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USPS Informed Delivery Not Working: What To Do

USPS Informed Delivery is a service offered to residential addresses that allows you to have access to all your incoming mail before you receive it. While this is fantastic, like everything in life, it can sometimes prove faulty.

 

As you may well know, this can be pretty frustrating for people who rely on this service. Luckily, we have some reasons why informed delivery is down and what you can do to fix it.

 

Informed delivery on mobile phone

 

USPS Informed Delivery Common Problems And How to Fix Them

 

Problems with mail are tricky to deal with since you probably have something important (or exciting) on the way. Although patience is key with all snail mail services, there are some things you can do to fix common problems with Informed Delivery.

 

Informed delivery on a desktop and mobile device

 

USPS Informed Delivery Missing Mail

 

Sometimes, you may find yourself in a puzzling situation where you have received a notification about your mail piece, but it has not yet arrived in your mailbox.

 

Unfortunately, you might have to practice patience with this one since USPS Informed Delivery sends alerts for letters and packages that are arriving shortly, not necessarily on the same day. So, you should wait up to a week after you’ve received the notification to allow time for delivery.

 

However, in some circumstances, this won’t be the case.

 

Your mail could have been scanned automatically by machinery, but your actual letter might not have been passed on to your mail carrier before they left for their delivery round.

 

Moreover, if you have paid for a slower shipping procedure, you should expect to wait a little longer for your letter.

 

Finally, if your mail piece falls into a category like Certified Mail, you won’t receive it until certain actions have been completed (like obtaining your signature, for example).

 

Person looking into an empty mailbox

 

No Images On Informed Delivery

 

One of the most common informed delivery problems is that no image of the mail piece can be seen on your account.

 

If your mail piece is larger than the standard size of an envelope, then you will not receive an image of it. Why? USPS Informed Delivery simply doesn’t offer the image service for large mail pieces at this time (unfortunate, but true). Although, it’s not all bad! Your daily notification will come with a message saying alerting you to the fact that there is no image for the larger pieces of mail.

 

However, if you are someone who receives a lot of postcards, USPS Informed Delivery service may not be for you. They don’t tend to snap pictures of both sides. So, you will only get to view the part with the bar code on your online portal.

 

picture that says "no image available" for informed delivery

 

No Email Notifications

 

If you aren’t receiving email notifications from Informed Delivery, there may be a really simple explanation for this: you’ve changed your email address and forgotten to update it.

 

To update your address you need to follow these steps:

 

  1. Go to your usps.com profile.
  2. Input your new email address.
  3. Make sure to save the changes.

 

After this, you should find that the alerts are getting to you promptly, without a hitch.

 

Remember that you can only have one email address per account. So, if your partner or other household member has changed your profile address so they can receive information about their mail, your one will have been deleted. Just ask them to make their own account, change your address back and everything will be hunky-dory!

 

Email icon with a blue exclamation mark

 

Address Not Eligible For Informed Delivery

 

Unfortunately, there are still addresses that are not eligible for Informed Delivery. To figure out whether your location is covered, you can make use of their ZIP code lookup tool.

 

Airplane view of a neighborhood

 

Mis-delivered Mail

 

For mailpieces that have a correct address, proper postage and no forwarding address, the United States Postal Service will deliver the item no matter what. So, if you’ve recently moved house and receiving the previous tenant’s mail, they have not updated their information.

 

It’s quite easy to return it. You can leave it in a USPS Collection Box or another post box with a note saying “not at this address” on the envelope. Make sure you scribble over the barcode too!

 

Location on a map on smart phone device

 

How to Stop USPS Informed Delivery

 

If these problems are making it impossible for you to enjoy the benefits of USPS Informed Delivery, you are able to cancel it.

 

To do this, you will need the unsubscribe code that is situated on your welcome kit. Then, just go to the USPS website and enter it. They will ask you to submit a reason for unsubscribing. You can choose from:

 

  • My identity has been stolen
  • I don’t recognize the account
  • I don’t want the service
  • Other

 

When picking from the above, we recommend choosing “I don’t want the service” or “other” if you’re leaving due to problems with Informed Delivery.

 

An image with text saying "no more"

 

A More Reliable Alternative

 

For those of you who are fed up with the USPS Informed Delivery service, US Global Mail is extremely proud to offer a reliable alternative.

 

This virtual mailbox will bring a futuristic feel to your mail service and provide you with a super simple way to manage your letters and packages.

 

With US Global Mail, you will receive images of your letter-sized mail and your parcels! Based on the pictures, you can then decide whether our expert mail people should shred, ship or deposit your letters and parcels. Our virtual mailbox gives you complete control over your post.

 

Virtual mailbox on a computer & smartphone device

 

We only employ the best of the best when it comes to our mail pickers so you can relax knowing that all of your letters and packages are in safe hands. But don’t just take our word for it, our happy customers speak the truth!

 

Owning a virtual mailbox with US Global Mail will bring you a worry-free postal experience. It is easy to sign up and simple to use. Snail mail doesn’t need to be a hard, stressful, worrisome act!

 

Why wait for reliability? Why wait for convenience? Why wait for futuristic mail handling? Get your virtual mailbox right here, right now.

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How To Stop Junk Mail

Junk mail makes up over 80% of the mail you receive. Yet, you never read through it and more often than not, ends up in a trace can (at worst) or your recycling bin (at best.)

 

Dealing with junk mail is more than just about frustration; because of our regard to it being spam, it causes tons of paper going to waste (and therefore millions of trees being cut down for no good reason.)

 

empty forest with cut down trees

 

How To Get Rid Of Junk Mail

 

There’s nothing worse than opening up your mailbox to find it overstuffed with nothing but junk mail – credit card offers, insurance discounts eat, catalogs from companies you have never heard of and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

 

Unfortunately, having to deal with junk mail is a cold reality of our modern world.

 

Each and every year, hundreds of millions of pieces of mail are sent through the USPS unsolicited by their recipients – almost all of it completely unwanted, too.

 

In fact, according to researchers at EcoCycle.org (one of the largest nonprofit recycling operations in the United States) the average person in the US is going to spend eight months of their life just sorting and disposing of junk mail.

 

How To Stop Junk Mail 1

 

Think about that for second.

 

That research says that we’ll spend almost the same amount of time dealing with junk mail that woman will spend pregnant with the child. Craziness.

