Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Site Review: Postcrossing

A couple weeks ago I mentioned I was going to try playing around with postcrossing.com. Postcrossing is unique because it provides a way for users around the world to exchange postcards. However, there are some strings attached before your mailbox can pile up with exotic foreign mail!

One of the things I liked is that you must send before you can receive.  Every postcard has a unique code that needs to be written somewhere on the card.Your address will not be given to a sender until someone records that they have received a postcard from you. Even then, you don't have an instant postcard collection. Your address will be distributed to one person per card you send.

Postcrossing also has a limit in place so you don't get too far ahead of every one else.When you first start, you can send up to five postcards at once. These are referred to as "traveling" postcards until the recipient enters the code onto the website. Only after the postcard's code is recorded does it count as a "sent" postcard. This limit does seem to be a little flexible though: after your first five cards have been received your traveling postcard limit will increase to six. (I'm not sure if this continues escalating like some kind of leveling system or not, but the gamer in me is eager to find out!)

A visual of my Postcrossing escapades. Blue lines are postcards I have sent, the red line is the one have received so far.

I'm hurrying!
As you can see, I've sent a lot more postcards than I have received so far, but let's not forget this is snail mail! I mean look at this map! Germany, Russia, Ukraine, China, Taiwan, and Malta are all pretty distant destinations. (I also have sent one to New York, but as I have never been, it's still a little glamorous in my mind.) Factoring in the distance and especially business days vs weekends etc, 18 days of travel time so far really isn't all that much for most of my initial cards.

In theory if enough time passes (and those assigned my address aren't forgetful!) it will all even out 1:1. The turn around time from when my first card was received and when I got one in my mailbox was much shorter than I expected; however, it was being sent from within my own country. (By the way, Postcrossing does give you the option to choose if you want to get postcards from your own country or not.)

Another nice little tidbit I enjoy about Postcrossing is that it tracks your total mileage! I was pretty impressed by these stats, and so far there are only 8 total cards involved! I honestly can't imagine what these numbers will look like in a year's time.

All in all, it's a pretty cool site! I'd really reccommend it. And for the record, they aren't paying me to say any of this or anything. (Come on, you really think I'm that cool?) There's only one thing I would change about Postcrossing: I'd really love it if they put in some kind of a comprehensive map like the one I made above, but for now you can only view maps for the journey of individual cards.


  1. This is awesome! You really are going global these days. :) I'm tempted to give this site a try too. Does it cost money to sign up?

  2. Nope! Sign up is totally free. The postage gets a little expensive (It's $1.15 for both postcards and letters overseas), but it depends how you look at it. On USPS.com you can order $1, $0.10, and $0.05 stamps in sheets of twenty each for $23.00. So when it comes to spending twenty bucks on a hobby, it kind of goes a long way.

  3. Cute actual SNAIL mail pic.. Used to see a lot of them in CA. I even have a post card collection if you'd like to see it. I'm still checking my mailbox for one of your originals! XXXOOO


Non-snail mail is welcome too!