A few weeks ago I joined Postcrossing. I know, I know, late to the party as this is a very well-established website, but I had my reasons! Today I thought it would be useful to share my experiences with Postcrossing, and my motivation for joining, as I know so many of you like the idea of sending and receiving happy mail.
Now, as I say, I know I am late to this one. I am sure many of you papery-loving folks out there have long been postcrossers and today’s post will tell you nothing new. I’m sharing because I know many readers are always looking for new ways to enjoy happy mail, and Postcrossing may well be for them.
I have known about Postcrossing for several years now. It’s a huge deal! So why join now?
The reason that I hadn’t done this before is that I prefer building long term relationships with my snail mail. I have quite a few pen pals, some of whom I’ve written to for several years, and for me those friendships are at the heart of happy mail.
Whilst this has not changed, I still love having those pen pals, I have found myself enjoying sending happy mail even more than ever before lately. I know, that’s quite something!
I think it’s because I am creating more these days. I spend more time creating for my happy mail YouTube channel and Etsy store and I adore putting snail mail together for my Patrons. It’s all led to me wanting to send post out all the time!
Whilst I don’t have the capacity to take on new pen pals, I do have the time to send a few postcards here and there throughout the month, so for me, Postcrossing fulfils that need to send something cheery out into the world without any long term commitments. It also means I get to receive a bit more happy mail too.
Yes, it’s taken me a while to get around to it, but I am in now and I do love it! So let me tell you a little more about Postcrossing.
What is Postcrossing?
Postcrossing tells us that….”The goal of this project is to allow anyone to send and receive postcards from all over the world!
The idea is simple: for each postcard you send, you will receive one back from a random postcrosser from somewhere in the world.”
It’s an easy way to get into sending and receiving happy mail.
How does it work?
The first thing you will need to do is register on the site, it’s free to join.
You will create a user name and you can complete your profile details if you wish to at this point.
You can then request to send a postcard. When you do this, you will be given a name and address of who you are sending to and you’ll be able to view their profile.
It’s a good idea to take a look at their profile as they may have postcard preferences that you are able to meet.
You then write your postcard, include the postcard ID code you’re given, and post it.
When it’s received, the recipient will log it as received, using the postcard ID, and you’ll be notified that it’s arrived safely.
Initially, you’ll be able to send up to 5 postcards out into the world. As they arrive, you’ll be able to send more. The more you do send out, the more you’ll be allowed to send at a time.
Postcrossing does require some patience as it can take a while for postcards to reach their destinations. If you have 5 travelling postcards, you can’t send more at first, and you won’t be receiving any until yours start arriving.
As soon as one of your postcards arrives, your details are eligible to released to someone, so you can then receive a postcard yourself. When it reaches you, you will log it onto the system. And so the cycle continues.
It really is easy to get started with Postcrossing and the website is great at taking you through everything that you need to do.
Why join Postcrossing?
It’s a fun way to send and receive happy mail, with no long term commitment.
It takes just a few minutes to request to send a postcard and write one out, so this is a very low maintenance way of getting into snail mail.
You can dip into this whenever you feel like sending some post. You might send just one out into the world at first, and then send nothing more for months. Or you might send 5 out and keep on sending them regularly. It’s entirely up to you, there is no requirement to send a certain amount out.
A surprise postcard turning up from an unknown destination is always sure to brighten your day.
Not really! It’s free to join so it’s worth a go to see whether you like it, would be my advice.
However, as mentioned, this isn’t an ongoing pen pal opportunity, so if you’re more interested in building friendships and sending long, chatty letters then this might not be for you.
If you’re not used to sending international mail, this could also be a drawback as you will be sending overseas and postage is going to be more expensive than if you send domestically.
As you will be sending post to anywhere in the world, it can take a while to arrive, and yours can then take some time to reach you, so this might not be the hobby for you if you are impatient!
I’d imagine there will also be times when postcards don’t arrive safely, as can happen with postal services, which could be disappointing. But this can happen with any form of happy mail, and fortunately it’s not a regular occurrence.
Overall though, it’s a good system that’s been running for years, and a fun way to send a little pretty mail out into the world.
If you’ve yet to try it, could Postcrossing be something for you?