What's the best QSL card bureau?

Discussion in 'Contests, DXpeditions and Special Events' started by KG0BA, Jun 10, 2021.

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  1. KG0BA

    KG0BA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been making more international contacts, and some don't seem to confirm contacts via LOTW or QRZ.com. I've never used a bureau to handle international QSL Card exhange, and I'm just wondering which is the best service. Who do you use, and why?
  2. N1EN

    N1EN Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    For incoming cards, aside from certain net-specific bureaus, you use your "local" ARRL-affiliated buro. In your case, you would want to contact the W0 bureau (www.zeroburo.org ... although the website is not resolving for me at the moment) to see what they need from you to send you your cards.

    In terms of sending buro cards out, there are a few options. Two of those options include:

    1. Send cards, properly sorted, to the ARRL outgoing buro (if you're a member). Details are here: http://www.arrl.org/outgoing-qsl-service

    2. The URE, the Spanish equivalent of the ARRL, has an online service, where you upload a card design, upload an adi with contacts to QSL, and they handle preparing the cards and sending them out. Cost is €12 for the first 100 cards, and then €0.12 for each card thereafter, with a discount available for members of IARU member societies (like the ARRL). The URL of the service is https://qsl.ure.es/en/ , and there are some YouTube videos (admittedly, mostly in Spanish) that do some demonstrations of the entire process.

    I've started using QDURE, having shifted away from a similar service in Israel that seems to have fallen on hard times. However, if you only need to send a couple of cards out, QDURE might not be cost-effective.

    Keep in mind that bureau QSLing is SLOW. If you really, really want someone's card, you might do better to send them a card directly (paying international snail mail rates to get it there, and including 2 or 3 $1 bills ("green stamps") for return postage along with a self-addressed return envelope), or see if they have an online mechanism to request a direct card ("OQRS", sometimes through ClubLog, sometimes through other mechanisms...usually listed on their QRZ page).
  3. W4HWD

    W4HWD Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    The best QSL bureau is no bureau; send your card directly to the DX with two $1 bills to cover return postage. Most DX don't even use bureaus and say so on their QRZ pages.

    I have sent direct QSLs with SAE (*not* SASE) and two bucks and have received replies from all of them.

    Go to your local post office and buy a sheet of Global Forever stamps and you're set to over 200 countries. Right now they are $1.20 each.

    When you work a DX you'd like a card from, check their QRZ page before sending anything and follow the instructions. Some have QSL managers, and some of those managers are right here in the US, in which case you would send an SASE and no money. Many DX have abandoned bureaus all together.

    Some DX will even allow you to pay postage for a QSL card through Paypal using the OQRS system in Clublog. In that case, they don't really want your card but make it easy for you to get theirs. I have a few pending in OQRS and look forward to receiving them - so far going direct with two greenbacks has realized the fastest response times.

    A recent example: I worked T6AA, my first time ever working Afghanistan. T6AA is Robert, S53R. On the T6AA page he says to QSL direct to his address in Slovenia. I did. I received the card 10 days. No bureau is that fast. Have fun.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2021

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