Send a Postcard algorithm

How does the algorithm work? I opted to send five postcards and the system has given me two American and three Russian addresses. I appreciate that these countries have the most members but I would have thought the algorithm would recognised what has already been selected and nominated other countries.

I would love to be able to send postcards to some of the countries with fewer members.

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Welcome to the forum @ormanfamily

Please check your settings and uncheck the first option.

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It is covered in the FAQs

But it could be that even without that option, you get the most common countries. Rare countries are rare. Look at any profile of a long-term member to get an idea of the stats.
(If you look at mine, I sometimes have the repeated countries option, described above, switched on, sometimes off. I was looking at it some days ago, more than 50% of my cards have gone to the 3 most common countries and I believe that’s quite standard).

It’s take it or leave it, really :slight_smile:
And as I always say, we send to people, not to countries :wink:
(Yes I’d love to send to Kazakhstan but I never did :))


The algorithm picks up a postcrosser who you haven’t changed postcards yet and who’s due a card back. The countries which send most (top fivez: Germany, Russia, USA, Netherlands and Finland) are most often due cards than countries that send less (e.g. Kazakhstan, Sweden, Australia). This is why most of your cards go to these countries, because they have a lot of active members compared to some other countries. To change this, some country should pick up its postcrossing activity considerably, which is unlikely, as the cost of stamps rises steadily. The stamp prices in Germany are unbelievable cheap (0,95 € abroad) compared to some other countries.


Yes, you have to be patient - you’ve only been a member for 6 weeks - the algorithm is juggling the demands of the whole site, of 800,000+ members, not just an individual account.

I’ve been a member now 15 months & I’ve sent & received cards from around 35 countries & my top 3 countries are Germany, US & Russia because they have the most members. You will start to see more countries added in to your selection over a longer period of time.

You can help that along by using all your slots as you get them & registering cards as soon as you receive them plus Bille’s suggestion above - I’d also untick the box about sending cards to your own country unless you really want to do that.

And remember, the pandemic is also slowing postal services down everywhere, especially given the Delta waves, so we have to be even more patient.

Hang in there - it’s worth it!


Hi, @ormanfamily ! Welcome to Postcrossing!

I don’t know if you realize it, but your country is a bit of a rare one, so those USAnians and Russians will be super delighted to receive your postcards.

And you never know where the cards you receive will come from, so you may get a card from a rare country sooner than you think. :hugs:

Have fun! :two_hearts:


Oh so true!!