UPS Says Delivered But Not Package

If you have ever received packages by the UPS, for the most part, you will probably have received them on time. Or if you ever decided to send some package through UPS, then similarly, for the most part, they will deliver properly.


There are cases however, when even though you have the correct address on the package, and even though the tracking system says that the package was delivered successfully, there is still nothing at your front door or porch. It can be a very frustrating experience, and one that leaves you wondering about what ever happened to that “lost package.”


In this article, hopefully we will be able to shade some light on this issue, and help you retrieve your package. Keep on reading and I hope by the end of going through all the possible reasons of why your package was not arrived (and what to do in each case,) you will be able to have some tangible next steps.


ups package sitting on a porch


What To Do If UPS Says Your Package Was Delivered (Even Though It Was Not)


If your driver has completed the delivery, then then tracking system for the package will indicate where exactly it was left (for example, in the front door, at the porch etc.) Shipments that do not require someone to leave a signature for the package, can be delivered to any area around the home at the discretion of the driver.


If however the system indicates, that your driver completed the delivery and received a signature then it is possible that some neighbor or nearby resident signed for the package. Even in that case however, the UPS system will indicate the exact area where the shipment was left. So make sure to check with other residents at your address, nearby neighbors or anyone whom you think would have known anything about the missing package. Something to keep in mind is that sometimes, drivers will use plastic bags in order to protect your package/parcel from the rain. So if be on the lookout for anything that is wrapped up in a plastic bag around your address.


Lady speaking on the phone


Who To Call If Your UPS Package Is Not Delivered


If you have confirmed that both tracking says the package was delivered, and there is indeed no package around your home, the next step would be to reach out to UPS directly. They are always going to ask you to confirm that the UPS package never arrived and from there, they will ask you about the tracking information for the package. So make sure to have that handy, in order to be over to pass it on to the UPS customer service agent you will be speaking with on the phone.


Generally, speaking, you will be asked to provide the customer service agent with a contact number they can reach out at, right after they have started investigating//researching for the lost package. In some cases, they might even be able to reach out to the driver directly, in order to confirm whether there was a delivery made or not.


Just so you are aware, there is no case in which a driver would disclose that they have completed delivery, without them actually doing so. Management is able to track from the GPS on the scanning device, where the delivery took place once there is confirmation of delivery. So whenever some package is not delivered, it is usually due to a technical issue with the tracking system or something that relates to delivering to the wrong address.


ups packages


Can UPS Find Your Lost Package?


It is in the best interest of the UPS to find your lost package. That is because it usually will involve several people as part of the research for the package, and therefore they will want to close the case as soon as possible. Once they have reached out to the driver, and after the driver confirms that there is no package that was accidentally left in the truck, there will be an investigation that starts from there.


From the time when the investigation begins, you will probably need to wait approximately 7 days in order to hear further from them and to proceed to your next step from there. Your next step would include opening a Missing Mail case. For the most part, missing mail cases involve packages or parcels that were scanned but not put on the vehicle for delivery. Those cases where mail slipped through the crack or when the package was not delivered on time are usually very rare.


Keep in mind that porch pirating is becoming a big issue for package deliveries, leading federal authorities to get involved.


lost ups package


What Happens If UPS Loses Your Package?


If the UPS did in fact lose your package, as mentioned earlier, they will do everything possible to try and retrieve it. They may or may not be liable for the package being lost. It all depends on whether or not you (or the sender) invested in insurance.


For the most part, the UPS will keep looking for your package and the fact that your package is missing, does not mean that it ever gets deleted from the system. And if at any point they do happen to find it, you will be alerted and be able to track it from there.


The only other option you have at this point, is to file a claim with the UPS, if you purchased insurance. Here is a helpful video to help navigate you on how to file a claim with UPS.


Filing a claim involves a 3 step process which you can find below:


  1. Provide package details. It will be important for you to provide UPS as much detail as possible that relates to your package. The following list is a helpful guide for the basic information that you will need to fill out:


  • Consignee contact information: This will include the name, phone number and e-mail address. This will help UPS request additional information, give you status updates and even keep you updated on the next steps throughout the course of the claims process.
  • Pickup date
  • Package weight
  • Description of the problem
  • Number of lost or damaged items
  • Tracking/Reference number
  • Merchandise value and currency


  1. Identify your role. What this requires, is that you disclose your relationship to the package. For example, are you the sender, receiver a shipper’s appointed representative or some other third party.
    In order to help address your claim, it would be a good idea to send in not only required package information but also additional supporting documentation. Additional supporting documentation includes:


  1. Merchandise description. Try and be as specific as possible when providing the UPS with merchandise descriptions. Examples of such descriptions are receipts, invoices, purchase orders and any other documentation that will specifically identify the merchandise.
    Photo documentation. You can upload photos of damaged packages and contents, the interior of the original box, cushioning, packaging material, shipping label with the tracking number, BMC and the dimensions of the box.




FAQ On Packages That Are Not Delivered By UPS


When can you report a problem with your package?


Make sure to refer to the terms and conditions from the shipping country of origin to get more information on reporting a damaged package, package loss or any uncollected C.O.D payment. The terms and conditions will contain the most accurate information on the time frame in which you initiate a claim.


How long will the claim process take?


Once your claim (including all your supporting documentation has been filled,) it will take an average of 10 days. In order to help you expedite the process, make sure you are as specific as possible when providing merchandise description. If your claim includes a damaged item, you will have the option of providing photo documentation.


How long will UPS take in order to investigate the damage or find your lost package or uncollected C.O.D?


The investigation will take approximately 10 business days. When you report the damaged package, once all important information has been filled out it will generally take 10-15 business days in order to complete a claims investigation (depending on the country you reside in.) The lack of merchandise description can definitely extend the time of the investigation.


What To Do Once UPS Sends You A Damage/Loss Notification


There are 2 steps you can take:


Complete the process online. From the claims dashboard, you can check the status of your claim. View the details of your claim, make any updates requested and make sure to send your changes.


Complete the process offline. This one is more complicated and requires the following 3 step process.


  • Fill out the Request for Claim Payment form using black ink. Make sure to provide the lesser of the purchase price that was paid by the consignee, the actual cost, the replacement cost (if the merchandise can be replaced,) or repair cost of the merchandise (if it can fixed.) You can also request that UPS reimburses the transportation cost.
  • Attach a copy of the original invoice
  • Send the bar-coded Request for Claim Payment form as a fax cover page, along with required documents listed, to the fax number on the Damage/Loss Notification letter.


making a digital payment


Where To Send The Payment For The Claim That Was Sent


Claim payments can be sent to the address that is on file with UPS for the shipper of record or the shipper of record’s specified payee. If EFT is what is selected, then claim payments will be deposited directly into the bank account that is provided.


virtual mailbox for desktop and mobile


Using A Virtual Mailbox Alternative


Depending on your location and how accessible it is from the UPS, this issue may come up once in a while. Especially if you live in a more rural area or at a residence where the entrance is not all that clear, then it is possible for the UPS driver to get confused and misplace the item he/she is delivering.


The best way to make sure that you will always get your mail 100% of the times, is to take advantage of a virtual address location. These are located in warehouse centers, where mail carriers frequently deliver mail. Also, there is usually on-site personell that is able to receive mail and make sure that it is all added into the mailbox properly for you to be able to access.


Virtual mailboxes come with another perk; that is the ability to access your mail virtually. All you need to do is log into your virtual mailbox account, and you will be able to access all your mail digitally. Mail pieces will come in the form of an image of the exterior of your envelope, while for packages, there will be images of them added into your account. If you need to have some letter or piece of mail from your envelope scanned, you can request that as well.


A final perk is the ability to ship mail/packages to your location with up to 80% discounted retail shipping rates. If you have multiple mail items, you can even bundle those mail pieces together in order to save more on shipping.


US Global Mail has been the leader in virtual mailboxes since 1999. To learn more and to get started for free, click here.


What Is First Class Mail?

The USPS offers a wide range of services for Americans to take advantage of to send mail, but nothing is more popular than First-Class mail.


Universally regarded as the most cost-effective, speedy solution for mailing letters, bills, larger envelopes, postcards, and even flatpack parcels, the odds are pretty good that the overwhelming majority of the mail that you have dropped into a mailbox has been sent via First-Class.


Of course, not all mail handled by the post office is designated as First-Class – and not all First-Class mail is equal across the board.


Below we dig a little bit deeper into the ins and outs of everything that this mail option has to offer.


We cover why so many people love First-Class mail, we cover the extras and add-ons you can attached to your First-Class mail, and we highlight the pricing you can expect to pay for First-Class mail in 2020.


A little later we also dive deeper into the specific standards outlined by the United States Postal Service or sending First-Class mail, the differences between this type of mail and standard mail or Priority Mail, and even a great alternative to using USPS services in the first place.


Ready to jump right in?


Let’s get to it!


first class mail label


What is First Class Mail, Anyway?


As highlighted above, First-Class mail is one of the least expensive delivery options you can choose to take advantage of when sending something through the USPS.


Offering a flat price for postage regardless of where you are sending your First-Class mail (domestically, anyway), you’ll know exactly how much you’re going to spend on First-Class mail when sending a flat, a postcard, a letter, or anything else that fits in these categories.


A very quick option that provides between two and three business day deliveries point consistently (and almost always faster than for day deliveries nationally), First-Class mail gets your envelope or parcel where you want it to go ASAP.


Particularly useful when you are sending an important card, business information, personal correspondence you need to arrive by a specific date, and a whole host of other things you’ll send in the mail – especially as a small business – First-Class mail is consistent, reliable, and inexpensive.


Another big bonus of sending your mail via First-Class is that you don’t have to worry about outdated address information stopping your letters from getting where you want them to go.


If the USPS determines that a First-Class piece of mail is undeliverable for any different number of reasons they will forward the mail to the correct address all on their own or reroute it back to you (the sender) at no extra charge whatsoever.


This benefit is a huge one for businesses that are doing big mail drops or sending a lot of advertising out via direct mail. You won’t have to worry about things getting lost in the shuffle, having to spend money on return postage, or dealing with the headache and hassle that other mail services through the USPS inevitably bring to the table.


first class mail tracking


Tracking and Other Add-Ons for First Class USPS Mail


We all expect tracking information to be available on anything we have sent to us (or sent from us), but First-Class mail isn’t going to include tracking details as a standard option.


Tracking information is provided for both First-Class Package Service Retail and First-Class Package Service Commercial mailing options, but “regular” First-Class mail isn’t going to have any tracking information without you selecting (and pay extra for) this data.


Luckily, though, it really doesn’t cost all that much to upgrade your First-Class mailing to have tracking information added on.


Most of the time you’ll only pay a couple of extra pennies for First-Class mailing tracking information, but the actual figure is all going to come down to how much your First-Class mailing weighs (unless you’re going with a flat rate envelope).


Of course, you also have the opportunity to upgrade your First-Class mail to either Registered Mail or Certified Mail, too. You can purchase insurance (including Insurance Restricted Delivery plans), a certificate of mailing, a return receipt, a signature confirmation and a signature confirmation with restricted delivery, as well as special handling and COD options, too.


