Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact CardCow?

You can fill out our Contact form, or for any other reason or if you have difficulty accessing content on this website, please email us at or call 781-269-2273 and we will strive to assist you in accessing our website. 

Are all the postcards you sell original?

Yes, nearly all of the cards we sell are original vintage postcards.  Most reproductions will be noted in the title or description. 
CardCow is not a postcard publisher/printer.

We do also provide high-resolution scans of many of the older cards (download only) that are in the public domain.  These are on a secondary "Purchase this Scan" page.

How much are my vintage postcards worth?

Value depends on a number of factors:
  • Age: Older cards (pre-1920) are typically worth more
  • Topic/Genre or Location: Small town views are typically rarer than large cities. Unusual and rare topics and events are usually worth more than common holidays/topics.
  • Publisher, Artist, or Photographer: Who made the card or photograph can be very important
  • Condition: Crisp, mint-condition cards are best, although it's usually ok (and sometimes preferable) if they were mailed. Creases, folds, rounded cornders, rough edges will affect value
  • Demand: Having a lot of collectors for a particular topic or location can increase value (Halloween, Baseball, Art Nouveau for example)
  • Usage: The stamp, cancel, and even the message can affect value.
The market value for cards fluctuates like any collectible or antique. Some cards are quite common, but have value while other cards are very rare and have little value - it really depends on the above factors.

Please Contact Us or see our page about Selling Vintage Postcards to CardCow.

Do you buy Postcards?

Yes, we buy all kinds of postcards, and many other types of ephemera and vintage paper items.

Please Contact Us or see our page about Selling Vintage Postcards to CardCow.

Can I list my postcards for sale on CardCow?

Maybe.  CardCow is not an open multi-vendor marketplace, but we do occasionally allow other qualified dealers to list items.

We do also auction collections or cosign them for sale.  Please Contact Us for more details if you wish to consign or auction your collection.

Do you Buy Used Postcards?  Are used postcards worth anything?

Yes! A cancel or stamp in and of itself usually doesn't decrease the value of a postcard if it doesn't affect the image on the front of the card.  Although some collectors prefer unused cards, the are other collectors that prefer to have mailed cards because it difnitively places the card at a time in history.  The stamp or cancel can add to the value for stamp (philiatelic) and postal history collectors.  Also, a message may add interesting facts or geneological information to a card.

Do You Sell Scans of Postcards?

We can provide 300 to 1200 dpi images of individual cards in the public domain for a nominal fee.
Scan purchases are downloadable immediately after checkout with a download link sent via email.
We will often provide high-res scans for non-profit use in exchange for a photo credit.
Please contact us if you wish to purchase scans.

We currently do not do any printing and do not sell prints - the scans provided are digital files only which most online and local printers & graphic artists can easily work with.

Are Postcard Images in the Public Domain?

Many of the images of our cards are in the public domain, so you may be able to use their images Royalty-Free.
Note that some public domain images may contain trademarked logos or other designs that may limit how the image can be used.
For more information see these resources or consult a copyright attorney:

Copyright Terms and Public Domain []
Postcard Guide to Copyright Terms In the United States []

Google Books has also scanned the US Catalog of Copyright Entires for easy searching of pre-1978 copyright registrations.

We have a searchable PDF of Art/Photograph Copyright Renewals from 1956 to 1977

The CardCow watermark on some images is for identification purposes only and not a claim of copyright.
Any existing copyright is still held by their respective owners.

The watermark is, of course, not on the original cards.

Printable Version