 

On top of that, the New York University School of Law recently published research highlighting the fact that 5.6 million tons of junk mail ends up in US landfills every year, that 44% of all junk mail is tossed without ever being opened, and that only about half of all junk mail gets reused or recycled after it is disposed of.

 

Worse, the average American gets 848 pieces of junk mail every year, almost 3 pieces of junk mail every day. That’s enough paper to eliminate 1.5 trees annually (and 100 million trees in the US alone every year) – causing more greenhouse gases than nearly 4 million cars along the way.

 

Thankfully though, there are more things you can do today to opt out of junk mail – with or without the help of the USPS.

 

Below we dig a little deeper into a couple of approaches you can take to stop junk mail USPS employees aren’t at all shy about sharing with the general public as well as a couple of tips and tricks you might not have heard about before.

 

By the time you are done with this quick guide you’ll be able to eliminate 90% or more of all the junk mail you’ve been getting, cleaning up and decluttering your mailbox almost overnight.

 

Let’s dive right in!

 

Junk mail piled up

 

Best Way To Get Rid Of Junk Mail

 

One of the most important things you can do right now – this very minute – to stop receiving unwanted and unwelcome marketing and advertising messages through the mail is to get off of commercial mailing lists ASAP.

 

Now, this can be a little bit easier said than done simply because there are so many mailing lists out there. We are talking literally thousands and thousands of commercial lists being sold and rented to businesses every day, with your name, address, and contact information attached.

 

Getting your contact details scrubbed from these lists is a bit more involved than using the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry but it is still something you should be able to knockout in an afternoon.

 

A sign that says "no junk mail"

 

DirectMail.com operates their own National Do Not Mail List that you can join 100% free of charge just by filling out a quick email form and sending it in.

 

This company is run by direct marketers that own and operate a lot of the most popular commercial lists, so by submitting your name to this organization your scrubbing your details the most popular lists out there.

 

You’ll be able to cut down on the amount of mailbox spam you get almost immediately with this approach.

 

Junk mail letters piling up

 

Call OPT-OUT Today to Slow Down Unwanted Offers

 

Another quick tip you want to use to eliminate a lot of the USPS junk mail you would have otherwise received is to call the OPT–OUT outline directly and request that you be taken off of their lists as well.

 

Anyone that has ever purchased a home or vehicle, used their personal information to sign up for a credit card, have filled out a product warranty card, or submitted their details to a business for a credit check inevitably end up on pre-offer lists.

 

This is why you are constantly bombarded with a lot of credit card and insurance offers, multiple offers coming in every month or even every week – even from the same companies that are just trying to hammer you with marketing until you eventually signed up.

 

By contacting OPT-OUT via their toll-free number 1-888-567-8688 you’ll be able to request either a five-year removal from these lists for a permanent removal that guarantees you won’t have to worry about receiving these kinds of offers ever again.

 

You also have the chance to request to be placed on the “in-house” list from this company only, guaranteeing that you only ever receive offers from companies that you already do business with.

 

You’ll get offers from your current credit card company, home or car lender, or the insurance business that you are working with as opposed to being overloaded with offers from anyone and everyone in these industries.

 

Warehouse processing & getting rid of paper

 

Spend $2 to Dump Junk Mail for a Decade

 

This approach is going to require you to pony up a little bit of spare change to stop junk mail from coming in, but it’s going to detox your mailbox for at least a decade.

 

The Data ; Marketing Association (DMA) is one of the largest list brokers and junk mailers on the planet, responsible for helping companies all over the world mail hundreds of millions of pieces each and every year.

 

For the price of just two dollars (so long as you register your contact information online) you’ll be able to stop the DMA from selling your information for 10 years – guaranteeing that your details aren’t going out on lists to companies that are built entirely on junk mail.

 

You also have the chance to register your details through the mail, though you’ll have to spend three dollars with this approach, but you’ll get the same 10 years of protection from DMA.

 

Road sign that says "marketing strategy"

 

 

Prevent Marketers From Sharing Your Information

 

Whenever you sign up for a product, subscribe to a service or provide any information on your location of residence you are most likely being added into a mailing list. That list gets used over and over again, either from the company you signed up with or through 3rd party companies that have purchased or rented a mailing list with your name & address on it. In order to reduce the amount of exposure and the re-use of your information, you can write them a note requesting that. Something in the lines of “Please do not use my mailing information, or add me to any mailing list.”

 

 

Sign that says "spam"

 

Cancel The Subscription To Any Catalogs

 

If you are receiving unwanted catalogs, spend an evening getting the names of the most frequent spam mailers, and reach out to the catalog company directly. You can request to be removed from their mailing list. Make sure to keep note of your mailing label and reference it either in your conversation over the phone or tape it to the postcard you send in with the request. This will help the company identify how you are listed in their files.

 

woman talking on the phone

 

Do It Yourself Manually

 

This one is very similar to what we discussed earlier, but a bit more labor intensive. Typically, a mailer will have a phone number at the bottom of it which is dedicated to answering calls requesting an address is removed from the list. By doing so, you can greatly reduce the amount of credit card offers, magazines, catalogs, donation requests etc. If you are looking for a more automated way to get rid of junk mail, try using the Paper Karma app; this lets you take a photo of the unwanted mailing with your phone and then works on your behalf to get you un-subscribed.

 

junk mail in a mailbox

 

Avoid Mail Intended for previous residents

 

When you decide to move to a new home, most likely you will get mailings that belong to the earlier resident of the home. Eventually you can expect the volume of such mail to slow down a bit, but initially; it can be a bit overwhelming. Unfortunately, not everyone is great about completing their change of address with the USPS.

 

Whatever you do, please do not get rid of that mail that comes in. Not only will this not help with your mailing issues, but it is also illegal. What we would recommend you do instead, is cross out all the bar codes in order to avoid an automatic sorting, and write “Return to sender: Recipient moved”. This will send the mail item back to the post office and eventually back to the original sender. This way the sender will “get the message” and stop sending you mail in the future.

 

If you see things getting out of hand, you may want to consider completing a change of address form for the previous occupant with “Left No Forwarding Address” in place of the new residence.

 

transaction made between a customer and a business

 

Switch Bill Payments & Newspaper subscriptions to Online Delivery

 

Many times, the junk mail we get, comes from magazines that we actually have subscribed for (willingly or unwillingly.) That means that not only is your address the target of mailing agencies, but you have endorsed this by subscribing to their list. In many cases, you need this unecessary junk mail coming in, but yet it still causes issues with the amount of mail you end up getting.

