Sending a card in return

Do you ever send cards as a thank you to some postcrossers?

I collect vintage cards, but those pre-1980’s tend to cost more. I specified in profile that if someone wants to send me such card, I’ll send one in return, if they leave me their return addres.

I feel bad if someone sends me those cards, they are so unique, that’s why I want to say thank you. I have sent few cards back to people and I’ve always gotten a very positive reaction. :blush:

Do you sometimes sent cards in return? Do you think there are some cases where you should?


I have done that in a few cases, when the sender has sent me an extraordinarily amazing card or put a lot of effort in the postcard s/he has sent.


I have sent cards in return two or three times, and I don’t think there would be a case where I “should”.

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no i’ve never send a card back to anyone through postcrossing. i do get messages from time to time from people who want to send me a card back, because i usually write a lot on my cards and apparently people appreciate that. i’ve never answered those messages though. i’d feel a bit bad about getting ‘extra’ cards through the official website. also i love the one way sending on pc. it makes me happy that i make someone happy with my card but well. that’s it. there is a difference for me between the official site and the forum though.

i definitely don’t think anyone should. if you decide to send a more expensive card that’s your own choice. i send out more expensive cards sometimes and sometimes i get expensive cards. i don’t keep track.


It’s written in my profile that I would send a thank you card if people would write their return address. Out of 16 cards only three had a return address and it was probably there for another reason :grinning: Two people were stamp collectors, which made me wonder.
I did send cards to them, though it felt a little strange, not like sending a regular postcrossing card. And no, I don’t think you should.

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Oh my. I’m giving this “comment of the day.” I laughed so hard at this logic I fell out of my chair.

I don’t understand exactly what the problem is with @mchay 's logic. It makes sense to me.

(edit to add: I personally don’t send Thank You cards except on very rare occasion. If someone wants to send me one, I am happy and say “yes, thank you!”)


I think I only did this once when I was first starting Postcrossing and someone wrote on their postcard to me that they would like a postcard back. It was before I really knew what the community etiquette was on such things. Nowadays, I figure that if it’s an official postcard, everyone who sends out a postcard will get one in return, even if it’s not from the same person. If you want extra postcards, then you participate in the round robins or tags instead of asking random people for them.


I’ve never sent a card in return to official postcrossing cards, but there were two cases when I wanted to, but didn’t have the address and the senders didn’t answer my request of their addresses. The first was when I received a card saying that it was second card sent to me, because I hadn’t registered the first (I didn’t receive it). The second was when I received two cards with the same ID at the same day.

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We’re on a forum for a community based on random postcards sent from strangers. In theory, this community shouldn’t exist if you truly like randomness and strangers. But a quirk in the system is that we can thank people for receiving a postcard from them. Some people feel so strongly that they like to reciprocate. This is friendship. It’s not like we’re giving anonymously to a charity.

Instead of accepting this gesture in grace or at least a polite no thank you it turns into punching a gift horse in the mouth, except with silence. Better still, rather following up with the offer, a comment on this forum should suffice.

Honestly, it’s a deeper comment of society and human nature. Ghosting is quite popular these days.

I was absolutely puzzled when the person said they didn’t want extra postcards. What are we even doing here? We can make of Postcrossing what we want, but I thought the idea was to send and receive postcards-and perhaps make new friends.


I might be the strange one here, but I do enjoy the concept of only briefly meeting with strangers through mail and then never hearing of them ever again so much that once the thank you message has been sent (or read, depending on which one I am), then it is over for me. No sending or asking for returns, and no extra cards. Only time when I asked if I could send them an envelope back was when they had kindly included used stamps with the card, and I felt I should at least offer to send something back even thought I never asked to get extras. They never replied.

But now I was reminded about the time I joined Postcrossing for the first time. Back then (around 2008-2010, I think?) it was kind of a trend for a while to send return cards as thank you. I had different goals with Postcrossing back then and I remember adding my address on sent cards and also getting quite few surprise thank you cards back.


I sent a card in return to two official Postcrossing senders, because both sent me more than one postcard and both happened to include their mailing address.

Today I’ll send thank you cards to two senders from a RR, for the same reason - both added a second postcard.


Thanks for sharing some of PC’s history around this - I’ve always wondered why the receiver shouldn’t exchange cards with the sender as part of the process - it seemed logical & easy to me, but I assumed there had likely been debates about doing it or not, long before I became a member.

When I get a card I love or a great message I tend write a longer thank you & share more about what we have in common, but I almost never get a reply to those messages, which is the current practice.

I have also sent a few cards to people who really wanted a card that I happen to have without asking.

And I will admit to some frustration & sadness, that briefness of contact is the default on PC, but that’s just the way it is. I’ve tried for a few penpals, but nothing has stuck so far.


One time I sent some stamps together with my official card, to a person who said they like stamps on their profile (something which I often do if people say they collect stamps.), and they sent me stamps and a postcard back, and then I received another postcard randomly and that started a short exchange of postcards and some small gifts.
It was nice :slight_smile: but it’s not really a habit of mine to send a thank you card.


Sometimes PC reminds me of having a nice interaction with someone on a plane, on a bus or train, or even at the bar. It was pleasant enough and that moment remains there and was never followed up. I travel frequently and am legitimately surprised how I never introduce myself nor others I speak to.

Yet, many postcrossers will introduce themselves and rattle off the pertinent details of their lives as if it was a baseball card. I understand this if you start out and really don’t know what to say so you act like it’s the first day of school and introducing yourself in front of class.

When I read these cards they come off as unremarkable and easily forgettable. I read another one of these a month ago and realized it came from someone that had sent nearly 2,000 cards! Then it dawned on me that they must write the same message every time. Then I read their profile and it was the same as what was written.


Originally, postcards were typically sent on vacation and there was no space to write at all. Writing wasn’t allowed. At least on the first American postcards. I have many of these original cards and all the room is for the address.

So, with the little room we have, I treat each postcard as a poem. I can’t explain my whole life in a few square inches. So I offer a very distinct moment. This can be a story, what I see looking outside my window, a secret, etc. They now have a feeling of my life that one might get from that single-serving experience with a stranger in the wild.


I can send you some local 1970s cards!

I only write about interests if I have something in common with them. Sometimes I write a bit about the postcard or even a random memory or past time, a small taste of what’s going on in my world.

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For official postcrossing, I did send some thank-you cards to others before, sometimes for the special card they sent to me, sometimes for the message on the postcard I’d love to reply to, sometimes for the people who want further connection, I do love the idea of random surprise from random people in postcrossing, but sometimes further connection and even more long-term friendship was built via thank-u card, that’s also the wonderful thing happened to me. I also did receive thank-u cards many times before as well. I understand when someone didn’t reply to my message about wanting to send them a thank-u card, I did try what I want, it’s okay and we still can have lots of fun with pure official postcrossing.


All of this. :clap: Send a postcard, get a postcard (from someone else).