Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Blog > Poll results: Where do you mail your postcards?

Some years ago on Postcrossing’s fourth anniversary, we asked members to send us photos of themselves mailing their postcards, and compiled the results on an emotional video that still has me reaching for the tissues every time I see it.

At the time, we noticed something interesting: our simple request for “a photo of you mailing your postcards” produced a variety of different results. Most were photos with all shapes and colours of street mailboxes, but there were also lots of photos taken inside or just outside post offices, and some even featuring home mailboxes… At the time, we hadn’t even realised that in some places, mail carriers doing their rounds also picked up outgoing letters and postcards from people’s home mailboxes, if they found something there!

Since then, we’ve wondered… how are postcards usually mailed around the world? We’ve certainly noticed that street mailboxes or post offices are harder to find in some countries than others, but being geeks, we wanted to see the data. Over 10,000 of you responded to this question last week, so here are the results:

Loading chart…

Overall, things look more or less divided: while the majority seems to be mailing their postcards from a post office (either at the counter or at the mailbox there), an equally large percentage of postcrossers send their mail from street mailboxes. What happens if we look deeper into the data though, country by country?

Here is the detailed graph, showing only countries with more than 50 votes (for more reliable results):

Loading chart…

The results were a lot less predictable than we expected! A few countries stand out:

  • In Turkey, Brazil and Slovakia the majority of mail is posted from the post office counter. Are mailboxes hard to find? Or do people perhaps not trust that they’re emptied regularly? 🤔
  • The country who loves post offices the most seems to be Indonesia though — 97% of postcards are usually sent from there!
  • On the other side of the spectrum, 90% of mail from the Netherlands is posted from street mailboxes. We assume this has to do with the replacement of so many post offices with “service points” inside other shops.
  • And the USA seems to be one of the few countries where mail is regularly picked up by mail carriers. It sounds quite convenient, and we wonder why other countries don’t seem to have caught on to this practice…

We’d love to hear from you all on these statistics. Were the results in line with what you expected from your experience in your own country? Why, or why not?

Also, some people responded the poll with “Other”, which we always include to cover all the options we didn’t think about. We find it intriguing though… if you voted “Other”, what does that mean in your country?

on

Tags: ,

100 comments so far

Edmonds, United States of America
Interesting poll! Thank you for compiling the data and making it so readily available to everyone so quickly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we, here in the US, frequently put our outgoing mail into our mailboxes to be picked up by our postal person. We are on such great terms with our Todd that I can't imagine doing it any other way. So have no clue what "other" means. And we love that Todd gets so many nice comments. Receiving and sending postcards so makes our day.
on


postmuse, United States of America
I'm in the US and the carrier used to come up to my door to deliver mail and knocked to ask if I had outgoing. It was wonderful. These days I have a locked boxed at the apartment complex so I leave my outgoing in a central location for the carrier to grab. I picked "other" since this is so different from what I had in my younger years.

I find it interesting how few in the US go to the post office. It used the be the highlight of my week, buying new stamps and chatting with postal workers. Everyone is grumpy at my new post office.
on


Elenna2, Finland
Don't remember if I actually voted or just thought about it but my answer would be "other", meaning straight from the mail center (sorting center). I typically cancel my own outgoing mail manually and also sort those cards personally if I have enough time to do so to avoid sorting machines. :)
on


averuca, Brazil
Talking about Brazil...
Mailboxes are not hard to find but they are not reliable! We can't trust something we really care in them.
And there's something worst: sometimes the Mail try to force us to pay more than regular mail. They pretend the "regular rates" don't exist! Only the "priority rates". They try to sell an expensive service and the post card arrives equally in both rates.
So, I have to go to a Post Office to be sure the cards are going in regular price!
Did I make myself clearly?
Well, I guess the majority of brazilian postcrossers think like me...
:)
on


zeroday, United States of America
There is a little known US Postal regulation that allows citizens to "postmark" their own mail...part of the regulation requires you to being your postmarked cards to the post office and hand them to the postal clerk...
on


meiadeleite, Portugal
@Elenna2 the mail sorting center, of course! i bet we have number of postal workers who do this too... :)
on


Jaju, Belgium
I voted "other". Usually I post my cards at my office, directly in the post bag with the professionnal mail. Seems to be 1 or 2 days quicker than street boxes. Julie (Belgium)
on


MissErnoult, France
I've only just started but I will go the counter as often as possible simply because I want a fancy stamp and not just regular ones or stickers with the price on it. It's part of the card in my opinion.
on


katherinepw, Indonesia
hahaha i'm from indonesia and it's so true.
i think it's hard to find a mailbox here in Indonesia, and if i found one, i am scared that the mailbox no longer be used and my mail didn't arrived.
thats why i always sent my postcard at post office counter
on


Shelleh, United States of America
I work across the street from my post office so I get to go every day. They all know me as that woman with the post cards. They always know that I like a wide variety of stamps and that I know exactly what stamps I need. One of the postal workers even gave me a stack of postcards that someone gave him! Such service!