All of these different add-ons will need to be selected before you drop your First-Class mail in the mailbox or hand it to a postal official. Each of them has a unique fee attached as well, though you’ll be provided information without much these extras are going to cost well before any money of yours changes hands.


Consider taking advantage of any and all of the add-ons and extras you might want to have associated with each individual First-Class mailing. Tracking alone is hugely useful and beneficial (not to mention inexpensive), but other options may be ideal for your specific situation, too.


price tag with paper money


Pricing Info for First Class Mail USPS


Pricing options for First-Class mail through the USPS in 2020 are standard across the board aside from the extra fees associated with the add-ons and extras we highlighted above, of course.


A First-Class postcard is going to set you back $0.35 for a single postcard or $0.35 for a stamped postcard.


A First-Class mail letter is going to cost you $0.55 to send for the first ounce that it weighs, with each additional ounce after that been charged at $0.15 per ounce.


First-Class mail flat (large envelope) mailings are going to start off at one dollar for the initial ounce of mailing weight, with each additional ounce being charged out at $0.20 per ounce from there.


Finally, you have First-Class Package Service Retail and Commercial options available to pick and choose from.


These kinds of First-Class mailings are not only broken up into retail and commercial segments, but are also broken into a number of zones as well.


The first of 4 ounces of mailing weight in Zones One as well as Zone Two are going to be charged out at $3.80 for first class Package Service Retail. That same initial 4 ounce mailing is going to cost $2.74 in the same two zones when you choose First-Class Package Service Commercial mailing options.


Between 4 ounces and 8 ounces in those two zones for Retail mailings are billed at $4.60 per ounce, with the same weight range being billed at $3.21 per ounce for Commercial mailings.


You also have the opportunity to take advantage of First-Class metered mailing for letters if you have that kind of relationship with the USPS and are using a mail metering solution. The first ounce of First-Class mail with a metered option charges out at $0.50 per ounce, with each additional ounce being charged at $0.15 from then on.


These figures are accurate as of late 2020 but are subject to change. The prices for First-Class mailing services have been going up over the last few years and it’s likely that they will continue to increase as time goes on


first class mail


Standards Required for USPS First Class Package Services


Because it is so affordable (and so speedy) the USPS has established a number of standards that all mailings have to meet if they are going to qualify for First-Class mail in the first place.


For example, if you’re looking to send a First-Class postcard it needs to meet both minimum and maximum size requirements that have been established by the United States Postal Service.


The minimum size for a First-Class postcard needs to come in at 3.5” x 5”, with the maximum size 40 First-Class postcard needing to come in at 4.25” x 6”. These postcards also need to be notes thinner than 0.007 inches and no thicker than 0.016 inches, too.


Any item that does not meet these First-Class standards cannot be sent via First-Class mail. Some of these pieces may not even be deliverable at all and will be rejected at the post office or returned to your return address the second that they get into the postal system.


First-Class mailing standards for large envelopes are pretty stringent, too.


You’re going to pay by weights to mail these kinds of envelopes, with the USPS establishing a 13 ounce maximum for each of these large envelopes that go through the First-Class system.


Large envelopes that exceed that weight limit are still going to be able to be mailed, but the fee structure changes from the First-Class schedule through the USPS to the Priority Mail rates (which is always more expensive).


There are standards for First-Class Package Service Retail and Commercial parcels as well. The standards change every so often, though. It’s important that you do your research and due diligence to confirm this information before send First-Class mail of this variety through the USPS.


Difference Between First Class USPS Mail and Standard Mail


The biggest difference between first class USPS mail and standard mail through the USPS is the speed of delivery that you can expect with First-Class mailing.


Bumping things up to First-Class guarantees that your packages, letters, and parcels arrive a lot faster than they would have through standard USPS mailings. It’s not at all unreasonable to assume that your first class mailings will arrive at their ultimate destination within 2 to 3 business days – up to four if your mailing has to go over way across the country.


This is significantly faster than what you get with standard mail.


Another big bonus is that you’ll be able to reach addresses that would have otherwise been undeliverable through the standard mail system.


Whenever a standard mailing piece is “sent” to a nondeliverable address it gets returned to sender ASAP, sometimes with you being on the hook for the return postage. That’s not going to happen with First-Class mail.


For starters, if a First-Class mail piece is deemed undeliverable the USPS will search to find the correct forwarding address for that piece of mail automatically – getting it where it needs to go without any issue whatsoever. You also won’t have to spend any more money to take advantage of this service.


You also have the opportunity to add all kinds of other extras and add-ons to your First-Class mailing the way we described above. That’s totally different from a standard mailing service.


priority mail box


Difference Between First Class Mail USPS Services and Priority Mail


First-Class mail and Priority Mail share a lot in common (particularly when it comes to speed), but Priority Mail is always going to be a bit faster – even if it’s going to be a little bit more expensive.


Priority Mail from the USPS is exactly what it sounds like – the number one priority for the post office not only to handle and process, but for them to deliver as well. First-Class mail is fantastic and quite speedy, but it’s just not going to beat and Priority Mail 99.99% of the time.


Priority Mail also allows you to send much heavier packages and parcels through the mail with a lot of speed compared to First-Class mail, too. You can mail up to 70 pounds worth of mail in a box or package via Priority Mail, something you simply won’t be able to pull off when you go with First-Class mail.


At the same time, First-Class mail is always less expensive than Priority Mail.


virtual mailbox for desktop and mobile


Looking for a Better Mail Solution? Try US Global Mail


While the USPS is considered by many to be the only game in town when it comes to mail services, that’s not exactly the truth.


Sure, the United States Postal Service does a fantastic job at making sure people get their mail without having to spend a fortune – but there’s a lot of areas that they come up short, too.


This is, after all, an organization run by the federal government. They aren’t as quick to pivot or to innovate as private companies are.


Companies like US Global Mail are able to rollout very competitive services and solutions that leverage cutting edge technology, next-generation logistics, and a more flexible approach to mail in the 21st century – an approach well worth researching further.


If you’re looking to take advantage of a great mail scanning, forwarding, and acceptance service (and then some) you’ll want to check out everything US Global Mail has to offer today!


Package Transferred To Post Office – Now What?

Let’s face it, returning home after a long hard day to discover that your package has been transferred to the post office because you were not in can be really annoying. Usually, the slip that has been posted through your door or deposited in your mailbox will tell you everything you need to do to retrieve your package. Read on to discover all you need to know about this situation.


Let’s Take a Look at What “Package Transferred to Post Office” actually means


This situation usually comes about if your package was originally shipped by a different delivery company the likes of UPS, DHL, FedEx, etc. Most of these companies will process and maneuver your package through their various systems and then it finally reaches the company’s local station or hub. The local hub then forwards your consignment to the post office (usually one that is closest to you) so that the standard post office mail delivery people can then deliver it to you during their usual post rounds on your route.


Of course, this scenario can be very frustrating, but the “package transferred to post office” slip will usually state on it when your package is now likely to be delivered. More often than not the post office will do its utmost to make sure that your parcel or letter is posted out the very next working day. However, sometimes if you track your package using the unique tracking number or consignment number (this differs depending on the company that initially attempted to deliver or has subsequently forwarded your package to the post office) it may request that you have to go to the post office yourself to collect the parcel. This can be very confusing! UPS tends to move packages from one city or town to another but then deposit your package with your closest post office so that its postal workers can then deliver the parcel to you the next day after the transfer of the package. It is usually the case that your package will be delivered the very next day or at least the day after that.


a post office building


How Come My Package Has Been Sent to the Post Office?


It can be confusing to discover that your parcel has been sent off to the post office when you expected it to be delivered to your door, right? It can sometimes also be the case that your tracking details read that the sender has requested that this shipment should be transferred to your local post office for delivery to the final destination. This often means that your package is going to arrive later than you expected it would. Some senders can opt for this method of carriage because it is a cheaper alternative, but it is also quite a standard procedure these days.


Sometimes the carrier company, such as UPS, has a number of different types of service that the sender can select from. One of them is known as Smart Post. It is with this type of service that UPS handles long-distance transportation and then the package is handed to the post office for the final local delivery. It’s not always the case that the company, such as UPS, will deliver to the post office, as sometimes it may decide to go ahead and deliver it directly to the final destination in any case – but this is a very seldom occurrence or could be the method chosen if the recipient has registered with the UPS-MyChoice feature and pays an additional fee to have the Sure Post consignment upgraded to something known as UPS-Ground.


The whole process has nothing really to do with the location of your address. Packages are forwarded to the local post office only if the shipper has opted to use this service at the time of which they paid for the shipping. So, it has nothing to do with UPS or any other company – it’s all dependent upon the option chosen by the sender.


UPS driver dropping off mail


So Why Would UPS or a Similar Company Send a Package to the Post Office?


Well, yes, considering UPS is supposed to be a company that “delivers things”, it does seem odd to discover that they have asked the USPS to do the job for them. Quite often, it is simply the case that the sender has requested this method of transfer. As we mentioned earlier, it could be on the grounds that it is actually cheaper for the sender to have UPS get the package to your local post office than it is to have UPS personally deliver the package to your door or your mailbox.


The post system is mandated by law to serve every single address in the USA even if it could be that it loses money by doing so. UPS, DHL, FedEx, and other similar companies however are not actually decreed by law as they are private firms that do not fall under that statute. It just wouldn’t be profitable for these companies to serve smaller community addresses, and sometimes it’s not even possible for the UPS truck to access some of the single streets or private neighborhood roads just to get one package delivered to Auntie Dora. By leveraging the USPS network, the private companies can save money and yet still provide the postal service with some much-required revenue.


usps tracking on the website


How Do I Track My Package if I Find That it Has Been Transferred to the Post Office?


If the sender used UPS to post your package, then you can simply check out the UPS website for more information or track your package using the PackageRadar website. Once you register you can then log in and sign up for notifications regarding the location of your packages. If you still have issues or are unsure about the whereabouts of your package you can find a contact telephone number that corresponds to your location. You can see the customer service details and the company’s address there too. If you are checking out the UPS website, you will need to have your tracking number to hand. This is usually stated in the information about the package that the sender has provided you – often in the form of an e-mail. Once you have the tracking number to hand you can then quickly check the status of your package. If you then want to have updates about your package and its transit via e-mail you can then simply register on the UPS website and you will be sent updates as and when.


It’s important to note that if the UPS´ or similar agent’s system states that your package has been “delivered to the post office” then this is because the parcel can only be tracked in the UPS system while it is actually still in the system. Once it has been delivered to the post office it then naturally leaves the UPS system and therefore UPS tracking is not able to tell you anything more about the package apart from that it has been delivered to your post office. Makes sense, right?


virtual mailbox on desktop and mobile


Isn’t There an Alternative Solution to this Problem in the Future?


It’s true to say that discovering that your package has been transferred to the post office is a fairly annoying concept. We really do understand the situation.


But there is no need to fret here, as there is definitely a much easier and fairly simple solution to this problem, and we are pretty sure you want to find out what it could be, right? Without further ado, let’s take a look at what this amazing solution entails.


