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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Snail Mail is a term used to describe the process of sending communications through the postal service. This phrasing was created after the invention of computers and the subsequent internet, at which point mailing envelopes was much slower than simply hopping online and shooting someone an email.

Snail Mail Friends targets creative Snail Mail and not solely penpalling. If you are looking for a pen pal, you can visit several large pen pal websites.

Anyone over the age of 18 years with a valid email address and shipping address can make an account on Snail Mail Friends.

First, you complete your profile in your account (Dashboard). Adding your art to your gallery is also a good idea. This way, Snail Mail Friends members can see your style. Once your profile is complete, you can start connecting to people through events or personal swaps. It's easy to join an event or request a personal swap with a member by clicking "request personal swaps".

The rating system for Snail Mail Friends swaps is designed to rate the swap itself, not the person. The goal is to determine whether the swap meets the requirements outlined in the swap details. It's always a good idea to read the other member's profile; this will give you a better understanding of their skill and experience level (beginner, intermediate or advanced). After the swap, you can rate it based on its compliance with the requirements.

Please note that ratings from non-members via Swap Trackr+ are for personal reference only and don't impact the overall rating.

Simply click the blue "Send friend request" button on the member's profile page. A friend request will be sent, and when the friend request is accepted, you can see your friend's updates and when they upload new art.

Swap Trackr+ is a unique and exclusive feature on Snail Mail Friends for Platinum members. This unique feature lets Platinum members track all their external swaps. Of course, all Snail Mail Friends swaps will automatically be registered, and external swaps must be entered manually. It's the best way to keep your Snail Mail adventures organized.

Depending on your membership plan, you have a certain number of postcards that you can swap. Postcards are quick and easy Snail Mail swaps and have a separate Snail Mail count.

When a postcard swap event is set up, you will send it to and receive it from the same person. When a random swap event is set up, you send it to and receive it from a different member. It doesn't matter if it's store bought or that it is crafted by yourself.

You voluntarily send swaps to members who have not received their swap from their assigned swap partner in an event.

A resend request will first be sent to the original swap partner if a swap is marked as lost. If the person declines the swap, a resend request will be made to the event creator. If the creator also declines it or if the creator has indicated not to be an Angel for the event, we will look for other Angels.

If you get a request to Angel, you still have the option to decline the swap. So you're totally in control, and you can cancel at any time.

I want to be a Snail Mail Friends Angel:
1. Log in to your Snail Mail Friends account
2. Go to Account > My Profile
3. Navigate to Edit Basic Information
4. Enable the option I will Angel lost swaps
5. Click on the Save Changes button

You can choose what kind of notifications you would like to receive. You can choose whether you want to receive the notification by email or a browser notification.

Please note, you cannot disable some email notifications.

Change the notification settings:
1. Log in to your Snail Mail Friends account
2. Go to Account > Account & Security
3. Navigate to Notification Settings
4. Change your settings
5. Click on the Save Changes button

Platinum members can activate the SMS option in their dashboard. This feature enables you to receive a notification when you receive a new swap request. Also, when a recipient of one of your Snail Mails enters the Tracking ID, Snail Mail Friends will notify you that your swap has arrived.

Everyone can join a swap, whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced. There is no option to target a creative level. Nothing is more annoying than not being able to join a swap because of levels!

We all started somewhere on the curve, and whether you are a beginner or an advanced Snail Mailer, we are all in it to create!

Yes, you can.

Disabling the Request for a Random Swap:
1. Log in to your Snail Mail Friends account
2. Go to Dashboard > View my dashboard
3. Navigate to Dashboard settings in the menu on the left
4. Disable the option Request random swap
5. Click on the Save Changes button

If you want to feature a story/tutorial on the Snail Mail Friends Blog, you can email us at info@snailmailfriends.com.

You can always share your story on the forum or in a shortened form on your profile when Snail Mail Friends does not select your item for the blog.

We strive to answer your e-mail within 2 working days.

Two-step verification adds an extra layer of protection to your account. Whenever you sign in to our website, you'll need to enter both your password and also a security code generated by your authenticator app on your mobile.

