Update to: Request address -> counter starts travel time date

Hey everybody!
I’m quite new to Postcrossing, getting new and new exciting experiences. :slight_smile:

One topic was conspicuous and maybe there is a possibility to improve this:
As soon as you click on the “request address” button, it shows the postcard has been sent which cannnot duly true every time.
Possible story: You’re requesting an address on saturday, but could only send on monday because it is the next postal collection. (But I want to write them today)

So it is too easy to falsify the statistic.
OK, only 2 days you say… but I don’t know how a low amount of other users handle this. Sometimes I see 200+ days transit time that makes me think the postcard has been potentially sent out much later than the request day.

Furthermore the postcrossing-system knows there is definitively one on its way.

I couldn’t find any common Topic so far, forgive me if it’s a double post.

What do you think about this?
Thanks for your opinions :slight_smile:


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I think it is pretty common to be one day behind (or two if a weekend). Most people aren’t that concerned if it takes 13 days instead of 11, for example. For me, having the clock start ticking is a spur to write it and walk it to the mailbox - I can always use the reminder to go for a walk!

If you had to go onto the website twice - once to get the card assignment and a second time to register that you sent the postcard, some people would forget, or never do the second bit of work, or get around to it much later. So it’s a bit more work with at least three times the potential for messing up the statistics. Overall I say simple is better.

Nonetheless, welcome to Postcrossing! And keep thinking of ways to improve the experience for everyone else - you may come up with something really great!


I thought somebody would request an address but then forget to send out the postcard today/tomorrow. (maybe it is only a very small %…)
But your argument is even much more wise. The possibility on wrong/non-using the additional step is much higher.

Thanks for your wishes, I highly appreciate this and feel so welcome here in postcrossing. Can’t wait to get the next message one of my postcards has been arrived.


I would have loved this idea too, but I think @TwasBrillig is right. It just adds another possibility for error. When I first started, it stressed me out to have the clock start ticking immediately, but over the year I’ve been here I’ve relaxed a bit and taken the travel time a little less seriously. Now I don’t mind drawing an address Saturday night for it to go out on Monday, that’s part of the postal process anyway!


Yep. I used to fret about that a bit. But then I realized that with the average transit time to Germany (for example) being about 2 weeks for me, there are going to be 2 weekends in there no matter which day I draw it, with days the postal service is not working. Very happy to have you in Postcrossing, Michael. I’ve been at it about a year and a half and love it - quite hooked. Hope it beings you much joy, too!

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I’m one of those who were stressed out in the beginning. I thought that first you would draw the address, and when you’re ready you hit another button that the postcard was sent, just like you suggested. When I noticed that the timer starts immediately, I thought I had to send the card on the same day :sweat_smile:

Over time and with receiving more cards where I had the chance to trace the timeline, I grew accustomed to it and am more relaxed. If I look at my travelling cards and want to estimate when they will arrive, I just subtract a day or two (I usually put the cards in the mailbox the next morning after I draw the address), no troubles. Just like others suggested, I think having to do another step for sending the card might not turn out so well in practice.

Even if you send your card the same day or the next, there is one factor you have no control over: when the recipient registers the card. Not everybody registers cards the day they receive them. Some register their cards the next day, some only on weekends since they have more time to write a nice thank you message then, some register once a month, and some take even longer, even though the community guidelines state that cards should be registered upon arrival.

It works also the other way round: even if you register cards the same day they arrive, they were rarely sent on the day the address was drawn. There is another thread on that here, discussing how fast people send their cards, if you’re interested.

We have no influence on what the other party does, so (unfortunately :slight_smile: ) we have to accept and live with the fact that travel times show the accurate number of days only in the rarest cases.


Welcome to Postcrossing! Since we are enjoying snail mail that takes weeks or months to be delivered, an extra day or 2 doesn’t worry me. I often draw on Saturday and take to the post office on Monday or Tuesday.

To keep the momentum going I recommend you send postcards to family and friends! When was the last time they received one out of the blue? Hopefully they will return the favor…

Welcome to Postcrossing! One of the things I’ve learned over time is that we can’t assume that our postal experience is the same as others around the world. Here in the U.S. mail is delivered six days a week, and in most cases picked up six days a week from USPS mailboxes. A lot of post office lobbies are open 24/7 to grant access to post office boxes, which also means you can go in and drop outgoing mail in the slot in the wall inside (don’t assume that this makes it leave any faster!).

