Unusual places to buy cards

I was wondering where do you get your more unusual postcards, in person, not on line? With some restrictions being lifted in the UK to move about it might be fun to hear suggestions from all over the world.
I love coming accross postcards where i least expect them. Turns out Churches can be a great source of postcards that are only sold in those churches making them quite rare. St Bride’s, Fleet Street, London is where i first became aware of this.

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Comic cons and other conventions often have some (local) artists selling their artwork, including postcards :slightly_smiling_face:

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Museums usually have exclusive cards you can’t get anywhere else.

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I agree! :smile:
In Japan, museum postcards are of good quality, have a great design and are cheaper than usual.

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I think most of Postcrossers have figured this out, but museums and art galleries are great places to find unique postcards (often showing the items from their collections, so you might not find similar cards elsewhere). Museums even often have webshops that might not show up during googling session because it is so small one, so it is forth to check up museum websites and pay a visit to their actual shop. Most of museums let you visit the shops without entrance fees, though I have come across few that were only accessible after paying fee / completing tour.

Town halls sometimes have postcards available (with some lucky even free ones) so it is worth to check out the local one to see if they have anything. Tourist info often sells cards too.

I have got some cards from libraries too (mostly free ad cards), from hotels (they might have small souvenir shop. However, I am unsure about how much they would like random people showing up to buy cards), camping areas, pet shops (not the first place to look, but one I shop at has nice collection of animal cards), seminars (had to also attend the seminar…) concerts (artists selling their merchs), second-hand shops, hand-craft markets, railway and buss stations, and competitions and other events (so basically any event that has larger audience, might have cards available about that event)

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Last week I bought several postcards at the concert of musical band, so among other merch like usual t-shirts they had some postcards related to their albums. That was really a surprise!

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I’ve been working in hotel reception past 8 years and it’s totally fine to just pop in the gift shop and buy cards. :grin:

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I used to pick up free cards from the cinema advertising forthcoming films. I won a set of nice postcards from a newspaper competition recently and I sometimes find nice cards in charity shops like the tin of glitter Christmas cards I found.

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Well charity shops and also antique shops, but they can very in price form 1p each to £1 each, if you get to know your local charity shop, you can often get them to save a bulk load, today I got a shoe box full (still to sort) from my local Oxfam bookshop here in Lincoln. Not seen any “Free” ones for films in ages at the Odeon, they used to… Yes churches, not all have them, so well worth asking if they do. Other than that try at car boot sales, or ask on Facebook. I put a post ages back saying “Wanted Postcards” in my local library, about a month later got a phone call and a lovely lady let me have a great big box full for nothing! :slight_smile:

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When living in Houston, TX, I bought all of my cards in the hospital’s gift shop (my husband was working at the Medical Center) because I could not find them anywhere else.

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I’ve being founding some rare cards in small convenience stores: they have sometimes cards which are there for ages and nobody is buying them. Other good place are small museums in towns. The same: they don’t have many visitors, especially visitors interested in postcards. Several times I’ve got interesting cards at the rest stops on highways, one place was provincial information centre, another - gift shop at local Roadside Attraction - Big Apple.

For my special collection - Police - I am going to the Police Museums which can be found in many big cities.

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Hi Gavin,

If you’re based in London there is one venue you will not wish to miss to source Postcards, clearly, I don’t want competition rummaging in the dealers’ boxes ( Ha ha ) but strongly suggest you pay a visit to the London “Ephemera Fair”. The fair has been closed during the pandemic but is set to reopen on Sunday the 25th July, it will take place at a new venue at the Holiday Inn, Coram Street, London WC1N 1HT. ( Bloomsbury, not far from the British Museum ). I have attended this fair monthly for many many years ,it is extremely Popular. The doors open at 09-30 and the entrance fee is £1-50. I get there Very early and queue, there are often well over 100 people in the queue by the time it opens and people attend from all over the world.
Ephemera is anything on paper and includes many many Postcard dealers, there are zillions on offer ranging from 10p in the modern cards bargain boxes both sent and unsent to hundreds of pounds and everything in between and of course vintage which is why most people go priced by rarity, subject etc etc. It’s a really friendly Fair and if you’re looking for Postcards it’s the place to go in the UK,everything is covered and you never know what will turn up ! The numbers of cards on offer is staggering and there’s something for everyone at whatever your wallet allows.
You’ll need to check the website to ensure that the 25th July date is still on nearer the date in case things change with opening the UK up after Covid.
Don’t confuse the Ephemera fair with the Bookfair, same organisers, same location different dates, It’s the Ephemera Fair you want. It’s a great day out, you’ll go home laden, happy to meet for a coffee if I attend which I’m intending to do at the moment.
Best Regards, Derek

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Here in Germany you can get free cards in pubs and restaurants on the way to the toilets.

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I have also bought some from secondhand shops—and they can be quite ecclectic. Some businesses also give out free cards. I know some people don’t like ‘ad’ cards, but some are very well designed. Here is one of my local cycle shop:

You could also try Curzon cinemas or the BFI? I have vague memories of postcards promoting films in the Brunswick Bloomsbury Curzon but I might have been imagining this.

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I didn’t tnink of that. Brilliant suggestion. I rarely go to confrences, and when i do it is about mental health. I am going to look out for postcards now because i suspect they are used.

I live a few streets away from Coram St and know the hotel. I had no idea about this fair! Thank you!

Ps. If i am free i would love a coffee and meet.

I like free cards. There is something special about the limited print run.

like @RalfH in Germany I always check the bathrooms and the path to them – in bars, restaurants, stadiums, etc.

In addition to places mentioned by others, the Dollar Store (€1 Store) is also often good and so are book stores and art supply stores, although there the offerings usually aren’t especially cheap.

In the U.S. thrift stores, flea markets and antique shops were often a great source but here I haven’t had so much luck.

Really I would say check everywhere you just happen to be! I once found a bunch of lovely free cards with stuffed toy animals in a toy store, I get free anime cards in the anime bookstore, the tourist information center has cards both free and for sale… Just keep your eyes always open…

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I found free postcards at Starbucks when they were open pre-pandemic. I now have Starbucks Christmas post cards for 2021 Christmas. :grinning: I know that businesses are opening up here in Cali. It wouldn’t hurt to ask for those free postcards. I am sure they are in some box under the cash register.

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