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How Many Stamps Do I Need?

Some of you have probably been pondering a lot of things lately. One of those things may well be, “how many stamps do I need USPS?”. We don’t blame you! It can be quite confusing — especially when you consider just how many services the United States Postal Service provides.

 

This is why we’re here! We’re going to make it incredibly simple so you can spend less time figuring it out, and more time sending and receiving gifts, items, and snail mail letters.

 

Are you ready to get started? Excellent. Let’s begin.

 

stamps on an envelope

 

How Many Stamps Do I Need to Send a Letter?

 

We are going to start by debunking the “how many stamps do I need for a letter” myth. It isn’t as confusing as people make it out to be!

 

Domestic Letter Shipping

 

If you are sending from the United States of America to the United States of America, you just have to pay $0.55 for a Domestic Forever Stamp. Your letter will reach the recipient within 1 to 3 working days. How cool is that? Just 55 cents for such quick delivery should be truly cherished.

 

Bear in mind though, that this covers the first ounce. As soon as your envelope goes over that weight, you need to add an extra 15 cents per ounce onto the price. Don’t stress, we’re going to discuss this in more detail in the next section.

 

There are some requirements that your envelope must fit to be eligible for posting this way. These rules are as follows:

 

  • The envelope needs to be at least 5 inches by 3.5 inches but not bigger than 11.5 inches by 6.125 inches, and no thicker than ¼ inches.
  • It needs to have a uniform thickness.
  • It must be rectangular.
  • It must be bendable. If not, you might have to pay an extra 21 cents since it will be classed as “non-machinable”.
  • If your envelope is square, it needs to be at least 5 inches. This will be non-machinable so you’ll have to pay an additional 21 cents like we just mentioned.

 

postcard

 

Domestic Postcard Shipping

 

If you plan to send a postcard within the United States of America, it is a bit cheaper. You just need to buy a Postcard Stamp for 35 cents and pop it in the mailbox. However, you do have the option of overpaying by purchasing a Domestic Forever Stamp. As you now know, this is 55 cents.

 

To be eligible for this stamp class, your postcard must meet the following requirements:

 

  • It must be rectangular. If it’s not, different rates and stamp rules apply.
  • It must be at least 3.5 inches high by 5 inches long
  • It must be at least 0.007 inches thick.
  • It cannot be bigger than 4.25 inches high by 6 inches long.
  • It cannot be thicker than 0.016 inches.

 

International Letter Shipping — USA to UK

 

Unfortunately, we can’t list every country here otherwise we’d never stop. But we will go through the main ones briefly. Sound like a plan? Great! Let’s get to it then.

 

The easiest way to ship letters from the United States of America to the United Kingdom is with the Global Forever Stamps. These will cost you $1.20 and feature a green succulent. They add a certain element of style to your international mail!

 

If you would rather use the Domestic Forever Stamps, then you need to make sure they add up to $1.20. It’s impossible to do this exactly, so you will end up overpaying by 45 cents this way. For some of you, this might not be a problem, in which case, go for it!

 

Just like shipping domestically, you will pay more if your letter weighs over an ounce.

 

envelopes on a desk

 

International Letter Shipping — USA to Canada

 

Again, the simplest way to mail letters from the USA to Canada is with the Global Forever Stamps. However, there is a difference here.

 

We said earlier that this stamp will cover you for up to an ounce. While this is true for shipping to the United Kingdom (and any other international location), it isn’t the same for Canada. Here, this stamp will cover you for up to two ounces. After those two, however, you will need to add extra stamps to make up the price.

 

Right, we are going to move on now to a similar but different question — how many stamps do I need per oz? We covered the basics in this section, but we’ve created some handy-dandy tables in the next part that will help you understand everything much better.

 

How Many Stamps Per Ounce?

 

You won’t just find how many stamps per ounce you need here, we’re going to show you just how many forever stamps you need as well Why? Because they are the easiest way to send mail both domestically and internationally. So, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering “how many forever stamps do I need?”, you’re in the right place to get your question answered.

 

a letter that is addressed

 

Domestic Letter Shipping — Price Per Ounce

 

The Weight of Your Letter The Number and Type of Stamp
1 oz or less 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp. This will cost you 55 cents.
2 oz 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp and 1 x 15 cent Additional Ounce stamps. This will cost you 70 cents in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you will pay an extra 40 cents.

3 oz 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp and 2 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamps. This will cost you 85 cents in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you’ll be overpaying by 25 cents.

3.5 oz 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp, 1 x Postcard stamp, and 1 x 10 cent stamp. This will cost you $1 in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you’ll be overpaying by 10 cents.

 

If you read this and thought, “great, I only wanted to find out how many stamps for 5 oz” then please bear with us! Once your envelope goes over the 3.5-ounce weight limit, you need to start looking at the rates for flats.

 

What are flats, we hear you ask? Well, they’re a big envelope which must be used for anything that weighs over 3.5 ounces. The maximum weight for flats is 13 ounces. But, as you might have guessed, there are other requirements that flats must meet too. The guidelines are as follows:

 

  • It must be at least 6.125 inches by 11.5 inches.
  • It cannot be bigger than 12 inches by 15 inches.
  • It cannot be thicker than 0.75 inches.
  • You cannot use a bubble packet as they’re usually a lot thicker than the maximum allowance here.

 

Anyway, without further ado, shall we look at the price per ounce for these flats? We think so! Let’s get into the specifics.

 

The Weight of Your Flat The Number and Type of Stamp
1 oz or less 1 x Domestic Forever Stamp, 1 x 10 cents stamp, and 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $1 in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you’ll be overpaying by 10 cents.

2 oz 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 1 x 10 cents stamp. This will cost you $1.20 in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 3 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Here, you’ll be paying 45 cents more than necessary.

3 oz 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 2 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamps. This will cost you $1.40 in total.

Alternatively, you can overpay by using 3 x Domestic Forever Stamps. However, you’ll be paying 25 cents more than you need to.

4 oz 2 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamp, plus 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $1.60 in total.

If you’d rather use Domestic Forever Stamps instead, you need to use 3. Just bear in mind that you’ll be overpaying by 5 cents.

5 oz 3 x Domestic Forever Stamps and 1 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamp. This will cost you $1.80 in total.

Alternatively, you can use 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps instead. Just bear in mind that you’ll be overpaying by 40 cents.

6 oz 3 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $2 in total.

If you want to overpay, use 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps.

7 oz 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps. This will cost you $2.20 in total.
8 oz 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 5 cents stamp, plus 1 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamp. This will cost you $2.40 in total.

You can also overpay by using 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps. However, you’ll be paying 35 cents more than necessary.

9 oz 4 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 5 cents stamp, and 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $2.60 in total.

For ease, you can just use 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps. However, you’ll be overpaying by 15 cents.

10 oz 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 1 x 5 cents stamp. This will cost you $2.80 in total.

To make your life easier, just use 6 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Remember though, you’ll be overpaying by 50 cents. This can add up to a fair amount if you’re doing this regularly.

11 oz 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 10 cents stamp, plus 1 x 15 cents Additional Ounce stamp. This will cost you $3 in total.

Alternatively, you can use 6 x Domestic Forever Stamps. Just remember that you’ll be overpaying by 30 cents.

12 oz 5 x Domestic Forever Stamps, 1 x 10 cents stamp, plus 1 x Postcard stamp. This will cost you $3.20 in total.

If you’ve only got Domestic Forever Stamps to hand, use 6. You will, however, be overpaying by 10 cents.

13 oz 6 x Domestic Forever Stamps plus 1 x 10 cents stamp. This will cost you $3.40 in total.

You can use 7 x Domestic Forever Stamps instead, but you’ll be overpaying by 45 cents. This can quickly add up if you’re not careful.

 

stamp with the US flag

 

How Many Stamps Do I Need For A 9×12 Envelope?

 

Even though we’ve gone through the specifics in great detail, you might still be struggling with the larger 9 inches by 12 inches envelopes. We figured we’d help you out by including an entire section dedicated to this conundrum.

 

In short, you need two Domestic Forever Stamps. This, as you know, equals $1. However, this is just for the first ounce. You have to purchase more stamps for every ounce above that weight.

 

For those of you who don’t want to use the Domestic Forever Stamps for your 9 inches by 12 inches envelopes, you can use any stamp mixture equivalent to the monetary amount needed. However, you might end up overpaying when you do it this way. If that doesn’t bother you, then no need to stress!

 

How Many Stamps Do I Need to Send a Parcel?

 

Unfortunately, working this out is a lot more complicated than calculating how many stamps you need for letters. However, the United States Postal Service has implemented an online postage calculator so you can figure it out before heading to the post office.

 

Here’s how you use it:

 

    1. Select the destination country.
    2. Type in the zip codes (yours and your recipient’s).
    3. Choose the date and time you’ll be mailing it.
    4. Choose the type of postage you want to use.
    5. Click “Display All Options”. This will let you compare the costs of each shipping service.
    6. Add extra options. This includes Insurance, Registered Mail, Certificate of Mailing, and more.
    7. After that, you’ll be shown the final cost.
    8. Grab your stamps and use as many as it takes to cover the shipping cost. Although, if you’ve added any extras, then you have to print the shipping label out and stick it on the parcel. If you don’t have a printer, you can do it at the post office.

 

 

An Alternative To Receiving Packages & Mail

 

When it comes to sending out mail, it can be tedious as is with the process of going to the post office, waiting in line and then sending on the mail itself. Especially with everything that is going on in the world today, from social distancing to technology innovation, you would wonder whether there are better alternatives.

 

The reality is, there are some companies that can in fact send mail on your behalf, virtually. You would create an account with them, and then upload a PDF or letter that you want mailed, select the mail type you want (first class mail, registered mail etc,) and they would mail it out for you. However, these are usually companies that work with businesses that want to advertise through direct mail (your typical junk mail.) So they work with higher volume mailers that they send on for businesses they work with.

 

For consumers (individuals,) there are some better mail receiving options. When you get a piece of mail, traditionally, you would either get it at your mailbox at your home, or at a registered po box at your local post office. However, you would not necessarily get any notifications of new mail, and most importantly; what is that mail that you received. Although the USPS has come up with a digital option to sending notifications and even preview images of your mail (a virtual program called Informed Delivery,) it is still in its earlier stage, only been around for a few years and has several issues with reporting new mail arrival accurately.

 

US Global Mail is the leader in virtual mailboxes, since 1999. The largest company by revenue, it has been managing mail for tens of thousands of customers over the year.

The way it works is: you get a virtual address, to which all mail & packages are sent moving forward. Then, you would log into your virtual mailbox account, which would digitally display the image of your mail or package. From within your digital mailbox, you can even request a mail scan to be completed. So any letters that are inside your envelope, can be scanned and uploaded into your account.

 

This means that all mail can be viewed online, and even for packages, you can know in advance what those packages are prior to requesting they are shipped.

