Maybe this has been brought up before, but some sweepstakes are still requesting that we enter by mailing 3" by 5" cards, without envelopes, many years after the US Post Office changed their minimum size rules. The minimum size that the US Post Office is required to deliver is 3 1/2" by 5". Anything smaller, and they can just throw it away!
You can read the Post Office rules for yourself on this site: http://www.usps.com/send/preparemailandpackages/measuringtips.htm.
3" by 5" cards are OK for inserting in emvelopes, but don't make the mistake of putting a stamp on one and mailing it. It might never get there!
I have contacted several sweeps sponsors in the past to let them know their mistake, and some have changed the rules to read 3 1/2" by 5" card.
These are the rules of thumb I've always lived by:
- If a sweepstakes asks you to mail in a 3" x 5" postcard, I assume they want you to mail in pre-stamped postcards, usually available in your local post office's vending machine. And I'm further assuming that the sweepstakes sponsor believes those postcards are 3" x 5" in size, when really they are 3.5" x 5" in size.
- If a sweepstakes asks you to mail in a 3" x 5" card, they usually make it clear you should mail those cards in an envelope. When the standard wording isn't there ("mail in an envelope to"), I assume they again want pre-stamped post-office postcards, and that they have a bad assumption as to the size of those postcards.
- If a sweepstakes asks you to mail in a 3.5" x 5" card, and lacks any wording about mailing it in an envelope, I again assume they want a pre-stamped post-office postcard. (And you know, I'm perfectly fine with that. Postcard stamps are cheaper than first-class stamps.)
So how far off are my rules-of-thumb from yours?
Tonight's Gamestop.com snail sweep actually literally states this in its official rules: "print your information on a 3x5 postcard". In my writeup I actually wrote you should mail in 3.5" x 5" postcards instead. I'm sure many of you probably wouldn't have even noticed the difference. But I'm pointing this out in case you look at the Gamestop.com official sweepstakes rules and see that my write-up doesn't match. It's because I don't want your 3" x 5" postcards to be returned back to you, or worse, thrown out by the post office without you ever knowing it.