The real deal here is to get your hands on, figuratively speaking, a virtual mailbox! Yep, a virtual mailbox is precisely what it says on the tin …


It is a digital mailbox that lets you take a peek at previews of all your letters and mail. After reading these previews you can then decide whether you want to save them, print them, or even have them physically shipped to your door. This is such a novel and unique chance to get the postal system to work exactly as you want it to.


Basically, if you’re unlikely to be at home on a particular day, you just have to inform the super easy-to-understand app about this, and then all your consignments, parcels, and packages will not be left on your doorstep or jutting out of your mailbox. You no longer have to rush home to discover that your parcels are wet through from sitting out on the porch in the driving rain, and they’ve also not been on view for any thieves to steal them. It doesn’t get better than that right?


A Virtual Mailbox? Really?


Yep, a virtual mailbox honestly is a super easy and intuitive thing. So, don’t fret! You won’t have to become familiar with any awkward software or have to understand some sort of weird programming language. It’s as easy as browsing down your weekly shopping list.


It represents an obvious advantage also for international shoppers who may need to buy things from companies that insist they will only ship to a physical mailbox in the USA.


Postal scanning lets people around the globe have more control over their own mail. You select a physical address in the USA. The mail arrives at the unit and subsequently, all the envelopes are scanned into the system. The images are then uploaded to your own personal and private digital mailbox where you can view and manage them from anywhere in the world on your smartphone, computer, or your tablet.


The system really is super easy to use but check out the handy little guide we’ve put together here for more support.


One: Register for and then receive your very own unique physical address. Click on the sign-up button and then you’re given a permanent US Global Mail street address. Don’t worry, this isn’t a PO box. You then use it like you would any other mail address.


You have to make sure that you redirect your parcels to this address – just submit a USPS change of address request form. Then your mail will be sent to its new home until you request that it isn’t.


Two: When you’re in the app you can manage all your packages, parcels, and letters that have been sent to the new address. You can now decide whether you want them sent to your current location, posted on to another place, printed, recycled, read, or even shredded. Sometimes you can scan it and read it virtually. It’s entirely up to you how you manage your mail, and you’ll never have soggy parcels waiting for you on the porch ever again!


Three: You are in control. It’s super easy to remain in control of your parcels and bills, your taxes, and all the other important stuff that gets sent in the mail – just use the app! Never again will you have to worry about your mail being stolen if you are not able to be at home to receive it.


A quick look at the actual features you can enjoy if you sign up for a virtual mailbox.


  • You have one single physical address in the USA that remains the same wherever you locate to.
  • When mail arrives at the hub, the system then scans all your envelopes and parcels (don’t worry, it doesn’t open them, it merely “sees” through them and scans).
  • You then get told that you “have mail”. Then view the scanned images and make up your own mind whether or not you want to have the service go ahead and post the parcels or envelopes out to you.


What a great way to help reduce your carbon footprint and that of the mail service too! If you don’t actually want the mail because it could be junk mail or you just don’t need a physical copy of it, simply request for it to be shredded. Doesn’t get simpler than that!


So – just three super simple steps to getting maximum control and ultimate freedom over your own personal consignments and mail.


How to Return Mail to Sender

You’ve probably pondered the “how to return mail to sender” question more than once. Well, luckily for you, we’re here to answer it!


Return Mail To Sender: Someone Who Doesn’t Live At Your Address


If you have recently moved house, you will likely receive mail addressed to the previous residents. There is a way to fix it! Although, we understand how frustrating it can be (especially if the tenants before you haven’t completed their change of address order).


Anyway, let’s get into the step-by-step guide, shall we?


Step One: Write “Not At This Address” On The Envelope


This does also work with parcels! You need to ensure that you write “Not at this address” on the packaging. You might be tempted to write “Return to sender” in this instance but this isn’t the proper wording here.


Alongside this, there are some other considerations at this stage.


You must ensure that any barcodes are defaced. Otherwise, you will find that the parcel or envelope will come back to your address. However, be careful to not cross the address. The mail carrier needs to understand that the person no longer lives there.


If the problem persists (i.e. you keep getting mail addressed to the previous resident), you need to let your mail carrier know. Alternatively, you can contact your local Post Office. Either way, this should help stop the issue.


Step Two: Give The Mail Item Back To Your Carrier


If you are at home when your mail carrier delivers your items, you need to hand the envelope or parcel back to them. Make sure you explain that the addressee does not live at your address anymore. Of course, you need to write on it before you give it to the delivery person.


If you are not at home when your mail carrier typically delivers, you can put the pieces back into your mailbox. Make sure you erect the red flag when you do so. This signifies that there is something for the mail carrier to collect the next time they do their rounds.


Step Three: Use An United States Postal Service Mail Collection Box


If you do not have a mail carrier to give the piece back to nor a mailbox to place it in, you can utilize the USPS mail collection boxes.


An employee from your local Post Office will come and collect it. Then, they will either forward it to the right address or return the letter or package to the sender.


These boxes aren’t too hard to find. Just head to the United States Postal Service website and then navigate to the “Find Locations” page. From there, it’s as easy as pie.


a letter that says "not at this address"


Return Mail To Sender: Mail Delivered to The Wrong Address


If you receive a mail item that displays a different address, your mail carrier has placed it inside your mailbox (or through your door) by mistake. Everybody makes them, so try not to be too frustrated about this. Just follow the steps below and everything will be sorted in no time.


Step One: Put It Back In Your Mailbox


As soon as you notice that the address is wrong, put the mail piece back inside your mailbox. Make sure to put the red flag up too. This tells your carrier that there is outgoing mail waiting for them to pick up when they next come to your door.


We should mention here that this changes if it is a Priority Mail Express item that has been misdelivered, you need to call 1-800-275-8777. Then, ask for the Priority Mail Express Reporting Unit. Whoever answers will let you know what to do next.


Step Two: Alternatively, Hand It To Your Mail Carrier


If you do not want to leave the item in your mailbox, make sure you are at home when the mail carrier comes the following day. Then, you can hand the misdelivered item back to them in person. Ensure that you explain it has been deposited at the wrong address. The USPS personnel can then sort it out.


You can also take the parcel, package, or envelop directly to your local post office too. It just depends on which method is the most convenient for you.


Step Three: Do Not Write On The Envelope or Parcel


In this scenario, you do not need to write anything on the packaging. This will only prevent your mail carrier from giving it to the right location so try not to impede the process!


If the item does need to be returned to the sender, your nearest Post Office will sort this out. You do not need to write a “Return to sender” message on the packaging.


Remember, you should not cover or cross out the address either. However, it might be helpful to your mail carrier if you paste a sticky note onto your mailbox stating the items you’ve left inside and the person’s name, along with the fact that they do not live at your address.


envelopes that are bundled up together


Return Mail To Sender: Mail That You Do Not Want


Finally, if a mail item is addressed to you and has been sent to the correct place but you do not want it, you can return it. Follow our step-by-step guide to make sure you do it correctly.


Step One: Write The Word “Refused” On The Packaging


You can refuse pretty much all types of mail and ask them to be returned to the sender. All you have to do is write the word “Refused” on the envelope or parcel and give it back to your mail carrier as soon as humanly possible.


It is important to note that you will not be able to do this if you have opened it. Yes, even if you carefully reseal the item. So, decide whether you actually want it before you start tearing into it!


Step Two: If It’s Accountable Mail, Mark The “Refused” Box


What is accountable mail, we hear you ask? It is mail items that you have to sign for. Depending on the contents of the accountable mail, you will be able to refuse it. If you do want to do so, just place a checkmark into the “Refused” box on the notice given to you by your mail carrier.


The kinds of accountable mail you are likely to receive include the following:


  • Certified Mail
  • Registered Mail
  • Collect on Delivery
  • Priority Mail Express
  • Pieces that are insured for over $200


It is vital to remember that you usually can’t refuse mail that you have already received and signed for. For those of you who find that you want to refuse it after this fact, then you need to place it into new packaging and pay for postage to send it back.


Step Three: Repackage If You have Opened The Item


If you got a bit carried away and have already opened the parcel, package, or letter, you need to pop it in a fresh envelope or mailer before you can return the item.


Of course, you will have to pay for fresh postage. Having said that, you might be able to get it for free if you’re returning unwanted or damaged merchandise. In these cases, sellers usually give you a prepaid shipping label or pay you back for the postage.


Now that you are well-informed of the process, let’s get to answering some of your frequently asked questions!


faq letters


Your Frequently Asked Questions, Answered


How Much Does It Cost To Return A Letter, Parcel, or Package?


As we have already mentioned, returning a letter is free unless you have opened the item. In the latter case, you need to purchase fresh packaging and/or pay for postage. The specific price will depend on the size, weight, and type of item you are returning.


How To Report The Change of Address For Someone Else


While you can keep returning the mail that is sent to your address for the previous residents, it is easier in the long run if you report that they no longer live there.


To do this, write a note to your local Post Office that says who doesn’t live there. That should stem the flow of mail meant for the previous tenants. If the problem continues, your best option is to leave a note on your mailbox that says “Leave Mail Only for *Your Name Here*”.


If you know the address of the previous residents, you should head down to your local Post Office and file a change of address form for them. Yes, it is largely irresponsible that they haven’t done it for themselves. But, it will take a lot of pressure off you after you’ve submitted the paperwork. Remember, you have to change the address for each person you are receiving mail for.


What If The Return To Sender Message Doesn’t Work?


Sometimes, your “Return to sender” message just won’t work. Yes, this is frustrating but it’s time to do something about it.


The best thing to do is to issue the same request with the United States Postal Service. They will work extremely hard to resolve the issue.


Make sure you write a forthright and seriously toned letter to your Post Office stating that you would like them to stop sending unnecessary parcels, packages, and letters. The problem should be completely prevented after this.


Will You Get a Notification If Your Item Is Returned to Sender?


Unfortunately not. The United States Postal Service does not give you a notification if your mailpiece has been returned.


How Long Will It Take For Your Returned to Sender Mailpiece to Arrive Back?


This depends on the services that were originally purchased for the mail item. If the intended recipient needs to be home at the time of delivery, it will take a long time for the item to arrive back to the sender. In these cases, the mail person will leave a note and the envelope or parcel will be kept at the Post Office for 15 days for the recipient to collect.


virtual mailbox for desktop and mobile


Is There A Better Alternative?


Figuring out the best way to return your mail to the sender can be a pretty stressful and daunting task. But there is a much better alternative that you will definitely benefit from.


Are you ready to find out what this is? We bet you are! So, let’s not waste your time and get right into it, shall we?


This solution is called a virtual mailbox! What is a virtual mailbox? We are about to tell you everything you need to know and more.


A digital mailbox lets you preview all of your mail before it arrives at your door. From the dashboard or app (they are both easy to navigate, don’t worry) you will be able to read the mail scans, save them if necessary, print them out, and have them shipped to your door. This gives you the very special opportunity to make the postal service work for you, instead of the other way around. You never have to wait around for mail to reach you ever again!


How Does It Work?


Thankfully, the digital mailbox system at US Global Mail is incredibly easy to use. The design is elegant yet simple enough for anyone to use, regardless of your IT literacy level. It’s as simple as shopping on Amazon or scrolling through your Instagram feed!


