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10 Things To Consider Before Choosing a Mail Forwarding Service

In this article, we are going to talk about mail forwarding.
Are you going to be a full-time RVer, moving to another country or embarking on an extended vacation? If that’s the case, getting your mail at your destination is important as you get your taxes, IRS notices, W2’s etc in the mail.
 
Choosing a professional mail forwarding company to handle your mail is a smart idea. Because it will help you get your mail on time and give you peace of mind. But given the many options out there, how do you choose a company that’s right for you?

There’s a lot that goes into making this kind of decision.

 

After all, the mail forwarding service you choose to take advantage of is going to be responsible for handling all of your mail from here on out. Important bills, important packages and parcels, sensitive documents and information – all of the things that the USPS would have handled for you are now going to be going through a separate organization.

 

This isn’t a decision you can make willy-nilly or on-the-fly.

 

But that’s why we have put together this in-depth guide.

 

Below we breakdown a couple of very important things to consider before choosing a mail forwarding service. You’re going to be inundated with options, all of them promising the moon and the stars when it comes to services, results, and benefits.

 

The only way to effectively break down those choices and find the one perfect for you is to think about the 10 elements highlighted in-depth below.

 

Ready to get right in to it?

 
Here’s a list of 10 questions we encourage everyone to ask when making that decision:

How to choose a mail forwarding company

1. How much does mail forwarding cost?

 

While the cost of a mail forwarding service should never be the primary reason you choose it over another, it is going to be a hugely influential part of your decision.

 

After all, taking advantage of the USPS services may not cost you anything (upfront, anyway). Plenty of folks have nothing more than the mailbox at the end of their driveway or attached to their front door, and are still able to send and receive mail without headache or hassle.

 

Making a jump from that “free” service provided by the USPS to one that charges a premium fee – sometimes as high as a few hundred dollars a month – can be jarring. Especially if that service you’re now taking advantage of doesn’t provide all the benefits and options you were expecting.

 

Definitely look into the price of mail forwarding options to better compare your choices, too.

 

Look into at least five different services and see how their monthly fees stack up against one another. See which services provide more value for the monthly charge, see which services come up woefully short, and compare these options in as much of an “apples to apples” kind of way as you can.

 

      • How much are you willing to spend for this service? Figure out your budget for the month.
      • Be aware of hidden fees or extra charges from different services.
      • Be realistic. Research the costs for these services: Membership fees, shipping costs, customers charges, fuel surcharges …  Depending on your needs and services, your budget can vary from $20/month to $100+/month.
      • Mail forwarding services can make it challenging for a precise price comparison. But here’s the price comparison table for your reference.

 

2. Can I forward my mail for free? Does it cost money to forward my mail?

 

There may even be mail forwarding solutions that offer free services you can take advantage of.

 

Before you jump on board, though, you’ll want to dig beneath the surface of these freebie offers.

 

You’ll need to make sure that these services are legitimate, these services are trustworthy, and that these services aren’t just an effort to sell you on premium options later down the line.

 

      • Is low cost the most important factor? Or are you willing to pay a little bit more for a faster turnaround and reliability?
      • Do you just want your mail automatically shipped on a regular basis? Would you prefer to hold the mail until you want to ship?  Would you prefer to have your individual letters scanned to read so you don’t have to pay for shipping?
      • Take time to think about the MANY services forwarding companies offer and figure out what applies to you.

 

3. Is the company reliable?

 

Company reputation is everything in this industry.

 

We highlighted this a moment ago, but you are going to be trusting your new mail forwarding service with some pretty sensitive information. Everything sent through the mail is personal and private and you have to be 100% certain that your new mail forwarding operation respects that across the board.

 

Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of operations in this space are reputable and reliable. Even still, you want to do your research and due diligence to confirm this to be the case before you sign on the dotted line.

 

Looking to the reputation that these companies have with other customers and clients but also look into the reputation they have throughout the industry. A little bit of research online goes a long way.

 

      • Believe me. You don’t want to miss your next tax notice or check. That’s why when it comes to mail forwarding, most people seek the best bang for their buck, rather than the cheapest service. Reliability matters.
      • Read up on the various companies. Google their name as many ways as you can think of. Examples of what you would search include: Company customer reviews, company customer service reviews, company security, company complaints, company hidden fees, company facebook etc. Research is your best friend when making decisions like these.
      • Here are some trusted review platforms in the industry: TrustPilot, Google, and BBB. Be sure to read the company’s responses to reviews as well.