Once I was so excited about a card that I dropped it in the mailbox without a stamp but didn't realize it until later. I went in and a group of them helped me dig through mounds of letters and packages until we found it. It was https://www.postcrossing.com/postcards/US-2995632 and I'm so glad it made it. Three cheers for postal workers!!
on


miriginger, Russia
I chose "Other" and this means street mail box outside a post office. The thing is that street mailboxes lost my trust, when I tryed to mail a postcard and found an envelope jammed in the hole. I understood that nobody cared about it. From the other hand post offices are not always open and usually mail from inside mailboxes is sorted and sent later than from outside boxes.
on


shc, Indonesia
I second the comment from the country who "love post office", Here the mailbox is sooooo rare. At first I even didn't know that mailbox exists! And people can do post from there! I envy you all ;) because I'm afraid the counter staff will be bored seeing my face. Maybe they already. ;)
on


Vasey, United States of America
Very interesting survey, and I'm surprised that USA is alone in significant carrier pickup. I'd be interested in a future poll about where Postcrossers get their stamps. Personally I buy them online from the post office, and they are delivered to my house. Also, occasionally I get some vintage stamps on Ebay.
on


betslets, United States of America
Usually my outgoing mail goes into my mailbox for pickup by the mail carrier...when I go to the Post Office to check out the new stamps, I might have the clerk cancel the cards with our local Post Office stamp; otherwise all mail will be sent through our regional sorting center, 100 miles from us, for cancellation. Somehow, most mail gets to its destination as quickly as it is worked at that end..
I once had placed all my outgoing mail in the street box at the Post Office property and within a few days, most of it came back to me "damaged". Somebody had poured a drink into the box and everything had been soaked. I've never trusted the street boxes since then.
on


KaraRutledge, United States of America
I never even thought of other countries not being able to have their mail carrier pick up their out going mail. When I traveled to France, the family I stayed with lived in flats, so I always took it to a local store that had pick up or the post office.
on


zwergi, Germany
I wonder if it will stay like that in the Netherlands as there will be a reduction in the number of mailboxes soon.
on


CatharinaG3, Netherlands
Since I've often heard/read that in the USA the outgoing post was picked up by the mailman, the relatively low percentage of it actually happening surprised me. Also I would never have imagined that they could stamp their own mail at the post office.

About the Netherlands: as far as I can remember, we always used to send the majority of our mail through street mail boxes already. It might change in the future, as the national post has plans to reduce the number of mail boxes considerably.
on


Jacque53, United States of America
Being from the USA, I put my outgoing mail in my own mailbox and my mail carrier picks it up daily from my own home. It is so convenient to do it this way! My biggest surprise was that other countries rarely do this! I also buy most of my stamps online. More and more lately, I am also buying vintage stamps online using EBay and Amazon.
on


sinibild, Germany
In Germany, you can have your mail picked up by the carrier, but only if you live in rural areas and are eligible for a so-called "Landbriefkasten". I think it is just a question of population density which is high enough around here to provide everybody with a street mailbox (more or less) nearby.
on


Tranchile, Guernsey
Guernsey for Postcrossing we pay the same postage no matter where in the world we send the card or what size of card it is so it can always go in the mail box with a Postcrossing stamp on. For a small Island we have lots of postboxes. Some of our post offices are in supermarkets for convenience. If someone wants their card in an envelope as they are a stamp collector then the clerk will work his way through the book putting as many different ones on as I ask for. Post boxes are emptied several times a day. Our local post is delivered same day.
on


RainbowKillers, Turkey
Well, in Turkey there's no street mailbox or mail carrier who picks up your mail. You have to go post office.
on


siobhan, Germany
I use a variety of mailboxes, sometimes also those in front of the post office. But mostly I drop my mail into streest mailboxes. There are a lot of those around and pick-up times vary - there's one in my vicinity where mail gets picked up at 8 in the morning, so I use that if I write postcards in the evening. Another one is emptied at 6 in the evening, so I use that for postcards I write in the afternoon. (That one is also located right next to a public bookcase, so I love going there anyway.) I'm glad I don't have to go to a post office as that would mean being only able to go there during opening hours and possibly having to stand in line.

I'm also surprised that only 26 % of Americans have their mail picked up at home - I thought it was much more popular there. My wonderful, always smiling mailman picks up parcels, but not postcards and letters.
on


nm_rockhound, United States of America
In my community, there's a drop slot for mail but I rarely use it. I usually take my outgoing mail with me on my way to work and drop it off at a nearby drive-up postbox.
on


Forestalx, Spain
I love use the streets mailbox. I find it the most romantic way os send a postcard ( and send a postcard is itself romantic !) . In adition, it is part of the complete procces: Request and address, choice a postcard, buy stamps, writte the postcard, put it in the mailbox... and then postman and staff do their job. They are part of postcrossing too!.
In Spain, in general, it is not difficult to use mailbox... but sometmes getting the stamps is a little bit more difficult. (Palencia, SPAIN)
on


tyshadragon, United Kingdom
The results for the UK do not surprise me at all ^_^ Although I voted for the 'street postbox' it's actually within the supermarket I work at. There is one local street postbox I never use, however, as I've had various piece of mail lost from there, and it's been set on fire more than once!!
on


zen1023, Turkey
The number of the street mailboxes in Turkey is very few and most of them are located just outside of the central post offices or very close to them. So while taking the same distance for a mailbox or post office, postcrossers usually prefer to send their mails from counter thinking safety and speed of their mails. Also majority of people prefer counters to complete the total sending price since Turkish stamp sizes vary a lot and most of the time they cannot stick the right amount of stamp.
on


