Receiving postcards without stamps?

Hi There, I recently received a postcard in the mail that had no stamp on it! I thought maybe it had been placed in my mailbox, but upon further investigation, the cancelation and mailing barcode had been stamped on the back, photo side, of the postcard.

I was very curious about this, so I reached out to a few of my postcrossing friends that I have in a group chat, and to my surprise my friend had one like this too! There was a cancelation on the bottom left side of the postcard, and no postage stamp on the top right where it would normally go.

I’m very curious about this phenomenon. I’m almost wondering if someone noticed it had been canceled in the wrong area and they stole the postage stamp off our postcards?
Has anyone else experienced this? Any explanation for this?

Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year!
Happy postcrossing!
Courtney Louise

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Interesting… Could you upload a picture of the postcard?

For a swap or something on the forum, I got told the card I sent had lost the stamps on the way, and it wasn’t a single stamp, so something must have happened

Hi, as a stamp collector for many years now, I have learnt one thing. In many countries 99% of the mail is not checked by postal clerks. You can send it without stamps, with the wrong postage value, with another country’s stamps… I have even received mail with stickers instead of stamps more than once. It is also possible for the stamp(s) to have fallen of if they were old and their gum worn.


My second- cousin (aged 16) accidentally posted all.her family Christmas cards this year without stamps. Her Dad emailed my Dad to warn him in case he got a note to say he had to go to the sorting office and pay a fee but both my parents’ card and ours were just delivered. At peak times like Christmas the mail services are just too busy to sweat the small stuff.


I heard that sometimes in some post offices, they don’t use stamps, due to various reasons for example they don’t have stamps available at the moment. but as long as the sender pay the postage, they will send it out, even thought without stamps.


I received an envelope from a penpals once and she had forgotten to add a stamp entirely.

Which country was it from?
I have many USAn cards postmarked to the image side, even when there is stamps.

But I too have forgotten stamps from my letter to Japan, and it arrived.

And I have received mail where the stamp has fallen off when I have it home. I remember once there was no stamp, and I thought maybe someone took it, or it fell, but then I found it on my floor :slight_smile:

They’re two possible situations when the postage has been paid: prepaid card or the one which lost its stamps due to some reason (bad glue, sorting machine, theft).


I had never had this happen before but found this thread interesting. Lo and behold I received a card today from China missing a stamp. I have informed delivery so I can confirm it was there when it was scanned but by the time it made it to my mailbox it was gone.


I recieved a card from Russia today that was clearly soaked and had the stamps removed. It has a part of the Russian postmark. There is a portion that remains where it marked on the paper not the stamp. I’m sure it was soaked because the texture of the postcard is flimsy where the cardboard layers slightly separated and the paper has picked up a slight pinkish tone. Somewhere on its 57 day journey a sticky fingered Philatelist swiped the stamps but luckily the card arrived safe and was registered.
Image removed because the message is visible.

Yeah, but sending mail without adding the right amount of stamps is considered teft. Using something else instead of a stamp is fraud.
The fact that you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it.

I didn’t say it is right! I am afterall a stamp collector. I am just stating the reality of the era.

I have been told that one of my card arrived without stamps and I thought so strange of it because I remember exactly which stamps I put on since it was for a special RR. The card receiver has told me there were no stamps at all when they received it, and said that it has happened to them before too. I am thinking maybe I put on less glue or somehow the rain has made the stamps to come loose. A weird experience but who knows what can happen along the travel…

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I got a postcard last week where the stamp fell off and was between two other pieces of mail in my mailbox. I’ve also gotten postcards over the years that were postmarked and one of the stamps fell off in transit. It seemed to happen more with the older, lick stamps than with sticker stamps.

From the postmark, it was easy to tell a stamp was there at one time.

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