Green check mark

 

4. What can and cannot be sent internationally?

 

Paying for special mail forwarding services won’t be worth that much if you’re not able to send or receive packages and parcels to destinations all over the world the way you might have with the USPS, UPS, FedEx, or a similar service.

 

All mail forwarding organizations will have different rules and regulations governing what they are able or willing to send to their clients internationally. It’s not a bad idea to have a look at this list before you sign up.

 

Nobody wants to find out that their new premium mail forwarding service isn’t able to accommodate their needs when they are overseas. This is especially important for those expatriates or international travelers that want to get their mail while hopping from one global destination to another.

 

      • Moving to another country? Then find out what can’t be shipped internationally. It’s so easy to go ahead and purchase products that you were used to, back home. However, what is deemed “normal” where you’re from, may not even be allowed to the new country you call home. It would be a pity to pay for shipping and declarations only to have to abandon the package or pay again to have it returned!
      • Different countries can have different regulations. Read about your country here.

 

5. What is the exchange rate?

 

Whenever possible you want to make the most of the US dollar, the “universal standard” of currency pretty much everywhere on the planet.

 

If possible, you want to find global destinations that help you stretch your buying power just by capitalizing on the exchange rate in that particular part of the world.

 

There are mobile applications and plenty of websites out there to help you keep on top of this critical information. You might even be able to plan your international itinerary around maximizing your money, saving a pile of cash while enjoying life in the lap of luxury at the same time!

 

      • If you are moving internationally, you may find that your dollar goes a lot further where you are now, freeing up some room in your budget. That means, you will have more options for the company you want to work with.

 

Currency exchange from Euro to Pound

 

6. What will you be forwarding?

 

The packages, parcels, envelopes, and boxes you expect to be forwarding on a regular basis will inform your decision to choose one mail forwarding service over another.

 

If all you need to do are periodic “mail drops” of cards, letters, and envelopes of a more personal nature every now and again security and handling of sensitive information may not be paramount. It’ll always be important, but it might not be the number one factor you have to consider.

 

If, on the other hand, you expect to run your business internationally with the help of this mail forwarding service the exact opposite is true. You’ll need to pick a company that is secure, safe, and speedy – not to mention reliable – to get you your mail when you need it.

 

      • Does the thought of sending sensitive tax documents overseas make you a bit uneasy? Understandable. Do you receive checks through the mail? What about credit cards?
      • Back to the research; how successful is the company’s delivery rate? Are they trustworthy? Do they have any hidden fees that will pop up at time of shipping? Could you trust the company to NOT tamper with items of that nature? These are all important questions to ask yourself.

 

7. Will the service allow you to use their address for billing?

 

Some of the best mail forwarding services provide access to “street addresses” you can use as a billing address domestically as well as overseas.

 

The ability to avoid using a PO Box address while still enjoying the anonymity and security that these kinds of street addresses provide is a big reason people moved to these kinds of services to begin with.

 

If your company does offer a street address you can use be sure that you are taking advantage of it.

 

      • Though you may be moving, your bills still need to be sent to a US address. Does the forwarding company provide PO boxes or real street addresses? It’s important to understand, that you can only have your bills sent to a street address, not a PO box. Is receiving bills via mail important to you?

 

8. How is their customer service?

 

No mail forwarding service is perfect in the odds are you’ll probably have to contact customer service at some point in time.

 

Make sure that those conversations will be smooth and easy to navigate by choosing a mail forwarding company that as a top-tier customer service department you know you can trust!

 

      • If an issue arises, will it be resolved immediately, in a timely manner, or at the company’s leisure? If you send an email, will it be answered? If you need immediate assistance, do they offer live chat, and is it with a person or a robot?
      • Research! Check the company’s website, test out their email and chat services. See how quickly you get a response.

 

Customer service representative on the phone

 

9. What does the service require from me?

 

      • Find out what documents you need to submit. Then ask yourself; what is the purpose of the requirements? Why isn’t a simple change of address through USPS enough? If you need all of this information from me, how do I know my identity is private and secured in your system?
      • Ask as many questions as you can think of. All the why’s, what’s, where’s, when’s, what if’s, and maybe’s! Ultimately this is a very important decision to be made, don’t make it in haste!

