What tips and tricks do you have to keep the cost down?

Of course Postcrossing is worth every penny/cent/ruble/[insert small coin here], but as a student on a budget I am interested to hear how other users keep the cost down. I buy almost all my cards in second-hand stores for a tenth of the cost of new cards, so that’s a start. What other ideas do you have (even if they don’t work for every recipient)?


Square shaped postcards cost more to mail than regular ones, so I usually only send them to people who don’t mind/prefer receiving cards inside envelopes. That’s one of my ways to save a little bit of money :slight_smile:


That’s a great idea regardless of whether or not you’re on a tight budget! A lot of people (myself included) enjoy postcards that have been waiting for the right recipient for years or even decades. It’s a win-win-win situation: you save money, the postcard gets to fulfill its purpose, and the recipient gets a unique card that is likely unavailable anywhere else. Perfect!

As much as I enjoy buying postcards from individual artists, they often sell for +$4-5 a card, so it’s not financially sustainable. So I tend to purchase sets–either from larger publishers or artists who are eager to clear out their inventories. For Christmas, I received a beautiful set of 100 Higuchi Yuko postcards that sells for $63. Sixty-three cents per postcard is much more palatable!

And of course, I like to make my own cards! Have you checked out the Handmade Cards & Mail Art category? There are tons of ideas to get you started, if that interests you. You can work with minimal, cheap materials and create a card someone will love. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


I usually look out for deals everywhere, be it in physical stores or online, and I will get the postcards once I see deals. I’ll keep these postcards as stock.

I guess buying postcards in a boxed set can be cheaper than buying individual ones.


I relate to this so much! The designs are always really nice, but when I see the price tag… It’s always at least $3, and I can’t afford it. I cap myself to pay for at most $1 a postcard.


Oh, good–I’m not the only one, then! :sweat_smile: I also try to stick to ~$1 per card, unless they’re really, really cool and I’m feeling the need for postcard retail therapy!


Yes, so true! And when I actually do get around to buying it, I will save it for someone whom I believe will appreciate it (and where the mail is least likely to get lost, but you never know).


I agree with the others above that postcard boxes are a good way to keep costs down. Another recommendation I have are postcard books, particularly ones you find in used bookstores. I have found a lot of postcard books this way and if they’re only $1 or $2 each I can easily walk away with 10 of them at a time. I’ve also had pretty good luck looking at the clearance or bargain sections of regular bookstores.

As for stamps, I’ve heard of some people using eBay to successfully find stamps that cost below their worth. I’ve never bought any stamps from eBay so I have no opinion one way or the other, but this may be an option for you.

Other decorative supplies–I get on sale as well. This is not necessary to create a good postcard, but if you do lean in this direction, buying in sets or bulk, similarly to postcards, is probably the way to go.

  • Scout the cheapest places to buy postcards and stock up from those places
  • Select “send within own country” option if domestic postage is cheaper in your country
  • Select “repeated countries” so that you send many cards to Russia, which take longer, to force you to send at a slower pace
  • At gift receiving occasions, let family and friends know you would like to receive unused stamps and postcards

If possible, buy your postage in bulk. Here in the States we can purchase stamps in coils of 100. It’s such a time saver, and saves on trips to the Post!

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Yes, I’ve been really curious how people set their budgets for participating in Postcrossing. I’m wondering what criteria people use to make decisions on what they will spend to participate.

One thing I have learned is that Zazzle gives you a 50% discount card with most orders, even small ones (like 5 cards). These cards can be used for 60 days from the date of your last order, plus they have sales of 60% off 4-6 times a year. So I can get the price of a card down to between 85 cents & $1.05 or so in Canadian dollars which is the lowest I’ve seen online anywhere. This low price makes a big difference in how much I can participate on Postcrossing.

I hear there are people online who have found people who can sell postage to you at less than face value, but I haven’t found any yet. International stamps are $2.71 in Canada & are fairly expensive, so that price also acts as a curb on my participation. I know this is true in other countries as well.

I did lots of direct swaps at the beginning of joining Postcrossing but now I’ve slowed down a lot. I also put limits on how many cards I will send to someone as I’ve run into some people who want 3-4 or more stamped cards & that’s just beyond my budget.

I’ve also realized that I’m most interested in swapping with people who have a profile that interests me or participating in a tag like Handmade Cards or something similar. I’ve gotten some very creative handmade cards & I think everyone should be more open to receiving these so more people can participate. I’m also enjoying the rhythm of Postcrossing more with how fast or slow cards take to arrive at their destination & to be patient with that dance.


