Researching postcard delivery times...before you reach out...

This month, out of the blue, I have received two private messages (from the main site, not the forum) from two different members in a single, fairly active European country. Both messages say (basically) I sent you a postcard xx days ago, you haven’t registered it…did you forget, or is it lost? Neither member is really new to Postcrossing…both being Postcrossers for longer than me (I’m at about 11 months).

The frustrating problem with these messages is that neither member appears to have done even the slightest amount of research into travel times from their country to mine, before firing off their messages. A very quick look at my statistics page on the main site would show them that I have indeed received at least one postcard from their country before…and that we are looking at a travel time of 40++ days to reach me.

The first user who messaged, had their card travelling for 32 days (and had even sent to my country before…and that card took much, much longer than 32 days). The second user was at 44 days (and had never sent to my country before). So neither of their postcards was travelling for an unduly long period. I have messaged both users back and politely told them about my statistics page, and not to worry about their postcards at this point.

I thought I’d just take this chance to point out here…in case people were unaware…that you are able to do quite a bit of research on average travel times using the Postcrossing main site. And if it’s important enough for you to be sending off ‘where is my postcard messages’…then it’s certainly important enough to spend 5 - 10 minutes looking at the stats before you do so :grimacing:.

Even if the user in question had not previously received cards from your particular country…you are still able to do a search for other members from a particular country, then go to their postcards received, sort by country and check the travel times between your country and theirs this way. If you want to be especially thorough…you can also look at the dates of travel (Pandemic mail being slower than pre-Pandemic mail, Christmas-time mail taking longer than other times etc) and even drill down to specific regions within countries by looking at the individual postcards (mail to capital cities generally travelling faster than mail to outlying regional areas) etc.

Now maybe I’m an idiot…and this whole messaging thing is a passive way of getting people to register your cards without having received them (neither message asked for this), but I guess the message I just want to leave here is that if you are genuinely worried about where your postcard is…there is a lot that you can do to check on what is ‘normal’ before wasting your time sending out messages.

If anyone needs more help searching for travel time stats, please feel free to send me a private message…I’m happy to try and show you in more detail where and how you can look at this information.

Have a great day! :heart:


I hear you! I’m incredibly impatient but resist this temptation strongly with great effort. I noticed another Australian profile that said “I register cards promptly upon receipt, if it’s still traveling that means it’s not here yet.” Something to consider…


Great point John!

This is a blurb that is in my profile…maybe they didn’t read my profile, in addition to ignoring the stats :grimacing:


Yes, some folks don’t get the travel times of mail around the world plus all the delays with the pandemic - staff off sick, flights cancelled or delayed, extreme weather events, political unrest etc, etc.

I can imagine your frustration - I’m happy if mail to Australia & New Zealand get there before 60 days.

But mostly I take the approach, once the card is mailed, we have no control over the postal system gods & we must be patient & understand the vast majority of cards WILL ARRIVE in their own time & a few will go missing.

Thanks for the reminder for patience & a little research.


32 and 44 days… aren’t even expired yet :laughing:

I guess for some users who do postcrossing from a country which has reliable and fast postal service, having their cards travelling for more than 2 weeks is already a loooong wait LOL. Especially when it’s from Europe (assuming many cards among European countries where many postcrossers live will travel within Europe as well or maybe also the US). So sending a card to other far away continent… will surely test more patience, not to mention if the destination country has slow service and strict covid restrictions


Yup. Not even close to expired.

As I’ve also just commented privately to someone…while my post may come across as a bit of a rant…I am genuine in my offer of help to anyone who wants to know more about looking at travel time numbers.

I should add that I am no expert! I will not be talking in terms of average versus median. I won’t be using formulas or spreadsheets (well, I do use spreadsheets…a lot…and I like crunching numbers…but I’m a simple number cruncher…I can balance an account, and forecast my spending).

So please…if anyone is new, and wants me to help them with how to look at travel times on the main site…please just say the word!


I actually have to be more patient sometimes for cards travelling within my tiny little kingdom of Belgium, than for mail coming from Japan. That can get here in 5 working days (and this is not exceptional) whereas a card once sent from my neighbouring village (I kid you not) took a week! :crazy_face:

@Tinkatutu I understand why this can be frustrating for you. Here’s a virtual hug because there’s not much else I can do :people_hugging: .


Pestering a member about whether they received your (plural) card will not result in it getting there sooner.


Thanks Karina! I sound like I needed a hug this morning…yes :grimacing:? Sometimes It’s quite bad enough living at the @rse-end :face_with_hand_over_mouth: of the world…without also receiving email from people wanting to know why you haven’t registered their card yet. I’m like…acckkkkkk!!! I KNOW how you feel…believe me :tired_face::tired_face::tired_face:!


I do hear you, the strangest thing is as a Canadian I can mail to fellow Canadians and it can take up to 3 weeks to arrive…. And then I mail to Belgium or Germany and they get it 8-11 days. I think it has a lot to do with the weight of mail travelling to and from countries, they wait for a certain weight before they ship.

When I first came here there were a couple leaders who mentioned” be patient ” so I not only took it to heart, I don’t think about it anymore. Whatever comes in the mail I am thrilled that someone thought of me and wrote a lovely message.

