Square boxes in the upper left corner of cards?

I’ve noticed that when I buy cards from Europe, or when I receive card from most places, there are a handful of little squares in the upper left corner on the backside. I’ve never seen these on American cards before, so I was wondering if anyone could give me some insight as to what this is for?


Mostly just a hint where you should put your stamp.

As far as I understand it, if the small boxes are on the upper left corner, you’re supposed to put the sender’s postal code in it. If the small boxes are on the lower right corner, it’s the recipient’s postal code.

The box on the upper right hand side is for the stamp.


But the stamp goes in the upper RIGHT corner, the squares are on the complete opposite side aren’t they? Or do the stamps go on the top left side in most places??

Sorry, you’re right. It’s late and I’m tired. @syaffolee has said it all.

Can you upload some photos of those boxes? It’s pretty rare - I seldom see boxes in the upper left corner on the backside of a European card.

I think they are more common on cards from various Asian (e.g. China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan…) countries. But they also show up on cards from Russia from time to time.


Do you mean 6 square boxes like in the following pictures?
I only found them in cards from China and Taiwan

1 Like

I ordered some cards from asia a while ago and they also have these boxes but layed out a bit different.

I honestly just ignore them and put my address on the card like usual. I also only have seen boxes on asian card, not on european:)

I ordered few cards from China and they came with it and I have no idea what is their originally purpose too. :sweat_smile:

I either write the ID or date on it if they are horizontal. If they are vertical, I usually just ignore them and put some stickers/stamps on it. :slightly_smiling_face:

Its for the Postcrossing ID. Postcrossing.com started in Europe in 2005.

:grin: Sometimes I write "H E L L O ! " or something else into them if it fits, or bury them under washitape. But I agree, I only see them on Asian cards.

1 Like

I always thought they were for the date. Day, month, two digit year, or month, day two digit year, whichever the local cultural custom.

1 Like

That’s a good one too! H E L L O ! :smile:

Putting six boxes in the upper left corner is a very typical Chinese practice - those boxes are reserved for six-digit zip code. For international cards, I usually leave them blank or just write the postcard ID in them.

I think Japanese cards also have the boxes, too, but there are seven of them in the upper right corner.