The best part? Shipping comes with up to 80% off what you would typically pay in retail shipping. Due to the volume of shipping US Global Mail handles, we’re able to get great discounts from shipping companies such as UPS, USPS, FedEx etc, which are then passed down to you; the customer.

 

For more information and to get started for free, click here. 

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How to Ship A Package USPS

Each and every day, the USPS handle hundreds of millions is of mail.

 

And while a significant amount of that mail is packaged in envelopes (or relatively compact), the USPS mail service also handles millions and millions of packages on a day-to-day basis.

 

Because of the experience (and the logistical mastery) United States Postal Service people trust the USPS to get their boxes where they need to go safely, securely, and (relatively) inexpensively.

 

At the same time, not everyone has shipped a package via USPS in the past and may not know exactly how to go through the process. Figuring out how to ship a package at the post office isn’t something taught at school, after all.

 

In the rest of this detailed guide, we break down (almost) everything you need to know about sending your package through the mail.

 

We cover the basics of how to appropriately size your package, how to pack and secure your package, how to choose the right delivery speed and service through the USPS, and a handful of other important details you’ll want to know about before you jump right in.

 

Let’s get started, shall we?

 

yellow tape measure

 

Measure the Stuff You Want to Send

 

The very first thing you have to do when sending a package via the USPS is make sure that what you’re looking to send can be sent – and then you need to know how big all of it is so that you can find the right boxes.

 

For starters, there are a whole list of things that the USPS will NOT let you send through the mail. Some of them are pretty obvious – we’re talking about things like firearms and drugs – but some of them aren’t.

 

Thankfully, there’s a large list of the prohibited items available for you on the USPS website. It’s a good idea to pop on over there and have a look at what they have to say before you start boxing anything up.

 

This list is always being updated on a regular basis, sometimes with things being added and sometimes with things being removed. You’ll want to make sure you’re in full compliance of the rules before anything gets sent. Pop over and have a look if for no other reason than to give yourself a bit of peace of mind.

 

After that, you need to size items you’re going to be sending through the USPS as well. A quick, rough measurement is all that’s needed as far as the actual dimensions of your is are concerned.

 

It might not be a bad idea to actually weigh out everything that you are looking to send, either. This will give you a better idea of how much you might have to pay in shipping costs (most of it is handled by weight through the USPS) so that you can find the right delivery service moving forward, too.

 

empty box

 

Find the Right Box

 

The next piece of the puzzle is actually finding the right box to send your stuff in.

 

There are an unlimited amount of choices here for you to sift through, so make sure you know what you’re getting into when you start you search.

 

Some folks are going to be ok sending things in a cardboard box without a lot of padding, others are going to want to send the equivalent of a bank vault, and most are going to want to try and land somewhere in the middle.

 

Thing about how and what you’re sending to choose the right box. This is the only thing that your package is going to be contained within when you zip it off, and if it isn’t safe and secure you might not be happy with the results.

 

The USPS provides plenty of 100% free (or close to it) packing supplies, too. It’s never a bad idea to see if they have can offer some help to get your package where it needs to go safely. At the very least they’ll be able to give you a thumbs up or a thumbs down about it’s odds of survival in transit – and then you can make the necessary adjustments to your boxing and packaging from there.

 

Use a lot of tape, too!

 

Finally, it’s important that you do your level best to remove any and all old shipping labels on boxes that you are reusing. You don’t want the USPS to fight to find the shipping details or to potential gum up the logistics of your package as it moves through the USPS system.

 

boxes for moving

 

Pack Smartly

 

Packing smart is a huge part of safe shipping.

 

Not only should you choose a box that is slightly larger than the things you’re shipping, but you also want to make sure there’s room to accommodate almost too much packing material – peanuts, foam, etc.

 

Depending on the fragility of what you’re sending, you may have to really overload the box itself with packing stuff to keep it safe. In that case, bump up a size or two (or more) to fi the material. It’s always better to splurge a little on packing peanuts than to have something broken in transit.

 

Remember this – the folks at USPS are going to be really careful with your things, but they’ll never be as careful as you would be. Things are (inevitably) going to get tossed around a bit. Expect that, plan for that, and do what you can to make sure that those situations won’t ruin whatever it is you are dropping into the mail.

 

A cool little trick that a lot of people are doing now is to include shipping info inside of the box as well. This is just incase something gets compromised along the way. Should the box open or break, at least the people at USPS will still know where your item needs to go without having to reroute it all the way back to you (and probably charging you along the way, too).

 

If you’ve got any concerns about the packing job you’ve done, or are unsure of whether you need to do a little more, don’t hesitate to ask someone at the post office. They see and move all kinds of packages everyday – they’ll be able to help!

 

usps parcel on the front door

 

Address Your Parcel

 

One of the easiest ways to handle the addressing of your package is to go on the USPS website, input all the delivery information, and have them print a label for you.

 

This eliminates the need to make sure everything is done to their specifications as well as eliminating the need for you to write or draw on the box. You don’t even need a printer if you go down that route!

 

Alternatively, you can fill out the form online and then print it out yourself. This is also pretty quick (provided you’ve got a black and white printer at the house) and is super easy. Follow the same steps as above but instead of having the label printed at the post office choose to have it printed at home.

 

If you are going to DIY a label (not even using the USPS website, but creating it all by hand then you’re going to want to make sure that you use the same standard you would use if you were addressing out an envelope.

 

The USPS does recommend that you use permanent ink (not pencil), that you print boldly, and that you try and take your time to make it as legible as possible. Really try not to rush or to scribble. If there’s any confusion at all the folks at the post office will usually ask for clarification but this still isn’t something you want to leave to chance.

 

Be clear and explicit with where and who you want this package to go to.

 

It’s equally as important that you remember to include your own return address on the box as well. You’d be shocked at the amount of people that don’t include this critical info and then wonder why they haven’t had their package delivered or returned to them.

 

Avoid those kinds of unpleasant situations at all costs by filling out as much information on the label as possible. The more data you offer, the better your odds of that package getting to its final destination without trouble somewhere along the way.

 

usps truck delivering mail

 

Choose the Right Mail Solution

 

Sending your package via the USPS opens up a lot of opportunity to save money compared to many other services out there – but there are a lot of shipping options to sift through with the USPS as well.

 

The best shipping solution for your might not always be the most economical, especially when speed is important. As a general rule, expect your shipping choice to get more and more expensive the sooner your package would arrive

 

There are some other things you need to think about before you send your box via the mail, too, though.

 

For example, the size of your box and the weight will have a big impact. Ground shipping won’t be that much for big, heavy boxes. But if you sent that via air freight – or had to have it somewhere in a couple of days – you’d want to expect a hefty shipping bill.

 

The destination for your package will inform its shipping speed and price, too.

 

For example, if you lived in New York and only needed a box sent down the road – or across the state – you wouldn’t spend near as much as if you sent that same box to California. You’d spend even more (a lot more) to send it to Alaska or Hawaii and even more than that sending it overseas!

 

Any time you add on different tracking options, insurance, and similar services from the USPS the price jumps, too. The good thing here though is that you get to pick and choose how much of these services you want – or want to ignore. You’re always in the driver’s seat.

 

You could send a barebones box the slowest route possible and save a bundle or you could send a refrigerator to the North Pole overnight and spend a mint. Its up to you!

 

placing a book in a box

 

USPS – How to Ship a Package

 

The last piece of the puzzle here is decided how you want to actual ship the package itself.

 

USPS offers a couple of different options but none are as simple as going to a local post office and dropping the box off yourself.

 

This is easy, hassle free, and (usually) can be done any time, day or night with the package drop off box. It doesn’t get a whole lot simpler to figure out how to ship a package through USPS than that.

 

You could also arrange to have your package picked up by the local post office, but some areas of service do not have this option. It’s something you’d have to look into yourself.

 

Lastly, you could go to any different number of affiliated third party shops or services and see if they would bring it to the post office for you. That’s a road to go down, but it’s usually more expensive and time consuming.

 

At the end of the day, the best alternative might be to take advantage of all that US Global Mail has to offer when it comes to figuring out how to ship a package from home.

 

One of the best Virtual Mailbox services in the country, this reputable organization handles millions of pieces of mail for folks all over the nation every day. They can help you figure out how to ship a package international and domestically, too!

 

Providing a range of mail services – from scanning and sorting to forwarding, accepting, and holding mail (and much more) their reputation in the industry is why so many choose this service time and time again.

 

For more details, visit the US Global Mail website when you get a chance. They’ll be able to help you navigate the package delivery process with as little headache and hassle as possible.

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How Fast Is Priority Mail?

One of the most popular mail delivery services available through the United States Postal Service, Priority Mail gives you an opportunity to send your mail significant faster than you would have been able to with first-class mail alone – all without paying a mountain of money along the way.

 

Almost always guaranteeing that your mail will reach its ultimate destination within 2 to 3 business days, Priority Mail make sure that important packages and parcels get to people faster than standard first-class mail ever could.

 

Not only that, all mail (including first-class mail) weighing in at less than 13 ounces ships via Priority Mail with no extra fee.

 

The only trick is figuring out exactly how fast is USPS Priority Mail when you are sending it to someone with an expectation for a guaranteed delivery date. We cover some of that information below, helping to make sure that you take advantage of Priority Mail when it is most advantageous while avoiding paying a lot of extra money for speedy services that might not be all that fast after all.

 

Let’s dig right in!

 

priority mail box

 

What Exactly is Priority Mail, Anyway?

 

As we have highlighted above, the Priority Mail service is simply a faster than normal way to get traditional first class mail to your ultimate destination quicker than you could have otherwise.

 

In the overwhelming majority of situations, you’re going to see your mail arrive within a couple of business days. We’re talking two days, maybe three maximum (business days, of course).

 

Best of all, you’re going to be able to use first class mail envelopes as well as flat rate boxes without having to spend a lot of money on extra postage or mail service fees. In fact, you’ll be able to get the mail to your destination with expedited speeds for no extra money if it weighs in under 13 ounces.

 

Another of the really cool features of Priority Mail is that it can be mixed and matched with a couple of other services and add-ons. This gives you a lot more control over the way your mail is sent and delivered.

 

What’s the Average Delivery Turnaround for Priority Mail?

 

As we have highlighted a couple of times already, the majority of Priority Mail mail is going to make it to your addressed recipient within two or three business days.

 

Figuring out exactly how fast is US Priority Mail is a bit of puzzle though, if only because a handful of conditions are going to influence everything.

 

For starters, the proximity of your starting and delivery addresses to one another is a major factor. If you’re sending Priority Mail right down the street, the chances are good it’s going to land within the day.

 

If you’re sending something across the state, or across the country, the chances are good it’s going to take up to three days (if not a couple days longer, even).

 

It is important to underscore the fact that the USPS doesn’t deliver mail every single day of the week. They take Sunday off, and most drivers are only going to run a route 5 days a week maximum (many only deliver every four days), which means you might have to wait a day or two longer to have Priority Mail delivered.