 

10. Why is a 1583 form necessary for a mail forwarding company?

 

      • Essentially the 1583 form is for your protection. Because, legally, a mail forwarding company cannot release your mail without the form. Therefore, USPS will NOT allow them to if they don’t have your “permission”.
      • The form must be notarized as well. That is another security measure that protects your identity. Think about it; your mail could be sent anywhere!!! However, not just ANYBODY can pick it up. Which means, it’s one less potential headache being avoided.

Sample of a 1583 form

When researching a mail forwarding company, don’t hesitate to voice your questions and concerns. What works for one person might not work for you. What one company offers as part of their package pricing may not apply to you. There are so many options out there for mail forwarding services. Choosing which one is the right one for you won’t be an easy task. Compare and contrast the companies and figure out which one suits you best!

 

Our top recommended service that our readers absolutely love, can help you in choosing the best plan for you!

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Expat Resources Compare Mail Forwarding Services Compare Package Forwarding Services

NY, CA, TX, FL – what state should your mail forwarding address be in 2020? The answer will surprise you!

So, when you are ready to sign up for a mail forwarding service after you do all the due diligence (rates, plans, shipping prices, trustworthiness etc,) do you look for a service that lets you reserve an address in the same state you are moving out of?

 

Don’t. Your mail forwarding address should be state-agnostic. Really, its a virtual address, in the cloud. So the state does not matter one bit. There are far more important criteria that you should consider, when choosing this important service. Click here for a list of important factors to consider & associated pricing.

 

One of the biggest advantages of moving forward with a virtual address is that it does not have to be tangibly associated with your actual physical location – wherever that might be on the planet today.

 

There’s absolutely no reason whatsoever you could be sitting on a beach in Miami while using a virtual address based out of New York City – using that same address when you decide to spend a month in Thailand, a week in Moscow, or a weekend in Paris.

 

In fact, some would argue that the biggest leverage you get out of a virtual address is the fact that it isn’t ever tied to your physical location. Why waste that big benefit when you don’t have to?

 

Let’s dig a little bit deeper into where you should set up your virtual address moving forward!

 

World traveler stepping on the top of a Globe map

 

Does the state of my address matter? Will I become a resident & pay taxes in the state in which I have my mail forwarding address?

 

Once you fill out a change of address form with the USPS, it will forward your mail to that address, irrespective of where in the US it is. And US laws don’t make you liable for taxes in any state without living there. Just having an address in the state does not mean you become a resident of that state.

 

Just to be perfectly clear, this means that you can have a mailing address set up through your forwarding service based out of Reno, Nevada while your business, your job, and your entire life is headquartered in Saginaw, Michigan.

 

There’s no rules, no regulations, and no laws restricting you from having this kind of setup. On top of that, there’s absolutely zero penalty whatsoever to having your mailing address physically separate from your physical address.

 

As long as you still pay your state and federal taxes based on the rules, regulations, and laws dictating that based upon your physical location and where you have earned your income you have no worries at all.

 

On the flip side of things, it’s important to understand that you are not going to be able to use this mailing address from a company like US Global Mail as proof of residency somewhere else.

 

Florida citizens do not have to pay state income taxes, but that doesn’t mean that a US Global Mail based out of Tampa, Florida while you are living and working in New York City gives you those same tax benefits.

 

That’s just not the way the system works and it’s critically important that you understand that going forward.

 

How does it work?

 

You can simply forward your mail from your existing address to the address of the mail forwarding company, and no one will be wiser! That is no one will know what your new address is – they will keep sending you mail at the old address and USPS will redirect it to your  new address. The redirect request with the USPS will work for 6 months at a time and will have to be renewed. This option is also great when you don’t want to move your address permanently and expect to cancel the mail forwarding service at some time in the future.

 

There are a whole host of other benefits you get to take advantage of when you move forward with a mail forwarding service like US Global Mail, too.

 

We are talking about benefits like:

 

  • Extra anonymity and privacy with these kinds of mailing addresses
  • The ability to eliminate junk mail from your life forever
  • An opportunity to know EXACTLY what has been sent to you before you check your mailbox
  • An opportunity to digitize your entire mail reception history for your own personal records
  • The chance to search that digital record quickly, easily, and effectively
  • Check-cashing services that have all checks redirected to your bank directly to be deposited ASAP

 

… And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

 

It’s not hard to see why so many people choose to take advantage of mail forwarding services today.

 

Condominiums in downtown Miami

 

Fancy/Premium addresses:  Mail forwarding companies or commercial mail receiving agencies (CMRA’s) sometimes will offer a choice of several states and addresses to you. Your personal mailbox number could potentially be in New York, Florida, Texas, California, the possibilities are endless! However, these fancy or “premium” addresses can come at a steep price; often a discreet +$14.99 is hidden somewhere! Watch out. And don’t pay for something you absolutely will get no additional value out of. Instead choose the service that works best for your needs.