FoxEyed, United States of America
I like using the street mailbox because I'm so used to it, having grown up in Japan. There, they are everywhere
on


Facella, Austria
When I was little and sent my first letter, I thought I had to wait for my mail carrier and give it to him. I thought that was terribly inconvenient. What if I missed him??? Luckily my mum told me that's not the way it works. We went to the post office and posted it there. XD I don't think mail carriers pick up outgoing mail here in Austria. I've only ever seen locked mailboxes, which the mail carrier can't unlock.
These days, I usually throw my cards in a street mailbox just across the street. Sometimes I use mailboxes just outside a post office and sometimes I give them to a friend who works at a post office (I guess that counts as other). If I had to mail all my cards from a post office counter, I wouldn't be doing this. In the past years, many post offices have been closed or moved to small grocery stores (in more rural areas).
Mail boxes are only emptied once a day. Here in Vienna, they all seem to be emptied at 4pm sharp (at least that's what's written on the mail boxes). In my home village, it's emptied at 8am. And in a small town near my home village they're emptied at 4pm as well. Very curious.
on


Femmelot, Netherlands
Fun fact: in the Netherlands, street mail boxes can be used about 362 days a year. In the days around New Year's Eve, they're protected like mini-jails: no post in or out. That's how mail is protected from fireworks, which the Dutch can buy for themselves to use on NYE. For as long as it takes ;)
on


Kincaid, Netherlands
"90% of mail from the Netherlands is posted from street mailboxes. We assume this has to do with the replacement of so many post offices with “service points” inside other shops."

That's not right. We just have a lot (though less than before) street mailboxes from which mail is collected 5 days a week (used to be 6). Even in the postoffice days we would use street mailboxes -except only if you needed to buy stamps for what you wanted to send. A postcrosser usually has a stock of stamps - why stand in line if there's a mailbox in front of the postoffice or around the corner from your house?
We only use the service points to send packages, or to buy stamps - although these can be bought online too (as I always do).
on


RainyDay2014, United States of America
How interesting all the comments are--what a great poll! I'm in the USA. Growing up, we had a mailbox at the end of our driveway and letters could be left for the mailman to pick up on his rounds. When we needed stamps, mom would put the right amount of money in a jar in the mailbox and the mailman would leave stamps for her(small town living!). As an adult, I have always lived somewhere that I have had to use a post office box. I drop my postcards into the street box that sits right outside my Post Office. My community is very small and using that drop box and buying my stamps there helps keep my post office open. And the sweet girl behind the counter loves seeing all the postcards coming and going! :o)
on


Flippie, Canada
Hi, I go to the post-office counter and buy the stamps there, because that is cheaper for me. I don't pay the taxes and they post the cards for me. Sorry Post-crossers because of this, there is not so much variety in the stamps.
on


cinciong, United States of America
What fascinating information! Thanks for conducting the poll. I am from the U.S. I love that a postal worker (called "the mailman" or "the mail lady" when I was young) will pick up our mail from the home mailbox. However, I chose "Other" in the poll as it is becoming less safe to leave mail in the outdoor mailboxes. I work in a downtown office skyscraper in a big city. When I have a card to mail I take it to the building's mailbox which is a slot at the mail room in a centralized area of the building. It is not "on the street" nor is it at a post office. But it is an official US postal mailbox. So I marked "Other." :)
on


Heepy, United States of America
I use numerous options actually. Since my boyfriend is the one who takes care of the mail, it depends. We live in a trailer park where incoming mail goes into a communal area. The boxes have combination locks on them. For outgoing, we have a USPS postal box right in front of our communal mail area. On Saturdays/Sundays, we usually use that one.

Sometimes, he will deposit the outgoing mail on the way to work in a USPS mailbox on the way to work. Why not the one in our park? Because it's on a one-way street.

I voted put mail into the box at the post office though because it's the option we use the most. That's because we have a post office box where my cards come in (and his mail gets delivered) at the local post office, and we check that frequently so I can register incoming cards promptly. So, it makes sense to deposit mail there and it's the option I use the most often.

Now, the people there are very grumpy and lines are long is why we rarely use the counter. I don't even trust them enough to hand them mail! In the US, many of the post offices have rude workers. Anyway, there is a small post office location in my neighborhood, closer by, but it's smaller and is only open Mon - Fri during regular working hours. Whereas the grumpy location has longer hours and is open on Saturdays.

It does not have post office boxes, or I would go there more often. I do sometimes put postcards in their box or tray there because the lady who works there is friendly and usually there is no one in line, or only one person.
on


Bowyum, Australia
I have been a fan of hand applied postmarks for many years, and I always take my mail to the counter at the post office for a cancel to be applied on the spot. Most of my sent cards bear a pictorial postmark which was allocated to my local post office in 1987. I usually apply it myself!