 

The remedy? Online bill payment and magazine delivery.  If you want to switch your magazines to a digital subscription format, most likely you will just need to download an app. From within the app, you will be able to verify your subscription; just enter the address and subscription number and you’re good to go. Once this step is completed, visit the website and cancel from physical mail deliveries of that specific magazine. Instead, you will be able to get upcoming and prior publications electronically. If you do not see that option, reach out to the support team for the particular magazine, as you may have not signed up for the digital version; they should be able to change your subscription from physical mail delivery to digital.

 

You Can’t Block All Junk Mail

 

Unfortunately, although there are several steps you can take (whether personally or by using a 3rd party service,) to reduce the amount of junk mail you receive, you cannot completely block all incoming mail. That is due to the fact that your address has most likely been shared with a large network of marketing agencies, who will keep recycling your address and keep adding you onto endless mailing lists. The less you have used your address during checkout processes and the less subscriptions you have signed up for, the less your address is shared around the different direct mail agencies. Unfortunately, it’s a problem that can be controlled & reduced but not eradicated.

 

Virtual mailbox on desktop & mobile

 

US Global Mail Eliminates Junk Mail From Your Life Forever

 

Of course, if you want to guarantee that you never have to see junk mail again for as long as you live – without having to jump through any hoops, without having to deal with any headache or hassle, and without having to do any of the steps we outlined above – you’ll want to register for a virtual mailbox with US Global Mail.

 

The fastest, easiest, and most consistent way to eliminate junk mail permanently, on account with US Global Mail not only stops spam and junk mail from ever hitting your mailbox but it also provides a whole host of other benefits you won’t get with the traditional USPS mail service.

 

For more information and details, check out US Global Mail today!

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Can You Get Coronavirus From A Package or Mail?

Coronavirus…

 

Who would have expected such a “little” virus to bring down entire economies and global world powers?

It is by far the most discussed topic on dinner tables and in virtual corporate meetings. The world is going through some unprecedented times to say the least. And contrary to the initial idea of this having the severity of the common flu, it is now evident that the virus that causes Covid-19, is at least 10X more lethal than the typical flu, and many times more contagious.

 

One of the most interesting facts of Covid-19, is that the virus can potentially stay on surfaces for a very long time (hours and in some cases, even days) allowing it to spread at a very fast pace. Additionally, symptoms do not start appearing up to 10-14 days, making quarantine & restrictive measures very ineffective.

 

Coronavirus particle

 

Due to such unique characteristics of the virus, a very legitimate & reasonable question has been raised with regard to the ability of the virus to spread through the mail. After all, if the virus can remain on paper surfaces for up to 24 hours, why wouldn’t mail be the ideal “vehicle” the virus would use to get to the rest of us? 

 

There are several reasons:

 

Timeline

 

When you consider the amount of time it takes for a package to be shipped or mail to be delivered, that in and of itself would far surpass the typical lifespan of the virus. It is a well known fact that it takes 2-3 business days for USPS mail to be delivered to its final destination. So even with a virus being capable of staying on packages for up to 24 hours, that would still mean that it ultimately dies off. 

 

USPS truck

 

Host Requirement

 

This is not a medical journal, but understanding how Coronavirus functions and its requirements to live will help understand why mail is not capable of spreading the virus. It is a known fact of biology, that in order for any virus to survive for an extensive period of time, it requires a host it can live in. The only way a virus can be eliminated once it enters a host, is through the immune system of the patient or if the patient passes away. In other words, without there being a host that the virus can be a part of, it has no chances of surviving for more than just a few hours (or at most, a few days.)

 

Virus depiction in a host

 

Droplet Spread

 

The easiest way for any virus to spread is through the tiny droplets that are sprayed into the air when someone coughs or sneezes. That means that unless someone sneezes on the mail you are about to receive, you are probably safe. Not only that, but it would also need to be delivered in under 24 hours, which like we said, is impossible. Another thing to consider, is the fact that when a piece of mail is sent, it is placed into a tightly sealed envelope. Such environmental circumstances would not allow for a virus to live for more than just a few hours. 

 

To add to this point, the theory of the virus spreading through hard surfaces (and staying alive for a few hours or even up to a few days,) has no real scientific backing. According to the New York Times, a good majority of the scientific community does not believe that you can catch the coronavirus by touching a surface that has the virus on it and subsequently touching your own mouth or nose. Additionally, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (the German version of our very own F.D.A.) advises that although there is a certain small risk to catching the coronavirus from hard surfaces, there have been no known cases in which individuals have caught the coronavirus by touching a contaminated surface and then transferring the virus to their mouth or nose. It’s worth noting however that transmissions has always been known as a tough subject to study with any kind of “absolutes”

 

Virtual mailbox

 

Coronavirus Surviving on Surfaces

 

Not having any absolutes works both ways: there is no guarantee that the Coronavirus spreads through hard surfaces, but there is also no guarantee that it can not spread through such surfaces.

 

Recently, there was a paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine that helped shed more light on the matter. Researchers from NIA, the CDC, Princeton University and the University of California misted certain virus particles into a rotating drum and studied how long the particles would survive on different surfaces. What was discovered was that the SARS-CoV-2 virus survived on cardboard surfaces for up to 24 hours. The conclusion being that the virus could probably not survive for days, but could definitely survive a few hours on mail. 

 

Surgeon general Dr. Jerome M. Adams, the CDC & WHO, all have “indicated that there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is being spread through the mail.”

 

Employee disinfecting hard surface

 

Point Of Mail Contamination

 

As mentioned several times already, from the time a package or piece of mail is sent out, until the time it reaches its final destination, there will have been at least 2-3 days that pass by. What that means is, it’s very unlikely that someone who has the Coronavirus would be able to transfer it to a friend or relative to whom he/she is sending that letter to. 

 

One thing to consider however is the point at which someone infected with the virus, touches the mail. Think of the chain of events that take place for a piece of mail to reach from point A to point B. Initially, mail is placed in your mailbox and from there delivered onto a USPS truck. Ultimately, it reaches a USPS distribution point where federal employees will sort through all the packages and mail. 

 

At some point, mail will be loaded up onto a USPS truck and will be delivered by the mailman from home to home. Which leads us to the question: what if you do not have the Coronavirus, but the mailman that delivers it does? What if the surface touched on the mailbox is then touched by the resident with a subsequent touch to their face?

