4 Lessons Learned: A Postcard United Update

A couple of months ago, I finally dove in & joined Postcard United, a young imitator of Postcrossing.  I went full-in, even chipping in as a supporter, and sending out my full initial allowance of 12 postcards at once (well, in 3 days’ time, plenty “all-at-once” for me).

I figured I would wait to check back in here until all 12 cards had landed at their new homes, but 59 days later, the card I sent to Chile is still unaccounted for, even to the point of an emailed inquiry I dashed off to the recipient going unanswered.  So, let’s begin to look at the cards I’ve received from my fellow Postcard Uniters, and some of the lessons I’ve learned.


Mmm, I love the food card, & the islands of the Bahamas card.

Lesson One: Your name might be assigned to a person who was previously assigned to you!

My very first Postcard United card (the Bethany Beach, Delaware card) was very confusing; it had a USA ID written on it, but the message read: “thank you again for the postcard…”  I thought this person had written my card ID on a thank-you card, so that I would know it was from her, & about the card I had sent.  I went to enter it, just to make sure–nope–she had been assigned me, as well.  A person here in the U.S. (Bethesda, Maryland), leading me immediately to…

Lesson Two: You will sometimes send & receive cards to people in your own country.

In Postcrossing, this is an opt-in situation.  Postcard United is not that sophisticated–and not that large.  In fact, I got another card (the church one, from Newburyport, Maassachusetts), from a U.S. person to whom I’d sent a card in my initial PU batch.

The very attractive card from Nassau, The Bahamas, came from one of only two Postcard Uniters in that country–both of whom I sent a card in my initial batch!

Finally, in this first handful I am sharing, the tall cards at upper left & upper right of the image are both from Limbang, Sarawak, Malaysiafrom the same person! 

Lesson Three: You may be assigned the same recipient more than once!

I guess I will need to set up a Postcard United spreadsheet, so that I stay interesting!  Don’t want to send the same person the same card, saying the same thing, more than once!  I learned that this sender has a format for her messages:

“Dear ____, Greetings from Malaysia.  Good day to u.  Sending u this (card description here).  Hope u like it.  Happy Postcard Uniting.”

So, there are just the first five of 14 Postcard United incoming cards I have received so far.  Actually, that leads me to a 4th lesson!

Lesson Four: Postcard United isn’t horribly organized!

I guess all the other lessons touch on this in some way.  But why to I bring this up at this point?  I’ve “sent” 11 cards (as in Postcrossing, cards you’ve mailed only get marked as “sent” once they are received; as I mentioned, my card to Chile has apparently never landed).  Sent 11– but have received 14!  That seems to be quite the discrepancy.  I think there are just not enough members to have things too evened out; those happily clicking to send a card, to have their itch scratched, may sometimes have to send to someone not quite actually deserving of a card at that time.

I’m learning more lessons already, even without having yet dipped into a second round of clicking “Send a postcard.”  More news later!

Take a look at these stamps!  I always love Malaysian stamps, and now that I’ve seen what the Bahamas have to offer, I love them, too!


12 thoughts on “4 Lessons Learned: A Postcard United Update

  1. Thanks for sharing your experiences with Postcard United. I signed up for PU a while ago and have yet to send a postcard. However, they have been bombarding me with emails about making sure to register the postcards I receive right away blah blah blah blah blah. I received over 6 emails from them saying the SAME. EXACT. THING.

    I’m curious to know, how do they really know if people are taking a while to register postcards? Or do they just assume that all postcards arrive at their destinations around the same time? We all know, some postcards take longer than others to reach their destinations. So I’m just curious to know how it’s come to their attention that users haven’t been registering their cards right away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think that as of this evening I surely have received at least 12 of those messages. I see at their website, they have posted an apology. Like many things on their site, it’s a little difficult to understand. =D


  2. I believe, that your allegations are not true. When they are doing something in the right spirit, at least have the patience. Postcrossing.com has a team and they are doing their bit , but people across the world are also not happy with them. Secondly this platform has given us a chance to write to the countries that are hardly active on postcrossing. Thirdly, I still find genuine postcard writers here which are scarce on postcrossing.com. Almost Everyone there is a collector of coins, stamps and god knows what. Writing a postcard is an art and the most important thing in it is to be polite and how you write, what you write. Postcard united is improving and please do not write everything in the negative shade of light. Thank you.


    1. Thank you for your comment. A favorite saying of mine is “reality is when it happens to you.” Everything I wrote in that post (now close to two years old) was an accurate reflection of my experiences, and in my ongoing time on the site (and I continue to be a supporting member), I have experienced similar results. Apparently I cannot post a photo in the comment field, but I have just logged in to my Postcard United account & retrieved the following information:

      Your mailbox
      Sent: 54 Postcards
      Received: 94 Postcards

      I do not “write everything in the negative shade of light.” This blog–my blog–is here to document my postcarding journey: the joyful, and the not-so-much. If you have read any of my more recent notes on my Postcard United experiences, you may have seen my comments on the fact I love being able to connect with countries I’ve rarely (if ever) seen on Postcrossing. For this reason, I utilize Postcard United MUCH more than the main Postcrossing site. Of course, I’m receiving nearly twice as many cards as I’m sending; if that were to flip, I’d choose to leave the site. The stats I pasted above show that I am one of the lucky ones.


  3. I’m coming into this conversation a little late, but I’m curious about updated impressions. In my experience, Postcard United is not as sophisticated as Postcrossing, and the administrator don’t speak English quite as well as those on Postcrossing. Postcard United apparently reaches a slightly different user group–more focused on Asia–although there is overlap (some users cut and paste their Postcrossing profiles, without even changing reference to Postcrossing in the text–people please!) One Postcrosser whom I told about Postcard United wrote back and said he had sent and received postcards from unique countries within the first two months of joining, so he was delighted! I can’t possibly keep up with my sending “limits” on both sites so I just randomly send from Postcard United from time to time. It’s all about having fun, and isn’t imitation a form of flattery? Happy mailing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for checking in! All of my numbered observations about Postcard United still hold true, but the fact is that at this point, I use the service more than I do Postcrossing. This is for the fact that I am exchanging cards with what feels like a bigger selection of countries than I seem to with Postcrossing. Just yesterday, I received a Postcard United card from Trinidad & Tobago!


  4. I only just recently joined Postcard United and immediately noticed the wide variety in countries that I will be able to write to. The countries on offer are a lot more varied than on Postcrossing. I love both platforms and am happy to be able to use both.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m also enamored of the broader range of countries one is exposed to as a “Postcard Uniter.” I do recognize that I am one of the lucky ones; while I have received 239 cards, I have only sent out 176.


      1. I think you become eligible to receive more on Postcard United by making a donation … I enjoy both sending and receiving so it’s a tough choice!!


  5. Laura, yes– contributors may have more postcards traveling at once. So, you would be both sending and receiving (1:1) more cards. I contribute to both Postcrossing & Postcard United, though it’s been quite some time since I’ve sent to my allowed limit at both. I spend most of my time over at the tags on Postcrossing Forum!


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