QSL card is dead?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by K7MHI, Nov 15, 2009.

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  1. NN3W

    NN3W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm in on this thread quite late since I don't normally monitor the Q&A forum.

    I get a LOT of QSL cards. I also send out quite a few. I don't pre-emptively send out domestic QSLs as I am not that motivated to work towards 5BWAS. I do however send out a fair number of DX QSL requests - almost always when I want a new "band counter" for DXCC purposes. My success rate for DX requests is better than 95%. I read the DX station's/manager's instructions, include adequate funds to cover postage, and include a SAE.

    If your return rate on DX QSLs is less than 50%, consider assessing what you are doing. Are you putting callsign info on your cards? Are you considering that one "green stamp" is rarely sufficient to cover postage in many countries? Did you include a SAE? Is your address correct? Is your recipient's address correct? Can the "postage" you provide be seen by postal workers? Are you allotting enough time for the QSL to get there and back? QSLing is an artform, and some trial and error is necesssary.

    Now to other issues:

    My policy is to QSL 100%. For stateside guys, that means I prefer a SASE and a SASE means your card is usally replied to the day I get your card (I received 3 today, in fact). If you don't send a SASE, I will respond, but it might take a little longer.

    Most all of my incoming DX requests are based on my contest QSOs. I usually get anywhere from 150 to 250 QSL request a month via the bureau and usually 2 or 3 a month direct post. The bureau cards are responded to within a couple days utilizing Globalqsl.com, and the direct requests are usually responded to immediately. Foreign QSL requests without a SASE or postage, usually get returned via the bureau unless I feel a compelling reason otherwise.

    Now as to the business of bureaus, I am of the 3 land sorters, so I handle cards for about 120 3H stations. Bureau QSLing requires PATIENCE by hams because it takes a significant amount of time for cards to get sent and answered through the bureau. You have so many hands handling bureau cards, and any significant delay in the process turns an average wait time time into an extraordinary wait time. For example: the Italian QSL buro sent out no cards for months after I2UIY - the bureau manager - became a SK. Other bureaus pool their cards and send them out once or twice a year. Still others are so small that there has really been no organized support for the local bureau. Plus, you have to assume that what you send out is promptly responded to. Its a crapshoot, and your success rate on bureau cards will likely be lower than direct. But it is MUCH cheaper than blowing upwards of $3.00 for every direct request.

    The fastest turn time I have seen on a card is about 45 days - from the WAE 2009 contest. I still get cards that are from the late 1980s - 20 years agos...
  2. AE5JU

    AE5JU Ham Member QRZ Page

    QSL cards still rolling in here almost daily.

    Today's mail, one from Michigan, one from Cuba.

    The Cuban one has a cool envelope and stamp, too.

    On the envelope, "Federacion de Radioaficionados de Cuba", with a neat red white and blue FRC logo that looks like a transistor schematic symbol.

    The stamp has a guy in a cowboy hat that looks like Paladin.


    Gee, I sure hope QSL cards aren't dead. :eek:
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