 

Truth be told, those “premium addresses” are almost never worth the extra price tag.

 

Sure, the vanity address can be cool – for little while – but who is really paying attention to your address (your mailing address, anyway) enough for that to matter?

 

The odds are pretty good that they shine out those premium, fancy vanity addresses will wear off pretty quickly. Well before the price tag comes down, anyway.

 

All the money you would have spent on those vanity addresses can be redirected to get a couple of months – or even a year – of quality mail forwarding and mail scanning services from an organization like US Global Mail, without missing out of any of the benefits those addresses would have brought to the table.

 

When is having an address in a particular state important?

 

If you have a business and you are based in Florida and you need to bill your customers, it makes total sense to have a billing address in the city or at least the state you operate from. From a customer standpoint, it looks less suspicious. They won’t have to question the authenticity of who they are sending their money to. Certain health care providers will also require you to reside in the state you are covered in to maintain your insurance rates. The rates for insurance coverage can vary state-to-state. If you like the plan you currently have, it would be very important to maintain an address in your current residency state. If you are trying to be discreet about moving or traveling abroad, then you do have the anonymity of maintaining your residency state address. Other than those few areas though, there’s no issue in having an address in a different state; rather it’s just a preference. In that case, those options are certainly available to you!

 

The real big benefit in moving forward with a mail forwarding service that lets you pick where your new mailing address is located is the freedom you are afforded with that choice.

 

If you want your customers to feel like you are more of a local business than you are, by all means pick and address near where most of them live – even while you run that business from across the country or across the world.

 

If you want your customers to feel like you are more of a “global business”, don’t be shy about picking a mailing address in any of the major financial hub cities in the country – cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston.

 

If you just want an extra layer of security and protection when you give up your mailing address, pick and address that sits squarely in middle America. Something in Ohio, something in Iowa, and something in Wisconsin works just as well as anything else!

 

The freedom for you to pick and choose where you are new mailing address is located is a huge advantage you don’t want to overlook.

 

The Dallas skyline

Vanity Addresses: are they really worth it?

 

So, you’ve researched a few mail forwarding companies; one company offers a real street address in Nevada. Another company offers 3 street addresses (one in Wisconsin, one in Texas, and one in New York etc.) In this example, let’s say the Wisconsin address is their standard address. The Texas and NY addresses are premium (meaning they cost more.) Standard mailbox prices are usually “free”, or, included in the price of membership. The prices for a premium address can range anywhere from an extra $4.95 per month and all the way up to $12.95 per month.

 

So the real question is: what is the value in these “premium” addresses? Is it just the address itself? The location? Convenience? Why would you want to pay extra for a mailing address? Here you will find, transparent pricing with no hidden fees nor unnecessary addresses that beef up your bill.

 

It all comes down to your expectations, your budget, and the kinds of services that come included with that new “premium” address.

 

If you are paying a mountain of money for nothing more than a vanity address, is it really worth the extra expense, headache, and hassle to move forward?

 

Or would you rather spend that money on a full-service, top to bottom mail scanning and mail forwarding organization that offers a whole host of other benefits on top of a new, discrete mailing address?

 

The choice is yours and yours alone. Only you will be able to know what your best fit the be.

 

Payment Example

 

You want a personal mailing address to give out to your friends and family and you want a separate address for your bills and taxes, all on the same account of course:

 

  • Standard mailing address on an individual plan, $25/mo
  • Premium mailing address on an individual plan $25 + $4.95/mo
  • Separate 1583 forms for the addresses which need to be notarized
  • One forwarding request (you can only have one open at a time via USPS), then reach out to everyone who needs your change of address

 

A lot of the premium address locations are UPS storefronts. Not a private office or warehouse that deals specifically with commercial mail and package forwarding, a UPS store. Which is why these addresses are not equipped to handle all incoming mail and packages. They literally are not built for it. On top of that, each location will handle mail differently, since the UPS stores are not owned or managed by the CMRA, the possibility of errors occurring increases dramatically.

 

Delayed access to mail

Another issue with using vanity addresses is that often times the mail from those addresses is sent to the company central warehouse for processing. This means a delay for 3-5 business days on your mail. Using the company central warehouse address gets you access to your mail much quicker.