When you sign up, you are given a physical mailing address in the United States of America. Once your mail items arrive at the facility, our expert handlers will scan them. These images are then uploaded to your dashboard (i.e. your virtual mailbox) for you to sort through.


This system allows you to have full control over the items you receive. Whether you want them recycled, opened, shipped to you, or shredded, the choice is yours. Your wish is the mail handler’s command!


Oh, and you don’t need to worry too much about the price either. There are multiple plans to choose so you will never be overspending for services you won’t use. Our virtual mailboxes are made to work for you.


So, what are you waiting for? With a digital box, you never have to worry about returning mail to its sender ever again!


Mail Forwarding Not Working — What Should You Do?

When mail forwarding decides to not provide you with the service you so desperately need, it can cause more than a few problems. From identity theft to missed bills to reversed forwarded tax returns, it can get rather messy.


Try not to worry too much! We are here to help you out. So, let’s not waste any more time and jump right into the details.


person holding usps mail


What Is Mail Forwarding?


When the time comes for you to up and move across the country, mail forwarding is something that seems to be forgotten amongst all the other tasks that you have to do. There are so many different forms to choose from that trying to update your address can turn into a real headache.


Basically, mail forwarding is a service offered by the USPS that allows you to change your address before the move-in date. You state when you would like the mail forwarding to actually begin and then all your bills etc. will be redirected to your new address.


However, there is a rather big catch.


What’s this catch then, we hear you ask? Don’t fret, we are about to tell you.


Unfortunately, many people have had serious problems with the United States Postal Service mail forwarding feature. Some residents stopped receiving mail altogether, while others found that their important documents were still being sent to their previous home. As you can see, this is not ideal.


But don’t worry, that’s what we are here to sort out today — what to do when mail forwarding decides to be a pain in your neck!


a piece of mail that has the word "forward" on it


Mail Forwarding — The Basics


The United States Postal Service offers its address changing services for free when you do so on paper. However, when you decide to use the ever-convenient internet, you will be charged $1 for the service. You can also change your address over the telephone which is also $1. Unfortunately, these fees tend to be hidden. In fact, people have spotted that the USPS takes money from their account for services they’ve used without making the associated costs clear to its customers. Anyway, that’s beside the point.


As long as everyone in your household has the same last name, you can simply fill out a family request and you are good to go. If that is not the case, then each person needed to fill out an individual form.


change of address form


Finding and Filling The Change of Address Form


If you are looking to make use of the free change of address service, then you will have to take a trip down to your local Post Office. Once you get there, simply ask for the form. Some branches call it a “Mover’s Guide” while others will just say “Change of Address”.


Generally, you won’t be able to just walk in and pick one up so you will have to speak to someone (sorry). Not to mention that you will likely have to wait in line.


After you have acquired the form, fill it out correctly, and pop it in the mail. Don’t worry, you do not have to pay any shipping costs!


For those of you who would rather start the mail forwarding process from the comfort of their own home, then try the following online option.


You need to head to the Movers Guide section on the official United States Postal Service website. From here, you will be able to find the form and fill it out using your keyboard.


Afterward, you will be able to find the change of address form and fill it out using your keyboard. Once that is complete, you will need to enter your credit or debit card information so you can pay the necessary $1 fee. This isn’t just for the convenience, you are also paying for them to confirm your identity against the documents you’ll be providing.


Of course, you can call their automated line instead. Just remember that you will have to pay the dollar still. The only way to keep your $1 is to take a trip to the Post Office (but who wants to do that right?).


mail being forwarded


Your Mail Forwarding Options


We have touched on this briefly. However, we wanted to give you a bit more insight into the mail forwarding options that are available to you before we talk about the main event.


You can choose from three different mail forwarding services with the United States Postal Service. These include the following:


  • Temporary Change of Address — otherwise known as a COA (Change of Address Order), this is an item-by-item forwarding of mainly periodicals and First Class mail for a pre-determined timeframe. It’s important to remember that this rarely includes any of USPS’ package services nor Marketing Mail either.


  • Permanent Change of Address — this one is another item-by-item service that forwards your First Class mail for a maximum of 12 months, and periodicals for 60 days. Again, this doesn’t usually include package services nor Marketing Mail.


  • Premium Forwarding Service Residential Service — this option gives you a once-a-week shipment of all your mail via Priority Mail. You do have to pay a pretty hefty sum for this but for a few people, this may well be worth it. While you can extend this service for a maximum of 12 months, it is still a temporary deal on top of the temporary or permanent COA. You can find all the associated fees for the enrollment and reshipment on the United States Postal Service website.


By now, you are pretty much an expert on the ins and outs of mail forwarding when it is working perfectly. But now we are going to make you an expert on what you should do when mail forwarding is not working.


Are you ready for this? You should be! Let’s get stuck into the specifics.


a mailbox


USPS Mail Forwarding Not Working — Why Is This?


It’s fair to say that when the United States Postal Service mail forwarding isn’t working, your whole mail experience becomes pretty frustrating. However, there are a bunch of reasons why this is. So, we will have a look at each one in turn.


typo on the mailbox address


Typo In The Address


Yep. This one is on you, my friend. Although, it is not entirely fair since everyone makes mistake. However, even if the address you input in your change of address form is just a little bit incorrect, the United States Postal Service mail forwarding won’t work for you. It’s unfortunate, but the sad truth. So, before you submit your form, make sure all the information you have entered is 100% accurate.


Vacation Replacement. Ever Heard Of That?


Another reason for your mail forwarding not working can be because your regular Post Office employees have gone on vacation. To tell you the truth, it is very unlikely for this to be the case but it has been known to happen.


Before you toddle off and accuse the vacation replacement employees though, you might want to make sure that it isn’t due to one of the other reasons on this list. Otherwise, you might not be the Post Office’s favorite person if you rush in with accusations.


Mail Reversal


If you have purchased something from eBay or Amazon or really any other online store since starting your mail forwarding and it hasn’t arrived, mail reversal might be the reason.


What is mail reversal, we hear you ask? Well, it is when a company, merchant, or even the Post Office sends your package or letter to your old address, instead of your new one. In other words, they have reverse forwarded it.


Unfortunately, you will not be able to get these lost items back if this is the case. Unless you shelled out for insurance, of course.


us mailbox


You Are Waiting For Items That Are Not Forwarded


You heard it correctly, not all items are forwarded. In fact, only First Class, Priority, or Express mail are eligible for forwarding. Sadly, some senders will place bans on certain mail pieces that prevent them from being forwarded. So, you need to be double sure that the objects you are waiting for can be involved in the mail forwarding scheme.


It is important to remember that mail that isn’t forwarded is generally junk (think advertisements and bulk mail that just get in the way and are terrible for the environment). By opting into the mail forwarding service, you are essentially guaranteeing zero junk letters for the whole duration.


Having said this, sometimes the mail that isn’t forwarded will be important to you. The following pieces are not forwarded:


  • 2nd Class Mail — after 60 days, 2nd class mail will no longer be forwarded to your new location.
  • Magazines — again, after 60 days, these will no longer be forwarded to your new location.
  • Non-First Class Mail — this includes items such as presorted standard mail, bulk mail, and non-profit mail.
  • Mail Marked With Change Service Requested — not only are these pieces not forwarded, but they are also not returned. Instead, they will be discarded and the sender will be told about your change of address order.
  • Mail Marked With Return Service Requested or Do Not Forward — even if an item is First Class, in this instance, it will not be forwarded on to your new location. Instead, it is returned to the sender (as the mark suggests). These pieces tend to be things like taxes, bills, and bank statements. Why? Because these organizations want to know that you are at the address they’re aware of, if you are not, then they will be told after the fact. Having said this, if your change of address is temporary, then they will be forwarded to your current residence.


What To Do When Mail Forwarding Isn’t Working


Our advice is to start an investigation. If you have been having trouble with the mail forwarding for quite some time, it might be worth speaking to a United States Postal Inspector.


We should mention here though that a few people haven’t had great experiences with these guys. They claim that they are looking into your issue and then seem to stop. But, this is not true all the time so it’s up to you whether you want to give it a go.


If you decide to contact a US Postal Inspector, then call 1-877-876-2455! Choose option 3 for mail theft (even if you don’t think this is the problem).


Other than that, we suggest that you contact your local Post Office branch to ask whether they received your change of address order. However, this works best if you submitted the initial request via paper.


virtual mailbox for computer


Is There An Alternative Solution?


Wow! That all seems like quite a hassle, doesn’t it? Therefore, you are probably wondering whether a better solution exists. The short answer is yes! There is absolutely an alternative and you’re about to find out about it.


You should obtain a digital mailbox. This will let you see virtual previews of your mail items, read them, save them, print them out, and ultimately decide whether you want each one destroyed or packed and sent to your physical location. Honestly, there is nothing quite like being in complete control of your mail receiving (and sending, to a degree) life.


A virtual mailbox has proven to be incredibly helpful to those of you who work away most of the week, love to travel, and just busy households. You never have to be home for mail ever again.


The best part is, it’s really easy to sign up. Here’s the three-step process:


Step One: Apply for and acquire your physical mailing address. You can’t miss the sign-up button since it’s clearly shown on our website. All you have to do is click it, input a few details, hit submit and you’re off!


Step Two: Manage your mail. Once you have arrived on your dashboard, you can start managing all your items. Whether you want each piece shredded, recycled, discarded, or sent to you, everything can be done from within the app. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3!


Step Three: Be in control of your mail forever. As long as you keep loving our mailbox services, you will be in control for life! What more could you possibly want?


Priority Mail VS First Class — Which One Is Right For You?

Deciding between Priority Mail and First Class can be a pretty arduous task if you aren’t 100% sure of the differences. You might be constantly asking yourself questions like:


  • Is it worth the money?
  • What are the differences?
  • Does each service come with insurance coverage?
  • What are the delivery times?


And that’s understandable! But don’t stress, we’re going to debunk the myths and confirm the truths. Everything you need to know is right here.


Shall we get started? Let’s go!


usps logo


The All-New USPS


Before we get into the real nitty-gritty you should be aware that the United States Postal Service has made a few alterations to the services it provides.


The biggest change is that they are standardizing delivery times and they’re now leaving undelivered items to go out the next day. Why? It’s so the mail carriers can start their workday earlier. Mail sorting is now completed in the afternoon, once they have delivered yesterday’s mail that morning. It’s roughly 2 pm when the mail sorting starts nowadays.


So, what does this mean for you?


Essentially, this new initiative is going to extend delivery times. Only by a day though, so it shouldn’t affect you and your items too much. Although, it could be quite a challenge for eCommerce store owners promising quick and efficient delivery. But, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it so try not to stress! You will just have to inform your buyers about the new initiative; the majority of people will understand.


priority mail boxes


Why Is It Named Priority Mail?


Priority Mail is rightly named. Why? Because it denotes the mail items that are top priority to the mail carriers. It is a lot quicker than First Class postage and has a bigger weight limit so large orders from online stores tend to favor this method over others.


As far as the international Priority Mail goes, it promises to rival all other shipping speeds (hence the name priority). However, you should expect to pay more for this service (that probably goes without saying but there it is in black and white anyway!).


