Repetition day

Good morning/afternoon/evening to my fellow postcrossers.
I don’t even know where to start but I have a crazy idea that will be either extremely popular or immediately hated.
So, fast your seatbelts and try to keep an open mind, because this is not going to be a short post.

Ok, I’ve been reading for a while on the forum about getting the same countries, frequency of getting new countries, “rare” countries and etc. after hiting kind of a slump myself in which I’m sending to the same countries (without having the Repeated countries option ON).
Here are some posts:

Ok, brief summary for people that don’t know what this is about: Basically, all of our addresses/profiles are in a “pool” in the PC server and when you ask to “Send a postcard” you get an address from that pool (that also takes into account your countries restrictions, check Postal Monitor).
Countries that have more users and whose users are more active have more addresses in the pool and it is more likely that you get one of those countries to Send, but also that someone from one of those super active countries sends you one, so they are also frequently Received.
The most frequent countries are Germany, USA and Russia. I’ll call them “The big three”.
Other countries like The netherlands, Finland, China, Taiwan are also on the top 10 (maybe Japan, Czechia, Belarus could also be, depends on where you’re from).

Moreover, some of this countries have a fast and reliable postal system, that allows postcards to arrive between 7-10 days. Which means that the address that you just got and send a postcard to may be back to the “pool” in 1-2 weeks.
Active members + high number of members + efficient postal system = addresses from these countries are more frequent.
While the algorythm works so you have less repeated countries (if you have the Repeated countries OFF), these addresses are still common, because there is a Quantity factor that is impossible to dodge: there are MORE addresses from these common countries, you are going to get MORE of these countries.

While I do agree that all addresses are truthly different because each person is a world, I also think that there is a special thrill when getting a “new” country you haven’t Sent (or Received) from. Or a less common country that you barely have postcards from.

Sadly, in some parts of the forum the quest for a new country on the stats has led to some people looking/sounding like they are annoyed or dissapointed because they get the most frequent countries all the time and those most frequent postcrossers, that are not responsible for how active is the country they live in, can feel unwanted.
For that, I quote what a member on the forum said in another topic, because I can’t say it better:

Now that the problem has been expossed. Into (my crazy idea) the solution:
I am a mere mortal and I do not aim to fully undestand how The Algorythm works. @paulo has appeared in multiple PC posts to further explain it. But, if you go to the F.A.Q of postcrossing, you’ll see an interesting point that is the base of what I’m suggesting.

How can I help Postcrossing balance the most active countries?
Basically, turning ON the repeated countries option and sending more postcards to the most frequent countries.
If we all did that, we will increase our chances to get a “new” or “unfrequent” country for us.

My idea is to dedicate one day for everyone to turn on the Repeated countries option, and save up slots of postcards to send prior to that day.
In a similar way that people “save” sending postcards before Postcard Day so they can send a bunch together for the special day.
Only that, for that day, everyone that joins will have the Repeated Countries option ON.

Wait, @Lhyz , I’m not following. We complain that we get always the same countries, repeatedly, and your plan is for us to purpousely get the same countries, repeatedly?


See, if many people join the same day to send a lot of postcards and they allow for repetition to happen, we can deplete the “poll” of addresses from the most common countries in a day.
How? Well, we’ve already said that because there are more of these addresses (from Germany, Russia, USA…), you are going to get them more, repetition ON or OFF. But if you allow repetition, you are going to get them more, in succession. And, since there are more, statistically, it is more likely that with Repetition ON, you are going to get more addresses from the common countries.
Moreover, these very active countries, if their members turn ON repetition, will get more addresses from each other, and will effectively deplete the pool. E.g, Germany will have more addresses from USA and Russia, USA, will send more postcards to Russia and Germany, etc.

And then comes the actual point of Repetition Day. By the end of the day, you should have sent as many postcards as possible, using all your slots except for ONE.

Since postcard can take 1-2 weeks to arrive minimum/average/whatever, the days after the Repetition Day will be more likely to get a less common country. Well, that’s simple but incorrect, tecnically, it will be less likely to get a common country.
Either way written, your chances of getting a country you didn’t have before are higher. And you’ll get the thrill to add a new country to your oficial postcrossing stats. :nerd_face:

If people have read until this and -somehow- it is considered to be tested. I was thinking that we could have a badge, just like postcard day, for people that send postcards with Repetition ON on Repetition Day.
And it could be a different date each year, playing with the dates. For example, this year it could be the:
2/3/23 (2nd March)
or 3/2/23
or even 23/2/23 23/3/23

See what I’m doing here?