 

Speed is always a priority with these kinds of parcels, though. The USPS will do everything they can to move your Priority Mail through the system quickly and efficiently, with as little delay as they can muster. It’s very rare that Priority Mail takes any longer than three business days to get where it’s going.

 

note that says "guarantee"

 

Is There Anyway to Guarantee the Delivery Date?

 

Sadly, there’s no way to know for sure exactly how long your mail is going to take to go from Point A to Point B.

 

Learning how fast is USPS priority shipping is one thing, but controlling exactly how long it takes to get to the destination is something else entirely. Unlike next day delivery – or even same day delivery – you won’t have that granular level on control with Priority Mail.

 

Instead, you’ll be given a window of time to work with. Going back to what we mentioned early, some folks are going to have that timeline accelerated because of close proximity between the addresses they are sending mail to and from – and others will have to wait a little longer.

 

Right now, though, there’s not way to lock in a specific time or day with Priority Mail. You’re a little bit up to the mercy of the efficiencies of the USPS when it comes to this department.

 

Highlighting the Features of Priority Mail

 

A couple of cool features separate USPS Priority Mail from the rest of the pack, not the least of which is the guaranteed delivery of these kinds of packages six days a week.

 

Instead of having to worry about traditional first class mail (perhaps) only getting sent out on routes 5 days a week – and in some areas only 4 days a week – that’s not a problem with Priority Mail.

 

With Priority Mail, you get delivery six days a week (every day but Sunday).

 

The advantage here is that you’ll be able to send something in the middle of the week (Wednesday, sometimes even as late as Thursday or Friday) and still have it arrive at its destination before the weekend hits.

 

That’s a huge advantage compared to waiting around for first class mail to land whenever it feels like.

 

Another cool advantage for your is the perception of importance that Priority Mail brings to the table.

 

The mailing and packaging aspect of this USPS service means you’re going to separate yourself from the rest of your recipients mailbox immediately. This is huge for those running a business that want to jump out from the mess and clutter that modern mailboxes stuffed with junk mail have become.

 

Now, all of a sudden, your priority pieces are drawing their eye and guaranteeing they get noticed. That doesn’t always happen with a traditional mailer, that’s for sure.

 

It’s also pretty neat that you can send Priority Mail from any postal office in the US, no matter what.

 

Every office is equipped to send this kind of mail, can walk you through the process, and has all the supplies on hand to make sure you can get the job done on the spot. This is always good news for folks that don’t want to have to pre-stock up on supplies and special envelopes or labels before dropping anything into the mail.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to get free tracking data on all of the mail you sent out, without any trouble at all?

 

Well, that’s what happens when you choose to go in this direction. Tracking data is provided no charge at all on every Priority Mail piece, instantly and automatically. Not only will you be able to track the piece as it moves through the mail and the USPS logistics but you’ll also be able to give your recipient a copy of the tracking data, too.

 

This all means you’ll be able to keep an eye on the parcel as it goes through the system. You’ll know straight away if it takes a day or two to get where you need it to go watching, all the way.

 

The image of the mailpiece commands attention. You may purchase Extra Services such as Insurance and Return Receipt. Domestic Priority Mail includes up to $50 or $100 of insurance based on the payment method used. For example, retail customers will qualify for up to $50 and manifest mailers paying with a permit imprint will qualify for up to $100. Often travels on the same transportation network as Priority Mail Express® service items.

 

Finally, all of that mail sent via Priority Mail can be forwarded and returned to sender without any extra charge or fees. All of these services come with the standard level of Priority Mail, making it a bit if a no brainer,

 

priority mail at the post office

 

What Kind of Priority Mail Services Are Available?

 

There are a number of different USPS Priority Mail services available to be taken advantage of, giving you a chance to get the perfect mail option for your needs.

 

Commercial Base services are the baseline option, available for those that want to leverage USPS Priority Mail services without spending a lot of money. Available primarily to commercial customers, you’ll need to use USPS approved IBI postage meters with this level of service.

 

Commercial Plus is the next step up for commercial customers. Offering everything that Commercial Base offers, you also get even more discounted rates. Your mail volume will trigger these services automatically.

 

Commercial Plus Cubic pricing is another volume based level of Priority Mail service from the USPS, and sits just above the Commercial Plus plan highlighted above. These are the most significantly discount Priority Mail rates for commercial customers.

 

The Regional Rate Box options can be taken advantage of by commercial customers, too. These choices give you a chance to choose a couple of different regional plans that discount bulk Priority Mail mail in a number of different “zones” in the US.

 

All in all, finding how fast is USPS Priority Mail is relatively simple and straightforward – even when you’re choosing from amongst these different commercial options. Priority Mail service is pretty standard across the board, with that one to three business day window highlighted throughout.

 

Add-Ons for Priority Mail

 

As far as add-ons for Priority Mail goes, there are a couple of different options to pick and choose from.

 

For starters, you’ll be able to purchase insurance to protect your package or parcel as you send it through the first class mail platform with extra speed.

 

The final tally for your insurance cost will be entirely dependent on what you’re looking to insure and protect in the first place. You will be told about the total cost before you move forward though, giving you a chance to make any adjustments as necessary.

 

Secondly, you can choose to add Certified or Registered Mail services to the Priority Mail service option, too.

 

This is a good idea for people that want to not only tracking data for their envelopes or packages, but also for a confirmation that the items have reached their destination and been received by the intended person.

 

Other options are available, too. None of them, however, will be able to influence or speed up the actual delivery timeline for your Priority Mail. Keep that in mind before you choose to sign and the dotted line and spend any more than necessary on these pieces of mail.

 

Virtual mailbox on a desktop & mobile

 

The Most Popular Alternative to Priority Mail – US Global Mail Virtual Mailbox

 

Priority Mail services are well and good, but it’s tough to beat a more complete mailing solution like the Virtual Mailbox from US Global Mail.

 

Not only do US Global Mail provide you with many of the same benefits of Priority Mail, but they also have the ability to receive mail on your behalf, to scan mail for your and digitize it for your records, to forward your mail to another destination – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

 

You’ll also be able to have all of your packages signed for and received, all with an address that is a lot closer to a legit street address than any PO Box option you might have otherwise been stuck with going with USPS postal box solutions.

 

Mailing through the US Global Mail platform is relatively simple and straightforward, too. There are a lot of fast options to pick and choose from (many of them on par with Priority Mail). One of the most trusted names in the alternative mailing business, this is an organization you can trust to care for your mail – and your privacy – the same way you would!

 

For more information and details, or to learn more about the other services provided by US Global Mail, don’t hesitate to contact them directly.

Exceptional service, at the right price.

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Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

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Permanent Street Address

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No limits

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How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Flat Rate Box?

It doesn’t take much to overspend on shipping these days – especially if you aren’t taking advantage of flat rate services through the USPS.

 

Designed to streamline shipping prices significantly, a lot of people are either unaware or unsure of how much they can save when they use flat rate services. In the end, they go with a more “a la cart” approach and end up spending a whole lot more money than they should have – all for the same shipping speeds and services.

 

But that’s why this detailed guide was put together.

 

Below we dig right into the ins and outs of using flat rate services, how to make sure you’re saving as much money as possible, and how to move through the whole flat rate shipping process from start to finish.

 

There’s a lot to like about all that the flat rate solutions have to offer. But we’ll get into that in just a little bit.

usps driving on the road

 

Are You Spending Too Much on Shipping?

 

There are a couple of different ways to know that you’re spending too much money on shipping, and the first is if you’re not using flat rate services at all in the first place.

 

As we made mention of earlier, there are plenty of folks out there that are unaware of how easy – and cheap – it is to use flat rate shipping services rather than taking a more “one off” approach to sending packages and parcels.

 

Some folks might be under the impression that flat rate is more of a barebones shipping approach, others might think that it’s going to take to look to get to the final destination, and others till might (incorrectly) assume that flat rate offers are going to somehow be more expensive.

 

Luckily for you though, by the time we wrap up this guide, you won’t have to worry about falling for those misconceptions any longer.

 

Another reason you might be spending more for shipping is that your packing materials are too heavy or too expensive.

 

A lot of people find themselves overpacking because they want to be sure that their items get to their ultimate destination safely and in one piece. Because of modern packing materials you can usually use a lot less packing supplies than you might have in the past.

 

You still want to be sure you’re protecting and securing things as best you can – but you want to be sure that you’re not overstuffing or overpacking (at least as much as possible, anyway).

 

All of those overpacking issues disappear when you use flat rate solutions, however. You can wrap and stuff and pack anything and everything into those boxes. And as long as they fit you’ll be good to go. This is one of the reason so many people are starting to move towards these kinds of services, and one of the biggest reasons people are saving so much money on shipping options.

 

When you get right down to it, there are a lot of things that can cause your shipping costs to go through the roof. This is doubly true if you’re sending a lot of stuff through the mail and the little fees are adding up.

 

With flat rate, though, you cut out a lot of the potential for those fees and costs to keep creeping. Instead you have a chance to deal with almost fixed pricing structures that simplify, streamline, and make life sending things through the mail as effortless as possible.

 

usps truck delivering mail

 

How Exactly Does Flat Rate Shipping Work with the USPS?

 

USPS flat rate boxes guarantee that – if your item fits – you’ll be able to send it anywhere in the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) for one low price. On top of that, you get instant upgrades to Priority Mail access, which means your boxes will get where you want them to go within one to three business days, too.

 

You will have to use the flat rate boxes provided to you by the USPS, though.

 

These boxes are labeled and branded as USPS flat rate boxes and are available at any of the post offices throughout the country. The boxes themselves are available free of charge, without restriction, and you can request as many of them as you’d like.

 

The beauty of going to the post office and getting these boxes yourself is that you’ll be able to find the right box for the price. You can talk with the folks at the office to find the right size for the things you’re  shipping and they might even be able to help you find an option that can help you save some money along the way, too.

 

You can also get these packing supplies from the USPS delivered to you directly after ordering them online, too.

 

All of you have to do is jump on the USPS website to order the flat rate boxes that you’d like (again, you can get as many as you like sent to you at no extra charge) to use with these services. You can reach out to the USPS customer service for some help in finding the right solutions, though they may not be able to help you quite as much as going directly to the post office could.

 

The only thing you’ll need to pay attention to with flat rate shipping is that there is a weight limit. As of the later half of 2020, the weight limit was 70 pounds per flat rate box across the board. This has been changed a couple of times in the past and may be adjusted in the future.

 

You’ll also need to be able to fold, tape, and close the boxes as normal to send a flat rate service through the mail.

 

block that says "price"

 

A Quick Rundown of the 2020 USPS Flat Rate Prices

 

Depending on the size of the box or envelope you’re sending through the flat rate arrangement, you’ll end up spending between $7.75 per piece or $19.60 at the two extremes.