 

I think the point is pretty clear: mail itself cannot transfer the Coronavirus from zip code to zip code. But hard surfaces could potentially. And depending on who is infected (whether the sender or the mailman,) potentially there is a risk that you could catch the coronavirus via snail mail. Is it likely that is going to happen? No.. 

 

In fact there have been over 1 Million cases of coronavirus worldwide at the day of writing this blog, and no reported cases of someone getting ill due to a piece of mail that contained the Coronavirus on it. 

 

Mail being delivered with the USPS

 

A Virtual Mailbox Solution

 

One of the best ways to receive mail safely & avoid coming in contact with contaminated packages or the mailman, is through the use of a virtual mailbox. 

 

One of the added perks that comes with that, is that you can get all packages (this includes prescription medication,) for up to 80% off of shipping.

 

What Is A Virtual Mailbox

 

A virtual mailbox is an online mailbox (think Gmail) where you can view all your USPS snail mail. All letters that come in are scanned and uploaded into your account. This ensures you do not come in contact with the mail or the mailman.

 

If there is a package that arrives, you can request we ship it to you with up to 80% off what you would normally pay for shipping.

 

Here’s what it looks like on your computer or smart phone:

 

Virtual mailbox on desktop & mobile devices

 

US Global Mail, will offer their virtual mailbox, 2 months free, to anyone over 50 years of age or with underlying health conditions.

 

This will ensure you get the Covid-19 stimulus check and all prescription medication, without needing to come in contact with other people.

 

To get the free virtual mailbox, click here & use coupon code “fightingtogether” at checkout.

 

(This offer will last until the end of the month.)

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USPS Package Forwarded – What Now?

Getting mail from the Post Office is a great feeling. Some would go as far to say that it resembles childhood anticipation on Christmas, to open up the gifts under the tree.

 

But, as “on time” as Santa Claus is, the USPS has a bit more to deal with than just a family of reindeer. Indeed, when you input your tracking code, you might see a note saying: forwarded, or forwarded for delivery.

 

Santa Claus reading mail

What Does Forwarded For Delivery Mean? 

 

This means that the package you were waiting for, has been sent to a new address. It will come up as a notification when you input your tracking code in the USPS website. 

 

If this confused you even more, it’s probably a good idea to answer first what forwarding USPS mail is all about.

 

Whenever someone decides to move to a new address, instead of having to notify all senders they ever got mail from, of the new address, they will simply want to complete a change of address request with the USPS. This will allow for an automatic mail forwarding system to be put into place, where all packages are sent to your new location instead of your former address.

 

Tracking a package online

 

There are three types of forwarding services offered by the USPS depending on the duration of this forwarding process. You have:

 

  • Permanent change of address. This is a permanent change of address. You have decided to move and are not looking to move back nor is this some short term stay. In order to complete this address change request, you will want to visit the official change of address part of the USPS website. You will immediately get an e-mail confirming the change that you completed online.There will be a $1.05 charge to change your address online. To complete that transaction you will need a valid credit or debit card as well as an e-mail address. Note that this charge is not them receiving compensation for the processing of your application, but rather just an identity verification to ensure they prevent fraud and that you are really the individual completing the change.If you look up “change of address” online, you will probably come across several third party private companies that try and help you complete the change of address, for a fee. You can totally disregard those as the change of address needs to take place officially from USPS, and completing such a request is a really easy process.

 

  • Temporary change of address. As the term suggests, this is a more temporary mail forwarding application, that will allow for mail to be forwarded to another location from 15 days to 6 months. If you enter in the USPS calendar the date on which you would like to have them start forwarding mail to your new address, make sure to list a date that is not 30 days older than today and up to 3 months into the future. From the minute you complete the change of address, mail should arrive at your new address within 7 business days of either your move effective date or your file date.

 

On the USPS website, you will be asked to submit information around your current address. If your address happens to be a PO Box, make sure that you enter it in the Street address field. Remember that you cannot submit change of address requests for non USPS private mailboxes.

 

After completing the information surrounding your current address, you will be asked to fill out information about your new address you are moving to. Make sure to enter a valid address and remember that you cannot request a change of address for PMB’s.

 

  • Premium Forwarding Service. This one is a premium feature of the USPS where they hold your mail and ship it weekly to you using priority mail services. The advantage of a premium forwarding services (over your non premium options) is the flexibility and control you get with respect to when and where you receive mail. For example you may want to change the forwarding location while you relocate or you may want to get all business mail in a particular address. A premium forwarding service will grant you that flexibility for a one time fee and a weekly shipment fee.

 

USPS worker delivering mail

To read through a full breakdown & further details of each service, click here.

 

Why Was Your USPS Item Forwarded To A Different Address?

 

If the USPS sent mail to the wrong address, usually this is either due to a wrong postal code, or a recent change of address with the USPS.

 

  • You put the wrong address on your USPS package. This is by far the most common mistake people make. Think of all the common street names that exist throughout the United States and the possibility of changing just a few numbers, and having your package sent across the other side of the country. Always double check the address that has been added to the package prior to ordering it. Also make sure to make your handwriting clear for the mailman to make out the address listed on the envelope. This will help you avoid having the package delivered to the wrong address.

 

  • You recently completed a change of address. To understand this, you first need to understand how USPS change of address works. If you do not recall having completed a change of address, you will want to double check with your family members in case there was a request made. If you do recall and that happened while you were in the process of moving, just be patient; it will soon be forwarded from your old address to your new one. And just in case, you can always give the Post Office a call to double check that everything is alright. Just make sure to have your tracking number with you, when referencing the case.

 

Man in green shirt scratching his head

 

What Happens If A Package Is Delivered To The Wrong Address?

 

You will have to wait for the person that received the package to report the error on their end. If they decided to reach out to the USPS, then the post office will go and pick it up for you. You will find it in the Mail Recovery Center, in the lost and found department.

 

Most frequent issues come up with people listing the wrong zip code on their envelope, as a result having the package going to the wrong address. That in return just causes a series of communication hurdles between you, the USPS and the random stranger you decided to send this “Christmas present” to. 

 

It all boils down to how honest the other recipient of your mail is, in claiming arrival of your package. In that case, the USPS will easily be able to schedule a pickup in order to be able to get your package back. But in the case where the recipient claims to have not received any package (yet you are convinced it got there & the tracking number suggests that,) then you will need to both (you & stranger) open up a lost package case. 

 

An extensive process will follow through with a series of reviews that will take up more time you can imagine. So it will probably be best to make sure that you do not make this zip code mistake, in the first place. 

