A QSL Manager’s View

    By Tim Beaumont – QSL Manager

    Hello DX-W readers. I am Tim M0URX of United Radio QSL Management Bureau and would like to look into the world of QSL’ing from a QSL Manager’s perspective. From time to time I will pen my thoughts on QSL matters, here on DX World.net, so look out for more QSL related topics in the future.

    Whilst it is considered that “The final courtesy of a QSO, is a QSL” it is also considered irresponsible and costly to QSL every contact you make.

    • The Bureau QSL

    Sending QSL cards via Bureau is the most cost effective way if you have lots of cards to send in claiming awards such as DXCC, IOTA or if you just collect QSL cards. It is also a very time consuming process and is considered normal for the QSL to take two years via this route.

    Remember DX’peditions probably do not need your QSL. Firstly, you should read the QSL route on QRZ.com and follow any Bureau instruction that may be on there or on the DX’pedition website.

    • OQRS – Online QSL Request Service

    Is the best way to request a Bureau QSL card. OQRS is just an email sent to the QSL Manager either from a website form or simply an email sent by you requesting the QSL. Always include full information about the QSO, including both your callsign and the callsign of the station you worked. You would be surprised how many requests I get saying “Send me a QSL”. Send who? What QSL? You get the picture?

    Just a little forethought of looking for the OQRS route can save you a year in waiting for the Bureau QSL card – the QSL manager can then prepare your QSL ready to send either to their national Bureau, or as I do, send Direct to the Bureau in your country when I have enough cards in the box.

    Once you have requested your QSL Via OQRS, mark your log as “QSL Sent Via Bureau”. It is very important once you have requested the QSL that you DO NOT also post your card through the Bureau if it is not needed – DX’peditions will not need your QSL. A simple motto to remember is, “Request it, Don’t send it”

    • Why not just send your card via Bureau?

    I work as a Sub Bureau Manager for the RSGB Bureau. So I can give you a little insight to the many Bureau staff along the route from QSL Sender to Receiver , each Bureau staff member spends many, many hours sorting and routing your QSL cards. We must cut down on wastage. It costs vast sums of money to ship millions and millions of QSL cards around the world. Many say that the Bureau QSL is “free”. Free to who? It is not free. It costs national Amateur Radio Societies and its volunteers a huge amount of time and money every year.

    Here in the UK the QSL Manager has to pay for cards to be shipped from the Sub Bureau Manager to the QSL Manager. Every 3 months I get a box that weighs 20 kgs from the Bureau. Most of these QSL cards need not have gone through the Bureau. A simple email request would have seen the card processed and shipped direct to your Bureau. The cost in time and money to send each QSL is incalculable.

    • Bureau Costs

    As mentioned above Bureau costs are certainly not free – these costs have to be met by someone. A QSL Manager will pick up the bill for the huge cost of shipping his QSL cargo. This money is recouped from the dollars, IRC’s and voluntary contributions made by all the Direct QSL cards that the QSL Manager receives every day. The $2 or one IRC that you send covers the whole QSL Managers service not just your postage!

    Here in the UK, a Bureau high user like myself, must send the ten highest volume destinations at my expense, like JA, DL, F, UA and so on. So by helping to reduce the amount of cards you send via Bureau will save a lot of time and money for everyone along the Bureau staff chain.

    Until next time, 73 de Tim M0URX.