I want to finish this by repeating, just in case, that this is just a partial solution. This is just a fun way to join together on another postcard-oriented even and it helps to increase your chances of getting a less-common country to Send to.

It does not fix the “problem” of getting more addresses from some common countries because that is due to the amount of members and the activity of members.
The only way we can “balance” that is to promote Postcrossing as much as possible if we are in a country where it is not so common and helping that more people have a financially stable situation so they can afford postcards and mail. :globe_with_meridians:

I would love to hear all your thoughts and reservations about it. :memo:


An interesting idea that I could support.
I recently started to check the repetition tab to hold for about 2 weeks each month. Whether it is coincidence, or not, I am finding that I am getting more cards from different countries than before during the “non-repetition” weeks. It has made for some interesting variety.
I encourage others to try this. Even for a few days each month, or a week each month.
I also like the idea of experimenting with an annual repetition day - or a monthly repetition day even. We could start this like this (just a few ideas)

  • New Year’s Day (whichever New Year one celebrates)
  • February 1 - to kick off Month of Letters
  • definitely WPD - October 1
  • why not try it on one’s birthday? :wink:
  • what about clicking it on the day of one’s Postcrossing anniversary?

I’d rather see the no repeated countries option removed completely. The split would be more equal for all if we all just took what we were given.


I don’t think it’s that easy a fix or necessarily helpful to the system, but I’ll wait for Admin to weigh in.

I would rather just see the repeated countries option eliminated completely and go to a true ‘first in first out’ system (obviously accounting for the postal monitor i.e. countries we cannot send to or receive from).


yes i vote for deleting the entire repeated country option as well. one day is great but it’s fair that everyone just gets the first profile in line.


I agree.

I think it also helps in this situation:

More happy mailbox days with the official PC

If postcrossing doesn’t want that, then it might be an idea to just encourage as many people as possible in a topic to turn off the option. Or make it a very regular activity. Every first day of the month or so.

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That is very interesting. I did not expect to have a difference with just one account. I’d like to try it in the future. :thinking:
I’ve noticed that people that have been in PC for longer and have number of 1.000 and 2.000 sent are more likely to have the repeated countries option ON.
I plan to do that in the future, once I get more slots. I undestand that when you have quite some slots and you’ve already sent and received to/from a lot of countries, repetition doesn’t make that much of a difference and it really helps the system.

My main point with this idea is that I imagine the Repetition option is less fun for newbies that have less slots. It is not the same having the Repetition on if you can send 15 postcards than if you can send 3.
Hence making it “A Thing”, an oficial day that can be celebrated, feels more like “we are all in this together” and will encourage participation while puting a positive note on getting the same country more than once, and getting more of frequent countries.


I know this will be a discrimination, but.
The one thing that’s not mentioned and that I was thinking about that postcrossers in the frequent countries should automatically have the button “send to your own country” permanently ticked. Then they would help all the other participants to have more variety. I don’t have any figures of course of how many participants of these most frequent countries have the button on, and longer than just for 2 weeks in December.


While I undestand your point of view, I think the existance of the “non repeated” button is still necessary, specially for newbies.
Once you’ve received 1k postcards from many countries, you’ve sent also to many countries, and you’ve sent to the same country countless of times, the repeating feature becomes less important. It is easy to care less about where you send and more about Who if you have been around for long and have already sent to a 1000 addresses.

But for people that are starting, and for whom postcrossing is a way of traveling through postcards, it can be pretty unmotivating if all your precious, scarce slots go to the same country.
While every address is different, it is not the same if I’m starting postcrossing and my map looks like this:
:de: Postcard 1 :de: Postcard 2 :de: Postcard 3

Than if it looks like this:
:de: Postcard 1 :ru: Postcard 2 :us: Postcard 3.

Germany, Russia and the USA are very common countries, but for a newbie, those are three new countries, instead of one.

