QSL cards outside of the USA

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KC3RAA, May 3, 2021 at 5:22 PM.

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  1. KC3RAA

    KC3RAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I couldn't find an answer and no idea if it even belongs in this forum, but I was wondering about QSL cards being received from outside of the USA. I know that postage to send from the USA is $1.20 postage, but when the recipient says to include a SASE, will the $1.20 US postage work? Seems it would need to be postage from that country

    I'm pretty new at this and would like to get the cards from at least my first few DX contacts (at least from those that actually do the cards)
  2. AD5HR

    AD5HR Ham Member QRZ Page

    U.S. postage is only good in the U.S. and its territories.
    Most foreign postal rates are more expensive than ours.
    International mail is very erratic post Covid, but before
    this, I included $3.00 with an S.A.E.
    First check with USPS to see if mail is suspended in the
    countries you wish to send to, or your card will come back
    stamped "unable to deliver". ($1.20 wasted)
    GL es DX
    N1EN likes this.
  3. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page


    The short answer is "usually, not quite." Postage costs can vary, even after currency conversions.

    Also, some DX stations use a volunteer US "QSL Manager" to handle their cards for them. Others use ClubLog, which (if they're configured for it) will let you cover postage costs electronically (usually via PayPal). There are additional alternatives, too many to go into right now.

    Basically, you can expect to include anywhere from US $2 to $3 per request to cover their postage. Some will be more.

    If you can hit the South Hills repeater, 146.955, tonight at 8 PM, you can talk with a lot of experienced DXers who can give you some hints and tips. Or send me a direct message, although I'm concentrating tonight on finishing up the May club newsletter, so I may not get back to you right away.

    K0UO likes this.
  4. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The postage co$t differs, but it is (almost) NEVER the U.S. $1.20. Sadly, (even though expen$ive) iRC's are no longer available from the U.S. Postal Service (although they sill have to honor unexpired IRC's issued by other countries.) What is often done is provide a SAE, (self-addressed envelope, without postage) and a couple (or more) " green stamps [aka USD $1 bill) enclosed inside a folded piece of paper to disguise the contents of your card and envelope contents. The DX station MAY have instructions on a web or QRZ page with directions.

    One thing: Do NOT use your or the other stations callsign on either envelope (if at all possible.) A callsign on the envelope the DX receives, or has to send out, may be targeted if identified as anything but normal correspondence. There are, unfortunately, some postal services in other countries that are not entirely honest.
    US7IGN and K0UO like this.
  5. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    these days it's just not worth it unless they have a US QSL Manager

    Just use LoTW
    K0UO and KC3RAA like this.
  6. AD5HR

    AD5HR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Be aware that postal thieves are very common South of the Rio Grande
    K0UO and KC3RAA like this.
  7. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    These days $2 to $3 in green stamps is the suggested amount to send unless otherwise indicated.
    F8WBD and KC3RAA like this.
  8. KC3RAA

    KC3RAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for all of the tips and info. I figured it it wasn't a simple answer. I was trying to educate myself on the QSL managers, but seems like there are quite a few of them. I never even considered the theft when sending. Thanks for letting me know. I jumped in on that 3905 net and made a ton of contacts there and it seems they have their own QSL manager (but I mailed directly in reply to cards I received)

    I only have a few DX contacts, but can see where it can get expensive not using a QSL manager service. Right now I still have lots of forever stamps that I bought a while back and my cards cost next to nothing to print (also ink and photo paper I bought years ago)

    W3WN, yes, I can hit that repeater. I've been on that net, but sometime I only just check in. N3SH and N3FB repeaters, right? I have been doing the 28.480 10m Breezeshooters net at 9pm on Monday nights
  9. W3WN

    W3WN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, those repeaters! I will be listening tonight, I may or may not jump in, depending on how much I have to finish!
    KC3RAA likes this.
  10. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You might want to learn about the bureau system.

    It's slower than molasses in a New England winter, and not everybody participates, but it is probably the most economical way to collect cards.
    US7IGN, WG7X and KC3RAA like this.

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