Aside from all of this, the United States Postal Service Priority Mail tends to act a bit like the UPS or FedEx in terms of speed and quality. But, it should be noted that it is far more economical to use Priority Mail rather than UPS/FedEx for items weighing under 10 pounds. Why is this the case? Because the USPS vehicles move past the majority of addresses every single day. The smaller packages or parcels can slide into the average mailbox anyway, making the United States Postal Service a more bank account friendly choice.


People tend to favor shipping items such as shoes with Priority Mail because they are generally worth a lot more, thus making the price of Priority Mail worth it. However, that isn’t necessarily always the case. If an item weighs under 16 ounces, you should opt for something much cheaper. But, ultimately, the choice is yours!


We’re going to take a deeper dive into the specifics later on. So let’s continue, shall we?


a first class mail box


Why Is It Named First Class Mail?


Whenever you put “First Class” in front of something it always sounds like it’s the best of the best. And while First Class mail is generally the best, it isn’t necessarily when compared to Priority Mail.


With this mail class, you can ship items inside padded envelopes, thicker envelopes, standard letters, and lightweight parcels. When you compare this class to the following, you can see that it is definitely the cream of the crop:


  • Fourth Class Mail — generally, this is called Media Mail. You can ship things like print media (8 pages or more), DVDs, books, CDs, and records with this one.
  • Third Class Mail — this is used for mailing flyers, marketing mail, mailers, etc.
  • Second Class Mail — this type is typically used for posting newspapers, magazines, and periodicals.


We’ve found that people prefer to send items like t-shirts by First Class Mail. They are lightweight and can withstand most adverse weather conditions so they don’t need to be tightly packaged or bound by the safety net that Priority Mail provides.


Okay, now you’re almost an expert on both First Class and Priority Mail. But, it’s time to take a look at the in-depth differences.


priority mail package


Priority Mail VS First Class: What’s The Difference?


It’s true, both Priority Mail and First Class do seem pretty much the same from the outside. Technically, they are just a step up from the standard second class mail scheme. But, there are distinct differences.


The most important difference is the weight, size, shape, and speed of the delivery process. Generally, these are the only considerations you are thinking about when deciding on the specific service to buy for your item.


Priority Mail can be used to send parcels weighing a maximum of 70 pounds. You have probably already gathered that it is regarded as more important than standard mail thanks to the word “priority” in its title. For most eCommerce owners and people sending heavy Christmas mail, this is the service that is usually preferred.


For those of you who are sending packages weighing less than 3.5 ounces, First Class is the way to go. Why? Simply because it costs far less than its Priority Mail cousin.


first class mail vs priority mail


The Maximum Dimensions


As we said, the size of your package is a very important factor when deciding which United States Postal Service feature to go for. So, we’re going to have a look at how they split the difference.


First Class Mail Maximum Dimensions and Weight 108 inches in totaled length and girth, 15.99 ounces
Priority Mail Maximum Dimensions and Weight 108 inches in totaled length and girth, 70 pounds


You can see that Priority Mail is more efficient when you are trying to send heavier packages. It’s simply impossible to send it any other way.


mail insurance coverage


The Insurance Coverage


Arguably, the insurance coverage is the largest difference between Priority Mail and First Class. The former offers an insurance policy as standard, while the latter does not. If your First Class package is damaged by the mail carrier or it’s lost in transit, you (the sender) will not be covered. Of course, you do have the option to pay for an insurance policy with First Class mail but with Priority, you don’t even have to think about.


Generally speaking, Priority Mail covers a maximum of $100 on domestic shipping and $200 on international shipping. So, you need to consider the specific items you’re sending. If your package is super lightweight yet fairly expensive, you may well benefit from the coverage that Priority Mail provides.


first class mail delivery map


Priority Mail VS First Class: Let’s Take A Peek At Delivery Times


It goes without saying that delivery times are an important factor when shipping items across the country (or the world). It’s even more crucial when you have promised your customers a speedy delivery.


So, what’s the difference between First Class and Priority Mail? To tell you the truth, both services tend to arrive within one to three business days if you are shipping domestically. However, for quick international shipping, you should opt for Priority Mail. Why? Because it is significantly quicker.


Typically, international First Class mail drastically varies depending on your item’s destination. On the other hand, Priority Mail cares less about the location and simply promises that your parcel will arrive within six to ten working days.


You do need to consider the fact that neither one of these services offered by the USPS is guaranteed to deliver on a specific date when shipping internationally. You can’t always promise your abroad-dwelling recipient that their parcel will arrive by *insert date here*. It’s near-on impossible!


Priority mail box


Priority Mail VS First Class: What Will It Cost Me?


Now, you’ve probably been wondering about the price difference between Priority Mail and First Class Mail since we started addressing the topic. Are we right? Yup, we thought so! Let’s get right on into that.


This is quite a hard question to answer since there is not a guaranteed pricing structure. Regardless of the service you choose, the cost varies wildly depending on the weight and size of the item, as well as the destination. Having said this, you should expect to pay roughly $3 more for Priority Mail.


If you know the item that you need to ship already, you can easily calculate the cost before you head down to your local Post Office. Just head to the United States Postal Service website and locate the USPS Shipping Calculator. From there, you can input all of your parcel’s information and rapidly check how much your wallet is going to hurt afterward.


The more you use the service, the easier it becomes to make a well-informed estimate of the price you will be expected to pay. This is incredibly useful for those of you who run successful eCommerce stores but it can still be rather helpful if you send a lot of Christmas or birthday packages across the country.


Which One Is Right For You?


Deciding between Priority Mail and First Class has hopefully been made a lot easier now that you are well-informed about both services. However, we are going to dive into a bit more detail to ensure your mail experience is as simple as possible.


The first aspect to think about is the item you are sending. Ask yourself questions like these:


  • Is my item valuable? If so, how valuable is it?
  • Is my item heavy? If so, how heavy is it?
  • When do I want my recipient to receive my parcel?
  • Is it worth me paying for ultra-speedy delivery for my international item?
  • Where is my item going to end up?
  • What will happen if my item is lost or damaged in the mail? Will I be out of a lot of money? Should I get insurance coverage just to be on the safe side?
  • How large is my item? What is the total of its girth and length?


Once you can answer all of these questions, it will quickly become obvious which mail service to purchase.


We mentioned that First Class mail is much better for light items. And this still stands since it’s less expensive and will still reach its new owner relatively quickly. However, if your parcel is worth a substantial sum of money, Priority Mail might be the one for you thanks to its amazing insurance coverage.


Use the international or domestic shipping calculator on the United States Postal Service website to see which service will suit you the best. You can change everything from the shipping weight to the delivery terms with their handy-dandy calculator. It’s the best way to choose which one you should spend your hard-earned cash on (especially if you plan to ship a load of items at once!).


virtual mailbox on desktop and mobile


Is There A Better Solution?


Yep, all of this seems like a bit of a fuss, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! But don’t worry, there is a much better solution to all your mail woes.


Get started with a virtual mailbox! You heard us — a virtual mailbox. It’s pretty amazing really. All you have to do is follow the speedy sign-up process to glean all the benefits that this US Global Mail service has to offer. What are these benefits we speak of? Well, let’s take a look.


A digital mailbox allows you to see scanned previews of all your mail items. You can then decide whether you want to save them, simply read the previews, or have them printed and sent to your current location. Oh, and all of this is achieved with one easy-to-understand app! No more trekking down to your mailbox; you have full control over your postal life inside one compact dashboard.


Regardless of your mail needs, a virtual box is the way forward. It is there to not only save you time and energy but also save you a boatload of money. Since everything is virtual, there are no unnecessary costs! Just the best security system around and A* customer service.


What are you waiting for? Achieve mail freedom right this instant!


Delivery Attempted – No Access To Delivery Location

If you have ever received a “No Access to Delivery Location” letter in the past then you’ll know just how frustrating and annoying this can be, right? Well, read on to discover everything you need to know about these pesky and ultimately unwelcome slips of paper.

tracking information on a delivery


So What Does “No Access to Delivery Location” Really Mean?


As you are probably more than aware, there are simply loads of delivery status messages that you could receive from the United States Postal Service. In this particular example, the main one here is “No Access to Delivery Location”. But maybe we should take a look in more detail at this particular slip, because it’s important that we know what it implies.


It goes without saying that it isn’t a good thing to have this pushed through your door or waiting for you in your letterbox. You certainly wanted your parcel and the USPS worker most definitely wanted to deliver it. However, in this situation they were unable to. All makes sense, right?


Well, if you received this message on a Sunday, the United States Postal Service will helpfully attempt to deliver it again on the next working day. This is usually, and obviously, a Monday. But that depends on whether or not there are any national holidays forthcoming. If this is the situation, you do not have to do anything else at all other than just sit back and wait for the consignment to be redelivered – or at least attempted to be redelivered.


If 24 hours have been and gone since you received the “No access to delivery location” message, then it is definitely time to do something about the situation. What can you do, we hear you ask? Well, the USPS will tell you to send a service request email to the Post Office that is located closest to your home. This procedure is sensibly known as a follow-up. To go about this, simply click here and you will be taken to the contact page. It is pretty easy actually, and you will have the whole process done and dusted in no time at all.


Once you have sent the email, you will usually then be provided with a confirmation number. This can take between two and three working days to get to you. After this, you will have to follow the instructions provided in the email to then start the procedure for locating your package. More often than not, you will have to go and collect it yourself.

mailman delivering mail


Why Have I Received a “No Access to Delivery Location Message”?


There are often a number of reasons for receiving this particular message. Sometimes it will be as a result of federal holidays turning the standard delivery days into non-delivery days. However, it could be that you have received this message because you live in a gated community or there have been situations where an animal has interfered with the delivery process.


Yeah, you heard us right. So, what do we mean by “animal interference” you may say? Well, if you have a guard dog or other pet, it could be that they have prevented the delivery personnel from entering your premises or the area around your home. It, therefore, goes without saying that the United States Postal Service mailperson will not be able to deliver the package to you.


Is A Message That States “Receptacle Blocked” The Same Thing?
Evidently, this message is pretty similar to the “No Access to Delivery Location” statement but it does have a slightly more specific meaning. In other words, this message is stating that your mailbox was somehow physically blocked at the time the delivery person attempted to deliver your consignment to you.


In can often be the case that this is as a result of a parked vehicle or even, in the case of an accident or incident of some nature, emergency responders have actually prevented access. However, it can also be the case that, due to particularly adverse weather conditions or utility work happening near or in front of your property, your mailperson has not been able to deliver.


It goes without saying that the best way to avoid this is to check for anything that could be blocking your mailbox before you leave your house. If you are not able to do this, then you should definitely make use of the postal locator finder that is provided by the United States Postal Service. This can be found on the United States Postal Service website. You can then arrange to collect your parcel or letter from your nearest Post Office at a time that is convenient for you.

Redelivery note from the usps

Schedule A Redelivery If The Blockage Or Access Restricted Issue Is Going To Be A Long-Term Problem


If you are aware that the blockage situation or restricted access event is going to something that is likely to be around for some time, you should most definitely use the schedule a redelivery service feature that can be found on the USPS website. However, you will first of all have to check whether this feature is actually available for your address or district.


