When I picked up my postcard collecting hobby again in July, 2006, I was so very excited to find postcrossing.com! I was even more excited to find the postcrossing forums, where gazillons of private swaps, tags, trades and robins are made on a daily basis! Later, I discovered swap-bot.com, which is more for the artistic among us but still with a decent supply of postcard swaps.
So I swapped.
And I tagged.
And I joined robins.
And I traded.
Then I found organized postcard groups at Yahoo Groups: Postcard Addicts and Friends and Postcard Paradise, to name two. When you join these groups and sign up for them, you're included in your choice of organized swaps held each month.
I have received homemade things that were falling apart...they were of such awful quality that I myself would have been ashamed to send them...and other stuff that is not what I consider to be of swapping quality: angel "ornaments" made from fuzzballs or foam, yellow-stained magnets that had obviously been sitting on the fridge for a decade or so, magnets made from bottlecaps or stuck to the back of photos of people's cats. Receiving those items seemed even worse than receiving nothing at all.
And yes, I did get lots of nothing!
--No magnet from France
--No magnet from Hungary
--No 10 and 15-card swaps from a few places
--No magnet from the UAE
--No tourist items
--No postcards from just about every swapping country I know
--No holiday cards from four different people
I'm ready to quit altogether and be one of those funky old stodgers who send ONLY after receiving myself.
Yet here's the problem.
Note that this is not my image and I do not send these particular things!
I found the image online simply to represent stuff I have to send :)
I have TONS of postcards to send. And an entire drawerful of tourist-type items like magnets and keychains and booklets and brochures and stickers and yummies and other goodies just begging to be sent!
If I can send one to you...if you'd like to trade...please leave me a comment here to let me know.
I have not completely given up hope yet, but have quit trading on the postcrossing forums, have stopped using swap-bot completely, and--although I'm sorry to say it--am about to stop signing up for organized group swaps as well.