 

For example, at US Global Mail, we enter all mail received within 12 – 24 hours in customer virtual mailboxes.

 

Access to digital mail through the virtual mailbox

Final thoughts:

 

In a nutshell, if you absolutely cannot live without an address in a particular state, use the mail redirect option with the USPS and keep forwarding your mail. That lets you keep your address intact.

 

Otherwise, simply do a permanent change of address with the USPS and rest easy. You will get your mail via a Virtual Mailbox anyway!

 

At the end of the day, it really does come down to your goals, your expectations, and your budget.

 

There are a lot of options out there to pick and choose from – including moving forward with the USPS. But services like US Global Mail provide a lot of benefits that the USPS simply cannot provide right now and may never be able to offer in the future, too.

 

Look at how you hope to take advantage of these mail forwarding services today and in the future and choose a service that’s going to best align with those goals. Find a service that is affordable, reputable, and reliable and you won’t have any headache or hassle moving forward.

 

Best of luck!

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Expat Resources

Mail Forwarding, You, and Security

Committing to work with a mail forwarding company can be a big risk to take. You are putting your trust into complete and total strangers, hoping your mail is safe and secure. Checks, IRS statements, family Christmas cards, Grandma’s birthday card with a crisp $20 bill, literally everything will now be going to the hands of someone else! That can be a bit daunting, to say the least. So exactly how secure is mail forwarding? Why do you have to provide so much information just to get your mail? How do you know that your mail is safe and only accessible by you? What measures does the mail forwarding team take to ensure the confidentiality of your personal mail?

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By Country Information

Looking to sell in the US? Here’s how!

Do you have or wish to open business to earn an income? 

 

If you live overseas and can access some unique products and items, you can build a successful business selling online in the US. It’s quite easy- all you need is a good partner that can distribute your products in the US as you sell them.

 

Getting Started with a New Income Stream

 

Whether you are looking to build a business that can completely replace your full-time income now (with the potential to get even more lucrative than that) or are just looking build up a bit of a side income without having to dedicate a world of time to your new business, generating a new income stream from scratch isn’t something you can sort of “fall into”.

 

You have to be really smart, savvy, and strategic about the approach you take to building up this new income stream – especially if you are going to sell in the US market, one of the most (if not THE most) competitive business environment in the world.

 

At the same time, when you’re working with a market as large as the one in the United States the potential to build a business always exists. People are always looking to buy something, markets are always (generally) large enough to support multiple businesses in an industry and a niche, and if you take advantage of the tips and tricks we highlight below you’ll be able to hit the ground running pretty quickly.

 

Let’s get into it.

 

Find a Niche

 

The first piece of the puzzle you’ll want to figure out when you are looking to sell in the United States has to do with finding or niche, that little corner of a marketplace that you can focus on that immediately gives your business, your product, or your service a competitive advantage.

 

Far too many people come up with a business idea or an idea for a product or service that they want to sell before they focus on seeing if there’s a market that would be interested in that solution to begin with.

 

Be sure that you aren’t putting the cart before the horse this way.

 

Instead, really focus on finding a group of people that are passionate about something or have a real problem they are looking to solve that you can offer a product or service to that improves their lives – all at a price point that can change your financial future forever moving forward.

 

Focus on Marketing

 

After your niche has been selected it’s then time to laser in on your marketing.

 

This is another huge piece of the puzzle to get squared away, but for one reason or another there are a lot of entrepreneurs and a lot of business owners that get a little queasy when it comes time to market and sell.

 

Don’t let that happen to you.

 

Nothing in the world of business happens until something gets sold and you don’t actually have a business to products start flying off your shelves.

 

Your marketing is one of your biggest competitive advantages (when done right) and has the potential to help you scale your offers to create the kind of financial future and income or wealth that you were hoping for to begin with.

 

Look for Ways to Scale Your Offers

 

One of the coolest things about the internet really changing the way we do business forever is the ability to scale different offers and different businesses that just wouldn’t have been possible before.

 

Even just 20 or 30 years ago the idea of someone building a global business in their back bedroom with nothing more than a laptop, maybe $100, and a dream – selling to customers all over the United States as well as the world – would have been unimaginable.

 

Today it’s so much of our reality that we don’t even stop to think of just how special these entrepreneurial superpowers really are.

 

Always look for ways to scale your offer, to sell more while eliminating yourself from the business as much as you can, and to stop making the trade of your hours for dollars. Selling online lets you make money while you sleep when you are doing it right.