 

There are a couple of different options in between those two extremes, but you almost never will spend more than $20 to get your flat rate box out the door and to your destination.

 

The thing that’s going to make your shipping with flat rate more expensive is adding on different options and more features, some of which we’re going to get into in just a little bit.

 

This is a bit of a mixed bag for some people.

 

On the one hand, you’re going to be able to save big when you go in this direction just be the nature of the flat rate shipping.

 

On the other hand, though, it doesn’t take very much to start adding things to the finished price. Before you know it, you’re spending more money than expected and the benefits of flat rate services diminish.

How Do I Take Advantage of USPS Flat Rate Shipping Options?

 

The whole process for using flat rate mail is very easy and very straightforward.

 

The first step is getting your hands on the box you need to go use flat rate services This is going to involve popping down to the post office or having boxes sent to you from the USPS website. All of the local offices have boxes of every size available and envelopes, too. A quick question at the main desk should have all of the boxes you need in your hands ASAP – and without spending a penny

 

From there, you need to pack the things you’d like to send via the flat rate service.

 

Keep in mind that you can load the box as much as you want up to 70 pounds full, including packing materials. Any higher than that and you’ll have to pay overages (which can get pretty steep in a hurry, so do try and keep under that limit).

 

Because you’re dealing with a flat rate box and not dimensional shipping, it’s always a good idea to get a larger box than you actually need. This gives you space for packing materials (peanuts, foam, etc) and should guarantee that you keep everything nice and safe during transit.

 

Before folding up and taping the box, though, do a quick test run. The USPS will not accept any flat rate box that cannot close “naturally” without charging you extra, too.

 

This means that all flaps have to lay flat, without any bumps or protrusions. Again, it’s a good idea to oversize just to make sure than even the oddest shaped items you want to send are going to work with no difficulty.

 

The next piece of the puzzle is to figure out how you’d like to have your merchandise shipped from your home or office.

 

You could always choose to have the box dropped off at the post office yourself (or by someone close to you), but you could also have a local pickup arranged as well. Not all local post offices are going to offer local pickup services though, so this is something to ask about before you make your final plans.

 

Before you let the box go out the door, though, be sure to confirm that the label has been addressed as outlined exactly by the post office themselves. There are preprinted labels you can download online as well as an online form you can fill out to have the information input for you.

 

As always, a quick trip to the local post office will guarantee you get all the help you need from postal officials. They can take all the delivery information from you directly, input it correctly, and have the label printed and affixed with no trouble at all.

 

green check mark on blocks

 

How Do I Confirm Delivery for My Flat Rate Deliveries?

 

One of the important add-ons you’ll want to consider is the Delivery Confirmation add-on, an option for flat rate that works just like Certified or Registered mail (at least from a confirmation standpoint, anyway).

 

This is available for a floating fee that adjusts depending on whether your want extra insurance, COA, and other options added on as well.

 

Tracking services are available totally free of charge with every flat rate shipment, though, so you don’t have to worry about spending any extra there.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

The Easiest Way to Manage Your Mail

 

While the USPS does a great job for the most part, especially with flat rate shipping options, there are a lot of areas that they struggle with – particularly when it comes to managing all of your mail needs in the modern world.

 

But that’s where US Global Mail comes into play,

 

Offering a total suite of Virtual Mailbox services, US Global Mail is one of the most trusted and reliable alternative mail handling companies in the industry today.

 

Not only will you be able to handle and manage all of your outgoing (and ingoing) flat rate packages, but you’ll also be able to manage the rest of your mail as well. We’re talking about having each new piece scanned and digitized for your records, each new piece available to be opened and/or forwarded to any address of your choosing (much of it automated), and so much more.

 

These Virtual Mailbox services also allow you to use a traditional street address for your mailing address as opposed to a PO Box from the USPS. That address can work as your “permanent mailing address” no matter how often you move – including if you move or travel for long durations overseas.

 

At the end of the day, if you need a more robust solution to all of your mailbox needs, US Global Mail is worth a closer look. All you have to do to get more information about the full range of services they provide (as well as pricing details) is to contact them directly.

 

Custom service and support is available every day, with phone support, live chat support, and email support all able to be taken advantage of. Please don’t hesitate to contact them at your earliest convenience to learn how US Global Mail best fits your needs moving forward!

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

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Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

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We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

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How to Send Certified Mail

If you haven’t yet sent Certified Mail, you have probably received a letter or package via this service. It’s incredibly useful for those mailpieces that are super important and must reach the recipient on time.

 

With that in mind, you should probably know a little bit more about it, right? Great! That’s exactly why we’re here.

 

Let’s get into the details.

 

certified mail

 

What Is Certified Mail?

 

Certified mail is a United States Postal Service feature that gives you a mailing receipt and/or electronic verification that your item has been delivered (or an attempt was made).

 

It’s one of their numbered service that allows you to obtain the following:

 

  • A mailing receipt — you can see an example of this here.
  • A record of delivery — this will include the recipient’s signature and will be kept with your Post Office for two years from the date you sent it out.
  • Signature proof — you must select this at the time of mailing by making use of the Return Receipt Service. You will then receive this by mail or electronically.
  • A refund — some items are exempt from refunds so you need to check beforehand. Don’t worry, we’re going to talk about this later.
  • The delivery status — this can be accessed in three ways. We’ll take a deeper look into this now.

 

By Phone

 

You will need to ring the dedicated phone line which you will find here. Make sure you have the USPS tracking number to hand when you ring up though, otherwise they will not be able to locate your Certified Mail.

 

By Bulk Electronic File Transfer

 

If you have given the USPS an electronic manifest, you will be able to retrieve the delivery status of your Certified Mail packages or letters this way.

 

By Using the Internet

 

Arguably, this is the easiest way to access the whereabouts of your Certified Mail letter or parcel. You just have to go to the USPS website and type in the tracking number found on your mailing receipt.

 

We should also note here that the Certified Mail service can be combined with the following USPS services:

 

  • Certified Mail Restricted Delivery — here, only the person you write on the address slip can sign for the package.
  • Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery — here, the person on the address slip must be over 21. They are then the only ones who can sign for the package or letter.
  • Certified Mail Adult Signature Required — with this service, anyone over the age of 21 can sign for the package or parcel.

 

block that says price

 

How Much Does Certified Mail Cost?

 

When you think about how to send a certified letter, the cost of this service might be one of the first things you ponder. We’re about to answer that burning question for you.

 

Certified Mail will cost you $3.35. Keep in mind that this is in addition to the Priority Mail or First Class Mail fee to actually send your letter or package in the first place.

 

On top of this standard price, if you want a return receipt included, it will cost you more. For those wanting one delivered to them via the mail, you will be charged $2.75. For those wanting an electronic return receipt, you will have to pay $1.45. We suggest that you go for the electronic one!

 

How Long Does It Take To Deliver Certified Mail?

 

Generally, delivery time will depend on the class of mail you choose to add the extra Certified Mail service to.

 

For those who are sending a First Class letter or package, you should expect your mailpiece to arrive within 2 to 5 business days. For those of you who are sending a Priority Mail letter or package, you should expect it to arrive within 2 to 3 working days.

 

Why You Should Use Certified Mail

 

You might have taken one look at the costs we mentioned earlier and decided against using Certified Mail. After all, is your mailpiece that important? Well, it may well be! So, we’re going to take a look at why you really should use this service.

 

Ensure It’s Delivered

 

Regular mail can get lost very easily by the USPS. They get so many letters that it’s just a matter of time before something goes missing. But with Certified Mail, you can guarantee your item isn’t one of them.

 

You will even get to know the exact date and time your recipient received your item.

 

Get Proof of Postage

 

This goes hand in hand with our “ensure it’s delivered” point.

 

When you send your item, you have to complete a Certified Mail form which lets you obtain proof of postage. Peace of mind will finally be achieved!

 

Note: for documents like taxes etc, Certified Mail is the only way to go. Otherwise, you cannot guarantee that your incredibly important item will reach the desired location.

 

Track Your Item

 

When you fill in the form, you are given a tracking number so you can follow your item throughout the whole process. You can see exactly where your item is at any time. No more wondering!

 

Maintain Your Records

 

The USPS keeps Certified Mail certificates for 10 years. This allows you to confirm or battle any claims made against you in the future. There’s nothing like staying confident in the fact that you’ve done everything by the book.

 

Extra Layer of Security

 

If you’re sending important documents, you need them to be on time. Certified Mail gives you a sure-fire way to keep nosey eyes off your information and that the right person will receive it.

 

yellow caution tape

 

Restricted Items

 

Of course, this service isn’t a free for all! There are restrictions. Yes, they are the same as the general mail restrictions but we’ll briefly go over them here so you can make sure you aren’t breaking the law:

 

  • Aerosols (malleable gases, propane, fire extinguishers)
  • Lithium batteries (under some conditions, small batteries are okay to mail domestically)
  • Alcohol (beer, wine, liquor)
  • Cigarettes, tobacco, and cigars (cigars can be mailed domestically)
  • Matches (treated matches can be mailed, strike-anywhere matches can’t be)
  • Live animals (poultry, reptiles, bees, etc.)
  • Cremated leftovers (you can ship these if they are in a properly sealed container and you use Priority Mail Express)
  • Dry ice (if it’s used as a refrigerant to nonhazardous materials then you can send it)
  • Firearms (only licensed dealers can send these)
  • Glues (there are lots of exceptions here but you need to research this yourself)
  • Fragile items (i.e. things that require extra-special handling)
  • Perishable items (live animals, food, plants)
  • Poison (otherwise known as toxins)
  • Perfume (if it contains alcohol, you can ship it via ground transportation)
  • Paint (it has to qualify as a commodity in order for you to ship it)
  • Nail polish (see “paint”)
  • Medicines (controlled substances have strict regulations)
  • Hand sanitizer (you have to use USPS Retail Ground, Parcel Select, or Parcel Select Lightweight here)

 

Is Certified Mail Eligible For a Refund?

 

Since Certified Mail is relatively expensive, you will be pleased to know that you will be eligible for a service fee refund. However, this only applies if you haven’t received the mail receipt after 30 days. Remember, you won’t get the postage back, just the service fee.

 

How to Send Certified Mail

 

Now, to the question you’ve all been waiting for — how to send certified mail!

 

There are actually two ways to do this so we’ll have a look at each one in turn.

 

How to Send Certified Mail USPS from Your Post Office

 

Step One: Go to Your Post Office

 

When you get to the post office, you need to grab a Certified Mail Form 3800. It has a white and green sticker that also has a barcode. This is the bit that lets the United States Postal Service track your mailpiece throughout the process.

 

You will find that it also has a perforated edge. This part is the receipt. You should keep this as it’s your proof of postage.

 

Once you’ve acquired this form, you just need to write all of the information on it. This includes your recipient’s name and address (of course).

 

Step Two: Pop The Sticker On

 

Take the sticker off the backing paper. You need to place it onto the top edge of the envelope you are planning to mail. Ensure the address area is to the left once you place the sticker on the front.