 

Missing piece of a puzzle

 

A Better Alternative For Mail Forwarding

 

Considering the admittedly bureaucratic nature of mail forwarding completed with the USPS, several services have designed a mail forwarding solution that goes above & beyond what you would get from good o’l Uncle Sam’s Postal Service. 

 

That is a digital view of all incoming mail, before it is even forwarded to your location. Think of it as Gmail containing all your snail mail and you being able to select what items you want specifically forwarded to you while keeping everything else digitally stored. Not only do you get to receive all mail digitally, but you also have unlimited storage space for up to 6 months. Which means you can kind of “leave it & forget it” without needing to check it every week (like you normally would with a physical mailbox or else it overflows.)

 

Virtual mailboxes also tend to be cheaper than a typical PO box. That is because since everything is stored online, you are not footed the leasing expenses a post office facility would have. So your monthly plan ends up being a lot less.

 

Several other advantages of having mail forwarding done digitally, is that considering you handle it online it takes away from all the paper mess, loss of envelopes & chaotic storage and keeping track of all your snail mail. Additionally, there are some features (such as check deposit or mail shredding) that will allow you to remotely deposit a bank check without needing to visit a bank and shred any mail that contains sensitive information.

 

More & more people have been flocking to such alternative mail forwarding solutions, considering that they can label the files online (just like Gmail,) and even store them to your Dropbox or Google Drive for future reference. As an example of where this would be applicable, say you need to reference your tax notices from last year’s third quarter, you can easily do so; just sort by date or label and you’re good to go. 

 

A virtual mailbox on smart phone & desktop

 

In Summary

 

There is no alternative to submitting your address properly the first time. Doing so will help you save a lot of time and money. 

 

If you are looking for something digital & more streamlined, you may want to consider the use of mail forwarding with a virtual mailbox. Digitizing your mail can be the best decision you’ve made yet, in staying on top of a ton of paper. 

 

For any questions, you can contact us here. 

 

Or visit US Global Mail.

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USPS Informed Delivery Review

Today we will be covering a USPS concept that is very well known and used by residents, and that has really transformed the way we manage mail in the 21st century.

 

Informed Delivery is being used by more & more households, and here at US Global Mail, we thought doing a thorough review of this USPS service, would be helpful.

 

So here we go…

 

Informed delivery app on a smartphone

 

What Is Informed Delivery?

 

USPS Informed Delivery is an online system that enables you to have early access to your incoming mail, enter any delivery details, track parcels and schedule re-delivery attempts. At present, businesses aren’t permitted to use the service; only residential addresses can benefit from it.

 

Before you get too excited, however, you will have to find out whether or not your zip code is eligible to use this feature. To do this, you’ll have to go to the United States Postal Service website and upload a proof of address, ID document (passport, driving license or government-issued ID card) and already possess a USPS account.

 

The main mission of this feature is to allow you to remotely preview your upcoming mail via a smartphone, tablet or computer before you physically receive it. Thus, you can quickly and easily keep on top of your mail and update delivery details if needed.

 

USPS delivery trucks

Does Informed Delivery Show All Mail?

 

Once your letter enters the USPS Mail and Distribution center, you will be sent an email notification with a black and white picture of the exterior. Typically, magazines, catalogs and packages won’t be scanned — only those that are the size of a normal letter will be processed through the Informed Delivery service.

 

Having said this, you will be sent information such as tracking numbers, delivery date and the sender of any packages that you receive. The only kicker is that there won’t be an image to go along with it.

 

Only the first ten letter pictures will be sent via email notifications. To find the rest, you will have to log in to the USPS app or online platform and take a look at your Informed Delivery dashboard.

 

All scanned images will be present on the aforementioned dashboard for a week. Any package updates will be shown for 15 days. After these periods, they will automatically be removed.

 

Don’t worry, no one is going to open your mail. You simply get early access to the exterior so you can stay up to date with any mail you are sent while you’re travelling.

 

Informed delivery on a website and smart phone device

How to Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery

 

Signing up for the USPS Informed Delivery service can be relatively tricky (especially if you don’t already have a personal account with the United States Postal Service). Thankfully, this guide will walk you through everything step by step.

 

Step One

Navigate to the Informed Delivery website and click the “Sign Up for Free” button.

 

Red arrow pointing to the sign up button on usps.com

Step Two

 

Type in your address to see whether or not you live in an area that is supported by Informed Delivery. If your address is accepted, all you will have to do is read the terms and conditions, tick the box and click on “Continue”.

 

However, if it is not accepted, then you can quit your application and come back another time. Although, you can still create a USPS account from here if you would like to.

 

Bear in mind that, if you live in an apartment block, you will have to select your specific address from a drop-down menu.

 

 

Informed delivery sign up process

 

Step Three

 

Then, you will be taken to the account creation window. Here, you will have to enter a username, password, answers to security questions and your contact details.

 

After this, read the privacy statement and click on “Continue”.

 

Red arrow pointing to a continue button during the informed delivery sign up

Step Four

 

Now you will be required to verify your identity. You can do this through your smartphone or by mail.

 

USPS informed delivery sign up completion

Mobile Verification Method

 

This method is incredibly simple:

 

  1. Enter your mobile number.
  2. Receive a one-time code by text message.
  3. Enter this code into the space provided.

 

Mail Verification Method

 

If you choose this method, you will have to:

 

  1. Wait for your invitation to arrive at your address.
  2. Follow the instructions inside the letter.

 

Step Five

 

Once your identity has been verified, a confirmation page will come up. You can either click “Go to Dashboard” or wait to be automatically redirected.

 

Informed delivery sign up confirmation page

Step Six

 

Well done! You have made it through the application process and can now remotely preview your mail and manage parcels!

 

Everything You Can Do In The USPS Informed Delivery App and Online Dashboard

 

Set Up Email Notifications

 

When you are on the Informed Delivery dashboard, click on the “Settings” option.

 

Choose the email digest option so you don’t have to worry about missing a notification ever again. Plus, you can update your notifications for package deliveries and status notices too.

 

It might take a little while for the United States Postal Service to activate this feature on your account. Usually, you will be receiving them within three working days. Sometimes, it can take up to a week.

 

Informed delivery e-mail notification icon

Enrol For USPS Electronic Signature Online (eSOL)

 

From the settings section of your dashboard, you can apply for USPS Electronic Signature Online so you can digitally sign for incoming packages that meet one or more of the following requirements:

 

  • Insured for over $500
  • Requires Signature Confirmation
  • Shipped via Priority Mail Express

 

Writing signature online on a tablet

Add Delivery Instructions for a Package

 

To provide delivery instructions, navigate to the “Package” tab. Then, click on “Add USPS Delivery Instructions” and click on the right option from the drop-down menu. Of course, if the parcel fits in your mailbox, these special instructions will be overruled.

