I see that all my cards from the USA are badly damaged and have important marks on the photo. It seems to come from the automatic sorting systems used. I generally prefer written and stamped cards, but I will resolve to ask for American cards in envelopes.
Do you have the same problem ?
Yes, 90% of my US cards are damaged.
You can ask envelope to US members since the cost of sending with and without envelope are the same.
Sometimes mine are damaged, but not badly. Most of my cards from the USA are okay, but the cancellation is often smeared.
I find that about half are. some have stickers that you can take off but they sometimes they scribble all over the postage for no reason
I haven’t paid too much attention, so I am not sure about the exact numbers, but it is well known that US sorting machines can be brutal to cards I think it is then reasonable to (politely) request cards in envelopes if you want to collect them in good condition. Personally I don’t mind much. So far the ones I have got have been just slightly damaged and had some ink smears (sadly, sometimes also on the picture side). They for sure seems to like the big cancellations and have enough funds for all that ink!
I have received damaged cards from many countries. Different types of damage, including water damage on cards that probably traveled overseas via leaky boat.
Card from the US often arrive badly damaged at my house as well. Also, theres most of time ink on the front and some code for scanning the card. It’s pretty sad since it ruins the picture.
Agreed. I heard from many swappers in Europe that my cards were destroyed and stamps were mangled. But to be honest, I’ve received torn, inked, and dirty cards from other countries and inside USA. I even wonder if they stomp on them! Last month, I received a cute Moomin postcard from a young girl in Europe. I tried to fix up card by cleaning it, and tried to take off ink before snapping pix of postcard . I didn’t want to disappoint her.
I am ready to send out seven Marilyn Monroe postcards, I should’ve asked about envelopes.
I can only cross my fingers!
Thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront. It’s a sad reality of post crossing.
Usually, the coding strip can be gently removed.
“Usually” is putting it a bit harshly, I’d say.
Guess it depends on what we consider “damage”. A few scratches or the bar code they print on the cards - even if on the picture side - wouldn’t qualify as “damage” for me - so I’d say about 99% of my postcards from the USA arrive “unharmed”. Among that 1%, however, have been cards that didn’t even make it in one piece - delievered only in part or “reunited” in a plastic bag
Good point. A “badly damaged” card to me means torn and/or mutilated.
To be honest I find all those ‘battle scars’ fascinating, and I love to see the evidence of travel through the mail on the cards I get.
Thank you for expressing your viewpoint about this. It is well-known how roughly the USPS handles postcard mail. It really isn’t a problem for me to select a postcard, write a message on it, stamp it with an attractive stamp and insert it into an envelope.
What I am unsure of is how widespread this feeling is. After reading a huge number of profiles, more than 95% of the members want their cards sent by themselves - without an envelope. Perhaps they are aware of the damage issue with US cards and accept it with resignation. I really don’t know…
The only “scars” on US cards that REALLY annoys me are those orange barcodes that sometimes go on the front side of the card. Switzerland also has this problem. Those are really ruining cards for me
Please be kind. Here is one of our mail workers. He tries really hard not to chew the mail, but sometimes he cannot help himself. He is very sorry.
Feel free to request that we use an envelope! Like @yudi said, there is no price difference between international postcards and letters.
My pet peeve is the postmarked on picture side of a scenic pix, or a marker slashed across the stamps with no cancellation stamp.
I agree the battle scars are part of the story, but I wish I can pick the cards to arrive with heavy battle scars.
Agree, I find them interesting! As long as the card isn’t torn or something.
In my received cards I don’t see any difference from cards in the USA compared to other countries. (Except for cards from Russia arrive in best condition.) So could it be the damage happens in the receiver country? Or, I have noticed, certain kind of glossiness makes that the scratch takes off the picture, but in matte cards I see the “place” for the scratch, but the image is still in good condition. And of course, if the writing side is slippery, the ink stays on top of the cards, gets smudged more easily, and sticks to other mail. So I think, the card material makes a difference.
And also I’ve noticed, when the address is glued, sometimes the card has been stuck (?) near it, and some of the card surface is damaged. For me, all these are normal signs of travel.
But, I like that German changed to purple postmark ink, as I’ve noticed it makes the message easier to read, even when it’s on top of the message, and if it’s wet, it doesn’t show so much on the other cards even when it’s on the image side (Edit. I know they didn’t change it for this reason )
This is good to know. I have actually been sending most of my postcards in envelopes, because I end up sending more than one card to many people. I decorate the envelope with stickers and phrases. I’m always afraid the ink on the postcard will run if it ends up wet in the rain, or some well-meaning (not) postal carrier (US) decides to mark it up. Believe me, at least in Rhode Island, I have a lot of issues with postal carriers being lazy and not wanting to deliver mail, so I get a lot of returned mail stating a customer doesn’t live there anymore, when I know for a fact they do. I send it again, and it gets delivered. The US Postal Service, for the most part is great. Definitely some areas are in need of improvement. I’m happy to send in envelope. Happy Postcrossing and happy spring.