 

You must make sure that there is enough room for the right postage stamps. Don’t worry too much about this if you’re sending a package since you can put the sticker onto the left side of the address.

 

Step Three: Pay The Right Postage Fee

 

We mentioned the various postage fees earlier so you can refer to that section if you need to know the costs. But here are the specifics:

 

  • First Class mail must weigh 13 ounces or less.
  • Priority Mail is delivered very quickly (in 2 or 3 days).

 

Step Four: Consider Whether You Want to Use Restricted Delivery

 

This means that the right person will receive your mailpiece. For those of you who select this option, you will need to sign the part of the form dedicated to these restrictions.

 

Step Five: Consider Whether You Want to Use The Receipt Service

 

If you have been wondering all this time about how to send certified mail with return receipt, this is the section for you!

 

As we have mentioned, this gives you a receipt with the recipient’s signature attached. You can obtain this in one of three ways:

 

  • Postal service — you’ll be given a physical receipt this way.
  • Email — of course, it will be an electronic receipt this way.
  • PDF — this is an electronic image that it’s easy to print out.

 

Step Six: Keep Your Records

 

You need to make sure you keep all your documents in a safe place. Your receipt will be stamped with the mailing date so you can maintain order in your files.

 

Step Seven: Have a Look at The Delivery Information Online

 

Use the United States Postal Service website to check whether or not your mailpiece has been delivered. The Post Office will keep a record of the recipient’s signature, which you’ll be able to find there too.

 

sending certified mail via mobile

 

How to Send Certified Mail Online

 

Step One: Sign Up For An Account With a Website of Your Choice

 

The first step you need to accomplish is signing up for an account. Make sure you’re using the legitimate, reliable websites to do this. Some sites might charge you monthly fees which are not acceptable and proves they’re a scam.

 

While you sing up for the account, check the prices for Certified Mail again. You need to consider whether it is worth it for the item you’re looking to post.

 

Step Two: Get Your Letter Ready to Send

 

Type out your letter or any other document on a reliable word processing program. If needed, you can print it out to sign the document. Generally, this will be a necessity if it’s important enough to send via Certified Mail.

 

Step Three: Scan Your Document

 

Scan your signed letter or document. Make sure you save it somewhere safe and check that you can read everything easily.

 

Step Four: Upload The Scan to The Site of Your Choosing

 

You need to then upload this scan onto the mailing service website.

 

After this, the service you have used will address, print, and send out your letter on the same working day!

 

Step Five: Keep a Copy For Your Records

 

Once you have received your proof of mailing, you must keep it for your records. Alongside this, you need to keep the proof of delivery from the United States Postal Service as well.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Sending Certified Mail isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it certainly isn’t the hardest! You’ve got all the tools now to be able to master this excellent feature and utilize it for all your important mailing needs.

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$9.95

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$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

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$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
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What Is Certified Mail?

Sending Certified Mail doesn’t have to be scary. You’ve probably received your fair share of Certified Mail in the past too. Well, now it is time for you to know exactly how to harness the power of this United States Postal Service feature.

 

So, without further ado, let’s get straight into the specifics!

 

certified mail

 

What Is Certified Mail USPS?

 

Certified Mail, as we have just mentioned, is a feature provided by the United States Postal Service. It gives you a mailing receipt or electronic verification that your parcel or letter has been delivered (or that delivery was attempted).

 

It is a numbered service that gives you the following items:

 

  • A refund — some items are completely exempt from refunds. Make sure you check this beforehand. Also, we should note that you are given a refund on the service charge only, not the postage fee.
  • Proof of signature — you have to choose this when you mail your item. This is called the “Return Receipt Service”. You can decide whether you want to receive it via snail mail or electronically.
  • A mailing receipt — if you’re interested, click here to see an example.
  • A record of delivery — this includes a copy of the recipient’s signature. It will be kept by your Post Office for two years from the date you sent the item.
  • The status of delivery — you can access this in three ways. Let’s have a closer look at each.

 

Using The Bulk Electronic File Transfer Service

 

To use this service, you must give the USPS an electronic manifest. They will then show you the status of your Certified Mail items this way.

 

By Telephone

 

You will have to ring the dedicated phone line found on the USPS contact page. Ensure you know your tracking number otherwise they won’t be able to help you.

 

Using The Internet

 

This will probably be your preferred method. Just go to the United States Postal Service website and enter your tracking number on your mailing receipt.

 

Alongside all of this, you can combine Certified Mail with some other services, but we’ll look at all of that in detail a little later.

 

What Is Certified Mail Used For?

 

While anyone can send Certified Mail, it is most commonly sent by businesses.

 

You will have likely received Certified Mail from debtors, the IRS, attorneys, and for jury duty. It works very well for legal documents or anything that requires an intense amount of security.

 

Plus, even if you do not sign for it, Certified Mail will still show that it came for you. Thus, it can be used against you in legal proceedings because you can’t claim it never arrived. In other words, it can be proved that someone tried to contact you.

 

The main thing to remember is that anyone can send it. So don’t automatically get nervous if you get a piece of this mail through your door! Sometimes, it might even be good news. Not to mention that some eCommerce stores will use it so their items definitely reach you.

 

What Is Certified Mail Restricted Delivery?

 

You can combine Certified Mail with the Restricted Delivery services offered by the United States Postal Service. These include the following:

 

  • Certified Mail Restricted Delivery — with this option, only the person on the address slip can sign for the letter, package, or parcel.
  • Certified Mail Adult Signature Required — with this option, anyone over the age of 21 can sing for your letter, package, or parcel.
  • Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery — with this option, the person you write onto the address slip has to be over 21. They’re the only person who can sing for your letter, package, or parcel.

 

To put it simply, Restricted Delivery ensures that only the addressee can receive your mail. It is commonly used for sensitive pieces like contracts, high-value packages, legal documents, and classified or confidential papers. Using this service means your recipient must validate his identity before the United States Postal Service carrier will allow them to have the piece of mail.

 

block that says "price"

 

What Is The Cost of Certified Mail?

 

This was probably the first question that came to your mind when you started thinking about Certified Mail, right? Well, let’s answer that for you!

 

The United States Postal Service provides this service for $3.35. However, you will be paying this on top of the Priority Mail or First Class Mail charge to send your package, parcel, or letter.

 

Additionally, for those of you who are after a return receipt too, it will cost you a little bit extra. If you want it delivered to you via snail mail, you will have to pay $2.75. If you want it delivered to you electronically, then you will pay around $1.45. It’s a lot easier to go for the electronic option — not to mention cheaper!

 

registered mail

 

What Is The Difference Between Certified and Registered Mail?

 

As you now know, Certified Mail is a service that gives you (i.e. the sender) proof of the delivery and billing. Plus, you acquire a copy of the recipient’s signature once the USPS has handed over the package, parcel, or letter. Both Priority Mail and First Class Mail can be sent using this Certified service.

 

Since this type of mail service is sent out alongside the regular mail, it tends to be cheaper. However, as we mentioned earlier, you will have to pay a bit extra if you’re looking for a return receipt too. Bear in mind, this is not ensured. If you need or want it to be, then you have to pay a fee.

 

Registered Mail, on the other hand, is a service offered by the USPS that provides records of the letter, parcel, or package’s location when it is handed over from one place to the next. You (again, the sender) can track the item at every point of the process thanks to the barcode registration labels.

 

This mail type is sent separately from the regular mail and it does take a tad longer to arrive at its destination. Plus, Registered Mail is more expensive. Typically, it’s used to send valuables or incredibly important paperwork because you can insure the contents for up to $25,000.

 

To make the differences between Certified Mail and Registered Mail clearer, have a look at the handy table below.

 

Certified Mail Registered Mail
Gives the sender proof of billing Gives the sender records of the letter, parcel, or package’s location when it’s handed over from one place to the next
Gives the sender proof of delivery Barcode registration labels allow the sender to track the item
Gives the sender a copy of the recipient’s signature once the parcel, package, or letter has been received It is sent separately from the regular mail
Priority Mail can be sent as Certified Mail It can take longer to arrive because of the above point
First Class Mail can be sent as Certified Mail It is more expensive than Certified Mail
Gives the sender a tracking number (i.e. a mailing receipt) Used to mail valuables or incredibly important paperwork
Sent with the regular mail Can be insured up to $25,000
It is cheaper than Registered Mail
Not insured

 

Can I Pick Up Certified Mail If I Don’t Have the Slip?

 

In short, no. Without the slip, the United States Postal Service can never be sure if they’re releasing the package, parcel, or letter to the right person. Whether your dog’s eaten it, you’ve lost it, or you’ve drowned it in the sink, they won’t be able to give you your item. So, make sure you take good care of it.

 

However, if you do end up losing it, then you have to schedule a redelivery online. Of course, you have to enter information about your item including the following:

 

  • The name on the item
  • The date you received your delivery attempt slip
  • The address on the label
  • The item number (if you don’t have the slip, this will be tricky to remember)

 

If that doesn’t show you how important the slip is when you go to retrieve your Certified Mail item then nothing will!

 

What Happens to Certified Mail That Is Not Delivered?

 

The first delivery attempt of your Certified Mail will happen within three to five days. At this point, if there isn’t anyone to sign for the package, parcel, or letter, the United States Postal Service carrier will pop a notice (PS Form 3859) through your door. This states that you have a Certified Mail item waiting to be received at your nearest Post Office.

 

The item will be detained at the Post Office for up to 15 days. After this period has passed, the employees will mark your letter (parcel, or package) as “Unclaimed”. Then, they will return it to the sender.

 

Everything we have just discussed above will take roughly 4 weeks. It is likely that the Certified Mail item will go without a delivery scan for a long period of time in this case.

 

If your item hasn’t been received after 4 to 5 weeks, it might be classed as “missing”. We’re going to be discussing what to do in this circumstance right now. Ready? Stay with us!

 

What To Do If Certified Mail Is Missing?

 

For those of you wanting to find your letter, parcel, or package, you should start by calling the Post Office. This won’t necessarily be your local store. Instead, find the zip code of the Post Office where your item was last scanned, and ring this location.

 

You need to ask to speak to the Post Master who will ask you for the Certified Mail article number. They are probably going to tell you that it is still pending delivery.

 

If the United States Postal Service can’t find nor deliver your item, you should request a refund.

 

To do this, follow the steps below:

 

  1. Fill out the PS Form 3533.
  2. Submit the completed form to your local Post Office branch.

 

It’s that easy! Bear in mind that you won’t be able to claim a refund for the actual postage. However, you can ask for a refund for the return receipt electronic fee (which is $1.50) and the Certified Mail fee (which is $3.45).

 

signing for certified mail

 

What Happens If Certified Mail Is Not Signed For?

 

If your Certified Mail piece isn’t signed for, you should act as though it wasn’t delivered and follow that procedure to locate the item. However, there is another, more pressing, reason why it hasn’t been signed for — and that is called mail refusal.

