If you don't have bureau service available or you really want that QSL card from the DX location far far away, or you are interested in fast QSL delivery, and are not looking forward to waiting for a year or two for one QSL card then this article is for you. QSL bureau services take too long because of multiple sorting locations that bureau goes through, and many DX stations don't even have a bureau close by. The most reliable way to get your QSL is direct postage. But direct postage takes some money to send, and in most cases you would also need to provide finances for the HAM operator to send his QSL back to you. If you live in an European country with reliable postal service, you can look at minimum of 3 US dollars for each QSL to be delivered and replied to.
Even you go to all that trouble and send your QSL and money to the operator's address that you found on qrz.com there is no guarantee that you get a desirable reply. You won't believe how many things can go wrong. Only a few of the major ones are:
- operator requires more money to reply on your QSL than you sent him;
- operator changed the address but didn't update QRZ information;
- operator did not print his QSL's yet
- operator cannot find the information in his log;
- operator has an agreement with QSL-manager and does not distribute his QSL's himself;
- operator does not confirm SWL reports (sadly, it happens);
- your mail was stolen and never came to the operator;
So, what do you do to get your confirmed QSL? There are things that you may try to do before you actually send your QSL:
- find the e-mail of the operator and verify all details via email first;
- read carefully all the information about operator on QRZ.com;
- search the web for the operator's call sign, and you may find his QSL information;
- if neither of those worked, but you still want to get that precious QSL, consult other SWL's on various forums if anyone has actually received QSL's from this operator;
In real world there are many pirate stations that use DX call signs and, of course, you would never expect to get QSL's verifying those QSO's.
By following these simple rules I achieved 99% of response on my QSL's and I believe anyone can do it.
I didn't mention correctness and fullness of the SWL report,that is going to be an all new article.