 

Bear in mind that you can’t add this for every mailpiece. You might not be able to add USPS Delivery Instructions if it’s:

 

  • insured for over $500
  • needs a signature
  • marked for “Collect on Delivery”
  • a Registered Mail item
  • being held for address requesting
  • been delivered or out for delivery
  • a “hold for pickup” action was placed
  • marked as intercepted
  • marked as non-deliverable

 

Mobile view of USPS informed delivery

 

Schedule Redeliveries

 

From the app or dashboard, you can schedule the time and date for the delivery man to redeliver your parcel. Sometimes, this option won’t be available but this depends on your package’s circumstances.

 

Hand holding phone with access to informed delivery

 

View Package Details

 

From the dashboard, you can take a look at the details of all of your packages.

 

Navigate to the “Packages” tab and you will see a list of all of your incoming and delivered parcels. Tap on the blue arrow beside each entry to see the scan history, schedule redelivery option or leave delivery instructions.

 

Mobile view of informed delivery

See Previews of Letter-Sized Mail

 

Of course, the main thing is all the image previews of your letters! From here, you can keep on top of your deliveries to make sure you never miss an important notice ever again.

 

Pros of USPS Informed Delivery

 

Prompt Email Notifications

 

If you sign up for USPS Informed Delivery service, you will be doing it for a reason. Typically, you will need this feature if you go for extended periods without being able to immediately get to your mail. With this in mind, it is great that USPS send their daily email notifications no later than 7:45 in the morning. This gives you plenty of time to reply to any urgent incoming letters and packages.

 

USPS Informed delivery email notification

Clear and Legible Pictures

 

The pictures that the United States Postal Service send to you as part of this service are incredibly easy to read and show all the relevant recipient information. Of course, if you live on your own it won’t matter so much if you can’t spot the recipient’s details, but for those households with multiple members, this is fantastic.

 

Informed delivery desktop notification

Zoom In Function

 

Moreover, you can zoom in on these pictures so you can see everything in a crystal clear light. Alongside this, you can go onto the online platform and let USPS know if you didn’t receive a letter or package that you were sent a preview for.

 

Great for Direct Mail Marketers

 

Besides the benefits it brings to you as the receiver, it also gives direct mail marketers new hope. How? Well, since you are almost forced to pay more attention to what you receive in the mail, you have to check out the images of all direct marketing material. It has been proven that people who use this USPS feature are paying far more attention to mail they would have traditionally just thrown away.

 

Direct mail advertising

Businesses Can Make Use of Timelines

 

Plus, now businesses are tapping into timelines — i.e. when USPS send out their email notifications — and are utilizing that so their marketing letters and brochures show up at prime times.

 

Ridealong Campaign Implementation

 

The United States Postal Service has created a “ridealong campaign” service for businesses to utilize and make the most out of their direct mail material. Basically, USPS requires that any company’s Informed Delivery campaigns include a full-color, interactive banner that goes along with the scanned mail picture. The goal here is to enhance the call-to-action and promote the objective of the mail piece. However, this feature is so new that not many people have experienced it as of yet.

 

Hopes of Automatic Ridealong Campaign Feature

 

Finally, even though these aforementioned ridealong campaigns still need to be manually inputted by the company, Informed Delivery feature updates are going to implement an automatic service. Businesses will even be able to put together campaigns across multiple pieces.

 

Pros & cons of informed delivery

 

Cons of USPS Informed Delivery

Can’t Scan All Envelope Types

 

The first downfall of USPS Informed Delivery feature is that some envelope formats are impossible to read. What do we mean by this? Take companies who have dark colored envelopes along with dark colored foil stamping, for example. The scanners used are not powerful enough to pick up the foil stamping and make it legible. So, unless the company provides one of those ridealong campaigns, you won’t be able to make sense of the image.

 

Not Available For P.O. Boxes

 

Another negative aspect has to do with P.O. Boxes. At present, the service does not stretch to helping those who have P.O. Boxes. But, why would you need a P.O. Box? Well, if you travel a lot, it is a great place to forward all of your mail to while you’re away so it doesn’t get lost. Hopefully, they will work on this since physically going to check a P.O. Box can be a pain.

 

Red forbidden sign crossing over an image of PO boxes

Not Yet Conducive With Postcards

 

If you are someone who receives a lot of postcards, you may be pretty disappointed with the Informed Delivery feature. Although it does scan these types of letters, you can only see one side of them on the picture preview. The barcode side is the only part that will be seen on your online portal, unfortunately.

 

Receive Previews of Mail Meant for Previous House Owner

 

Lastly, for those who have just moved house, you might receive previews of mail that is for the previous owners and not you. This can get frustrating but it’s an inevitable evil. However, the USPS Informed Delivery feature should have a “this isn’t for me” option when this does occur. Maybe they could even link this with the change of address form people fill out when they move — who knows?

 

Virtual mailbox mobile & desktop view

An Even Better Alternative

 

While USPS Informed Delivery service works and is great for those who are just getting into the whole remote-tracking business, there is an easier way to take control of your mail.

 

By signing up with us at US Global Mail, you can create a virtual mailbox and truly feel like you’re living in the future!

 

Not only do you receive images of your letter-sized mail like with the USPS Informed Delivery feature, but you also get pictures of your parcels too. Plus, with our digital mailboxes, you can let us know whether you want us to shred, deposit or ship your letters and packages so you really do have complete control over everything.

 

Our experienced mail room staff are the best of the best so you can rest easy with the knowledge that all your letters are being well and truly taken care of.

 

Owning a virtual mailbox with US Global Mail is a completely worry-free way to manage your deliverables. It has never been easier to deal with your snail mail life than it is now!

 

For any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us, or visit our help center.

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How to Find a Lost USPS Package or Mail

Finding out that your mail or package is missing can be pretty soul-destroying. Regardless of whether you’re the sender or the recipient, you’ll have wasted both your precious time and, occasionally, money. No one wants that.

 

Since USPS deals with a huge amount of mail and packages every day, it goes without saying that a letter or two will get lost. However, if you are waiting for (or have sent) an urgent or expensive piece of mail, you will feel the effects of this.

