If you are reading this article, I’m sure that you have got bored from the many ordinary postcards which you can find at the closest post office, in your town. You are looking to achieve better quality postcards, or postcards with stylish design, or about some themes. Nowadays, the stylish vintage postcards are so appreciated and more and more collectors want to get vintage postcards. Maybe you are looking for some thematical postcards, but there are no such postcards at the post office.
The postcard market has moved on the internet, that’s true, but not totally true! I will get you some tips to find good postcards on the internet, but first let’s explore the off-line world, the real world. It is true that it takes more time and investigation to find a place (off-line) where you can buy good postcards. On the other hand, buying postcards from the off-line market requires searching, travelling, and as a bonus, you may meet new people and build new contacts. The fact that I like at the off-line postcard market is that you have to search deeper in your city and other cities and that makes the hobby more interesting, more exciting.
So let’s get start.
Where can you find good postcards off-line
Go to the museums. When have you been last time at a museum? A museum is not just a building with a permanent exhibition inside. Nowadays, the museums make the best to offer interesting souvenirs to the visitors and… even postcards. The museums offer a variety of postcards, even thematic postcards. However, the museums can offer better postcards than the post offices. Last time when I bought from a museum was yesterday, when I went to Croatia, with my job. The organisers offered the lunch for us, in a restaurant which is established in an old castle, and on the other side, face to face with the restaurant is a museum. So, during the lunch breack, I went to the museum and I saw there a large veriety of postcards: from real photos, to drawings, different themes. I bought this postcard from the museum:
Besides the postcards based on real photos, I like so much the postcards based on monochrome drawings. Like that one. By the way, the postcard represents the Zrinski Castle from Čakovec, Croatia. I have to mention that at the museums, the postcards are more expensive than at the post offices!
Explore the book shops. The book shops are like a kind of… surprise rooms! Besides the books, the bookshops use to sell different souvenirs as well. Search for the bookshops in your town, and explore them! Spend time at a bookshop to search for postcards. You may be surprised on what did you find there! And also, when you are in a new town/city, search for bookshops to buy postcards from.
Antiques shops. That is exactly as at the bookshops is. Go to an antiques shop and explore around. Sometimes you can get very attractive offers. Once I was on an antiques shop in Rzeszów, Poland. I found there postcards older than 100 years, at a low price. There I’ve bought this postcard from:
There is no such rule that in the antiques shops the postcards are cheap. It depends on the postcard’s age, how rare is, and… on the shop. That’s why you should explore more antiques shops, to find the best offer for you and … for your wallet.
On the touristical attractions. There are various touristical attractions: maybe a town center, maybe a cathedral, maybe a building and so on. Visit the town center or the streets which are most visited by the tourist. Even in the streets you can find souvenir sellers where you can buy postcards from. And, I remember when I bought postcards from the Cathedral in Prague – Czeck Republic and from the Stephansdom Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Are you sure that you know all the touristical attractions in your town and in the surroundings? Have you explored all of them?
At the hotels. Not every hotel sells postcards to the visitors. Maybe the most of them don’t sell. As I remember, I have found just two hotels which had postcard for sale. And one more, which had very ordinary postcards. Maybe that’s not the best idea to explore each hotel and guesthouse from your town and from the surroundings. Use this tip rather when you are planning to travel somewhere.
Visit different fairs. The fairs give you a great opportunity to look for postcards. There you can find even rare old postcards, from professional collectors. Professional collectors? Yes, there is a chance to meet them, to buy from them, even to ask from them, to get tips from them. I have visited more fairs and there, besides the postcards which I’ve bought, I’ve got business cards from the sellers, so I have their contacts to keep in touch with them. The fairs are excellent place to find good postcards, even old postcards, even new stylish, vintage postcards. Apart from this, there you can build relations with the professional collectors.
These were the off-line places where you can buy good postcards, better then what the post offices offer to you. Now, let’s go further to the online market.
Where can you find good postcards on-line
I observed that the online world is not just a market for buying (ordering) postcards, it’s also a mrket where you can swap postcards. If you have a postcard and you want to change it for another one, then you have better chances to do it online.
www.postcrossing.com – is probably the most popular website for postcard sharings. If you don’t know how the system works, I’ll explain you: create an account. Next, you will see your profile on the webpage. You will see on the profile a link: send a postcard. Follow the instructions and you will get a random address where you have to send a postcard. If you send a postcard to a member, another member will send a postcard for you. The more postcards you send, the more postcards you will receive from other members from all-over the world. I like postcrossing so much, through this site I received postcards from various countries. And also, on postcrossing you can find members interested in direct swapping, from all-over the world. That’s amazing!! I’ve got many postcards from Brasil, from a member interested in direct swaps. And once, I was interested to obtain a postcard from Chernivtsi, Ukraine. Through postcrossing, I’ve found a member from Chernivtsi who has sent me a stylish postcard. So, explore the postcrossing.com website for more beautiful experiences!
www.postcardunited.com – this site is very similar to the postcrossing and it uses the same system. You may try this as well.
Join the Facebook groups. Just type in the search box the words „postcard” „swap”, and you will get more groups where you can swap postcards.
Sites where you can buy postcards:
You can find postcards on e-bay, or by searching on Google. There are many sites where you can order postcards, just search for them on Google. I will write just one more site, where I used to order postcards from:
www.delcampe.de – This is a German site, but it has also an English version. It contains a large variety of postcards, from all the times, all-over the world.
If you have a passion, go for it, follow it. In our case, the postcard collecting is about travelling and searching. Now you can go to search according to the tips. I hope you will find nice postcards and I’m waiting to read (below, in a comment) your experiences.
If you know other sources for postcards, please write them in a comment!
See you soon