The initial part of the redelivery application form will ask you to provide the following information:


  1. Your first name
  2. Your last name
  3. Your middle initial (if applicable)
  4. Your company name (this is optional of course)
  5. Your street address
  6. Your city
  7. Your state
  8. Your zip code
  9. Your phone number (this is not optional)
  10. Your email (this is not optional either)


Once you have entered all the required information above, it is time to click the “Check Availability” button. This will let you know whether or not you will be able to access the redelivery feature in your specific area.


If you are able to access the feature, you will then need to click on your packages (or package) that you want to have redelivered. You will then navigate to the final section which is called the “Confirm Selections for Redelivery” function. After you have completed that, you’re all done and are good to go!

virtual mailbox on desktop and mobile

Is There An Alternative Solution?


There is no doubt about it that receiving a “No Access to Delivery Location” message is incredibly frustrating. Trust us, we completely understand.


But do not stress about it; there is a much better, alternative solution available. Are you ready to find out what that solution is? We are pretty sure you are! So, let’s not waste any more time and get on with discovering what this fantastic alternative solution could be.


The answer is to obtain a virtual mailbox! What is that, we hear you ask? Well, read on to find out what a virtual mailbox entails.


A digital, “virtual” mailbox allows you to see previews of all your mail. You can then read the previews, you can save them, and you can even print them, and finally you can actually decide whether or not you want the physical variant to be shipped to your door. This gives you the unique and novel opportunity to tailor the postal system so that it works for you. So, if you are not likely to be at home one day, all you have to do is let the really helpful app know about this, and your precious packages and parcels will not be left out on your doorstep. This means that your packages will not be affected by adverse weather, and they are also not on display for potential thieves to steal them. How perfect is that?


So How Does A Virtual Mailbox Work?


This is a great and totally understandable question to ask. The way a virtual mailbox works is actually pretty simple and intuitive, so there is no need to worry. You will not have to get used to any confusing software, and you certainly will not need to navigate around any scary code or programming languages. It is just as simple as browsing through all your Amazon orders!


It provides an obvious benefit also for those international shoppers who might want to purchase items from companies that state that they will only ship to someone who has a physical mailing address in the US.
This concept of postal scanning is enabling people around the world to have much more control over their personal mail and consignments. A physical US address is selected, the mail arrives at the facility and then all the envelopes are scanned. The scanned images are uploaded to your very own personal digital mailbox. You can then view and manage them from absolutely anywhere in the world by using your smartphone, your tablet or your computer.


Digital nomads have been using virtual mailboxes ever since they’ve been around, as it makes it so much easier for globe-trotting professionals and executives to manage their mail when they are traveling all around the world and at times could be away from their main residence for many weeks if not months at a time.


The system really is very easy to use and understand, but having said that, we would still like to provide you with a little handy and practical step-by-step guide. You can find this below.


Step One: Apply for and then receive your unique physical mailing address. Once you click the sign-up button clearly provided on the website, you will then be given a permanent US Global Mail street address. This is not a PO box! You can use it like you would any other regular mail address (your home address, for example).


Do be sure that you redirect your mail to this specific address — this is crucial! All you have to do is submit a United States Postal Service change of address request form to do this. After that, your mail will arrive at its brand-new forever home until you ask it not to (if you decide you no longer want this awesome service). You can even access all of it in the Smart Mailbox app or on your personal dashboard.


Step Two: Managing all your mail. Once inside the app, you will find all of the parcels, packages, and letters that have been sent to the permanent address. From there, you can decide for yourself whether you want them shipped to your current location, forwarded to another location, shredded, printed, recycled, or read. In some cases you can scan it to read virtually or have it stored in the cloud. Everything is in your hands, and you’ll never have to trudge down to your mailbox ever again – the perfect solution in the winter!


Step Three: You are in control of your mail for life. It is really easy to stay in control and on top of your bills, taxes, and other important mail items by using this app. You can enhance your productivity, it is simple and intuitive to use, and it is incredibly private and secure. You will never again have to worry about mail being stolen if you are not at home to receive it, or lost in transit.


So here’s a brief rundown of the actual features you can expect to enjoy from signing up to a virtual mailbox.


  • You have just one single US physical address that will never change irrespective of where you live.
  • When your mail arrives at the depot, the service subsequently scans the envelopes and packages (it doesn’t open them, it just scans through them).
  • You are then notified that you “have mail”, and you can then view the scans and decide for yourself whether or not you want the service to continue to post the mail to you, shred it or store it for you.
  • You can help to reduce the carbon footprint of the mail service, as if you don’t want the mail and it is shredded, that’s probably quite a few miles that can be saved from otherwise delivering potentially junk mail to your door.


And there you have it! It really does take just three easy steps to obtain complete control and freedom over your personal mail. Why would you want it any other way?


When Does USPS Deliver?

The United States Postal Service acts as an independent agency within the US federal government, responsible for handling mail, packages, and parcels throughout America.


The roots of the USPS track all the way back to before the founding of our nation. The Second Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin the very first postmaster general in 1775, and the USPS was officially organized by the US government as the Post Office Department in 1792.


By 1872 the post office had been elevated to a cabinet level department in the federal government, and in 1970 as part of the Postal Reorganization Act it was established as its very own independent organization while remaining attached to the US government federal system.


Delivering mail to every legitimate address in the United States – including in some of the most rural and remote areas in our country – there are almost half a million career employees working for the USPS today, many of them handling our letters, our important documents, and our packages to make sure that they get to us quickly.


If you’ve been wondering when does USPS deliver – not just the days of mail service but also what the daily business hours for the USPS look like – we’ve got the answers for you below.


Let’s jump right in!

USPS delivery trucks parked


What Days Does USPS Deliver Mail On?


While the USPS is working pretty much around-the-clock on almost 24/7 basis, particularly on the logistical side of things, mail delivery actually goes out Monday through Saturday every week across America.


The mail delivery time of day for your specific address is going to be unique according to a variety of different factors (something we highlight in just a moment), but for the most part you can expect consistent mail delivery times on Monday through Saturday – with certain USPS offices even delivering mail on Sunday in extreme circumstances or for special events.


On top of that, the USPS also has “business hours” available Monday through Saturday at most postal office locations.


The Monday through Friday business hours are almost always scheduled between 7 AM and 5 PM or 6 PM local time, with Saturday business hours frequently a little more truncated than that. Some municipalities that post office is open between 8 AM and 3 PM local time on Saturdays, with other areas keeping their normal business hours consistent across the board Monday through Saturday.


It’s also important to understand that while your local post office maybe open from 7 AM or 8 AM in the morning the odds are pretty good that the days mail will not be sorted or headed out for delivery until a little later in the day.


Those that have a PO Box shouldn’t expect mail to actually be in their box until about 10 AM that morning.


If you’ve ever wanted to know what time does mail arrive all you have to do is check the tracking information on any of the packages or parcels you sent through the USPS.


You’ll undoubtably see a lot of overnight movement, early-morning movement, and even holidays movement as your packages or parcels go through the logistics system. It isn’t at all uncommon to see mail arrive at your local post office hours before the retail offices or PO Box section of the post office actually open up for the public.


As a general, almost universal rule across the board you can expect USPS mail delivery professionals to be working Monday through Saturday every single week of the year – no matter what.

a clock

What Time Does USPS Deliver to Me?


If you’re wondering when does the mail come in my ZIP Code or when is my mail delivered there are always going to be very specific circumstances that dictate when your mail it’s your mailbox or your PO Box, but we do have some general advice to help you out.


As highlighted above, the USPS logistics and delivery system is always working in the background.


It isn’t at all unusual to check your tracking information for a package or parcel and see movement well after your local post office is closed for the day or hours before it’s going to open.


A lot of people will say movement and tracking updates anywhere between 10 PM and 3 AM local times, with most mail arriving at a local post office or regional post office distribution center a couple of hours before the mail carriers arrive. Those mail carriers will them collect the mail, loaded into their vehicles, and get it to its final destination.


Each post office and each mail carrier has their own unique route that they will follow, too. This will impact the answer to “what time is my mail delivered” more than anything else, really.


Sometimes these mail carriers will go out to the farthest extreme of their mail route and work back towards the post office, delivering mail to the most far-flung addresses on their route before anyone else. Others will start their route with the closest addresses to them, working in circles to deliver mail as efficiently as possible.


If at all possible it’s not a bad idea to try and catch your mail carrier delivering to your home or your PO Box during the week. You’ll be able to ask them specifically “what time does USPS delivered to my house”, and they’ll be able to give you a very specific answer.


These mail carriers will almost always be able to get you within a 15 minute window of time, depending on how much mail they have to deliver that day (of course).


The only thing you may need to be aware of is that most mail delivery to home addresses is handled on a 5+1 schedule.


This means that five days of the week you have one mail carrier handling your route, with consistent deliveries whenever that individual is behind the wheel and carrying the mail for you.


The sixth day of the week, however, you have a rotating mail carrier that gives everyone else at the post office a day off during the week. Their schedule or their route may not be exactly laid out the same or as efficient as your “regular” mail carrier.


One day a week your mail may arrive at your mailbox a little later or a little earlier than you’d expect because of this reason. Keep this in mind if you’re asking the non-regular mail carrier about what times does the USPS deliver to my house during the week.

usps tracking number

Can I Track My Mail Deliveries Each Day?


One of the best ways to track your mail delivery schedule without actually having to sit at home to catch the mail carrier and asked them in person is to jump online and track your mail using the USPS code provided on a lot of packages and parcels


When these tracked packages and parcels to your mailbox they get a delivered scan. This timestamp is immediately uploaded to the USPS database and available for you to inspect on your own from any internet enabled device.


Track a dozen or so packages or parcels and see when they specifically hit your mailbox and you’ll be able to come up with a ballpark mail delivery times schedule pretty easily.


Of course, you can also use the Informed Delivery system available free of charge from the USPS to know only better understand what mail you can expect that day but to get a better idea of when it’s going to arrive, too.


Sign up for this program on the USPS website and you’ll be able to start seeing digital scans of your envelopes, tracking information for packages, and more inside out about a week or two. It’s a really useful service (again available fully charge) that not enough people are taking advantage of these days.

Christmas tree & light

Are There Any Special Days Where Mail Won’t Be Delivered?


As a general rule, the USPS is not going to be open for mail deliveries every Sunday of every week all throughout the year.


Now, there are some days where Sunday delivery (especially for third-party packages from FedEx or UPS that need “last mile” delivery through the USPS) are going to hit your mailbox. But those days are usually pretty sporadic for limited to the holiday season when the mail flow is almost overwhelming.


There are a couple of other days where you can expect the USPS to be closed.


We are talking about:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Washington’s Birthday and Presidents Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving and
  • Christmas


The post office will also be closed for any other federally recognized holidays as well. It’s not a bad idea to keep these things in mind when you need to send mail through the USPS or when you’re expecting packages or parcels to arrive.


How Do I Know If My Mail Is Late?


