kept them image side down and took the first. Some other member also received card like this, and she thought this is rude and the card was not sent to her as a person, and somehow thought it’s only a card the sender wanted to het rid of/didn’t like. Also other members thought it’s inpolite or too honest to tell this.

I was, and still am confused how that can be thought as rude. To me it was interesting to read how the card was chosen and I decided, I will do this too, if the same cards get stuck with me. It would be firstly exciting to see the address, then exiting to see what card I send :slight_smile:

I will welcome a randomly selected card anytime, and also I’d like to know it, like just write “randomly selected” etc, because for me it’s a nice small background info.


I try to align with general requests/avoid duplicates but some people collections are so extensive it can be too time consuming… then the random bit comes in.
I Don’t mind receiving random cards they are often wonderful & things I wouldn’t have realised existed


I read people’s profiles and I try to send something they will like. However, this can be a very difficult task as there are many users with very specific requests. I buy cards in the souvenir shops (views of many places in Slovenia) so if the request is a card of some unknown illustrator I have never heard of, or a topic impossible to find here, then I send a random card.


That one really is a beauty!


I enjoy reading profiles, looking at wishlists and seeing favorites. I like it when have a card or stamps that will make someone happy!! Since I only send 5 or so at a time I have the time to look over what I have in a small box. And I am also happy when someone reads my profile; I would be sad if they just mailed off whatever. I get some of those and assume the sender is not very interested in me.