ARRL 4th Call Area Incoming QSL BUREAU

Additional SASE Information

To receive your DX cards sent via the Bureau, send us end opening envelopes between 5 by 7 1/2 and 6 by 9 inches ONLY.  Although clasp envelopes technically require extra postage under new postal regulations, in practice they have not been a problem as long as we neatly fold and/or tape them before mailing.  We will gladly accept self-sealing envelopes as long as they have protective paper covering the seal.  PRINT your callsign CLEARLY in the upper left-hand corner of each envelope.  Address each envelope to yourself in the center.  Please send us your envelopes for filing before you expect to start receiving incoming cards.  Acceptable envelopes are readily available in small packages at stores like Walmart, K-Mart, and larger drug chains; and in boxes of 100 at Office Max, Staples, Office Depot, etc.  Larger envelopes are too large for our files, and require additional postage.  If necessary, we will accept 6 1/2 by 9 1/2 inch envelopes but they must include postage for “large envelopes” (see USPS website for rates).  Standard (letter or legal size) envelopes get lost in the files, and don't take the larger DX cards.  We recommend sending  several envelopes at a time, but don't send more than you might reasonably expect to receive in a year's time, since our file space is limited.  Envelopes not meeting these specifications, or padded envelopes, may be returned to you empty.

"How much postage should I put on my envelopes" is a question we're often asked.  For most folks, a single first class stamp is recommended (please use "forever" (liberty bell) stamps, so there's no need to send us "add on" postage when rates increase).  Note that two first class stamps is good for two ounces, so if you do not want to wait for 15 or more cards, put one stamp on your SASE.  Due to new postal pricing for “large envelopes”, postage for envelopes greater than three ounces is usually not recommended and is a waste of your money.  However, real "big guns" may want to put 7 or 8 ounces of postage on envelopes.  Check for current rates.  We will not mail more than 8 ounces in a single envelope, regardless of postage applied, due to the propensity of envelopes to break open in postal handling, and the possible need for parcel post pricing.  Do not use dated meters for postage, as the post office expects them to be used when issued, and the “mailed from” city is wrong.  Cards are typically mailed on a one to three month cycle, dependent upon incoming volume.  Excessive postage or low incoming volume will delay mailing since we fill envelopes to the weight of the postage applied.  Typically 5 or 6 cards will weigh about an ounce in a normal envelope.  Additional ounces are usually 6 to 8 cards, depending upon card thickness.  If you anticipate that your mailings could exceed an ounce, you may staple some additional postage to the top envelope which we can use if and when needed.  We normally mail envelopes in the order they are in our files, regardless of the postage applied to individual envelopes.

Envelopes are filed by callsign; therefore, you must maintain separate envelopes for each individual call for which you could receive cards.  We can not cross reference upgrades, vanity calls, family calls, etc.  We can not be held responsible for separating old and new holders of vanity calls, or for the accuracy of cards routed via “QSL managers”.  Remember that cards may come 5 or more years after the original contact.  When you send in your envelopes, you may include a self-addressed postcard which we will return to you to assure you that your envelopes have arrived safely.

Please don't request special services such as "mail monthly", mail in a certain order, ask us to mail other than first class, etc.  Since the post office usually returns overweight envelopes to us, we will not mail cards if sufficient postage is not available to mail them.  Also, since they often return old, reused envelopes, envelopes with dated meters, and envelopes where the postage is covered with tape, please do not send us any of these.  We will include "last envelope" notices when applicable.  Please replenish your envelopes within two weeks of receiving a last envelope notice, or make sure that you always have envelopes on file.  Otherwise, your cards will wind up in our “unclaimed” files resulting in extra handling effort and processing delays.  Unclaimed cards are a major problem, and they can not be retained indefinitely.  While we may attempt to contact stations that may not be familiar with bureau operations, it is not our practice to notify stations of accumulated QSLs on a regular basis.  We don’t make a practice of checking our “unclaimed” files for individual calls except when new envelopes arrive.  Cards may be destroyed or returned to sender if they remain unclaimed for more than 90 days and a “last envelope” notice and/or a mailed notice or email has been sent without a positive response.  Upon request, we will be glad to provide you with the status of your envelopes at the Bureau at any time (SASE for “snail mail” response appreciated), or will mail all cards currently on file for you.  Be sure to include your callsign(s) and full address on any correspondence.  You may also use the email address below.  Since all requests must be handled through the volunteer network and researched when time is available, please allow 4-6 weeks for reply.