 

Refusing to sign for Certified Mail isn’t a crime. But depending on what’s in the envelope, there could be consequences — especially if tax notices, evictions, and summonses are refused. Normally, it’s better to just sign for the mail and continue on with your day.

 

What To Do If Your Certified Mail Is Refused

 

If you’ve experienced that soul-crushing moment where your recipient refuses your mail, there are some things you can do to eradicate the issue.

 

Send A Non-Certified Version

 

Sending a non-certified version is the best (and only) way to handle it. The recipient physically cannot refuse uncertified mail. Whether they like it or not, they will have to accept that they’ve received the envelope.

 

The Bottom Line

 

Remember, anyone can send Certified Mail. You just need to think about whether it’s worth it for the items you are sending. To help you figure it out and keep in mind the specifics of this USPS mail service, have a look at our helpful checklist below:

 

  • If you need proof of signature, Certified Mail is the one for you
  • If you want a record of delivery, Certified Mail is the best option
  • Consider whether you need to opt into restricted delivery as well
  • Think about the differences between Certified Mail and Registered Mail before deciding to choose the former (scroll back up if you want to peruse the differences again)
  • Ask yourself whether you can afford the extra $3.35

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$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

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The History Of “Neither Rain Nor Snow”

If you reside in the US, the USPS has probably come in handy for you, more than once. Due to its state owned status, having packages or mail items sent to you, can be done in a very cheap (and usually,) very reliable manner. Depending on the age demographic, some people tend to rely on the USPS to deliver medications and other essential needs that other shippers would not handle. Overall, and due to the fact that it has a responsibility to cover all zip codes in the US (including rural areas,) it is a delivery service that everyone will find very useful more than once in their lifetime. 

 

As of recently (past decade,) a lot of turmoil has caused a lot of debate on the future of the USPS. Every 4 years, there is always that question of whether it is something that should be privatized, or remain a state owned entity. We will not be diving into those details in this article, but rather giving a small history overview of the famous motto, that is so dear to many of us (especially the older ones among us.) 

 

usps truck driving in the snow

Neither Rain Nor Snow – A USPS Creed?

 

It is actually rather interesting, but the USPS does not have an official creed, or slogan. It is more of an informal motto, than something that was scripted and used as a marketing tool on behalf of the USPS. Having said that, the USPS does take ownership of this as an “unofficial” motto and carries it proudly. It all started in 1914 when this phrase was added as an inscription on New York City’s General Post Office Building. This inscription was added by an architect by the name of William M. Kendall, from the firm McKim, Mead & White

 

Origin Of Neither Rain Nor Snow

 

This phrase has its origins from a translation of Herodotus’ Histories when making reference to the courier service that existed during the Persian Empire. Angarium, the term used for the institution of the royal mounted couriers in ancient Persia, was composed of riders (messengers) who would use the networks between Susa and Sardis (a nine day journey) to deliver a message on behalf of the king of Persia. King Darius was the one who perfected it half a century later. 

 

The quote from the translation of Herodotus reads as follows:

 

“Now there is nothing mortal which accomplishes a journey with more speed than these messengers, so skillfully has this been invented by the Persians: for they say that according to the number of days of which the entire journey consists, so many horses and men are set at intervals, each man and horse appointed for a day’s journey. These neither snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness of night prevents from accomplishing each one the task proposed to him, with the very utmost speed. The first then rides and delivers the message with which he is charged to the second, and the second to the third; and after that it goes through them handed from one to the other, as in the torch-race among the Hellenes, which they perform for Hephaestus. This kind of running of their horses the Persians call Angarium.”

 

The Mission of the Postal Service

 

The United States Postal Service is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the government. The mission statement, which is known as the Postal Reorganization Act reads as follows:

 

“The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities.”

 

A Lesser Known Inscription

 

The Post Office building (today, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum) has another inscription that is not as known as the famous “Neither Rain Nor Snow”, which is a poem from Dr. Charles W. Eliot, former president of Harvard University.

 

It reads as follows:

 

Messenger of Sympathy and Love 

Servant of Parted Friends 

Consoler of the Lonely 

Bond of the Scattered Family 

Enlarger of the Common Life 

 

Carrier of News and Knowledge 

Instrument of Trade and Industry 

Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance 

Of Peace and of Goodwill Among Men and Nations.

 

This inscription, was called “The Letter” with a small change made to it by President Woodrow Wilson before the inscription was carved. 

 

a pen on a calendar

 

National Neither Snow Nor Rain Day

This day on September 7th, commemorates the opening of the New York Post Office on September 7th 1914. The building, also known as the James A. Farley Post Office Building is the main post office in New York City. Although it started being operational in 1914, it was originally built in 1912. 

 

James. A Farley was Postmaster General from 1933-1940, during a very tough time in US history and the history of the USPS. The Great Depression had impacted a lot of jobs, and therefore USPS revenues had dropped significantly. Under Farley’s direction and by participating in the “New Deal”, the USPS quickly saw its revenues and real estate growing. 

 

The building was named after Farley, as a tribute to his political career as 53rd Postmaster General. 

Summary

 

The USPS has been around for quite some time, with many hundreds of thousands of employees and Postmaster Generals having gone by. There is no official creed of the USPS, however there are certain parts connected to USPS history, that have remained as “sayings” or quotes that are often heard and repeated by the public. 

 

The most famous quote, an inscription that can be found at the New York Post Office, is one that is often times referenced, when speaking to the tireless postal workers of the Post Office. Indeed, no matter the harsh weather conditions or the state of political matters, you can always expect to receive mail in a reliable and timely manner. 

 

If you find a USPS worker today, take a minute and thank them for their hard work. 

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

security symbol
Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

Tree on the top of the world globe

We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

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How Do I Get The USPS To Recognize My Address

If you have been a customer of the USPS and tend to receive mail, you are probably surprised to see that your new address is not being recognized by the USPS. It is a common occurrence for people that move to a new location, to suddenly realize that that location – for some reason – is not validated by the USPS. 

 

There’s nothing worse than feeling like your mailing address is stuck in a permanent blackhole.

 

Unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of Americans all over the country, the USPS treats their mailing address as though it was sucked right into a vortex – not recognizing or validating legitimate addresses, and making it almost impossible for Americans to have mail, packages, or parcels sent to them.

 

This is a huge problem.

 

Thankfully, though, it is (relatively) simple enough to fix. And that’s why we put together this quick guide.

 

By the time you’re done with the details below you’ll know exactly how to troubleshoot issues with your address in the USPS system. Most of the time you’ll be able to fix these issues without having to pop down to the local post office, too.

 

We also share an easy way to guarantee that you won’t ever have to worry about address validation issues ever again. But more on that in just a little bit!

 

Hopefully, in this article, we will be able to raise some of the most common reasons why that may be happening and a helpful step by step process that you can follow. 

 

Before we get into that, it helps to understand how an address gets validated. In order for an address to be recognized by the USPS, it must match a corresponding address within the official USPS database which you are able to access by visiting USPS APIs.

 

This address is set up, monitored, and cleaned out (or added to) by the US government on a regular basis. Most of the time this is done in conjunction with local municipalities, property changes and transfers, and the creation of new roads or mailing routes that are done in connection with local post office departments.

 

Sometimes, however, addresses sort of “slip through the cracks”.

 

Believe it or not, it happens a whole lot more than most people would ever expect. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of times all over the country, and never intentionally.

 

That’s not much solace for folks that have “invalid addresses” when they go to order something online and have it sent to their doorstep, or when they find their mail simply not arriving – but instead being returned to sender – because there address isn’t recognized by USPS systems.

 

It’s a huge headache and hassle to have to deal with an address issue with the post office.

 

We are, after all, talking about a major part of our federal system. The post office is a gigantic bureaucracy, moves slowly whenever they have to make big changes like this, and usually need more than a little nudge in the right direction to help resolve your problem quickly.

 

Making things worse is that there are all different kinds of reasons why you might be dealing with and invalid address to begin with.

 

If your address includes any incorrect data, then it will not match that address within their database. That address will be labeled as “invalid.” Some of the most common reasons that may happen, is due to a vacant address, or simply a new address or unregistered address and even one that is located in a postal area that is primarily serviced by PO Boxes. Your best shot would be to verify the address prior to shipping or mailing something to it. 

 

address validation

 

How To Complete Address Validation

 

As mentioned already, if an address is invalid then you will not be able to have that address recognized by the USPS. In order to validate or verify the address you must complete the following 3 step process. 

 

Address Standardization and Parsing

 

Initially, a submitted address is standardized, which means that any incorrect format in the address is fixed. Errors within the house number, street name, city etc could all potentially be causing this issue. Therefore it is important to be able to get that data written out accurately. 

 

During this step, other minor errors can also be corrected. A misspelled street or city name can easily be fixed and any missing information can be filled in. However, standardization cannot help with fixing straight out incorrect addresses. 

 

For example, if there is a misspelling in which case the actual street name was “123 Oxford Park Dr” but what was listed instead was “123 Oxfrd Park Dr” then standardization can help with fixing errors like that. If however the street name itself is entirely wrong and the intended address was “456 Oxford Park Dr” but what was registered was “123 Oxford Park Dr” then standardization will not be able to help with this, but rather Parsing.

 

Address parsing is an effort to disassemble a specific line of data, identify its distinct parts and label them. This is something that is usually used for address validation since it will help with making both the standardizing and validating process more effective.

 

Checking The Database

 

Once the process of address cleansing has been completed, then the address itself is taken and compared against a relevant database. A search will take place to see if the address that is in question is on the official list. If that is the case, then it is marked as a real and active address. 

 

Returning A Value

 

Once the validation process has been completed, then the address data is returned to the user completed with a valid or invalid status assigned to it. There may also be an explanation as to why the address was not eligible to be validated. 

 

The response that the validation provider returns to you, may also include supplemental information that the provider gathers regarding address and that are sent to them. Some providers may even include things such as geocodes that correspond to a particular address, RDI labels or time zone information. 

pin on a map

 

Why Are Some Addresses Not Recognized

 

There is a series of reasons why an address may not be recognized by the USPS or comes up as invalid. Below, we will be listing some of the top reasons why an address may not be recognized. 

 

Input Error

 

Sometimes the data from within the USPS database may have an error. People manage the addresses that are listed, so it is possible that from time to time there will be some mistake in the spelling, mixing up the order of street numbers or zip codes. Any mistake that is added into the address really, can trigger an error.

 

Missing Information

 

In certain cases, there is no mistake that has been made in the address itself, but rather some information that may be missing from the address. For example, it may be hard to validate an address if you do not know the house number or street name. So although you may get the general area right (city, zip code etc,) if you do not have the actual street number, it will be tough to pin point the exact location.

 

A False Address

 

In certain cases, if the actual address that is added is fake, then this would come up as an invalid address. This is sometimes done by people who intend on either hiding their identity or stealing someone’s identity. 