If you have discovered your mail delivery schedule and figured out mail delivery times for your home or office you can pretty easily tell if mail is late or missing without a lot of headache or hassle.


For example, first-class mail sent through the USPS is delivered (almost always) between one and three business days from the day that it is sent. If it’s been five days or more since the day that mail was sent out to you the odds are pretty good it’s late or missing and you’ll want to contact USPS customer service ASAP.


Priority Mail follows the same kind of delivery schedule that first-class mail follows. If you haven’t gotten priority Mail inside out five days from its delivery date you need to get a hold of the USPS straightaway.


Priority Mail Express, however, is guaranteed to be delivered within one or two calendar days from the moment that it was sent. Note that we are talking about calendar days and NOT business days. This means that if you send Priority Mail Express (and pay extra for the privilege) any mail not delivered within two days on the calendar should be considered late.


USPS Retail Ground is delivered within 2 to 8 business days, though the USPS recommends not contacting them unless it’s been 14 days from mailing without any delivery.


Media Mail and Bound Printed Matter follow the same delivery schedule as USPS Retail Ground.


Parcel Select and Parcel Select Lightweight mail deliveries through the USPS are usually delivered between two and nine business days. If it’s been 14 days since those parcels were sent to you contact customer service to find out what’s going on.


USPS Marketing Mail offers nonguaranteed delivery of between three and 10 business days. It is been two weeks since those pieces were sent to you and you still don’t have them a call the USPS is necessary.


The USPS customer service department is usually very responsive. Ask them “what time will my mail arrive” and explain how long it’s been and they’ll do a great job at tracking things for you.

virtual mailbox for desktop and mobile

A Virtual Address Alternative


Of course, if you aren’t interested in having to figure out mail delivery times for your home or business address through the USPS and instead want a simplified and streamlined delivery schedule it may be worth checking out US Global Mail.


US Global Mail is not just a mail scanning, mail acceptance, or mail forwarding service. You’ll also get a physical street address that adds legitimacy and credibility to your mailing address (distinct from PO Box offerings from the USPS), too.


The service also provides a mail collection option that guarantees every piece handled by US Global Mail gets scanned and sorted, ready for local pickup at your discretion (at a time convenient for you) as well as mail forwarding that can be tracked and easily scheduled, too.


To learn a little bit more about everything that US Global Mail has to offer, order see the full suite of services provided by this top-tier organization, check out their services page on their website today.


There’s a reason people rely on US Global Mail so frequently when they find the services and solutions available from the USPS to be a little lacking. The customer service, security, and support available from this organization is second to none and the modern and forward thinking approach to mail allows them to be a little more flexible than the USPS run by the slow-moving federal government.


USPS Certified Mail Rates

One of the most popular premium mail services available from the United States Postal Service, each year millions of pieces of mail are sent via Certified Mail – and billions have been sent ever since the program was started back in 1955.


Providing individuals and businesses with an opportunity to get a confirmation that mail, packages, and parcels had been received (with an included receipt), certified mail fits neatly into the gap between registered mail and first class mail.


An affordable solution that “just works”, if you’ve been thinking about sending mail via USPS certified mail you’ll need to know how to do so and how much it costs.


That’s why we have put together this detailed guide.


Below you’ll learn more about the USPS certified mail return receipt cost, where you purchase certified mail postage, how to navigate the different certified letter cost structures your envelope or package may require, and so much more.


We also include a quick primer covering the basics of certified make and a step-by-step guide to help you go through the certified mail process as effortlessly as possible.


Shall we get started?


Let’s get right into it!

certified mail documents



A Quick Certified Mail Primer


As we highlighted just a moment ago, the certified mail program was created back in 1955 by then Assistant US Postmaster Gen. Joseph Cooper.


Cooper was looking for a cost-effective alternative that sat between registered mail and traditional first class mail, providing many of the same benefits that registered mail had to offer while getting the price down as close to first class mail as possible.


He ended up working with a team at the post office to put together the certified mail schedule, and this has been a premium solution available through the USPS ever since.


In the almost 70 years since the program has been established billions of pieces of mail have been handled by the USPS through the certified mail schedule. This type of mailing offers tracking information, proof of receipt as well as proof of mailing, and an ability to insure the mailing (similar to what’s offered through registered mail) for those that want to pay a little extra.


A great offer for those that want a little more control and a little more predictability over first-class mail, as well as those that need a mail confirmation or a receipt of reception, you’ll never pay as much for certified mail as you do for registered mail – and that’s the biggest benefit!

pricing for certified mail on an envelope


A Close Look at Current (2020) USPS Certified Mail Rates


The most certified mail fee schedule (as est. in January 2020) is pretty simple and straightforward to follow along with.


To start things off, a postage meter rate to send a single ounce piece of mail through the certified mail process (with a return receipt included) is set at $6.90.


If an individual is interested in using certified mail labels that include electronic delivery confirmation as opposed to the more old-fashioned (and being phased out) “green card” they’ll be able to drop that price a little lower, bringing in at $4.85.


There are a whole host of extras that individuals taking advantage of certified mail can pay for, including return receipts that are sent via that old-fashioned green card or are electronically transmitted via email.


Electronic signatures will cost an extra $1.70, for example, with green card return receipts costing a little bit more than that.


It’s important to know that you also have to spend the first class postage to mail out your certified mail, too.


Let’s break down a little more of the certified mail postage costs right here.


Those wondering much is a certified letter alone will be glad to know that the price for certified mail (the standardized price) has only increased five cents from 2019. In 2019 the cost of certified mail as a baseline would have set you back $3.50, but today you can expect to spend just $3.55.


That’s a very modest increase.


Anyone wondering how much is it to send a certified letter that also includes an electronic delivery confirmation receipt will be glad to know that the price has stayed the same in 2020 compared to 2019.


You’ll only have to spend an extra $0.80 to get that electronic delivery confirmation receipt sent directly to your email, with a copy made available through your USPS account (as long as you link them together).


Should you want a traditional return receipt (one that is printed on those old-fashioned green postcards and returned to you via first-class mail) you’ll have to spend an extra $2.05 – bringing the total to $2.85. This represents a five cent increase for traditional return receipts from 2019.


If you want an electronic signature receipt PDF, you’ll have to spend $1.70 in 2020. This is a $0.10 increase from the year before when this same service from the USPS only cost $1.60.


As far as overall first-class postage is concerned (necessary to spend when you are sending something via certified mail) you can expect to pay $0.50 for the first outs of mailing weight that you are dealing with. Every additional ounce after that (as long as you stay under 3.5 ounces) will be charged out at $0.15 per ounce, with absolutely no change in 2020 costs compared to 2019.


Everything over 3.5 ounces will be charged at a sliding scale rate for first-class mail, depending entirely on a variety of different factors that you’ll need to discuss with your postal office. Most of the time these fees are still relatively affordable, though.


If you’d like to take advantage of “flat rate” first-class shipping in a 9 x 12 envelope or a 10 x 13 envelope you’ll be expected to spend one dollar across the board. This is the exact same first-class certified mail price for a flat rate envelope that you would have had to spend in 2019, too.


Of course, you’ll always have the opportunity to bump things up to a registered delivery service as well. This isn’t quite the same as registered mail, but it does offer a lot of the same benefits at a relatively affordable price tag.


If that’s what you’d like to do you’ll have to spend $5.45 to take advantage of the registered delivery service with certified mail. This is a $0.10 price increase compared to the year before, when the same service was available through the USPS for just $5.30.


The USPS also has a handful of “standardized” certified letter cost structures that you’ll want to know about for the year 2020.


A certified mail with return receipt requested (signature attached) piece of mail through the USPS will set you back $6.55. This service provides you with a return receipt electronic signature that shows exactly who signed for your piece of mail, when they signed for it, and when the peace was actually delivered.


A certified mail with return receipt signature requested with restricted delivery is going to cost $12.


The services a little bit different from others provided by the USPS, in that you are going to request that the USPS only allows delivery of your mail to the individual that you have addressed the package for parcel to – or their authorized agent.


This means that a piece of registered mail with this specific service cannot be delivered to just anyone living at a specific address. If the person that you have addressed the mail to specifically needs to accept and sign for the package or one of their agents (and authorized agent) has to do the same.


Restricted mail is only available when you choose to take advantage of either certified mail through the USPS, insured mail services for over $200 or registered mail services. This is a very affordable way to guarantee that the mail you want delivered to someone specifically only ever ends up in that person’s hands.


Another big benefit of that specific service is that a record of the transaction is made in the USPS system. The USPS Special Service will maintain those records (digitally) for 10 years, too.

a sign that has the word "guide" on it

A Quick Guide for Sending USPS Certified Mail


If you want to be sure that your piece of certified mail arrives as quickly as possible you’ll need to make sure that you follow the steps highlighted below as closely as you can.


Like we mentioned earlier, certified mail is essentially an “upgraded” version of first-class mail.


This means it’s going to take anywhere between two and five business days for your mail to be delivered, though it’s not at all uncommon for that scheduled to be accelerated up to 2 to 3 business days.


Most commonly used by those that need to communicate in a time sensitive manner, to send sensitive or private documents, and to track/confirm mailing and receipt, the general process for leveraging USPS certified mail is simple and straightforward.


The easiest way to get started is to visit a local post office and fill out the certified mail form, Postal Form 3800.


This form is pretty easy to spot, in that it includes a green and white sticker somewhere near the top of the form that has a barcode prominently displayed. This is the barcode that will be attached to your certified letter, the barcode that will handle the tracking and electronic confirmation details for you, and a big piece of the certified mail puzzle going forward.


Form 3800 is also going to include a receipt with perforations that will be separated by the postal office clerk that handles your certified mail process for you. Don’t worry about separating this early – Postal Service officials will split apart and give it to you at the right time.


The most important thing for you to do right here is to accurately fill out all of the information displayed on the form itself. You need to be sure that the recipient’s name, address, and other core details are accurately printed (legibly) so that the USPS officials can input the information correctly into the computer.


After that has been taking care of, simply peel the green and white sticker with the barcode off of the form and attach it directly to the top edge of your envelope – on the front. Do try your best to provide enough room on the right and left of this sticker to apply your first-class postage and to provide your return mailing address.


All that’s left to do right now is to walk up to any post office worker at your local post office and asked them to completely certified mail process for you. These officials will go through the form, inputting information digitally, and then will scan the barcode on your envelope into their system to attach the tracking information across the board.


The postal employee will then tell you what the certified mail cost is going to be for the services that you have selected. You’ll also have an opportunity to add any of the certified mail extras that you are interested in at this point in time.


Any of the services that you select you’ll need to check off on the form yourself, endorsing or initialing each extra on the column attached to your receipt.


This is your last chance to confirm that all of the mailing information is accurate and good to go. You’ll want to double check (maybe even triple check) before you sign on the dotted line and paid the certified mail fee.


Finally, you’ll be provided with a copy of your receipt to keep in your records.


It’s important that you hang onto this receipt as is going to have tracking information details, a record of you sending the certified mail piece out yourself, and a couple of other details that make following or finding certified mail a lot easier later down the line.

a virtual mailbox on desktop and mobile

Looking for an Alternative to USPS Services?


