Top 5 DOs & DON’Ts for new postcrossers?

Hi there,

I very recently joined this vibrant community and sent my first 5 postcards.

I used to be a penpal via the IYS (Turku, Finland) during my childhood and teen years.

Needless to say: I’ve been exploring both the Postcrossing website and forum lately, reading the guidelines, FAQs and several posts.

Nevertheless, I’d be interested in hearing from more seasoned Postcrossers their own top 5 DOs & DON’Ts for new fellow members, on the basis of their personal experience (additional practical insights, main advices and tips).

Thank you very much in advance! :grinning::raising_hand_woman:t2:

Update 19 September

  • To seasoned Postcrossers: a lot has been covered and shared on this topic already. If you have a new insight worth sharing, you’re welcome to do so. If not, feel free to like existing comments you agree with. Let’s just avoid posting new comments which are redundant repetitions of common sense points…
  • To new Postcrossers: if you have any specific questions regarding Postcrossing (PC) or the Forum, please ask them in the specific Forum threads for such purpose:
    ‘Help > New on the Forum and need help about Postcrossing? Ask here!’ or
    ‘Help > Questions about the new Forum’.
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Very important thing for me: Always write a hurray mail!!!
And if it’s just thank you if you don’t like the postcard at all!
I’ve found nothing more surprising and frustrating than a blank hurray mail with no text!
Have fun and Happy Postcrossing :grinning:

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I totally agree about the Hurray messages :grinning:. I would also say, nice commemorative stamps are always welcome and add interest to a postcard… I’m always so happy to receive a card with a nice stamp :+1:

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DO: have fun. :dancer: This is a wonderful community.
DON’T: let any profile demands put you off. Just do your best to send something lovely, from your heart. :purple_heart:

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I’d say:

do write the address clearly, with waterproof pen

do write the id clearly, preferably twice, not near the address

do choose a sturdy, real postcard

if a person has a no-list, like a fobia, avoid sending these

do use enough postage

bonus do: be patient

don’t:

don’t think you have to send what is in the wish list, they are only wishes

don’t write very hurryly, because then it might be hard to read

don’t send photos, folded cards, leaflets etc. as a card

don’t register cards that you did not receive or ask others to register cards they did not receive

don’t let others tell you how you do this :grin:

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My only advice is don’t write a demanding and cranky profile with rules about that you want to receive. I always send my ugliest postcard to those people.

I can see your profile isn’t like that though. You have lots of helpful suggestions without being demanding. So you can ignore this advice :sweat_smile:

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G’day / Yuuma and welcome to postcrossing!

Yep I’m going to repeat some other recommendations here…

DO
1- invest in waterproof liners (I love unipin as they’re cheaper than Copic or Faber-Castell Pitt or Staedtler)

2- write the address and reference number at minimum in waterproof liner (see 1)… I write the entire postcard but that’s my experience in the 3rd world talking

3- remember you’re writing to people all over the world so mail will be wet/flooded/fire etc (so 1 and 2 is super important :wink:)

4- realise mail goes missing or is heavily delayed yay COVID19 world reality

5- consider swaps via forum carefully (some folks won’t mail your item and have likely done it to other postcrossers too)

DO NOT
6- get discouraged when mail takes forever, machines chew post, it can be found behind a machine some months later etc

7- send things your own mother would not want to receive (some send nudes or other creepy cards yes really even to young teens, I’ve even had the religious conversion cards from overly religious people which was frankly revolting)

8- forget that English is not the first language for every postcrosser so if they’re making an effort so should you (thank you in their language is always welcome)

9- worry too much about the wishlist that seems to be all some profiles contain (eye roll) send whatever you can

10- stress over the entire process. It’s supposed to be fun! If it’s not you’re doing it wrong :joy:

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Don’t feel obligated to register something that clearly isn’t a postcard. During my first 3 months I received quiet a few ad flyers.
Postcrossing is about having fun and enjoy sending and receiving cards. Have fun decorating and writing. :grinning:

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I don’t want to use Dos und Don’ts, but I would give these advices:

Go into the forum und use the “tag” section, esp. Scavenger Hunt is so much fun. As a newbie it is so frustrating to wait for cards, but when you participate at the “tags” your mailbox will never be empty again.

Always write a message when you receive a card and if you have the time, show the cards you’ve got.

Use nice stamps and stickers on your cards.

Be creative! Spread the fun!