Steps to enable 2-Factor Authentication:
1. Log in to your Snail Mail Friends account
2. Go to Account > Account & Security
3. Navigate to 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)
4. Follow the instructions on your screen
5. Click on the Go to next step button
6. Enter the code we send to your email address and enter your 6-digit 2FA security code provided by your Google Authenticator App
7. Click on the Verify button
8. Copy the backup codes and press Yes, I have saved the backup codes in a safe place
9. Click on the Enable 2FA button
Two-step verification adds an extra layer of protection to your account. Whenever you sign in to our website, you'll need to enter both your password and also a security code generated by your authenticator app on your mobile.

Steps to disable 2-Factor Authentication:
1. Log in to your Snail Mail Friends account
2. Go to Account > Account & Security
3. Navigate to 2-Factor Authentication (2FA)
4. Enter your 6-digit 2FA security code provided by your Authenticator App
5. Click on the Disable 2-Factor Authentication button
If your 2FA codes keep showing as invalid, try time-sync your mobile device. For the authenticator to work correctly, your time must show the correct local time, date, and time zone. Android and Windows phones have an option to correct time errors inside the Authenticator app properties if you do not wish to sync your clock. iOS devices must be set to use Internet time to make sure the clock is synced correctly.

What to do if you get a 2FA error when enabling 2FA security.

If you still have problems after synchronizing the time of your device and have not yet enabled 2FA in your account, delete your Snail Mail Friends account from the Google Authenticator App and perform the process again.
Night mode is a user interface for content that displays light text on a dark background. Night mode is beneficial for those viewing mobile computing device screens at night. The reduced brightness can reduce eye strain in low-light conditions. It also helps conserve battery power on laptops and mobile devices.

Steps to change Night Mode:
1. Log in to your Snail Mail Friends account
2. Go to Account > Account & Security
3. Navigate to Night Mode
4. Enable or disable this option using the switch
Sorry that you're having trouble logging in, that's frustrating.

To fix it, first, check that:
You're connected to the internet
Your browser allows cookies
your username and password are correct

You can also try resetting your Snail Mail Friends password. Just follow the instructions here to reset your password. If you keep having problems, get in touch at support@snailmailfriends.com.
At this time, it's not possible to upload your own banner. The banner consists of a repeated pattern. Not everyone has access to seamless designs or can create one.
No, it is not possible to change your username. You can choose to close your account and create a new one.
Make sure the profile photo has a minimum size of 300x300 pixels, and you save it in: .JPEG, .JPG, .PNG, .GIF or .BMP format. The maximum file size is 3.5MB.
We all have our favorite paper/tool lines. When you choose your favorite brands, it's easier for other swappers to make something tailored or something in that style.
This can happen if your photo doesn't meet the requirements. The minimum upload size is 600 x 600 pixels. The supported file formats are .JPG, .JPEG, .PNG, .GIF or .BMP. The maximum file size is 3.5MB.

When the upload box is red just click inside the box and you will be able to choose a new photo.
Don't worry. The image you see when adding new artwork is just the thumbnail. To ensure every image is same size, we will cut it for you automatically. When you click on your artwork in the gallery, it will show the entire photo.
Yes, this is possible. Only use this feature if you are taking a break (for example, going on a holiday). Your profile will (temporary) not be visible to other members, including all your art in the Art Gallery, and you won't be able to join swaps or get invited for personal and random swaps. Be aware your current plan won't pause!

Want to enable/disable Off-The-Grid?

1. Log in to your Snail Mail Friends account
2. Go to Account > Account & Security
3. Navigate to Off-The-Grid
4. Enable or disable this option using the switch

When this option is enabled you will see a red  
  icon next to it.
Are you having second thoughts about your registration? No worries; you can easily delete your registration and all your data in your dashboard. Deletion of your account can't be undone, be aware of this.

When you decide to close your account before your membership plan ends, you will not receive a refund for the remainder of the membership. Want to close your account?

1. Log in to your Snail Mail Friends account
2. Go to Account > Account & Security
3. Navigate to Close account
4. Please select a reason for closing your account
5. Retype the security code
6. Mark the checkbox "Yes, I want to permanently close my Snail Mail Friends account and delete my data."
7. Click on "Close my account"
8. Confirm account closure on Snail Mail Friends by clicking the link in the mail we send you

Please note this is a permanent action, and once your account is closed, it will no longer be accessible. It's not possible to close your account when you have pending swaps. Finalize your swaps first and try again.
When you delete your account, Snail Mail Friends will destroy all of your data. That's great for data protection but not great if you want to give Snail Mail Friends another go.

