Why Are My Postcards Smudged or Scuffed?

Why postcards sometimes arrive with scuffs or smudges on them, and what to do.

At times, you or your customers may receive a postcard that appears smudged or scuffed. This is an issue that affects the entire mailing industry. As such, our postcard vendor's production team conducted extensive research on the matter. What they found is that these scuff marks are typically caused by the USPS's high-speed sorting machines.

According to our vendor, "If postcards get exposed to the belts for a millisecond longer than they're supposed to, they're at the risk of getting abrasions."

This is not an isolated incident for our postcard vendor and is not related to any specific printer or mailer.

More extensive explanations of this issue and how the USPS processing machines cause these scuffs and smears can be found by searching online for "Why Do Some of My Mailed Postcards Have Smudges or Scuff Marks?"

Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do to directly resolve this problem.  Avoiding postcard smudges and scuffs typically come down to the maintenance and calibration of sorting and barcode scanning machines at the USPS offices between the sender and the destination, which is beyond our scope of influence.