Postcrossing Community Guidelines

The goal of Postcrossing is to connect the world via real mail, by allowing you to exchange postcards with other random members around the world.

The Community Guidelines are in place to help you understand what it means to be part of Postcrossing. Please note that your use of Postcrossing is subject both to these Guidelines and our Terms of Service.

On sending

Send your postcards.
Always send a postcard to each address you request from Postcrossing. There are no exceptions to this. The receiver is dependent on you to receive postcards back, so please send it as soon as possible.
Don't forget the basics: Postcard ID, address and postage.
Write the address and the Postcard ID clearly and exactly as they are given to you by Postcrossing, and always include correct postage. Please also include a message to the receiver: for example, share something about yourself or the place where you live (in English or in another language they understand). Check our FAQ for more ideas on what to write.
Keep it a surprise.
The fun of Postcrossing is the surprise in the mailbox, so avoid contacting the receiver before the postcard reaches them.

On receiving

Your address is important.
For Postcrossing to work well, providing a complete and reliable address is very important. It is your responsibility to keep your address correct and up-to-date at all times.
All postcards must be registered.
These include those that might not match your personal preferences or taste — all postcards must be registered, no exceptions. If you receive a postcard without or with a wrong Postcard ID, Postcrossing can help you. If you've received an item that you feel is unsuitable for the project, you should report it to Postcrossing and we'll look into it.
Register postcards on arrival.
When a postcard arrives, you should register it as soon as possible, since the sender is dependent on you to be able to receive a postcard back. Never register a postcard that hasn't arrived yet; if you see requests otherwise, please report it to us!

On postcards and mail

Mail can be a rough ride.
Postcards should be made of thick cardboard or an equally strong material. For example, regular or photographic paper are not ideal to be transported in the mail as they are likely to get damaged in transit. Make sure your postcard is sturdy enough. Also, consider using water-resistant ink pens to prevent your message from being smudged before it's received.
Be respectful of postcards written by others.
Don't re-use/recycle already used postcards to send in Postcrossing.
Postal services are not always perfect.
In some countries mail can take longer to arrive — this is normal and to be expected, so please be patient. Also, mail can sometimes get lost, damaged or delayed — unfortunately we cannot help with that.

On using your account

Be friendly.
Postcrossing is a global and diverse community of people, which is what makes it special. Be mindful of everyone's differences, and always be polite and respectful. There's no room in Postcrossing for hate speech or hateful imagery that attacks any person or group based on, but not limited to, their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, disability, medical condition, body size, age, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity.
Mind the children.
Keep it family friendly. In particular, don't forget that there are children on the website.
Use your profile to write about yourself.
Your account's profile is the place where others can learn more about you, so please enter a few sentences. If you mention which postcards you like in your profile, keep in mind that others are not obliged to send you a postcard that matches your preferences. You can not make demands about what you want or don't want to receive.
You're responsible for your account.
The account you created must be for your personal use only (not for another person, advertise a business, etc.). Postcrossing disapproves of multiple accounts per person. If you are a teacher and would like to sign up a class, please contact us.
You're older than 13, or have permission.
If you are under 13 years old, you must use the website under the supervision of an adult and with due consent from your parent or legal guardian. We believe children can learn a great deal with Postcrossing, but like with any other website, their online habits should be monitored closely by an adult.
Use English.
In order for others to understand you, please use English in your profile, comments, etc.
Sign in regularly to maintain your account active.
Accounts which are not used are set to inactive automatically so that they are not selected to receive postcards.
Keep private information private.
The addresses given to you are private information and can only be used for Postcrossing purposes. Do not share them with anyone or make them public on the internet. This also applies to what is written on the postcards you have received, so please do not scan it.
Holidays? Busy? Moving? Set account to inactive.
If you know you are going to be away for some time (for example: on holiday, a business trip, etc.), you should set your account to inactive in advance. This way there will be no delays on registration and no postcards will get lost.
Direct swaps are your responsibility.
If you engage in a direct swap with another member, please keep in mind that it is not tracked by Postcrossing in any way. We will not be able to help you if you have problems with direct swaps you participate in. Some members are not interested in direct swaps (as displayed in their profiles), so please respect their wishes and do not contact them for that.

We hope these guidelines will help you to make the best out of your Postcrossing experience. Have fun and Happy Postcrossing!

Last updated: 20/Jul/2020 – clarified "Be friendly" to emphasize that hate speech is not allowed.