Don't worry, though… just register again and call it a fresh start.
No. We don't, and will never, sell your personal data. We respect you too much for that. Please take a look at our Privacy Policy for more information on how we look after your data.
Snail Mail Friends has paid membership plans to offer you the best experience online to start snail mailing. No annoying ads or pop-ups, no external linking of your art, and, depending on your membership plan, the option to keep track of all your swaps.

The basic membership is a free plan; you can look around to see if Snail Mail Friends fits your needs. And when you are ready to start swapping, you can upgrade to a Standard, Premium, or Platinum membership and get access to the rest of Snail Mail Friends.

View our pricing here.

Please note that Snail Mail Friends does not cover the cost of postage for its members. Users are responsible for covering the expenses associated with sending mail to other participants.

Snail Mail Friends is open to all suggestions to improve the website. We are here for you.
Snail Mail Friends accepts various payment methods to ensure you can pay safely and efficiently. All payments to us go through Mollie's secure system. Thanks to years of experience and knowledge, Mollie is a reliable partner in online payments. Mollie processes all transactions in a secure environment, so your data is always protected. No surcharges are charged.

The following payment methods are available at checkout:

  • Credit Card: Mastercard and VISA
  • PayPal: Pay securely, quickly, and easily online with PayPal without revealing your financial details
  • Apple Pay: Online Payment Method for iOS Devices
  • iDEAL: Internet banking for the following banks: ABN AMRO Bank, Rabobank, SNS Bank, ING Bank, ASN Bank, Regio Bank, Triodos, Knab - bunq
  • Bancontact: Bancontact is an online payment system for Belgian customers
  • Giropay: Giropay is a popular bank transfer payment method in Germany
  • KBC: The KBC/CBC bank is one of the largest banks in Belgium
  • EPS: The Electronic Payment Standard (EPS) is a payment method developed by a number of Austrian banks
Creating Snail Mail can be time-consuming when you make creative Snail Mail. Joining events and personal swaps can add up quickly without realizing you do not have enough time to complete them in time. And because we can't buy time, we have to prevent members from getting overwhelmed and getting behind on swaps. Therefore we have decided to limit Snail Mail to a certain amount to ensure Snail Mailing.

Please note: The Platinum membership plan has unlimited Snail Mail. In the event that Platinum members can't keep up with their outgoing Snail Mails, the Snail Mail Friends platform will temporarily suspend the option to join new swaps for the Platinum member. When the member has caught up with all of their committed swaps, they will be able to add new Snail Mails.
In the profile stories, you can share a short story with a photo of your artwork. All members have access to this feature, limited to 150 words for Basic and Standard members, 250 words for Premium members, and Platinum members up to 350 words.
Yes, you can. The Snail Mail event planner won't allow you to join events and swaps when your account expires. For example, Event X has a "send before" date on January 30th. You can still complete this swap if your plan ends on January 30th. But you can't join the swap when the "send before" date is February 1st. If the "send before" date is outside your membership plan, you will not be able to join. You do have the option to early renew your plan. Incoming swaps can always be registered and rated because mail can take up to 60 days or more in some extreme cases.
If you decide the membership plan isn't for you, you do not have to renew your membership plan. After your current membership plan expires, your account is downgraded to a Basic account. We will save your data, but you will not be able to join any events or swaps.
Your postal address will only be visible to the assigned swap member in an event or personal swap. The event swap creator can only see your name and country details to be able to manage regional event swaps.
Well, Snail Mail Friends is not the website for you, unfortunately.

To send each other Snail Mail, it has to have a destination. If you are really anxious to provide a personal address, you might consider renting a PO BOX.
Snail Mail Friends is an online platform where snail mail enthusiasts gather to share their creativity. Our site is unique, dedicated to connecting people who love crafting and exchanging snail mail. Here, you are in control of your swaps – they are initiated by you, ensuring a personalized experience.