 

Your Area Is Not Within The USPS Service Area

 

There are some locations that are known as PO Box only Zip Codes and that is where the postman will typically not deliver mail. If the physical address is not receiving mail then that means that it is probably not registered in the database. That means that any mail that is sent to that particular address will never be delivered there, but rather be sent back to the sender. 

 

Your Address Is Not Registered

 

Any address that you reside or have a business in, will need to be registered with the USPS if it is not already within the USPS database. It is not under their responsibility to keep an eye out for new addresses that are created. Rather the people who reside or do business in those addresses, need to make sure they have registered their address with the USPS. 

 

A New Address

 

Having a new address is very similar to the case where your address is not registered. A new address may not have had the chance to sign up for mail or maybe the mail system is still processing and adding the new address to the list. If you know that the address you are in, is new and possibly not within their system, it will be a good idea to make sure that the post office is aware of this address. 

 

What To Do When Your Address Is Invalid

 

In certain cases, there is not much that you can do for invalid addresses. As an example, if there is a false address that is listed, then there is not much that you can do to track down the correct information. If the problem however was that someone made a typing error in listing the address, it is possible that someone will be able to fix the issue manually.

 

Here are some ways in which you can handle invalid addresses:

 

Double Check Your Data. It is not impossible that you missed something or that there was some mistake at some point when adding in the information. It may be a good idea to check again, if the data you added was correct. 

 

Look for spelling errors. Sometimes it may just be some numbers that were not added in the right order, or some misspelled word is in place. 

 

Make sure you are not in a PO Box Postal Area. Some locations are designated by the USPS as PO Box only areas, which means that any other houses in the area will not receive mail. If that happens to be you, you will need to make sure to register a local PO Box in order to receive mail. 

 

Still Having Trouble?

 

If, however, that process for adding an address to the database does not work you may need to go directly to your local post office in speak to your postmaster.

 

They will usually direct you to the town office where you can get a copy of your property deed to confirm that your address is in fact 100% legitimate. They’ll then use that copy of the information you’ve provided to add your address to the USPS Address Database.

 

It will also be added during the next monthly update.

 

This process is pretty quick and pretty painless, too, though you may have to make an appointment to meet with your postmaster. Some local offices are little busier than others and you may not be able to meet directly with your postmaster as a “walking”.

 

Call ahead, schedule an appointment, and you should be good to go with no issue whatsoever.

 

Most of the time that copy of your property deed will be 100% free of charge (or almost free), making this a pretty inexpensive way to have your physical address added to the USPS Address Database without much extra effort on your behalf.

 

 

A Virtual Address Alternative

 

If you are running into issues with getting your address recognized with the USPS, whether that is because of some error that cannot be fixed or simply because you are in a PO Box only area, you may want to look at a better alternative, which is a virtual address. 

 

A virtual address, is a real street address that receives mail. The difference with a regular address, is that all your mail will be scanned and uploaded into your virtual mailbox. So images of your mail will be sent there, and you can even request to scan the interior documents of your envelope.

 

This way, from the comfort of your own home or if you are travelling, you can access and stay on top of mail at any time via any mobile or computer device. 

 

Of course, you also get to take advantage of mail forwarding and mail scanning solutions from this service, too.

 

The mail forwarding options are robust, secure, and speedy. They’ll work for you no matter where you are in the United States or anywhere else around the world (so long as you have a valid address to have that mail forwarded to).

 

The mail scanning options make digital records of every package, parcel, and envelope you have come through your Virtual Mailbox. This creates a 100% digital database of your mail or your own personal records, helping you to keep better track of mail as it comes in but also creating a paper trail should you need one moving forward.

 

A myriad of other big benefits are available through the Virtual Mailbox solution (including check-cashing benefits and more). There’s a reason why folks trust US Global Mail to help them when they find USPS traditional mail services a little lacking.

 

US Global Mail has been the leader in virtual address services since 1999, and has been a preferred vendor for US expats, frequent travelers and anyone looking for an easier way to manage mail. It is all accessible online, 24/7 within a click of a button. 

 

For pricing and to get a free trial, click here. If you need to contact us, feel free to reach out to us with an e-mail.

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$14.99 billed monthly.

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  • Free check deposit
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PLUS

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  • Add multiple company names
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What Is Informed Delivery Daily Digest?

If you know anyone in the print or mailing industry, you have probably heard of the United States Postal Service Informed Delivery Daily Digest. Even if you don’t, you’ve likely heard of this feature. However, you might not know the specifics. So, we’re here to tell you all about it. Ready? Let’s get into the details!

 

What Is The Informed Delivery Daily Digest Service?

 

The USPS Informed Delivery Daily Digest is an optional (and free, by the way) notification feature that lets you have a digital preview of your letters that are meant to be arriving soon. Recently, they have added a new widget that allows you to manage your packages too.

 

At the moment, it is only available to residential consumers and not businesses. Whether this will change is another story entirely. But for now, this is where it stands.

 

This notification service doesn’t just benefit you, but the entire household. You can take a sneak peek at the letters you can expect to see in your mailbox over the coming days — even if you aren’t in the country.

 

Of course, you need to have access to a smartphone, tablet, or computer to see the notifications. However, in this day and age, that isn’t usually a problem.

 

holding a cup of coffee next to a phone

 

How Does The USPS Informed Delivery Daily Digest Service Work?

 

It’s rather simple. The United States Postal Service snaps a picture of the front of your letters that travel through their automated sorting machines. Then, they take those images and use them to bring you notifications before the delivery of said mail. Make sense? We thought so!

 

Now, you might be wondering “okay, great, but what will I see?”. This is a great question. Don’t stress, we’re about to get into that.

 

So, What Will You See?

 

You will receive emails (the one you used to when creating a USPS account) with the gray-scale pictures of the front of your letters (in other words, the side with the address). If you’re someone that receives a boatload of mail, you will notice that this service only shows you up to 10 of your letter-sized pieces.

 

As well as showing up on your email, you can see your incoming letters on your Informed Delivery dashboard. As we said, you will only see the first 10 but it’s better than nothing! This restriction is in place to stop you from being bombarded with tons of emails — no one likes spam and the USPS knows this better than anyone!

 

You might find a color image on some of your mailpieces. This is because participating retailers can supply an additional interactive picture that appears below your gray-scale image. Needless to say, this is an amazing marketing tool and has allowed many small businesses to flourish.

 

With all of that being said, you will not receive images of catalogs or magazines. Why? Because the USPS automated equipment doesn’t capture these. If you do have said type of mail on the way, you’ll be sent the following message, “a mailpiece for which we don’t have an image is in today’s mail”.

 

Additionally, Certified Mail and Registered Mail can be viewed in your Informed Delivery Daily Digest notifications. Here, you can see the delivery status, give the driver instructions, manage alerts, and sort out re-deliveries. However, if you would rather not see these notifications in your Informed Delivery dashboard, then you can choose to receive USPS tracking updates by text instead.

 

Speaking of the dashboard, let’s talk a little bit more about that, shall we?

 

Essentially, this is your digital mailbox. As we’ve said, you can see and manage pretty much everything from here.

 

It displays your letter-sized gray-scale mail images for up to 7 days, but your package information will be shown for around 15 days following delivery. If you’re after an in-depth review of the whereabouts of your parcels, you should opt-in to the separate, dedicated feature. It’s all relatively simple to get set up so don’t worry about that!

 

block that says price

 

How Much Does Informed Delivery Daily Digest Cost?

 

From everything you know about informed delivery daily digest now, you might think it will cost you an arm and a leg. Surprisingly though, you would be wrong, my friend!

 

This great notification feature is completely free for consumers! Yep, no hidden costs, just a great alert system. How great, right?

 

How to Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery Daily Digest

 

By now, you will undoubtedly be wanting to give this a try. If this is the case, you’re in the right place. However, if you’re not convinced just yet, head on down to the section below and come back here when you’re ready to sign up.

 

Still with us? Excellent! It won’t take long for you to become part of the notification squad so let’s get started.

 

Step One: Create Your Account

 

For those of you who already have a USPS personal account, you can skip this step.

 

For those of you who do not have one, just sign up. It’s really easy and will only take a few minutes of your time.

 

Once you are all signed up, you need to wait for a welcome letter to arrive in the mail. If the account information inside is correct, then you don’t have to do anything else at this stage. If you don’t recognize it, then you must deactivate your account before you become a victim of identity or mail theft.

 

Step Two: Confirm Your Identity

 

After you have completed the sign-up process, you will have to verify your identity. This is to protect you from falling prey to identity thieves!

 

You can indeed do this online. But, if you are having difficulties with that, you can visit a participating USPS location to use the in-person Identity Proofing service. To find your nearest site, you can follow these steps:

 

  1. Log in to your personal United States Postal Service account.
  2. Choose “Informed Delivery” at the top of the window.
  3. Click on “Enroll”.
  4. Choose “Informed Delivery” in the Account Management section.
  5. If you have tried and failed to verify your identity online in the last 3 days, “Verify Your Identity” will be in red. In this case, click “Enroll in Informed Delivery”.
  6. Find the option that says “In-Person Identity Verification” and click the “Opt-in” button underneath.
  7. Type your zip code into the box below the table to find the nearest Identity Proofing facility to you.
  8. Go to the bottom of the page and click “Continue to In-Person Proofing”. You’ll be taken to a page that tells you more about it.
  9. Receive the email that will tell you how you should continue.

 

When you go to the Identity Proofing facility, you must ensure that you have two acceptable forms of identification. For those of you who forget, then you will (unfortunately) have to wait 72 hours (3 days) before being able to attempt it again.

 

Primary forms of identification must have a clear photo of you on the front. You can bring any of the following government-approved documents:

 

  • Uniformed Service ID card
  • ID card given to you by a federally- or state-recognized tribal nation (in other words, a tribal identification card)
  • US certificate of naturalization
  • US certificate of citizenship
  • Federal- or state-issued ID card
  • US Armed Forces card
  • US permanent resident or other document given to you by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Non-driver’s identification card
  • State-issued driver’s license
  • Matricula Consular
  • NEXUS
  • Passport
  • University ID card (as long as you are studying in the United States of America)
  • Corporate identification card

 

Your secondary form of identification must state your address and be traceable to you as an individual. You can bring one of the following:

 

  • Form I-94, arrival and departure record
  • Voter registration card
  • Vehicle registration card
  • Lease agreement
  • Mortgage agreement
  • Deed of trust
  • Utility bill
  • Home insurance policy
  • Vehicle insurance policy

 

Step Three: Get Your Notifications

 

The final step is to simply start receiving your notifications! As long as you have a smartphone, tablet, or computer nearby, you are good to get started!

 

See? That wasn’t so hard, was it? We told you it would be easy.