In Australia, maximum cards are a good way to save on postage as they usually average out at about $1:50 to $2:00 each which includes the postcard and the postage, much cheaper than buying a postcard and then a $3.20 stamp on top of that. Australia Post does beautiful designs so I am always on the look out for the latest packs.


Sometimes in bookstores etc they have a box -often little bit hidden-with diiscounted postcards which don´t sell or are out of fashion :blue_heart:


I can’t save money when buying stamps, because it’s always 1,80 € for a postcard to send International from my country (no “economy” sending). Though it makes a difference if i send within Europe or International. If i swap more than one card i usually ask if its ok if we send it in an envelope, so we only need to pay for 1x postage.

In the beginning I did the big mistake buying cards that are € 1,50 or more. It gets too expensive. Now i set a limit of € 1 per card max. I buy a lot of cards online, at our tourist shop and i also let my vacation fotos (or lincence free stockfotos i really like) print as professional postcards (for example 50 Cards are 15 €).
Especially in lockdown phases i can’t go to a tourist shop, so i had to print my own tourist cards…


Not saving in the costs, but feels like saving:
always buy more stamps than you need :slight_smile: when you have stamps already at home, they don’t feel so expensive.

Or make a rule, like that every time you buy sweets, buy at least one stamp.
And ask your relatives etc. if they have empty postcards that they don’t need.


You can use economy/surface service which requires less postage. :wink: Usually stamp dealers offer stamps at a discount as well so do make advantage of that.


In Russia shops selling cards sell stamps as well, but they cost much more than their actual price. I usually go to a real stamp shop to buy my stamps. That way I don’t have to pay more and I enjoy the experience of choosing stamps from their catalogues and looking at real collectors.
I haven’t found a way to save on postcards yet. I went to a flea market but didn’t like the quality of the postcards they had there. I like artistic and unusual cards. The only cheap option I found so far is cards sets at myshop (the name of a big online shop in Russia). They sell 30 cards for 120 rubbles. They are touristic views cards but the quality is awesome. It’s a good way to start.


Most of my favorite saving tricks were already mentioned. Buying cards from second-hand shops is a great idea. At least here the cards there are collected from old collections which means it is bit this and that, but the variety is great and usually the cards are in pretty good condition (and costs only 2kr, 0,20 € per card) and sometimes I even get discount if I just pick up the box, take it to the desk and ask “how much for all of this?”

Stocking on stamps is great, especially before the postage raise (every December for me is just using all my fun allowance on stamps…)

I also tend to ask around from friends and relatives if they have unused cards and stamps. Especially older relatives often have something left, untouched and forgotten once the use of mail disappeared. I have got quite lot of stamps this way and they have been just happy to get rid of their old stamps. Also making sure you mention your hobby (and how hard it is on your budget) around the people who usually exchange gifts with you is a great idea. Many of my friends and relatives have happily welcomed the chance to get an easy to order gift for me and I am starting to think some of them have really got good about finding nice cards.

Picking up AD / free cards works for me too, although not everybody wants to receive those. It seems however that more and more postcrossers are accepting free cards too (and sometimes it is hard to even tell it is a free card). I have found that the best places to find free ones are libraries, tourist information centres and shopping malls (mostly at info area where shops have their ads).

After I found out the hand-made cards of food packages are also quite popular, I started to check my grocery shopping for any pretty packages I could cut into postcard size. Although these should be sent only to people who clearly state they want and are okay with receiving these.

And lastly my favorite trick: Have only one day of the week as Mail Day. It is little saving, but if you let yourself draw addresses and send mail only on the one specific day each week (for me it is Sunday), you save money on stamps and postcards in long run. Would receive less too, but I found this routine be much better than forcing myself into couple of weeks no-sending after reaching the month’s mail allowance too early.


In Germany, Harenberg calendars are a great way of saving money, especially when they go on sale at the end of January or start of February. You get 53 cards - normally, the calendars cost about 17 Euros, but on sale, you can get them for 4-6 Euros. There are also different themes, so you can buy a calendar with views of a certain country, images of an animal, images on a theme…
Other than that, I also like buying postcard boxes and postcard books and buying postcards when on holiday. Normally, postcards are much cheaper in touristy places abroad than they are where I live in Germany (where a touristy postcard costs up to 1,70 Euros). I got really cheap postcards (a few cents) in Prague, for instance.


If you have some nice photography or (digital) drawing skills you might get your designs professionally printed. At least here in Germany you can get those quite cheap when ordering like 25+ of the same design. But we already have low international postage rates and normal tourist cards start at 35-50 cents a card. That’s probably one of the reasons there are so many German postcrossers.