 

So, what can you do if you are without your USPS mail or package? Don’t fret too much, we are here to give you a step-by-step guide on how to attempt to retrieve your lost mail.

 

Although, please bear in mind that the USPS cannot guarantee that you will actually receive your items in the end. Trust us, we know how saddening and anger-inducing this is.

 

Cartoon saying that 14.4 Million letters are lost in the mail every year

 

Why Would Your Mail Get Lost in The First Place?

 

Honestly, there are so many reasons as to why your letter or package would deviate from its rightful path. It could be due to bad weather damage (blurring the address or name) or the label or stamp detaching itself. Usually, it’s simply because the address is incorrect.

 

Even if it isn’t drastically wrong, it could cause the fault. Maybe you inputted an incorrect digit in the zip code or misspelled the street name — whatever it is, this is likely the reason.

 

Having said that, sometimes it’s because you have moved house and forgotten to complete the USPS Change of Address form. This means your mail will have been delivered to your old address.

 

Make sure you write out the address neatly using a permanent marker so you stand the best chance of protecting your mail from adverse weather conditions.

 

Who Do I Call If My Mail Is Not Being Delivered?

 

At some point in your life, you will probably experience times where your mail is not getting delivered. Needless to say, this can be incredibly frustrating. Trust us, we get it! Thankfully, there is a number you can call, just make sure you have given it some time first.

 

What do we mean by “some time”, we hear you ask? Well, let us extrapolate.

 

The United States Postal Service asks that you wait at least two days of not receiving mail before contacting them. Alternatively, if your household isn’t receiving mail regularly for more than two weeks, you should get in touch.

 

For those who like to speak to customer service representatives on the phone, you will need to call the following toll-free number 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). But this isn’t everybody’s preferred choice, so we’ll go over the other options too.

 

In Person

 

Even though life is all digital nowadays, it can actually be quite nice to sort things out the old-fashioned way sometimes — face-to-face.

 

All you have to do is find your nearest post office branch, look up their opening hours, and walk on in. Everyone there will be happy to help you with all your “USPS package never arrived” problems.

 

Email

 

And finally, you can use good old email. It is quick and effective for all you busy entrepreneurs out there.

 

So, how does it work? Take a look.

 

Firstly, just click here to find the “Email Us” page. Then, enter your tracking number (if you have one) or select the problem you are having from the following:

 

  • Where is my package? — If this thought keeps you up at night, “my package was not delivered USPS. Where is it?”, then you need to click this one.
  • Where is my mail? — This is the one for you if you’re having problems with consistently receiving zero
  • com — Only click here if you’re having technical problems with their website.
  • Postal facility — Whether you have queries about the signs, access, look, cleanliness, or opening hours of USPS post offices, this is the one you need to hit.
  • Personnel — If an employee made you cry, tell them. If they made your day, tell them. If they were super-professional, tell them. That’s what this button is for.
  • Business — For all you businessmen and women out there, USPS has got you covered.

 

After that, all that’s left is to type up your message and hit submit! You should hear back from them in a few working days. Try to be patient!

 

Package Says Delivered but Not Here USPS

 

Unfortunately, you may have been notified that something was delivered but when you go to get it, you quickly realize that your USPS package was not received. Yup, annoying, right? Don’t freak out just yet though, make sure you have looked everywhere. Sometimes, your carrier will put it in a more secluded, secure location. Take a look in all of the following places:

 

  • Mailbox
  • Porch
  • Garage
  • Any place safe from adverse weather conditions
  • Exterior doors
  • Ask other household members

 

If you still can’t find it, you might be a rare case. What’s this? Well, it’s when the order status says “delivered” but it actually takes another 24 hours to arrive in your mailbox. We know, pretty weird. Although, don’t wait around longer than a day! Send a service request by email to your post office branch so they can follow up on your delivery and get back to you.

 

Can’t Track My Package USPS. Why?

 

To tell you the truth, this is probably the most annoying part of a lost pac

kage because you just don’t know whether it is actually lost or not!

 

But there are a few reasons why you can’t track your package with USPS. Have a quick gander below to learn more:

 

  • The post office didn’t scan your parcel
  • The scanners didn’t download the information
  • The label was damaged
  • The Package hasn’t yet been received by the post office

 

Can USPS Find a Lost Package?

 

Honestly, this is a very blurry topic. In a nutshell, yes and no. Unfortunately, your current USPS package not found issue will remain the same. The good news, however, is that this rarely happens.

 

The best way for us to explain our “yes and no” answer is to tell you about how their missing mail search works. Are you ready? Let us get started.

 

After they have received your missing mail claim, their expert team begins looking for your package, parcel, or letter at the Mail Recovery Center. Regardless of the state you live in, all the post office’s lost packages go to this facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Generally, every letter with a “return to sender” notice or an incorrect address ends up chilling here.

 

The United States Postal Service holds mail at this Center based on its value and its selected delivery service. So, if it is a standard item and you send your USPS lost claim in too late, it may well have already been shredded. Don’t stress, if it is worth less than $25, it will be destroyed without opening. On the other hand, insured packages and express mail are held here for around 6 months (sometimes longer depending on the situation).

 

Once the holding period ends, any packages that are valuable will be put up for auction. This should be motivation enough to get your claim in as quickly as possible.

 

What Happens If USPS Loses Your Package?

 

If your USPS item is not delivered, you should be able to get a refund if the mail handlers can’t seem to find it. However, it isn’t easy to claim for this really. Why? Their rules on what happens here are pretty foggy shall we say.

 

Having said this, you will definitely be refunded by the United States Postal Service if you bought insurance in the first place. To tell you the truth, you should always purchase insurance if you’re posting valuable items.

So, now we know why your package or letter is lost, let’s focus on how to amend the problem.

 

Someone writing the address on an envelope

How to Find a Lost USPS Package or Mail

 

Okay, we know this is what you have been waiting for. We won’t waste any more time withholding the answer to your burning question, “what to do if mail is lost?”.

 

The First Step: Check the Status of Your Mail

 

Should your mail come with a tracking option, search online for USPS Tracking and have a look at the current status of your letter or package. If you do not have a tracking number (or can’t find it) ask the mail sender (only if you are the recipient, of course).

 

For orders made online, you will typically receive tracking numbers. So, use this if you are not so patiently waiting for your package. Even if you have purchased an item that is delivered through another carrier like UPS, you can still track it with them through their app or online service.