 

informed delivery notification

 

Informed Delivery Daily Digest: The Features

 

To all of you who skipped the sign-up process for now and found yourself here, hello to you! We’re going to look at the features of Informed Delivery Daily Digest so you can get to know the system a little bit more.

 

Secure Access

 

First and foremost, you are given secure access to your mail. The United States Postal Service understands just how real mail and identity theft is, which is exactly why they’ve ensured their services are wonderfully safe and secure.

 

Track Your Packages

 

Yep, alongside receiving letter-sized previews, you will be able to track your packages. From the app or the dashboard, you can see what time your parcel should be with you, and where it is in real-time.

 

Preview Your Expected Mail

 

While most of the images will be grayscale here, some companies will provide interactive color pictures too! This not only allows their business to grow but offers you a unique way to shop or access different services.

 

Leave Delivery Instructions

 

If you realize that you won’t be home to receive a package, you can use the Informed Delivery Daily Digest dashboard to note instructions. This could be something like “leave behind the iron gate” or “leave in the big tub at the end of the driveway”.

 

Notifications

You can set up alerts by email, text, or both to track your parcels. Each one will inform you of the status of your packages.

 

Sort Out Re-deliveries

 

If you have (sadly) missed a delivery, you can use your dashboard to sort out a retry. This is super useful if you’re always on the go or out at work 5 days a week.

 

pros & cons of scheduling a pickup

 

USPS Informed Delivery Daily Digest: The Pros

 

Before we send you on your merry way, we thought you might like to get to know both sides of the story — the pros and cons. Of course, we’ll start with the advantages!

 

Early Notifications

 

Since this service is usually used by people who are away for the majority of the time and cannot always get to their mail. The early notifications just add to the effectiveness of this as they send them at about 7:30 am every single day. This will give most people the chance to have a look to see if there is anything urgent.

 

Clear Images

 

The letters are generally really easy to read, which is great. Plus, you can see the recipient’s name which is essential if there are lots of you in the house.

 

Fancy Interactive Banners

 

Of course, this is a fun little addition that helps businesses to grow and provides you with a bit of fun.

 

Continuous Improvement

 

The USPS is always looking to improve its services so you should expect lots of updates and exciting new features.

 

Good Tool For Mail Marketers

 

The colorful banners work wonders for mail marketers. How? People spend far more time engaging with their content instead of throwing it into the trash can!

 

Can Be Used For PO Boxes

 

This is a relatively new feature since this used to be one of the downsides of the Informed Delivery Daily Digest service. Now though, you can use it to have a sneak peek at the items arriving in your PO box.

 

USPS Informed Delivery Daily Digest: The Cons

 

As they say, “what comes up must come down”, so we can’t ignore the cons!

 

Some Letters Are Unclear

 

If your mailpieces are generally in a dark-colored envelope, the images won’t be that clear. They’re just not conducive to gray-scale pictures!

 

Annoyance With Postcards

 

Unfortunately, they only scan the side with the address on which means you miss out on a preview of the front! We’re hoping this is something they work on in the future.

 

No “Not My Mail” Button

 

If you’ve recently moved, you might start getting notifications with mail for the previous residents. This gets frustrating and it would be great to have a button you could hit to tell the mailman not to deliver it!

 

Overall…

 

Informed Delivery Daily Digest is an effective tool that can positively impact your mail receiving experience. It’s easy to use, simple to sign up for and even helps businesses to grow.

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

security symbol
Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

Tree on the top of the world globe

We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

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What Is Priority Mail Express?

Mail is an essential part of one’s life; whether the receipt of envelopes or packages, being able to receive goods & documents in a reliable way, is important whether you are a business or simply an occasional customer who uses the USPS for personal use. And, in some cases, being able to receive mail immediately can come in handy. Emergencies, high demand customer service and other occasions, could lead you to wonder if there is an option for overnight delivery. 

 

In today’s blog, we will be covering the fastest service offered by the USPS when it comes to mail delivery; Priority Mail Express. As the name suggests, all mail or packages that you need mailed to your location, are done at a faster speed than average or what you would typically expect from other types of mail delivery that are available at the USPS. The reason behind the expedited service, is air; all these deliveries are completed with a money back guarantee on overnight delivery. 

 

priority mail express package

 

What is Priority Mail Express

 

Priority Mail Express is a guaranteed 1-Day or 2-Day expedited service by 3PM for all mail related matters which includes a $100 insurance policy. The good thing about Priority Mail Express (over other types of delivery the USPS is involved with,) is that you get year round delivery. Also, if you need some mail or package delivered overnight Priority Express will ensure that is done.

 

The maximum allowed weight for Priority Mail Express is 70 lbs and can be delivered to pretty much all addresses within the US including military locations and PO Boxes. This class of mail can be a great option for mailing and shipping all documents; from business to legal and everything in between. 

 

Another advantage to Priority Mail Express is the free Hold For Pickup service that it comes with which will ensure that your shipment will be held at a Post Office location for pickup. Additionally, you can purchase additional special services such as Saturday and holiday delivery, return receipt, collect on delivery and higher insurance coverage. If you decide to purchase postage and shipping online, you will also get free USPS tracking with Priority Mail Express. 

 

How To Use Priority Mail Express

 

When using Priority Mail express, you have two options in how the service is leveraged:

 

USPS Flat Rate Envelopes: These free envelopes that can be found at your post office, will allow you to send any item that is up to 70 lbs in weight that fits in it, for a lower weight. 

 

Your own packaging: If you use your own packaging, then the postage you will be charged will be dependent on the weight and distance. 

 

Important notes to keep in mind:

 

  1. The distance of the longest side of your package plus twice the width and twice the height cannot be more than 108″.
  2. Your package cannot weigh more than 70 lbs. 
  3. Sunday & Holiday delivery is available, but there is an add on fee for it. 
  4. All items you mail out, need to be in Priority Mail Express packaging, have Priority Mail stickers or tape on them or be marked as Priority Mail Express.
  5. If you select next day delivery, it will arrive between 12PM and 3PM depending on your location.
  6. In order to qualify for Next Day Delivery, you will need to make sure that your mail item is presented to your local post office branch at a time that is determined by your local Postmaster. 

 

Special Services That Are Allowed With Priority Mail Express

 

Collect on Delivery. 

 

If you are a small shipper or a mail fulfillment operation, you may not want to wait for customer’s payments to arrive prior to shipping out the product. With collect on delivery, you can leverage this convenient method of payment upon the receipt of an item. So once the USPS collects the payment, it will be forwarded to you. If payment is completed in the form of a check, then that check will be mailed to you. If the payment is completed in cash, then a USPS money order will come your way for the value of the payment that was made.

 

Regulations to keep in mind, regarding Collect on Delivery:

 

  • Merchandise shipped, must be ordered by the addressee
  • The total amount that is collected by the mail carrier at signing of the mail item, may not exceed $1,000. 
  • COD is not available when you want to ship to APO-FPO addresses or to and from the Marshall Islands or the Federal States of Micronesia.
  • The local postmaster is allowed to restrict the delivery of any mail or package, that is considered to put the life of the mail carrier at risk due to robbery. An exception can be made in the case of Priority Mail Express COD.
  • There must be a valid ID presented by the recipient at the time of delivery for any check payment or Mail Order fee.

 

usps truck

 

Cases in which COD cannot be used:

 

  1. For merchandise returns (an exception can be made if you have agreed beforehand to the arrangement)
  2. Mailing of bills (if the recipient has a past due balance on any other merchandise, it can be included in any COD collection, just as long as the recipient agrees to this in advance and as long as the maximum collected amount does not exceed $1,000.
  3. Film reels that are being sent back by theaters to the manufacturers, distributors or exchanges. 
  4. Collection agency mail

 

Insurance.

 

With Priority Mail Express, you are already insured for up to $100 depending on the value of your item.

 

Return Receipt

 

There are 2 types of Return Receipts:

 

Physical Return Receipt. In this case, the recipient of your package or mail will sign the Return Receipt in front of the mail carrier. That receipt is then mailed by the USPS as a proof of delivery.

 

Electronic Return Receipt. With this type of receipt, your recipient will sign for the mail piece electronically with their mail carrier. That signature will then be entered into the USPS system which can be accessible via the Track & Confirm page (an e-mail will be sent to you.) Electronic Return Receipts are typically cheaper than Physical Return Receipts and can be checked almost instantly once the signature has been completed.

 

virtual mailbox on a computer and mobile device

 

Getting A Virtual Mailbox For Your Mail

 

When it comes to outbound mail, it is easy to pick from a variety of USPS mailing options. But when we are talking about receiving inbound mail…that is a whole other story.

 

That is because when it comes to receiving mail from carriers, it no longer is a matter of selecting registered mail or a mail type that requires a signature. You are pretty much dependent on what the sender decides on using, and that will often typically include your traditional first class mail. And in the case where you have a private post office box, you are probably able to protect your mail to a certain extent.

 

But what happens when you mail is delivered at your mailbox and with the potential of people opening your box and sneaking into your mail?

 

More and more people have been going after mailbox alternatives, known as virtual mailboxes. With a virtual mailbox, instead of getting your mail at a physical location, it all comes into your phone online (think Gmail, but for paper mail.) This way, with just a few clicks, from either a phone or computer, you are able to access all your mail in digital format.

 

The way the process works, is the contents of your envelope are scanned on request and uploaded into your account. This means you do not need to take any more trips to the post office, are able to access and manage your mail 24/7 and are still able to check your mail regardless of where you are in the world (you can be in the US or travelling overseas; your mail is still accessible online.)

 

US Global Mail has been the leader in virtual mailbox solutions since 1999. With over 80,000 customers who have used the service since, it is the go-to solution for all  the mailing needs of both businesses and individuals.

 

If you would like to learn more about how the virtual mailbox works, click here. For pricing and a free month, visit our pricing page.

Exceptional service, at the right price.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. Try Risk Free.

Choose the plan that’s right for you.

No one beats our plans. Or pricing. Or customer service.
No contracts or surprise fees. Tons of Free features. Try risk-free.

BASIC

$9.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$14.99 billed monthly.

  • 1 name on the account
  • Free check deposit
  • 90 days Free mail storage

PLUS

$14.95

Per month, billed biennially.
$19.99 billed monthly.

  • Add multiple family members
  • Add multiple company names
  • Upto 80% off on shipping rates
  • Free check deposit
  • 180 days free physical mail storage

All our plans come with

guarantee
100% Guarantee

Don't love it? Cancel within 30 days for a full refund.

location on the map
Permanent Street Address

Get a PO box online while maintaining a real street address.

computer devices
Smart Mailbox

Read all your mail virtually. No paper mess and a greener planet.

no-limits
No limits

Get mail from all your homes and business(es) or both in the same app.

security symbol
Free Check Deposit

Deposit bank checks virtually... with the click of a button.

flexible plans
Flexible Plans

Upgrade, downgrade, cancel anytime.

Tree on the top of the world globe

We want to leave a greener Earth for our children

We plant a tree for every new member sign up

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