Remember, to engage in a swap, you need to actively start or accept one; they aren’t automatically assigned to you. For our PREMIUM and PLATINUM members, we offer a special feature: the One-Way-Postcard. Please note, this feature is not enabled by default; you must activate it in your account settings. Once enabled, it allows you to send a postcard to another member without needing to be mutual 'Friends', and you can also receive postcards just as easily.
To begin sending swaps, first make meaningful connections with other members. Here's how to get started:

  1. Make friends: Visit the profiles of Snail Mail Members and send them a friend request. Investing in these connections is key. You can find members here.
  2. Choose your swap type: Once you have some friends, you can initiate different types of swaps. Here are your options:
    • Send a Random Act of Kindness (RAK): Brighten someone's day with a surprise!*
    • Request a personal swap: Exchange personalized items or letters.*
    • Request a personal postcard: Send a heartfelt message on a postcard.*
    • Request a random swap: Open to anyone; the recipient needs to accept your request. (Can be with any member.)
    • Send a One-Way Random Postcard: This is a special feature for our Premium and Platinum members. Postcards are automatically assigned and can be sent to members without needing a mutual friend connection.
*(Friend connection required.)
Snail Mail Friends offers diverse event types to suit varied interests, from structured thematic swaps to playful, ongoing exchanges, and collaborative group activities. These options typically involve the exchange of snail mail, like letters, postcards, or craft items, under various formats and rules. Event swaps are available to Standard, Premium, and Platinum members each offer a unique and engaging experience:

  • Regular event: Region-specific events with set deadlines for sign-ups and participation, focusing on themed creative exchanges.
  • Tag, you're it!: A fun, ongoing snail mail chain game, offering a creative and indefinite exchange experience for craft enthusiasts globally.
  • Round Robin: Exclusive to Premium and Platinum members, this event involves collaborative exchanges where items are circulated among a group for creative additions.
These options enable members to explore creative snail mail in a supportive, global community, fostering connections and celebrating the tradition of postal exchange.
Finding your swaps on Snail Mail Friends is streamlined through various methods:
  • Dashboard access: Navigate to [Dashboard]>[View my dashboard] from the menu. Use "Incoming", "Outgoing", "Archive", "Upcoming Events", or "Round Robin" buttons for specific swaps.
  • Swap calendar: Navigate to [Dashboard] select [Swap Calendar] from the menu. This feature provides a visual schedule of your swaps and is especially helpful for tracking deadlines and upcoming events. Mobile users can utilize the list view for convenience.
  • Menu navigation: Go to [Swap Tracker] in the menu and select one of the options. Detailed information about each swap, including status and partner details, is available here. (Note: Swap Trackr+ is only for Platinum members.)
  • Round Robin: Access current Round Robin swaps via [Swap Tracker] > [Round Robin]. For more Round Robin events, click "Find More Round Robin Events". To view archived Round Robins, use the "Switch to Archive" button.

Note on active and finished swaps:

  • In the "Incoming" and "Outgoing" swap sections, only active swaps are displayed.
  • To view finished swaps, toggle the green "Display swaps that are still in progress" option to off (it will turn grey). This will list all your swaps, including completed ones.
  • It is advised to move finished swaps to the archive for better organization.

A commonly asked question is how to find feedback on swaps. Let's say you're interested in checking feedback on a swap you've received. There are two possibilities. If you've already organized your swaps by archiving them, which is often the case for those keeping their lists clean, you'll need to access your archived incoming swaps.

Let's say the swap is recent and hasn't been archived yet. To find it, navigate to [Swap Tracker] > [Incoming swaps] > [All incoming swaps]. Once there, locate your swap and open it. On mobile devices, you may need to scroll down to see the 'Feedback given' located at the bottom right. This process is the same for outgoing swaps.