My condolences that such a great project brought you such disdain. I am cheering for
you that this won’t’ happen again.


We experience the same thing here with our domestic mail @mdmsamm. I can easily wait two weeks for an envelope to reach various family members just a couple of hundred kilometres away here. It’s crazy!

I think…I have no proof yet other than watching where my tracked mail bounces about…that my mail to Canberra does completely crazy things like - getting loaded on a truck in Melbourne…driving all the way up the highway to Sydney (and literally passing Canberra in the process), gets unloaded and chucked in another truck and heads back down the highway from Sydney to Canberra! :weary: So yeah…the domestic circus is another thing entirely.

Please don’t get me wrong…receiving random emails from users querying why I haven’t registered their postcards has not detracted from my enjoyment of this project at all. It was mildly vexing…when I saw that their cards had travelled for such a short period (especially given the looong waits we have for basically every card sent)…but it actually just made me think that maybe these people have no idea that there is so much information already available to them through the site…and that it really is very cool to look at!

I’ve been reading lots of topics about people not knowing what is and isn’t available to them, what they can do and where etc, and expressions from other users about offering help to new or struggling users. So these things have been on my mind, and I just thought to myself…‘hey, don’t judge so quickly…maybe they simply don’t know’! I do realise I’m possibly preaching to the choir though…posting this in the forum. But maybe someone who doesn’t know will read this and learn something new! :crossed_fingers:t2::blush:


As European :slightly_smiling_face: I have to say that last months were really strange, much stranger than during the beginning of COVID pandemic. And I have contacted one user (yes, I am guilty) and yes, it was before the card was expired. Why?

  • me and her were active users
  • it was within EU, not the most frequent country
  • usually it takes no longer than 14 days, it was a bit more than 40 when I wrote a message

And I got an answer - surprise, surprise - the postcard really did not arrive.

The postcard was delivered after 71 days, it’s my record breaker within EU. Even the recepient was surprised.

It was a lesson for me - yes, we in Europe are probably a bit spoiled - delivery times from Czech Republic to Germany and Austria is 2-5 days, most of other European countries make it in a week, so traveling postcard within EU for a month was really something strange - until now.
I presume that most of the users who did the same thing are experiencing the same.


Why hold on to something you already let go, by putting it in the mailbox? It’s now literally out of your hands :wink:


Wow I didn’t know that slower domestic mail service happen in countries with good postal service too! @Shalottslady @Tinkatutu @mdmsamm

I thought it’s only for us here in Indonesia :joy:
Sending abroad in average take 2 to 4 weeks in general but sending to other city / village that’s located a bit rural could take longer. One of the reason I don’t activate sending to and receiving from my own country


Because the thing that you already let go determines what you will received (postcard in return)


If I send a message about any of my sent postcards, I would at least wait until the postcard has expired (60 days), and check if the received is active. If the receiver has not been logged in for the past month or so, I would not even bother to send a message to ask about my sent card.

Most likely the received has not yet received the postcard, and should not register the postcard as long as it is not received.

A few days ago I received a postcard (seemed to be a resend of a sent postcard) with a travel time of 299 days.

I also have 4 postcards I sent (in travel mode from another country) which all were registered after 299 - 329 days.


This reminds me of a card I sent to Germany… The average travel time is 30 days, but it was expired and being traveling for 138 days…:cry: But I don’t have a habit of sending emails to the receiver, unless I forget to write the Post ID on my card (It happened once…).


In my 9 years of postcrossing it happened a few times that I was aksked if a card has arrived. In some cases they sent a secon card. It also happend that that second card has arrived and a few weeks later the first card has arrived as well.

If someone askes if their card has arrived I usually write back that it did not. Sometimes an ID is provided that I ignore.

I get that some people ask if a card has arrived AFTER it expired when the receipiant is an active member. It had happened to me once that I was about to sort my received cards when there was one that looked unfamiliar to me. I took a closer look and there was an ID on this card. I checked my received cards but this ID was not among it so I registered it then (I never have much time between receiving acard and sorting in into an album but still). I appologized for registering late.
So it could be that a card has actually arrived and was just overlooked or probably stuck to another card. Things happen.

I myself do not send out messages to postcrossers who have not received my card. Sometimes, when I really have enough time on my hand I send a second card and hope for this one to arrive but I don’t always do that.

We have to accept in this hobby that mail can get lost in transit. It happens. It’s frustrating but it’s the risk we take in this hobby.

@Tinkatutu if those mails bother you just ignore them. You are not obliged to write back. You could also write on your profile that you will register every card when you get it and this does not happen faster if peoople send you a message asking about it.

I guess some people, especially in the beginning are very impatient and would like a card to be received so they can send another one. But well - as nice as it is to send a card to Australia I know from experience that especially during the pandemic cards travelled a lot longer than before and right now it still does take some time.
When I started Postcrossing I researched average travel time at Deutsche Post Website and had a notebook where I noted this. I had to learn really fast that this was defenitely not the reality. So I gave up on this very fast.


I’m sorry @HM…I don’t know what you mean?

I think you may have completely missed the point of my original post? I was offering to show peuple how to look at travel times. If I wanted to ignore my private messages…why would I have posted about them in the forum. I think I still don’t understand your comment.