Received a card I wasn't expecting

I just received a wonderful card from Saint Louis, Missouri, although I wasn’t expecting it.

I have sent 18 cards and have now received 19. I don’t know how this is possible. It had an official ID on it that registered correctly, and I do not participate in any direct swaps.

Any ideas how this happened? It’s pretty nice to receive an extra card, but I am curious.


Sent and received aren’t always completely even. The system sorts it out eventually.


Why do you think it’s an extra card? We don’t know where our cards are coming from, so it’s just one of your received cards. Your address is given out more often than your sent card count frequently - the algorithm does what it does, it’s not usually a perfect match of sent & received cards.

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Welcome to postcrossing and no worries!
It is one of the FAQs:

Happy Postcrossing!


Oh interesting… I didn’t realize this. I always assumed that once you sent a card, someone got your address. I’m a newbie, so 🤷


Oh ok! That makes a lot more sense. I appreciate everyone putting up with my question! Now I have learned something!


There’s also several topics on the forum about it. A lot of us receive loads in batches then our sent take ages to catch up :rofl: sometimes I have 9-10 more received than sent. Usually, my address is given out a gazillion times on the same day.

I have the opposite. I have about twenty less received then I’ve sent. The disparity has been for quite awhile so it can’t all be lost cards. Is this normal to have such a big difference? Thanks for all answers.

Apparently, it is for those in the most common countries. There are so many of you, and a lot of people choose not to have “repeated countries” so you are essentially skipped until someone requests an address that either has no (or little) USA travelling, or does “repeated countries”.

Also, it’s volume: you send quite a lot so your account moves fast. I for example don’t send enough to ever be in that situation - maybe 2-3 more sent would be possible if I sent a bit more, but not 20.

Thirdly, the USA has been so slow for everybody for the last year or so, so it’s possible that your sent are received a lot faster than cards travelling to you. Also again, because you send a lot, if 10 of your cards are registered today, it will take quite a while for 10 to come to you, partly because your address might not go out straight away because you are in such an active country, partly because, let’ say, 5 of those cards will reach you in 2 weeks, and 5 will take 2 months (I am oversimplifying of course. Also from a brief look at your profile, things seem to get to you quite fast but there must be stuff stuck on the way to you. Most of what I send to the USA takes a month these days, sometimes two).

And I wouldn’t be surprised if quite a lot was lost on the way to you, again because the USA has been so problematic for months.

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Thank you elikoa, that makes sense. The last month or so cards seem to be travelling faster.

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How the system gives out addresses isn’t sometimes balanced indeed, as this example shows. The first screenshot shows two of my cards which were registered on 8 March and the second how many times my address was given out on that same day to receive my due cards.

So for one card I got seven back. :postbox:


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