It is quite motivating and that is important because we all know that the first weeks of postcrossing are the worst. You finish sending your maximum of 5 postcards quite easily (even if you try to hold) and it takes time for your first Received postcard to arrive. It is easy to loose interest.
And, yes, “there’s the forum to send more”, but the forum takes some time to warm up and get a hold of how it works and you have to start intereacting (with limited actions) until you can write, answer, start a post, etc.
And not everyone likes the forum and the non-oficial PC and that’s fair.


Most of the time I have yes for “own country” (it’s cheaper and faster :slight_smile: ) and yes for “repeated countries” (it’s always another person you send to or receive from :wink: ).

But to be honest I deleted “repeated countries” in March when several countries stopped mail to Russia to avoid that I only get Russian addresses. Even without “repeated contries” I get about 5 German, 5 Russian and 5 US-Amerian addresses at the same time and I didn’t want to send only to these three countries over weeks. Especially as in 2021 Russia was the country with the most expired cards for me.

At the moment I have 22 travelling (5 RU, 5 US, 2 BY, all other are 1 per country) and when I draw new addresses maybe tomorrow, I guess I’ll get 5 German ones and maybe some from TW and NL and another one from RU, US and BY.

Maybe deactivate the button when you have more than 30 countries or more in your statistics page?

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But if we all send postcards to all countries again, everyone will have more variety again.
Also the people who start with Postcrossing.


To be honest, I’m not thrilled with this idea. I occasionally use the repeated option but most of the time I don’t use it because I find it boring to get the same countries all the time. I have nothing against these countries, don’t misunderstand. Of course, people are always different but I prefer to have variety. If Postcorssing starts demanding that you have to use the repeated option, I think many users will stop this hobby. If the rule is only for one day, many don’t necessarily want to participate in it.

As an example.
On average, I send 1 postcard every week or 2 postcards every two weeks.
Started again in November 2021 after a long (years) break.

Between November 13, 2021 and September 18, 2022, I sent 48 postcards.

  • Option ‘send cards to your own country’: on.
  • Option ‘send to the same country repeatedly’: on.

48 postcards

  • USA: 3
  • Germany: 16
  • Russia: 28. (19 received, 5 on the way, 4 expired).
  • Taiwan 1 (because, at the request of the Postcrossing team, after 4 expired cards to Russia, I once turned off the option “repeatedly to the same country”. Then I turned it back on immediately).

This is discussed in some other threads.
It could perhaps make the situation worse. More cards travelling fast, more free slots, more cards to this frequent country.

Like if a German gets USA address, it can take two weeks to get there and the slot is taken during that time. No one is sending “back” to this German address during this time. If the German member sends to Germany, it can take 3-4 days, even less, and the German slot is open again, they get more travelling slots faster, and the frequent country gets even more common.

So, would choosing “not to my own country” actually help more?


I don’t mind taking the edge off for someone who prefers so send to greater variety of countries. I personally benefit from the imbalance :sweat_smile: It saves me money on postage because with the repeated countries on I send pretty much exclusively to Europe, which is cheaper here. With expensive postage and rates going up, it can help to be more active. But I understand that for peope from outside of Europe it may be the other way around.


Speaking from the perspective of a Newbie from Germany. I have six postcards traveling at the moment and no more open slots. One to Germany, three to Russia, one to Belarus and one to the US. Four of these are to members who have not been logged in for quite a while, including the one to Germany. So I guess I will have to wait a long time until I get at least one more open slot.
Now how about allowing 2-3 extra slots to people who want them under the provision that these will always be addresses from “the big three”? This would probably help deplete the pool of addresses from those countries and would make it easier to get started and increase the number of slots for us beginners. Win-win.


Wow! I’m getting a headache trying to understand all the recommendations! I’m one of the “big 3” - USA - and leave all my options turned on. Since my postal service won’t accept mail to Russia right now, 99% of my postcards are going to Germany and USA. It’s still fun, but I can see why some people would like more options. I still get cards from all other countries, so I don’t mind.
BTW, I think it would be fun to have some Repetition Days and see what happens!

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Most of the official postcards I receive say “I’m very excited because it’s the first time I send a postcard to your country”. I can understand this need from the users to have more diversity. For my part, I have the option turned on to send postcards to repeated countries and for now I feel comfortable with it. I only get the USA and Germany. I like it because I save money by sending postcards to the USA and I have almost never had expired postcards from Germany.