My understanding is that in Norway they only deliver mail once or twice a week. In some places, there is no home delivery; you have to go pick it up. Sending cards to China with addresses written in western alphabets results in them being dropped in a special bin in the post office; there is someone whose job it is to go from post office to post office to translate such addresses into mandarin, so that those pieces of mail can be delivered.

All of which is to say that the specific date the card actually enters any given postal system is just one of many, many factors that determine the overall transit time. What Postcrossing strives to do with its statistics is capture that overall experience. I have 437 cards sent to Germany since I started in 2018. The average transit time (from when I pulled the address to when it was logged) is 12 days. I’ve received 396 cards from Germany over the same period, and their average transit time is 21 days. For China, those averages are 40 days outbound and 62 inbound. Here in the states, 9 days outbound, 10 days inbound. Malta, 6 and 18 (but that is only a 3 card sample). In the grander scheme, what more do I really need to know?

I try to log every card I get the day I get it, but life gets in the way sometimes. I generally don’t pull addresses if I am not yet ready write the card, and generally send it the day I write but…life. I have three cards sitting dates, written, stamped and ready to go on my desk that have been there since November (these are for round robins, not for regular Postcrossing). All are addressed to Russia, and the USPS is not accepting mail for Russia right now (politics). They will go when that ban is lifted.

I like to bask in the miracle and sense of wonder that these little pieces of cardboard actually cross oceans and continents and end up in the intended recipients hands at all! The stats are fun, and somewhat interesting, but I try not to read too much into them.


I have drawn some address, but I will be sending them from another city during my travel. I like to write a about my travels on cards.

I draw the address beforehand because I want to pick cards matching people’s profile. I don’t mind the distortion in statistics causes by this habit of mine :slight_smile:

In my early days, I would be like many above as soon as I’ve drawn an address I’m down for writing and posted that day or the next,

Now that I’m upto about 600 postcards, I take my time to write postcards and very rarely post on the same day, at present due to my work, I tend to bundle my postcards, ie, request during the week and then spend an hour or two writing them at the end of the week and post all together at the same time.

I’m not overly bothered to much about the stats, one of my postcards to the Netherlands was delivered the next day, but the postcard travelling time is about 20 something days, as it took me nearly two weeks to pick and write a postcard.

In Finland we haven’t had a five-day-delivery since 2017, and now we have a rotating weekly delivery system in bigger cities: letter mail is delivered on Mon, Wed and Fri one week, on Tue and Thu another week. This practice will gradually be expanded to apply the whole country. From October 2023 letter mail is also collected according to this weekly rotating delivery schedule. Needless to say that this distorts travelling time of received and sent cards compared to the time when we had a five-day-delivery.

So I think a feature to measure exact travelling time is redundant: it would be just extra hassle to remember to mark a card sent when I exactly send it.


What!! :triumph: I didn’t know.
Please send me more information about it in a private message.

Welcome to Postcrossing!
You should not take sent and received date too serious, for you can only control your behaviour, not the behaviour of others. So maybe you sent a card on the same day you pulled the address, but the recipient is on vacation or in hospital when it arrives and so the registration takes two more weeks.


I try to send out my cards as soon as possible, but as I take out addresses in the evening, I might not write them until the next evening when returning from from work. I might need to buy more stamps etc.

As mentioned by @eta55 (and @Regndroppar) we do not get the mail delivered every day in Norway. It is like in Finland, every second day (Monday, Wednesday and Friday one week and Tuesday and Thursdagy the next week, and not on Saturdays). This also means that any mail not sorted to be delivered on a Thursday or Friday, has to wait until the next delivery day; which add days to the travel time.

If I would like my outgoing postcards to be picked up by the post on delivery day, I have to order this in advance and pay for it. So, I always put my outgoing mail in mailboxed (which are mostly emptied at 2 or 4 pm - I know about 2 that are emptied at 6 pm - Monday to Friday).

Mail to P.O. Boxes are delivered Monday-Friday.

Anyway; loging in again to start the clock is extra “work” and, in my opinion, does not “tell the true” travel time.

I have received postcards which have taken “for ever”, and from countries where this is not the normal travel time; I check the post stamp, and if readable I can see that some has waited up to several months before they mailed the postcard.

I think most postcrossers mail their postcards within days after requesting the address, and then it is up to the postal services in each country (sender and receiver) to get the postcard delivered.

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If you like to know the numbers for your own personal statistics, you could start a file (like excel) where you note the day you have sent the respective mail for real. You won’t see the numbers on official postcrossing (due to the mentioned complications), but you’d know them for yourself (and could use it in statistical discussions that pop up here from time to time :watch: :stopwatch: :watermelon:)