*EDITORIAL* QSL Tips to Avoid Theft

Ever sent a QSL card overseas for it not to arrive?

For it to go missing in transit?

Or, for its contents to have been tampered with enroute?

IRCs removed, US dollars removed, SSAE removed, stamps cut from the corner of the envelope, etc. have all been reported to DA-RC HQ Oceania over the years from fellow hobbyists.


The truth is, some countries have a poor track record when it comes to postal reliability and getting a QSL card through their system is borderline impossible.

Some local post offices, too, have dodgy employees (i.e. crooks) who like to supplement their income with an occasional parcel or too when the boss isn’t looking.

As well as substandard operational efficiency, postal theft can be a problem in poorer countries in particular and QSL packages sent to these ‘postal black holes’ are at serious risk of not reaching their destination intact.

It’s not surprising then that ham and 11m operators in countries such as Iraq, Dominica, Guinea, St. Vincent, Mozambique, Samoa, Liberia, Haiti, Sao Tome and Principe, Tuvalu, Nicaragua and Venezuela have QSL Managers to handle their QSL affairs when they rank as the worst culprits for postal theft in the world.


An active ham or 11m station can make hundreds of contacts per week, attracting unwelcome attention when many envelopes start showing up with those funny number–letter call signs on them.

If you have any concerns about the reliability of the postal service, then don’t put any station callsigns on the envelope.

In fact, make your envelope as ordinary and as thin as possible.

Never put an IRC or US dollar contribution in an envelope so that it can be seen through the envelope when held up to light — Folded inside some white paper or between 2 QSL cards is best.

Furthermore, if the station gives QSL instructions online or during the contact, be sure to follow them.

It could mean the difference between your card arriving intact or not at all.

I hope this information helps!

73 de DA-RC HQ