I would love to obtain a personal postmark from the USA - what a neat idea!
on


pujiro, Indonesia
I'm from Indonesia, and yes we love the post office the most, lol. Well, 100% of my sent cards was sent in the post office counter... That's because the street mailbox seems no longer used and stay there just like a forgotten statue. Better to send it on the post office right away and saw the cards postmarked by the officer right in front of our eyes :)
on


Eismond, Germany
I voted for "Mailbox at post office" but just because it happens to be the next one to my office (I usually write my cards there). I also use street mailboxes, when I come by.
on


Lela_Herz, Serbia
In Serbia, street mailboxes are almost non-existent, and we don't have the option of mail carrier picking it up for us. So there are basically 2 options: buying the stamps ourselves and leaving the cards at the mailbox at the post office, or going directly to the post office counter. I myself prefer the counter because I don't really trust mailboxes. I also had some bad experiences at the counters because they tried to make me pay more. Now, I've became famous since I go there 2 times a week, so they know the correct price that I have to pay :D
on


altadc, Philippines
So sad that not many Pinoys participated in the poll, the result would have been two-toned - Post Office and Others (mall POs) only. Since we do not have any mailboxes here in the Philippines. Not that I know of anyway. =)
on


humphred, United States of America
95% in street mailboxes because I have convenient ones around my workplace, although it is getting very tough to find boxes elsewhere in the USA, especially in the suburbs. When younger, I used to leave out for mailman to take from the house box, but now I have a mail slot for delivery and there is no where to leave it. Have mailed a few in the rural type individual boxes at my mother and mother-in-law's homes, but don't trust it. We've had trouble off and on with vandals taking baseball bats to mailboxes or running them over for fun.
on


CarrieJoJo, United States of America
I am in the US & I leave my mail in my mailbox for my carrier to pick up because she likes to see all the mail art I send out. My local office is great but our hours clash so I can only use it on Saturdays. Other wise I try to limit my post office experiences else where if at all possible because I find too many crabby clerks there. : ( I order my stamps on line & have them delivered to my home, the small fee is worth not having to deal with the crabby clerks!
on


Sfander, Canada
I really enjoyed reading the results of the poll. I learned something new today, that here in Canada, the mail can be picked up by the mailman in some areas, but not in the cities. Our neighbourhood mailbox is emptied every day by our mail carrier at the end of his route. There are mailboxes everywhere here in the city of Toronto. You wouldn't have to walk more than 10 minutes to find one.
on


NaruMinamino, Peru
My country was not shown in the results, but the situation in Peru is somewhat similar to Indonesia's. I'd have chosen "mailbox at post office", since there aren't any street mailboxes in Lima, at least; what we have are mailboxes inside some establishments (mostly courier services or licensed newspaper ad agencies) but I've had bad experiences with those so I avoid using them. The only options are mailboxes inside the actual post office, and since there are always long lines at the counter, I just go there to buy stamps and then I mail all my postcards at the box slot.
on


Srujan, India
Quite interesting results!

Here in India, street mailboxes are getting harder and harder to find. Plus, sometimes water seeps in and damages the postcards. So I only use a few trusted ones.
The post offices though have limited timings and the worst part, you can only buy stamps at the post office. No where else! So for every Indian postcrosser, regular post office visits are inevitable and I post my cards from the box outside.
on


Noux, Finland
I answered "other" -> I take my cards usually to special mailbox in which you can get a special hand stamp cancellation for the cards/letters, not the usual street mailbox. Those are rare nowadays, but there is one in Espoo and two in Helsinki. Sometimes there are limited special hand stamp cancellations available (e.g. for special events) and then one may post the cards in advance to the "hand stamp centre" to get wanted cancellations. It's a bit more work, but I do myself appreciate also the stamps and the cancellations so hopefully I often please the recipients also.
on


Yiannis, Cyprus
I am from a small country, Cyprus, surely under 50 votes but at least you can show to us these results. Thank you
on


Mosshumla, Sweden
At least 95% of my postcards I put inte a street mailbox. There are three close by where I live and I use all of them, depending on when I post my cards. Only one of them gets emptied on Sundays, so that is my weekend mailbox.
A few times each year I go to the postmuseum i Stockholm to get pictorial cancellation marks, either Christmas cancellation marks in december, or first day cancelllations the day new stamps are issued.
on


serafaina, United States of America
When I lived in an apartment, we had a mailbox outside the building with a slot for outgoing mail and a lockbox for incoming mail. The mail slot was not waterproof, so I took my postcards to the post office on rainy days. Now I live in a house and our mail carrier picks up and delivers mail. I also live down the street from the post office, or I can take mail to my workplace and drop it in the bin with the rest of the outgoing mail. So many options!
on


Froukjeb, Germany
Where I live there are enough street mailboxes, but I use the mailbox at the postoffice the most, because it´s close to my home and my work. When the post office (which is located in a small bookshop) is open, I go in and leave them at the counter. There is also a street mailbox outside our retirement (nursing) home, which I like to use as well, because it brings a bit of the outside world to the people who live there. The mailbox is close to their diningroom and in Summer they sit outside on the terrace and it´s nice to make a chat.
I buy my stamps at our local postoffice. Ofcourse I can buy them online where I have more choice, but I want to support our local (small) shops, so that we maintain a lively towncenter. Otherwise the local shops will disappear (which is happening already) and we wil only have the big supermarkets at the edge of our town left.
on