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DO’s:

  1. Add you personal touch! Decoration, your stories…
  2. Write hurray massages. I do it even if the person wrote only “happy Postcrossing”
  3. Take only this much cards, you can do now. I mean, don’t take new cards when you do not feel that way. It’s not work=)
  4. Send them as soon as possible. Because as fast you send them as sooner you will be able to send (and receive more cards)
  5. Have fun and explore! There are many interesting things to know in Postcrossing like countries, people, new hobbies and maybe friends=)

DON’T’s:

  1. Forget to check if you wrote the postcard’s ID)
  2. Worry if you can’t send special card for the person. Try to find something close
  3. Write only “Greetings from” or “Happy Postcrossing”, people search for people, stories or facts about countries, I guess. But it depends on every profile=)

I think that’s all I know=) But the main thing I can say is RELAX. Everything will come with time!
It’s cool that you want to know different do’s and don’t’s from other postcrossers!
Good luck in your Postcrossing journey!

11 Likes

I have only one thing that wasn’t said yet: please do write not only card ID but also country and place you are from and your Postcrossing username (especially if it’s a forum swap, tag or RR). Sometimes it’s hard to identify the sender without this information :sweat_smile: Also if it’s an official card and it will get expired but then will reach its destination, your username will help receiver to find you and thank you without mods’ help.

Update: l almost forgot about a little don’t. Some people ask for coins and banknotes in their profiles. As a postal worker I would advice you to be careful with those things. In my country, for instance, it’s forbidden to send physical money to other countries period. So if I’ll stick a little coin under the sticker on my card it might get noticed. In best case scenario my card will be thrown away. Also sticking stuff to cards is not a good idea in general (and I know that people do it) because it could damage sorting machines, if I remember correctly. Just be careful with those extra stuff, okay? When in doubt, ask postal workers in your country, they know better than me.

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most people feel pleased when their cards are thanked. so it is good to type ‘thank you’ or ‘thanks’ at least in hurray messages.

i think it is also good to know which countries have which cards. you can learn it bit by bit.

do not’s ?
we are not amazon or online shops, so it is better not to ask of costly cards, especially. it is also better not to only seek of rather peculiar cards. for example, in Japan we do not have such cards, really.

i think it is also better not to exclude viewcards in your profile as they seem to be the most commonly available cards in the whole world.

not to be harsh on postcards. not to be judgemental on postcards.

one more thing, not to flag other’s posts so soon. it is good to think twice or more when flagging. reporting, reporting - more and more jobs for the administrations. they are a small group of people who work hard, already.

hope this helps.

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Do:

  • always write a postcard when you’ve got an adress to write
  • always send a nice and friendly message with your card
  • try to find a card which the receiver might like
  • write the ID-Number twice on the card
  • registrate all received cards and write an hurray-mail.

Don’t

  • forget to write the ID-Number on the card
  • forget to registrate any received card
  • send an empty card with only “happy postcrossing” written on it
  • set yourself under pressure because of the card wishes of the receiver (just send a nice card)
  • be unfriendly
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Be patient! The cards travel, but some may travel for a long time, nevertheless most of them will be registered and touch the heart of the addressee and that is so great!

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DO read the guidelines, FAQs, and search the forum - 99% of answers are there.

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Beside the official Postcrossing guidelines and hints just be yourself and treat your opposite as you want to be treated.

Then there’s no need for a book full of DOs and DON’Ts :wink:

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Ciao Elisa, Thank you for your reply. As mentioned in my initial post, I did my basic homework already before starting this topic (reading the guidelines, FAQs etc). Just interested in the personal experience of more seasoned Postcrossers.
I find such additional inputs very useful. :bulb::grinning:

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Hi Patricia, Thank you for your reply.
Agree, luckily I have not asked for such a book. :grinning:

Oh, I was just adding that in general, it wasn’t directed specifically at you. But to expand, I found that really useful back in the day. I spent several evenings reading the forum to catch on tips and figure out more about it all.
And I felt like adding that to the list because there are so many topics opened by people who clearly haven’t read anything… If they happen to read this then they might realise there are instructions all over the place :slight_smile:

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I wouldn’t say it’s do or don’t (people can have very different approach to postcrossing) but I personally love when people put a little bit of effort into postcard.
If you have a postcard you have a feeling about it might be perfect for a recipient - go for it.
If you are writing a long text - you can mention even a small thing which shows you have read a profile (I have too a dog, he’s so lovely; I love reading, just like you).
If you don’t know what to write and you are a type of person who is sending Greetings from…, a nice stamp or sticker can make a difference. I notice these little things.
But do it out of fun (if it’s fun for you), not because you should.

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