Of course, if you’re looking for a digital alternative to receiving mail from the USPS, it’s not a bad idea to check out all that US Global Mail brings to the table.


As one of the premier virtual mailbox companies in the United States, you’ll be able to leverage a modernized mail solution designed for the 21st century complete with full mail scanning, mail forwarding, and mail receiving options not available from the USPS.


Learn more about what US Global Mail has to offer and get started for free.


What Is USPS Retail Ground

In the past several articles, we have been covering quite a range of topics concerning the USPS and some of the most popular mailing options that you can select from. 


If you are familiar at all with the shipping industry, you will have heard of “ground” & “air” shipping as the 2 main categories. Traditionally, UPS has been on the frontline of ground shipping and FedEx is normally responsible for most of your air deliveries. 


When it comes to the USPS, for the most part, the go-to option for mailing & shipping is first class mail. However, USPS Retail Ground is a shipping option for shipping packages, thick envelopes and even tubes. These packages can only have a maximum weight of 70 pounds.


With USPS Retail Ground, also comes USPS Tracking at no additional cost. However, there may be some add on changes for certain items such as packages that:


  • Measure over 108 inches in combined length and girth
  • Have a length of over 84 inches and weigh less than 20 pounds
  • Are in specific shapes such as tubes and rolls. 


usps retail ground packages


Important Features That Come With USPS Retail Ground


When you select to ship with USPS Retail Ground, you are getting the best value for your dollar. Especially if you are sending gifts and general merchandise to US addresses. Keep in mind that you will be able to ship to all addresses, PO Boxes and even military addresses when using this shipping option. This will also come with USPS Tracking that will not cost you anything additionally. Finally, packages can weigh up to 70 pounds and measure up to 130 inches in combined length and distance.


How Much Does USPS Retail Ground Shipping Cost?


This shipping option from the USPS is only available for mailable items sent to Zones 5-9 except for certain circumstances. If you ship mailable hazardous materials, live animals or items required by standard to be shipped through ground transportation, these would be cases where there can be an exception. In cases like that, USPS Retail Ground prices are available for items that are sent to Zone 1 through Zone 9.


Typically, oversized price will apply in the cases for mailable items that are sent to Zones 5-9.


In other cases, Dimensional-weight pricing can apply to USPS Retail Ground parcels that are larger than 1 cubic foot in the case where the calculated dimensional weight is greater than the actual weight of the parcel. 


graph showing how to calculate dimentional weight


How To Determine Dimensional Weight For Rectangular Parcels. 


Make sure to follow the steps below in order to determine the exact dimensional weight of your parcel. 


  1. Measure the length, width and height in inches and round off each measurement to the nearest whole inch.
  2. Multiply the length by the width and by the height
  3. If the results will exceed 1728 cubic inches, then you will want to divide that result by 166 and round it up to the next whole number. This will help determine the dimensional weight in pounds. 
  4. If the dimensional weight exceeds 70 pounds then the mailer will pay the 70 pound price. 


How To Determine Dimensional Weight For Non Rectangular Parcels


  • Measure the length, width and height in inches at their extreme dimensions. Make sure to round off each measurement to the nearest whole inch. 
  • Multiply the length by the width by the height
  • Multiply that result by an adjustment factor of 0.785
  • If the final result exceeds 1,728 cubic inches, divide that result by 166 and round it up to the next whole number in order to determine the dimensional weight in pounds
  • If the dimensional weight exceeds 70 pounds then the mailer pays the 70 pound price.


Alaska on the map


What Is The Limited Overland Route Price Category


This price category is for USPS Retail Ground pieces that are delivered to or from specific zip codes that are within Alaska and that are not connected by overland routes. 


This price category will apply in the following cases:


  • The 20-pound parcel applies. The parcel weighs less than 20 pounds but measures more than 84 inches but less than 108 inches in combined length and girth.
  • This pricing category is not limited to hazardous materials, live animals or other items that require shipping by ground transportation.
  • USPS Retail Ground LOR retail pricing will not be found available through online or commercial postage payment. Make sure you use the postage calculator in order to find the price of shipping your USPS Retail Ground piece. You can also visit this Price List for a chart of prices that is based on the zone and weight as well as a list of eligible Zip Codes. 


For a full pricing sheet of USPS Retail Ground Rates, you can check out the pricing list below:



Not Over


Prices by Zone
1 & 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1 7.50 7.85 8.00 8.20 8.40 8.75 9.35 9.35
2 8.25 8.70 9.90 10.75 11.60 12.60 13.60 13.60
3 8.70 9.70 10.90 12.35 13.05 15.30 17.35 17.35
4 9.20 10.55 11.55 12.90 15.55 18.20 20.85 20.85
5 10.20 11.30 12.25 13.65 17.05 20.50 23.90 23.90
6 10.95 11.55 12.80 15.50 19.40 23.30 27.15 27.15
7 11.95 13.10 15.40 17.40 21.70 26.00 30.30 30.30
8 12.30 14.50 17.10 20.15 24.75 29.30 33.90 33.90
9 12.80 15.65 18.95 22.95 27.90 32.85 37.80 37.80
10 13.60 16.80 20.40 24.50 29.70 34.90 40.05 40.05
11 14.95 18.50 22.50 26.20 31.95 37.75 43.55 43.55
12 16.25 19.85 24.20 28.10 34.30 40.55 46.75 46.75
13 17.25 20.95 25.55 29.75 35.70 41.65 47.55 47.55
14 18.30 22.35 27.20 31.55 37.70 43.85 49.95 49.95
15 18.95 23.60 28.75 33.45 39.40 45.40 51.35 51.35
16 19.60 24.90 30.30 35.25 41.55 47.85 54.20 54.20
17 20.50 26.20 31.90 37.10 43.75 50.35 57.00 57.00
18 20.85 27.10 33.20 38.95 45.95 52.95 59.95 59.95
19 21.45 27.75 33.95 39.95 47.00 54.05 61.10 61.10
20 22.35 28.10 34.50 40.75 48.50 56.30 64.10 64.10
21 23.10 28.45 35.00 41.30 49.35 57.40 65.50 65.50
22 23.65 29.10 35.85 42.25 50.50 58.80 67.05 67.05
23 24.20 29.70 36.45 43.00 51.45 59.85 68.30 68.30
24 24.75 30.30 37.30 43.90 52.60 61.30 70.00 70.00
25 25.00 30.80 38.80 45.15 53.80 62.50 71.20 71.20
26 26.00 31.40 40.25 46.05 55.15 64.25 73.40 73.40
27 26.80 31.85 41.45 48.40 57.60 66.80 76.05 76.05
28 27.60 32.25 42.70 49.65 59.45 69.20 79.00 79.00
29 28.45 32.65 43.75 50.40 60.65 70.90 81.15 81.15
30 29.30 33.05 44.80 51.05 61.65 72.25 82.80 82.80
31 30.15 33.40 45.55 51.80 62.75 73.70 84.65 84.65
32 30.50 34.15 46.30 52.35 63.65 74.95 86.20 86.20
33 31.05 35.05 47.45 53.05 64.70 76.30 87.90 87.90
34 31.30 36.00 48.65 54.15 65.95 77.80 89.60 89.60
35 31.60 36.85 49.25 55.30 67.20 79.15 91.05 91.05
36 31.95 37.90 49.95 56.60 68.60 80.60 92.60 92.60
37 32.25 38.55 50.65 57.55 69.75 81.90 94.10 94.10
38 32.65 39.55 51.30 58.65 71.00 83.30 95.65 95.65
39 32.95 40.45 51.95 59.90 72.25 84.65 97.05 97.05
40 33.35 41.30 52.65 61.20 73.60 86.00 98.40 98.40
41 33.65 42.10 53.25 61.75 74.50 87.20 99.95 99.95
42 33.90 42.85 53.80 63.05 75.75 88.45 101.20 101.20
43 34.35 43.55 54.30 64.40 77.05 89.70 102.35 102.35
44 34.55 44.25 55.00 65.75 78.40 91.05 103.70 103.70
45 34.80 44.75 55.35 67.30 79.85 92.40 104.95 104.95
46 35.05 45.05 55.95 68.45 81.00 93.60 106.15 106.15
47 35.35 45.50 56.50 70.10 82.55 95.00 107.40 107.40
48 35.70 45.85 57.05 71.45 83.80 96.15 108.55 108.55
49 35.90 46.15 57.45 72.70 85.00 97.30 109.55 109.55
50 36.05 46.45 57.90 74.20 86.35 98.55 110.75 110.75
51 36.20 46.90 58.40 75.40 87.55 99.65 111.75 111.75
52 36.65 47.20 58.80 76.00 88.35 100.70 113.05 113.05
53 37.30 47.50 59.15 76.60 89.20 101.85 114.50 114.50
54 37.75 47.70 59.60 77.20 90.20 103.15 116.15 116.15
55 38.40 48.05 59.90 77.75 91.05 104.30 117.60 117.60
56 38.95 48.35 60.25 78.30 91.80 105.30 118.80 118.80
57 39.50 48.50 60.60 78.70 92.35 106.00 119.65 119.65
58 40.15 48.75 61.00 79.30 93.10 106.85 120.60 120.60
59 40.75 48.95 61.30 79.75 93.65 107.55 121.50 121.50
60 41.30 49.15 61.90 80.15 94.20 108.25 122.30 122.30
61 41.90 49.40 63.00 80.55 95.05 109.55 124.00 124.00
62 42.35 49.50 63.75 81.00 96.00 111.00 125.95 125.95
63 43.15 49.75 64.85 81.40 96.90 112.45 127.95 127.95
64 43.60 51.30 65.80 81.85 97.90 113.95 130.05 130.05
65 44.20 51.45 66.65 82.00 98.65 115.30 131.95 131.95
66 44.75 51.65 67.75 82.45 99.65 116.80 134.00 134.00
67 45.50 51.75 68.90 82.75 100.40 118.05 135.70 135.70
68 46.00 51.85 69.75 82.95 101.05 119.10 137.20 137.20
69 46.60 51.90 70.60 83.15 101.65 120.10 138.60 138.60
70 47.15 52.05 71.75 83.40 102.30 121.20 140.15 140.15


virtual mailbox platform on desktop and mobile


A Virtual Mailbox Solution To Receive Mail & Packages


Being able to receive mail at your PO Box or mailbox at your home, is something that we have all come to get used to. However, the fast paced life that most of us live in the 21st century, with busy work schedules and occasional travel, can make it tough to keep up with incoming mail.


Virtual mailboxes have been designed with the busy professional in mind; it works similar to how your e-mail works but for snail mail & packages. You essentially log into your digital mailbox, using your e-mail and password and from there, you can digitally view all your mail and even the letters that are in your envelopes.


Requesting a mail scan can happen within the click of a button, and within a few hours. No more waiting in line at the Post Office or needing to keep making time during your week to check your PO Box.


With a virtual mailbox, you can access all your mail & packages from any mobile or desktop device. And if you need something shipped to you, you can request that through your virtual mailbox as well and have it shipped at up to 80% discounted shipping rates.


US Global Mail has been the leader in virtual mailboxes since 1999. For more information, pricing and to get your free month, click here.