What do you do about your "mystery sender" cards?

I do postcarding and regular cards on several websites and I have several cards within the last few months where they left some information out and I can’t find out who sent them. So what do you all do with these mystery cards? I’m thinking I’ll put them in a special separate place until the mystery is solved and I can thank the person or send something back.

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I’m not sure what you mean. If they are postcrossing cards they have a postcard ID. If the ID is missing you can ask the admins to find it for you.
If they are swaps from the forum or from other websites then most of the time senders should make it known, but of course it’s possible to forget. Maybe make a note of what you swap and what you are expecting? Otherwise these people won’t know that their mail has reached you, if you’re not able to tell them. And if they are official Postcrossing cards without ID, you need to register them!

I don’t really get mail that I cannot identify, as I don’t swap that much and I always find the sender’s name to be on the postcard so I know who they are.

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I have only two mystery cards, the other was official, but without an id, and the team couldn’t solve it either. (I think a few years ago already).The other is more mystery, as it’s gotten wet and the message is faded and I don’t know why it’s sent to me. I had them between my calendar, and now I think they are in a plastic envelope.

And I have cards where the sender wants obviously to stay anonymous, so I don’t count these as mystery sender.

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I had a lot of these already! If a card only bears my address, maybe a text and maybe a stamp but otherwise lacks a name or any mention of an ID or swap and I don’t recognise the handwriting, I usually put them away first so that when I feel up to it, I can play detective. For exactly this reason, I have a notebook where I list all of my tags, who sent me which card and when and which card didn’t arrive yet? I don’t do many swaps outside of forum games and I can remember the few that I do. For Round Robins, there is a host keeping track of everything so if something is missing there, they get in touch with me. (And if it is in one of my own RRs, I will probably notice at one point.)
RAS often land in this pile of “mystery cards”. If you want to send smiles, please write your username on the card, it’s as if you’re volunteering me for homework, please don’t, write your username on the card! There are so many "Anna"s from Russia in this forum, just swapping one or two cards with you, doesn’t mean that I will immediately recognise you with that little information (Well, I probably will but you’re making it unnecessarily hard for me) (Also, this was just an example, I don’t think I ever got a mystery card from an Anna in Russia.) If you forget to write your username on the card – or if you have a little stamp with your username and I overlook it or if your username is illegible AND there is no mention of an ID or forum game, it could be that your card goes into this pile and you have to wait for your thank you for a looooong time, up to, I don’t know, a year?, until I have time and a mind to play detective.
When I play detective, it may take a few hours, but usually, I can find out who sent the cards in the end. It’s like a riddle, and it feels very cool when you manage to solve the case :mag: My little notebook of tags is a huge help with this.
I have a Christmas card laying around here with no name on it… And there’s also one card with only my address and lots of stamps and not a single word but I already have an idea who sent me that one. And two more cards that I got since the new forum came to be. Newbies often forget to write these things because they are not used to it yet and since we have so many newbies in this new forum, there are a lot of mystery cards at the moment :slight_smile:
As far as I remember, I successfully solved all of these “mystery card” cases but there were two where I gave up after a year or so and no match after several rounds of playing detective.


I’ve only received 1 card I was never able to find out who the sender was. All others only needed some time (not too much… around a week). For the one mystery card I still don’t know if it was an official, RAS or else… it was from the Philippines, so rather rare - and I know that I hadn’t arranged a swap or tagged a person from there and wasn’t participating in a game with someone from there. There wasn’t even a name on the card (neither the Postcrossing nick nor a real name), only something like from “mailman” :woman_shrugging:t2:

I have just received my first card without a message. There were very beautiful stamps on it and other cute decorations but no written message except one word - Crystal. So I wrote a thank-you message to a Crystal and it turned out to be a man and the name was completely different one. I sent a message to apologize.


Okay, I had no idea this happened so often :flushed: It has never happened to me.

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If you noticed they had left out some information. For example they may be from reddit and I know multiple people from Phillidelphia but they put their real life nickname and no username. I also use several other social medias for trading and 2 actual postcard sites.

You are certainly more active than me then :wink: I only do postcrossing officials, very rarely tags and RRs, swap on some Facebook groups, and have regular postcard pals. No Reddit or others. Anyway other replies have mentioned that it happens to them too, I had no idea how it would happen so often. Also I was focusing just on postcrossing activities :slight_smile:

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I have a question - I recently got a card without an official ID I think. And I filled out the help form & got a very quick response saying it couldn’t be found.

I have assumed it’s possible for the admin crew to actually look up who has been assigned to you to send cards, but I realize that may not be correct. Does anyone know if this is what’s done?

I think if there are several cards from the same country travelling to you, they might not be able to clearly identify it.

Yep, if there’s too little information on the card and there is more than one possible sender. That’s why it’s so important to give them all the info you have.

They are!

Thanks for the info - I figured they could, but then I thought I shouldn’t assume.

So it makes this mystery card even more mysterious as I have only done 2 direct swaps with this country and they are accounted for and that’s why I was certain it was an official card without an ID.

The only other possibility that occurred to me was that perhaps someone changed their profile name recently or perhaps has 2 accounts & got mixed up as to which one they sent it from.

Postcrossing mysteries are intriguing!

Or maybe someone sent a card from a country they’re not registered in without using travel mode, that would make it impossible to find the sender. :thinking: It’s less likely with Covid traveling restrictions, though. :thinking:

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Well they did put down a fairly clear name that looks like an ID name, not a personal name, but various spellings turn up nothing on the search function.

Although, now that you’ve suggested the travel mode idea, I can go back & check my other direct swaps again a 2nd time to see if there are any other clues. Thanks!

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Could this be their Instagram handle?

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I’ll try that but it didn’t have an @ sign in front of it, and I’ve had no contact for swaps with anyone on IG but it’s just odd as it doesn’t match any official cards I’ve received from this country and I’ve only done 2 direct swaps that are accounted for already, so very puzzling and I think I’ll have to live with that unless someone contacts me & asks if I got their lovely card. Sigh… Thanks for the idea though!

Maybe you won lottery.
I often forget that I won lottery :sweat_smile:
Or maybe from RAS

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wonder if it`s a direct swap