If you're having trouble locating an outgoing swap, rest assured, your swap is still there. Here's what you need to know:
  1. Swap status: Once you mark a swap as "shipped" to indicate that you've sent it out, it is no longer listed as an active swap. This is because it's on its way to your swap partner and doesn't require immediate attention.
  2. Accessing sent swaps: Navigate to [Swaptracker] > [Outgoing swaps] > [All sent outgoing swaps].
  3. Reviewing a sent swap: When you receive notification that your swap has been received by your partner, click on the swap to access additional information, including:
    • Swap Rating
    • Personal Rating
    • Feedback Received
    • Duration of the Swap (Postal travel time)
  4. Archiving a swap: If you wish to organize your swaps further (highly recommended), you have the option to place a swap in the archive. Use the grey "Move swap to archive" toggle to achieve this.
  5. Communication: Additionally, you can send a private message to the member if needed, facilitating communication and feedback exchange.
These features are designed to help you manage your swaps efficiently and keep track of both incoming and outgoing mail, ensuring a smooth and organized snail mail experience on the platform.
Locating your archived swaps on Snail Mail Friends is a breeze.
Here's how to do it:
  1. Menu navigation:
    • Start by going to the menu.
    • Click on [Swap Tracker].
    • Click on [Archived Swaps].
  2. Filtering options:
    • Once you're in the [Archived Swaps] section, you can use the filtering options to narrow down your search.
    • Toggle the button "Incoming - Outgoing" to specify whether you're looking for archived incoming or outgoing swaps.
    • You can also use the "Search" option to search for swaps based on keywords or utilize filters to refine your search by specific categories or locations.
With these simple steps, you can quickly access your archived swaps and find the ones you're looking for on Snail Mail Friends.
Creating an external swap on Snail Mail Friends (Platinum members only) is simple and convenient. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Menu navigation:
  1. Start by going to the menu.
  2. Click on [Swap Tracker].
  3. Click on [Swap Trackr+] to access it.
Creating an external swap:

Inside [Swap Trackr+], you'll have the option to [Create external swap]. Choose one of the following options based on your preference:

  • Select "Incoming Swap" if you want to be reminded of an incoming swap.
  • Choose "Outgoing Swap" if you want to keep track of what you're sending but not expecting anything in return (e.g., when sending a RAK).
  • Opt for "Both Incoming and Outgoing Swap" to keep track of both incoming and outgoing swaps.
With Swap Trackr+, you can centralize and simplify the management of your external swaps, ensuring a smooth and organized snail mail experience. Start using it today!
Updating a rating for a received swap on Snail Mail Friends is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:
  1. Go to your incoming swaps in the menu: [Swap Tracker] > [Incoming Swaps].
  2. Navigate to the specific swap for which you want to update the rating and click "Read More" to view its details.
  3. Within the swap details, find the section labeled "Rating given."
  4. Click the blue button that says "Update rating for 'xxx-xxxxxxx'"

If you can't find the swap you're looking for, it may have been moved to your archive. In that case, follow these additional steps:

  1. Access your archived swaps by going to the menu: [Swap Tracker] > [Archived Swaps].
  2. Click on the swap that has been archived.
  3. Repeat the steps mentioned above to update the rating for the archived swap.
By following these steps, you can easily update the rating for a received swap and provide feedback on your Snail Mail Friends experience.
If you receive an email stating that your snail mail cannot be registered as received, it's likely because you haven't completed all the status steps of the outgoing swap. To ensure that your snail mail can be registered as received by your swap partner, follow these steps:

  1. Complete status steps: Make sure you've completed all the status steps of the outgoing swap.
  2. Mark as shipped: The last step in the update status process is to "Mark as shipped." Click the green circle next to this step. You will be navigated to a new page called "Mark as shipped."
  3. Add tracking link (optional): You have the option to add a tracking link if you have one.
  4. Add photos (optional): For your own reference, you can add photos of the content and a proof of sending. These steps are optional but can be helpful.
  5. Confirm mark as shipped: At the bottom of the "Mark as shipped" page, click the "Confirm mark as shipped" button.
By completing these steps, you ensure that your snail mail is properly marked as shipped, allowing your swap partners to register it as received and rate the swap. Failure to complete this final step may prevent your partners from registering your snail mail and rating the swap.
If the swap ID is missing or incorrect when you're trying to register a swap, follow these steps:
  1. When registering the swap, click on "Missing or incorrect Swap ID?" just below the Swap ID boxes.
  2. Fill in the details as accurately as possible.
  3. Our team will investigate and find the correct swap ID for your registration.
Snail Mail Friends swap IDs consist of the three letters of a country and seven digits, for example, CAN-2024123.
If you have a creative swap idea, you can simply drop it into the Events forum and share your concept with the Snail Mail Friends community. If your idea is something that can be easily organized, a fellow Snail Mail Friends member may choose to host it. We welcome all ideas on the forum, so feel free to share your creative suggestions!
Absolutely! You have the opportunity to connect with others who share your passions by either creating or joining a Unity Hubs.

