Postcard Race

postcard racesLast week, Carolee tweeted a question: Do postcards really take longer than letters to arrive?

A long time ago, someone told me that putting a first class stamp on a postcard would help it arrive faster than it would with a postcard stamp, but of course I’d never tested it. But Carolee’s tweet made me wonder how it all worked. So this week, I decided to create a little postcard race. I sent a postcard (or a letter) with a Forever stamp and a postcard with a postcard stamp from the same blue mailbox on the same day to the same address and asked each recipient to let me know when the cards arrive.

postcard race round 2Here is what I’ve sent so far:

On March 14–

To Washington DC: a postcard with a Forever stamp, a postcard with a postcard stamp

postcard race round 3On March 16–

To Tacoma, WA: a postcard with a Forever stamp, a postcard with a postcard stamp, a letter with a Forever stamp + 21 cent stamp (because it was rigid)

To Wheaton, IL: a postcard with a Forever stamp, a postcard with a postcard stamp

To Washburn, IL: a birthday card with a Forever stamp, a postcard with a postcard stamp

postcard race round 4I figured I needed to try out different distances, so I chose different parts of the country, a nearby suburb, and a “faraway” place in Illinois. Depending on the results, I may send a few more out.

I promise to report back on my findings! In the meantime, does anyone know the answer?

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9 thoughts on “Postcard Race

  1. lalumii says:

    This has never crossed my mind before! I might have just [sadly] accepted that mail, regardless of postage, can take a long time to deliver. I’m really looking forward to seeing the results.

  2. Cindy R. says:

    I just mailed two postcards with postcard stamps (one had a current pc stamp and the other had a 33 cent + one cent stamp) and a notecard all to the same address. I just assumed they would all arrive at the same time, but now I wonder…

  3. Thomas says:

    Never thought of this before. If you feel like trying something international, I have a Postcard Project that I am working on with my English Class in Mozambique. Let me know if you’d be interested

  4. Carolee says:

    Someone else said that they thought postcards were more likely to be mangled by the sorting machines, so they required special handling or something, which adds to the time before arrival. I’m watching your experiment with curiosity!

  5. i can’t wait to hear the results of your experiment! my understanding was always that first-class mail (stamped with a forever/49 cent stamp) travels faster – i had been told that since i was a kid. sometimes i just put a forever stamp on mailart postcards that probably could take a 37 cent stamp as a kind of ‘insurance’.

  6. Stephanie says:

    I’d love to know the results 😉

    • kimberly ah says:

      I have 2 more to send out and then I will do an update post. Results are mixed, so I’m doing a tiny bit more “testing” to see if there are any patterns 🙂

  7. […] of letters! It stamps like a dream and I love how detailed the image is. Here he is on a new Postcard Race. (By the way, I’m still doing some postcard testing…updates coming soon!) And last but […]

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