Arno67, France
I've noticed that almost all my postcards from Slovakia have no stamps ( more than any other countries), so I'm not surprised to see that people send them from the post office instead to put a stamp.
Here in France, it's true that we have a lot of mailboxes in the streets.
on


kevin_gustian, Indonesia
Well in Indonesia all mailboxes outside the post offices are not usable. There is no letter pickup service here, so we prefer to go to the post office. In the smaller post offices there are no mailboxes, so Indonesian must go to the counter directly to send their postcards. But in a bigger post offices, usually a central post office of a town or city, there are some mailboxes you can put your postcards into. :D
on


CasSaintDenys, United States of America
I'm in the US and my mailman picks them up. For those not familiar with how this works, I put my postcards in my mailbox and raise the red flag attached to the mailbox to let the mailman know I have outgoing mail. He has told me he looks forward to seeing the cards I send out, as well as the ones I receive.
on


SSkelly, United States of America
This is a fabulous poll. Thank you so much for doing it and the write up!
on


loving6thgrade, United States of America
I always used to do the drive through box at the post office. They always had four boxes in a line and I always put mine in #3. Now they have gone to two outside boxes and often they are so full that there are letters exposed. Now I go to the mailbox inside the lobby. I would love to just put up the red flag on our mailbox and have Mr. Tom pick them up, but they have changed his route so we are almost last on the route. That means he would pick up after the local mail goes to the processing center in Houston. If I mail a card to my next door neighbor, it might take two days because all our mail goes to Houston (140 miles away) to be processed and then returned (another 140 mile trip) in the next day or two!
on


melilot, France
Good graph!

I have answered street boxes, that's my reality today. We have especially very big street boxes (not everywhere though) that I like:
http://www.saintmarcelblog.com/2015/01/ca-y-est-la-poste-rouvre-sa-boite-aux.html
You'll find them in the center of Paris, in business areas and also in the surburbs and well a bit everywhere along with little postboxes. Problem is that mail is taken from there very early, something like 16:00pm, but it has a strong aspect and I feel my mail is in a secure place here.

For years, I used to send my mail only from post offices, not exactly from the counter or from postboxes, but on the wall of post officies there were slots to put your mail, plus an extra security system that prevent anyone to put its hands through the slots to steal mail from there, a sort of rack although the exact word is difficult to translate.
At that time, I've heard about some sinister stories about street mailboxes: some were vandalized, in some others, mail carriers did find syringes (yes!!) in certain areas of Paris, and so on. The usual story about big cities, and I did not want to put my mail there. Especially when I sent mail to my bank or a bank check or anything like that to someone (at that time I did not sent so many postcards).

Now I use street boxes on an every day basis, and if my mail is not received by the recipient, I assume it's not because of the street postbox most of the time :) That seems ok.

And I don't send checks anymore because I don't use them anymore!

If the mail is of a high importance, I will send a registered one, and in this case you go to the post office (or you send the registered mail through internet, it's possible since many years)..
on


SeanLanham, United States of America
I am a postman , so I can postmark my cards and letters, and then enter them into the mailstream. It is common for folks on my route to leave out their bill payments and personal mail for me to pick up. It feels good that people trust the letter carriers so much.
on


rjmom, United States of America
This is fascinating! I'm in the U.S. and I'm surprised that only 26% have their mail picked up at home. I thought it would be much higher than that. Even in apartment buildings, I think there is often a place to put your outgoing mail so it is picked up by the carrier. If you have an individual mailbox at your house there is a metal arm or flag that you put up if you have outgoing mail. That way the carrier knows to stop, even if they are not delivering any mail to you that day.
on


CaseyMA, United States of America
I wonder what the "Other" is. I picked other because I actually put my in an "out" bin at work that one of the employees takes and mails through our internal DMU. I felt super lazy when I answered it but wondered if anyone else does something similar?
on


dictaudrey, Indonesia
I'm from Indonesia and Indonesian's mailboxes are no longer available; now they become some kind of statues XD i guess it's because when it used to be working, some 'people' misuse them. These 'people' picked random mails (especially the one with sender addresses), made scam mails and sent them to the sender address of the mails they picked. Back in my childhood, I've got 2 scam mails and since then I never sent mails by the mailboxes :(
on


BloomingTwig, United States of America
I'm also surprised that the number of US Postcrossers leaving outgoing cards in their own mailbox for the carrier is so low. I do this sometimes, but usually I like to take my cards at the post office so that the postmark will look nicer and will include the name of my town.
on