As a Unity Hub creator:
  • You can lead the group.
  • Organize private swaps.
  • Have control over membership within the Hub.
As a Member:
  • You can actively participate in swaps.
  • Access a private forum for engaging with fellow members.

Joining or creating a Unity Hub is your gateway to forming new connections and uncovering a vibrant community within Snail Mail Friends. Discover all the available Unity Hubs and find the perfect group for you today!

Go to your dashboard:
  1. Navigate to [Dashboard] in the main menu.
  2. Click [View my dashboard].
  3. Click "View my events" in the dashboard menu.
This will direct you to a list of events that you are hosting.

Identify your events with 'Event Creator' Banner:
  1. Navigate in the menu to [Events], [All upcoming events].
  2. When you access each event page, you will see a corner banner marked "event creator." This banner signifies that you are the host of that particular event.
Filtering your hosted events on the Event Swap page:
  1. Look for the "Own events" button, which is grey by default.
  2. Toggle this button to enable it. When enabled, it will turn green and filter the page to show only the events that you are hosting.

  3. These steps will help you navigate to and manage your hosted events, making it easier to keep track of your activities and engagements.
Yes, you can! As an event host, you have the capability to monitor all the swap activities as they happen. Here's how it works:
    • When a participant updates their swap status: You will see these updates in real-time on your event dashboard. This allows you to keep track of who has initiated their swap, who is currently in the process of sending or receiving, and who has completed their swap.
    • When the swap is sent: At this stage, you can view which swaps are on their way to their destinations. The dashboard will also show the send date for each swap, providing you with a clear timeline of the sending process. We all sit tight and wait for the swaps to reach their respective recipients.
    • When a swap is received: Participants are required to enter the swap ID upon receiving their swap. Additionally, they are prompted to rate the swap. This helps in maintaining the quality and engagement of the event. As a host, you'll be able to see the date the swap was marked as received and the rating it received.
This system ensures that you have full visibility of the swapping process, making the management of your event smooth and efficient.
If your swap is overdue and more than 7 days have passed since its scheduled shipping date, you have the option to send a friendly reminder to your swap partner. This reminder feature becomes available only after the 7-day mark has passed. By utilizing this option, you can gently prompt your swap partner to take necessary actions and help ensure the timely completion of the swap.

Here is how it works:
    • Go to the menu and select [Swaptracker].
    • Click on [Incoming swaps].
    • Click on [All incoming swaps].
    • Locate and open the specific swap in question.
    • Scroll down to find the "Send reminder" button.
    • Click on it to send a reminder to the member.
If over 7 days have elapsed since you sent a reminder about an ongoing swap and you haven't received any feedback from your swap partner, you have the option to hide the swap. Choosing this option will remove the swap from your active incoming list for organizational purposes. However, you can still mark it as received if it arrives later on. Please note that this option will result in a 'Failed to Send +1' note on your swap partner's profile, indicating that the swap was not completed as scheduled.
A 'lost swap' is a term we use to identify swaps that need more attention, possibly due to unforeseen complexities. This designation isn't meant to cast doubt on any member's reliability or performance. We understand that not all lost swaps may be resolved, reflecting the sometimes unpredictable nature of swapping. Understanding this requires considering several aspects:

Complexity of lost swaps: It's often challenging to confirm if a swap is genuinely lost, especially without tracking information. Therefore, lost swaps are a complex issue and may not always accurately reflect the situation.

Why swaps are marked as lost: This generally occurs when an item you've sent hasn't been acknowledged as received by the recipient, even after reminders. Either you or the system can mark the swap as "lost" for organizational purposes.

It's not always a fault: A lost swap doesn't necessarily mean someone made a mistake. It can be due to postal delays, mail errors, or delayed updates by the recipient, which are more frequent in long-distance swaps.

Options for lost swaps: If you suspect the item didn't reach its destination, you can resend it. Moreover, if the item is eventually received, the recipient can update the status, resolving the lost swap count.

Additional step for tracked swaps: If you have a swap with tracking that's been labeled as lost but has been delivered, you can provide the tracking information to Snail Mail Friends. We will then review the information and, if appropriate, remove the lost swap count from your profile.