Collecting QSL cards is an important aspect of the hobby to many amateurs but it should come as little or no surprise to learn that QSL managers are quite likely to recycle your card unless the DX station himself is chasing countries or whatever. It is very much in your interests to make life as easy as possible for a busy QSL manager, so that he can process your request with the minimum of delay. I hope the following tips will help you to achieve that.

99% or more of the worlds QSL managers are honest, conscientious hard working people who are doing the best job they are able to do to help you obtain QSL cards. However, please do remember that they are not a charity.




make sure your callsign is legible and on the same side of the card as the QSO details. If you use a double sided card, your call should appear on both sides. If you use an arty design, make sure your call appears in a straightforward typeface as well.

send QSL cards via the postal system as post cards and request a reply via the bureau. The postal services have a bad habit of rendering vital QSO information illegible with their cancellation stamps.

keep your logs and submit your QSLs using Universal Time Co-ordinated (UTC) format, not local times and especially not a combination of the two.

cram multiple QSO details into the space designed for one QSO by using microscopic writing. A single card with a legible list of QSOs on a separate sheet of paper is much preferred.

remember that the date changes at 00:00 UTC. Errors of 24 hours can easily occur!

ever glue, tape or staple the IRC or US dollar bill to the QSL card.

use the date format DD-MMM-YY (e.g. 11-APR-07), with the month clearly spelled out or abbreviated. Formats such as 11-04-07 are open to interpretation as either 4th November 2007 or 11th April 2007, especially in the USA.

correct mistakes. Make a new card. Cards with corrected entries which are later used by the DX station to apply for awards could cause that card to be rejected as having been altered.

present your QSO information in chronological (not band, mode or random) order, with the earliest QSOs first.

use carbon paper, silver foil or the like to prevent someone from being able to see through your envelope.

make sure the QSO details are legible and accurate. If your handwriting is poor or English is not your first language, please print or type.

combine requests for multiple stations into a single envelope without enclosing suficient additional postage.

clearly indicate "metres" or "MHz". "10" can mean either 30 metres or 28 MHz.

expect the duplicate of a direct request received via the bureau to be answered.

make sure any IRCs are valid for exchange for postage stamps.

send duplicate cards of e-mail requests via the bureau system, as such requests do no more than overload the system and will NOT be answered.

always FOLD return envelopes IN HALF WITH FOLD DOWNWARDS.

QSL indiscriminately via the bureau system.

always enclose adequate return postage and a modest contribution towards the cost of printing the cards and bureau postage etc.

ever send your application to one of the operating team in the hope that they will pass it on to the correct manager.

always enclose an adequately sized, good quality, self addressed C6 envelope (SAE) (114 mm x 162mm, 4.5” x 6.4”) or similar. Self addressed labels are NOT welcome.

use a card with more than one callsign on it. If you do, please make sure that you indicate VERY clearly which callsign is making the application.

send your application to the correct manager at the correct address. G3SXW gets an awful lot of cards for G3SWH - and vice versa!

send low value currency notes other than US dollars. Coins of any currency other than sterling are NOT welcome. Neither are dirty, torn or de-faced dollar bills, as the UK banks will not accepts them.

be patient. Some DX stations submit their logs on a very irregular basis. Cards take time to be designed and printed. QSL managers give their time freely, often have full time jobs, families and even like to chase DX themselves. Please allow at least six months for the manager to have processed your direct application and at least five years for receiving a reply to a bureau or e-mail request before making a second application.

fix any UK postage stamps to the SAE but supply them loose. Postal rates change regularly and this often leads to either insufficient or excess postage being applied. Any surplus can be used as bureau postage etc. Generally, postage stamps are not welcome.

remember that the QSL manager is providing you with a service. A few words of appreciation of that service are never wasted.

send used or mint foreign postage stamps instead or US dollars or IRCs.

send e-QSLs. I'm far to busy dealing with the real thing.

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