CampingGinny, United States of America
I wasn't sure what was meant by "Street Mailbox", so I chose "Mail Carrier Picks it Up" (out of my own mailbox where I also receive mail). He doesn't actually come to my house to pick it up. "Street Mailbox" to me means any blue USPS receptacle on a street corner or outside of a store. I never use them. Interesting survey though. :)
on


mysweetlife63, United States of America
I'm in the US & rarely to never leave cards in my mailbox with the flag up, because I've had too many lost cards that way. I mail them in the box outside the post office where you can drive up & drop mail, convenient & fairly reliable.
Very much enjoyed this poll & looking at the results. Thank you for an interesting study!
on


mounten, Italy
I votet "Street Mailbox" mine is just outside my garden fence and my Mail Carrier picks them up every day. I go to the Post Office only to get my stamps and special issues stamps if there are any new ones. My Post Office woman orders special stamps for me ether. I'm happy with this service. The poll is very interesting, to see how other countries work.Thank you very much ciao from Italy.
on


Sharks_and_bones, United Kingdom
I'm from the UK and it would be impossible for the postman to pick up outgoing mail since we don't have external mail boxes- certainly not any that don't lock. Letters are posted through the letterbox which is in the front door so your letters fall onto your hall floor. Anything too big for the letterbox and the postman will ring the doorbell.
External mailboxes like those in the US strike me as being very insecure and leave you open to identity theft (which is quite big in the UK- lots of warnings about shredding anything with your address, bank details etc before putting out with the rubbish).
on


saxfantastic08, United States of America
In the US, most people leave their outgoing mail in their mailboxes, which are usually either on the side of the house by the front door or at the end of the driveway. These mailboxes have little red flags on them that you raise to let the letter carrier know that there's outgoing mail. That's how it is at my parents' house, but when I went to university and then moved into apartments, there's always been a dropbox for outgoing mail by the mailboxes in the foyer of the dorm or apartment building.
on


roland1, Netherlands
In the Netherlands, there is a law saying that there must be at most 2500 metres between two street mailboxes. In communities with over 5000 inhabitants, it must be 1 km max. In a densely populated country like the Netherlands, you can find street mailboxes on every corner, so to speak, because of this law.
That makes it really obvious that the Dutch mostly use the street mailboxes. They are emptied every day except Sunday in most cities, and some are emptied less often (but at least twice a week).

I have seen in the vast countryside in the US, that everyone has an inbox and an outbox. I find it very logical that the mailman picks up outgoing post as well as delevering ingoing mail. He/she is standing at the mailbox, and the first mailbox of post office is many miles away. It is not convenience anymore, it is a necessity. In the Netherlands, we don't have enough space to find nothing for many miles...
on


buffalo87, United States of America
I am a retired letter carrier from the U.S. The Post Office will remove a street collection box if it does not get used enough. They are always looking to save money. I picked up a collection box one day and someone had dumped a milkshake inside. I would always pick up outgoing mail from a home but never had any postcrossers on my route. Letter carriers on rural routes sell stamps but not city carriers.
on


reithejelly, United States of America
I have lived in many places in the USA. The type of residence and location determined where I could drop off mail. In Philadelphia, my apartment complex had large mail room in the basement, so I dropped off outgoing letters there. In Michigan, I lived in a single family home in the country, so my mail was picked up/delivered by a mail carrier to my home mail box. In Alaska, I go to the post office to send my postcards, so that I can pick up the new mail from my box inside.

It is interesting how different countries handle mail service. In some places, theft is a concern, so having a mail box in front of your home is probably not very secure!
on


Amanda5417, Australia
Very few people living in the bush in Australia get mail delivered so usually I put my postcards in the slot at the post office - it's right next to my post office box and I'm unsure if the street boxes in town are actually still used, I never have! Occasionally I hand my postcards directly to the staff over the counter but that's usually when I'm heading inside anyway, either to buy stamps, more postcards, pick up a parcel or pay a bill!
on


surfclub66, United States of America
I am in the US and I always bring my mail to the post office, even though I order stamps online mainly. While it is true that you are able to let your carrier pick it up, I don't know anyone who actually does that. I imagine the mail carriers would end up with too much mail in their truck and it would annoy them. Blue boxes for pickup (street boxes) all disappeared here years ago. There is a drive up box at our post office and there is a box at the municipal building, but the municipal building one doesn't get picked up on weekends and there seems to be more of a delay. My town has about sixty thousand people and only one post office, so it is always busy. I feel like workers here are overwhelmed. I only raise the red flag on my mailbox if something has been delivered incorrectly to me and it needs to go to the right person.
on


butterflycard, Malaysia
I am in the capital city of Malaysia, ie, Kuala Lumpur.I would use the post box next to the post office always.There is a good reason.Many times either by omission there are errors in address and other details.If such things happen then all I have to do is to ask the post office counter.If a post office in the street is used there is no certainty the letter will be collected and finally delivered.Actually postcrossing has increased the number of postcards sent.I see many shops and post offices doing brisk sales.People who do not use english loose out.
Actually the postman who delivers the letters can pick up the postcards and letters to finally deliver but this will be less secure.
When I used to fly by aeroplane there used to be a free postage service and for both cards and letters.Now and then I get mail intended for another person.And I always deliver such letters to the intended person by hand.
on


zuniastuti, Indonesia
I'm from "the country who loves post offices". Here the street mailboxes are so rare they probably belong to museum. I doubt even the existing ones are still operating. As a matter of fact, for some time I doubted that mailboxes around the world still work, so whenever I travel abroad I always bother to visit post offices. That was until the time when I traveled to UK and had to post some postcards to a random street mailbox because I couldn't find a post office nearby, and I was delightfully surprised to know that they actually arrived :D

The other reason is there is a post office counter in my office building and I just love to make a quick stop, say hi, and ask "do you have any new stamps, Sir?" These small conversations usually warm up my day at work.
on


Piccolia, France
I live in France and I voted Other. That's because I send my postcards from work. My company allows us to put personal mail in the professional mail box as long as it is stamped. There is a mail carrier that comes twice a day at work, the morning to bring in mail and the afternoon to carry out mail. On the contrary, we can't receive any personal mail at work, that would be too much work for the person that sort it.
on


PiotrKrylov, Russia
I live in St. Petersburg, Russia. Usually I use the street mailbox outside the mail office, because it is quicker. Mail collected from street mail box (twice a day except Sunday) goes directly to the sorting center. Mail posted in the office (both at the counter and box) spend at least one day there and then goes to the same sorting center. The quickest way is to mail cards from the city’s main post office but it is very far from my house. Information for visitors coming to the Main post office of St Petersburg: ask about the Postal Museum, it is very close. Besides all, there is a shop where one can find all commemorative stamps issued by Russia in recent years, FDCs, cards, etc. at their nominal price.
on


ceoramalho, Brazil
Hello!! I live in a small town in Brazilian countryside... I could put my mail at the post office mail box, but I prefer to deliver it on the counter for many reasons: I think it's safer, I have to enter to the Office anyway to open my Post Office Box and I am a friend of people in our local Post Office, so we can always have a chat... living at the countryside has some nice things!!!!
on


ziefka, Russia
Hello! I'm from Russia and the statistics haven't surprised me :) I don't trust street mailboxes, because they aren't checked regularly.
Thank you for the poll! It's very interesting :)
on


booboo_babies, United States of America
I chose "Street Mailbox", but probably should have selected "Other". If you had offered an "All of the Above" option, I would have picked that. I send my cards from nearly every type of mailbox available to me. The only mailbox that I don't use is the one in my office, as some of the employees in my building are not the nicest people. I do not think that they would steal my mail but they might ask rude questions about it. An interesting place that I send mail from is the grocery store. I remember putting a card in the grocery store mailbox once, and another customer saw me and said "This is nice. I didn't know that they had a mailbox! I'll have to bring my mail here."
on


moseandmiao, United States of America
I live in New York City, US. Unlike other places in the country, NY mail carriers don't pick up outgoing mails. I don't know if it's because they walk to deliver mails in the city (instead of driving little mail trucks), that they don't want to deal with extra weight. We try to use drop boxes inside post offices as much as we can, because there are times we saw people threw trash inside mailboxes...so sad! I now buy all my stamps online. Post offices in the area all have heavy plastic shields (don't know if they're bulletproof) on the counter between customers and postal clerks, and you can only talk through a little hole. It somehow feels very unpleasant that way.
on


MovSannA, Netherlands
About the Netherlands there are enough comments already, all true. I was in Russia a few weeks ago and I was able to send out 14 cards from there. It was very hard finding the relatively small blue street mail boxes (half the size from those at home in NL) so I walked aroung with a stack of cards for days. The post offices are just as rare and hard to find namely. Even in the big city that I was in. But: all cards arrived safely!
on


celithemis, United States of America
Some of the places I've lived in the U.S. have started phasing out carrier pickup (like apartment complexes), so you had to go hunt for a postbox or post office to send mail, even though you got mail delivered to your own box. It is interesting how rare this model is!
on


leiste, United States of America
I grew up in a rural part of the United States. When we were out of stamps, we would leave money in the mailbox. The mail carrier would take the money and leave stamps. If, for example, we left two unstamped letters and enough money for a roll of stamps (roll=100), the carrier would stamp the two letters and leave the 98 stamps in the box.If she didn't have enough straps with her, she'd leave a note, and deliver them the next day.

My friend lives in a small town. She doesn't have home delivery. Everyone in town goes to the post office to pick up their mail. I once sent her a birthday card and wrote "happy birthday" on the back. Suddenly, everyone knew it was her birthday because the post office employees saw my note and spread the word.
on


martymar9999, United States of America
I live in the USA. I live right outside of Chicago and we have very few or little street mailboxes in our town so every time I need to mail out my postcards, I have to go to the post office and put it in the mailbox outside of my postoffice. I was told I could not hand the postcards to the person behind the counter unless I have a return address on the postcard but I could but postcards without a return address in the mailbox right outside of the post office and they would send them out. Strange rule, and I was surprised that if that is still the case why so many people from the USA replied they hand it to the employee inside the post office
on


topcloud, Kenya
In Kenya, there are no mailboxes in the street. We have to go to the post office and buy stamps there. Then we put postcards in the mailbox inside of post office.
on


Sutomi, Germany
I usually use a street mailbox for my beloved postcards. Only if my stamps are all put on postcards and there are some postcards left to put a stamp on, I went to a post office to buy some. But I always buy my stamps online, so I get all the new stamps which came out every month. In a post office you get only the mainstream ones, not the special ones, and most of them are like stickers, not the ones which I prefer to send around. There is only one post office near by, where I could buy the new stamps, but I´m to lazy to go there for a look and to do that online is a good way for me.
on


DrHyde, United Kingdom
I'm in the UK and it would be easier by far for me to send postcards from a postbox on the street - there are loads of them around. But I send them from a post office instead, because I don't have all the unusual denomination stamps needed for international mail. And if I'm gonna have to go to the post office to buy the stamps I might as well leave the card there as well.
on


retired, United States of America
From the US...I live "out in the country" so it's a lot more convenient to have the mail carrier pick up my mail. My mail carrier is awesome..we chit chat when she delivers packages or I see her coming down the road. I can preorder stamps online (which I love since the post office often runs out of the ones I want before I get to town), plus online has ALL the stamps that are available as opposed to the post office which does not necessarily have all of them. However, love the postal workers at the post office too...they're friendly and chit chat as well...LOL
on


MiriKu, Germany
I always post my postcards in the street post box nearby. It's a great reason to go outside and as there's a park nearby I like taking a walk through it after posting the card.
on


leia_carvalho, Brazil
In Brazil the mailboxes are very easy to find. But most people who still persist in the habit of sending letters and postcards do not trust much on it, because with the fall of the service of sending letters, it is suspected that they are not emptied daily. Then, as there are many post offices scattered throughout the country, it is more reliable to go straight to the agency and see the clerk sealing and stamping your letters and cards where you can be sure that the postcard is already on the road.
on


CampingGinny, United States of America
Our blue street mailboxes are not so common anymore. Decades ago there was one on every street corner in America. Too many times people dump garbage and dog poop in the ones that remain, so I never put my mail in them. Our personal mailboxes with the red flags were replaced by management several years ago because of a problem with mail theft. Now each member of the community has his own locked mailbox. I don't even go to the post office to buy stamps. I buy them online because there's much more variety. I enjoy using different denominations on the postcards. Collectors love them!
on


Copperplate, United Kingdom
In England we have a lot of red postboxes on the street, so I'm not surprised that 60% of us use them! It's rare to find one, but sometimes they still have VR for Queen Victoria on them! Although recently, three letters have been lost from one postbox near me, so I avoid that one now! I'm not risking my Postcrossing cards getting lost!
on


dlarosanna, Indonesia
I am from Indonesia. And I don't use street mailbox. I always bring my cards to post office. Indonesia generally love technology and gadgets. Some people think snailmail and postcard are so outdated and they rarely use it. Since majority people do not send mails anymore, gradually street mailbox vanish too. I guess the post office think it is quite useless to keep the thing that people rarely use. I quite envious with countries which still have lot of street mailbox^^;;
on


duncanpjames, United Kingdom
Pillar Boxes, I think is the name, what ever less mail and the Mail service tries to cut back. In the UK every pillar box and collection point has a bar code that must be scanned, if not fine for Royal Mail, six days a week etc. except bank Holiday s
All the best to all, keep posting
on


nenya1985, Germany
In Germany most of the mail carriers don't have a lot of time to bring the mail to the houses and I think they would get crazy if they have to pick up mail as well.
I heard that German mail also thinks about only three delivery days per week. I really hope they won't go through with this. :(
on


paperedcuts, Brazil
Adding to what others said about Brazil, there is no standard rate for postcards or international mail. While I prefer to choose the stamps and drop off the cards in a mailbox, you can save a lot of money by going to the counter and have the post office weigh each card individually.
on


tensi, Israel
Well,I work at the Post.So I just put the cards straight to the bag labeled ''ABROAD""-this is my other
on


fried_rambutans, Indonesia
Mailboxes in Indonesia are hardly used at all - most are just garbage bin now :)) I go to my local PO so I can ask for postmarks at the counter then take photo proof, before returning my cards back to the clerk. If you happen to visit Indonesia and would like to mail a postcard, ask for the nearest general PO close to your hotel and buy stamps there. Postcard rate to Asia is IDR 6,000; to Europe 7,000; rest of the world 8,000. If the postal clerk gives you different rate, tell him/her firmly that you got the correct rate based on the latest MENKOMINFO Decree of 2013. Welcome to Indonesia, lol :D
on


honeybee, Austria
In Austria we have many street mailboxes, but I prefer to go to my post office and send my cards from there because so I can be sure to get a beautiful and well done postmark onto the beautiful stamps I use. The stamps I usually buy sometimes at the post office but mostly through the Austrian post philately online-shop.
on


karinoswald, Sweden
Two "other" ways: one is to give the cards to a friend who's traveling abroad where they have cheaper postage, another to send a lot of cards in an envelope to Åland where the postage is half of Sweden´s.
on


mineral, Hong Kong
I am in the 41.61%(Hong Kong's post office mailbox)
on


SophietheValiant, Kazakhstan
Utility bills are usually put in our mailboxes in Kazakhstan, meanwhile me and my mom use postal office for sending our mail, office worker hands over our receiving post. It is more convenient and much more reliable.
on


Back to top