 

Occasionally, you will get lucky and find out that your items are stuck somewhere in the dispatch process and so is not lost.

 

Lost usps mail

The Second Step: Chat With Your Neighbors

 

If your status said “delivered” or “received” but you’re yet to see it, the parcel or letter could be with a neighbor. This is especially likely if you live in a block of flats and the driver got a bit confused so ask around before you panic too much! You could even ask your mailman before doing anything else — in fact, we suggest that you do to cut out the middle man.

 

Ensure you thoroughly check your mailbox for any “sorry we missed you” notices from your mailman. Then, you will have answered your lost mail worries.

 

Unfortunately, the delivered status could be there due to mail theft. If you believe this has occurred, call your local Post Office and the Police to report it as soon as possible.

 

Missing usps package

The Third Step: Gather Your Mail Information

 

Once you have decided that your letter or parcel is actually missing, gather as much information as you can before getting in touch with the USPS.

 

They will ask you everything about your mail, so you need to be clued up. Check the:

 

  • Contents value
  • Sender’s address
  • Recipient’s address
  • Right address was used
  • Receipt
  • Package/letter details (brand, pictures, size, contents, etc.)

 

Lady calling the USPS customer service number

The Fourth Step: Place a Mail Search Request

 

You have a couple of choices here: either walk into your nearest Post Office or fill out the request online by going to the USPS Missing Mail Search. If you have been waiting for more than a week, we recommend you hop to it and get this done!

 

As soon as they acknowledge your search request, they will send you an email and begin looking for your mail.

 

They’ll start by looking at the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Essentially, this is a huge lost and found spot. Should your letter or parcel be fitted with a “return to sender” notice or “incorrect address” sticker, they’ll turn up here. Although, a lot of letters are shredded if they’re worth less than $25 and remain unclaimed.

 

Submitting a mail search request with USPS

Are You After an Easier Alternative?

 

So, you don’t lose any letters or parcels again, sign up for a digital mailbox. It’s so convenient, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

 

How does it work we hear you ask? Well, your mail is sent to a physical mail facility (no, not a PO box) where experienced individuals will scan and process everything. This is then uploaded to your virtual mailbox where you can oversee all your mail being handled.

 

You can use your phone to sign in to view your mailbox. From here, you can decide where you want the mail operators to forward, archive, shred or open and scan your packages and letters. You are in complete control. Not to mention that no matter how many times you move, you can forward all your mail yourself. You never have to worry about stuck or lost parcels ever again.

 

US Global Mail offers this for people all over the world. Don’t hesitate to join them — they’re all living stress-free lives thanks to us. Why are you still here? Get going!

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Do You Need A PO Box in 2020? Here’s What The Data Says

We just entered a new decade, and many industries in the 21st century have seen great disruption while other sectors have been more stable and resistant to change. The USPS started off traditionally with a mailman who would carry mail by foot or on a horse. And although the means of mail transportation has changed over the years, paper mail still remains paper mail.

 

Even still, the idea of being able to drop a letter, parcel, or package into a PO Box somewhere – anywhere – and have it arrive at its ultimate destination (without spending a mountain of money on shipping) is something that we all have come to take a little bit for granted.

 

No, the USPS isn’t perfect. But it has been doing an amazing job ever since it was started generations ago – and is still a huge part of our day-to-day lives.

 

Yes, the volume of mail people exchange has dropped dramatically, but there are certain pieces of mail that cannot be delivered in any other way in this digitally centered day and age.

 

Which raises the question: Do you really need a P.O Box in 2020? Are there are any better alternatives available?

 

This is a question that you are really going to have to mull over, particularly if you are a business owner or entrepreneur these days. The odds are still pretty good that you are getting a decent amount of mail – and sending or receiving important business documents, packages, and parcels through the mail – which requires you to have some sort of mailbox solutions in place.

 

A physical mailbox stuffed with paper mail inside

 

Let’s start off with the first question on the importance of maintaining a P.O Box. To answer that, you need to consider first what is easily replaceable (and has been replaced) by e-mail, what could potentially be replaced using a Virtual Mailbox, and of course what still needs to come in the old fashioned way. 

 

It goes without saying that the majority of business correspondence is done now via e-mail. When you also consider social media giants like LinkedIn & Facebook, the amount of letters people need to actually mail out has been reduced significantly. And it doesn’t stop there, text messages, phone apps (think What’s App, Slack, Telegram) have kept the majority of written communication digitized.

 

Combine all of that with the ease in which we can create digital documents that all can be fired over the internet pretty quickly – reaching our recipient instantaneously – and it’s not hard to see why so many people are moving to a paperless world and embracing everything that digital communications have to offer.

 

If that covers  the lion share of mail, then what else are people using the Post Office for, other than packages & Pizza ads?

 

Magazines with promotional ads & junk mail

 

Think of all forms of ID and official documents; have you ever received those text alerts that you owe money to the IRS? That’s right…the IRS never sends notices via a text or a phone call. Rather it uses your good ol’ USPS. What about other important documents such as ID’s, Passports, Driver’s License, Social Security Cards etc? Yes, these also can only be delivered to you using the Postal Service. 

 

So there are definitely a couple areas where e-mail or What’s App may not come in handy. 

 

We all know that while the digital revolution is in full swing (and has changed most every aspect of our day-to-day lives) there are still a lot of things that have to go through the mail, still a lot of demand for physical documents, packages, and parcels to be delivered, and still a need for the services that help get our mail to us and to our intended recipients.

 

But does that really mean you still need a PO Box to receive those documents?

 

Well, that’s an entirely different conversation altogether.

 

See, when you maintain a PO Box, that means that you are sharing that with pretty much anyone else that needs to send mail your way. That includes utility companies, relatives etc. So with every single item you get, you are adding an extra reason to go to the Post Office, deal with traffic & grumpy employees. And most of the time, the mail you get is probably spam anyway. 

 

The truth of the matter is there are a whole host of nontraditional mailbox services and mail scanning options available today that never existed before.

 

Many of these services are designed to work in conjunction with our digital approach to communication, giving individuals and businesses an opportunity to get the best of all worlds – a legitimate physical mailing solution and digitized services – all under one roof.

 

The trick, of course, is finding the right service to move forward with so that you are leveraging the right platform for all of your communication needs. This can be a bit of a sticky situation to navigate, again in large part because there are so many different services out there promising the moon and the stars when it comes to results but not really ever able to live up to those expectations.

 

There’s A Better Way

 

What if those rare items that need to absolutely be sent via the USPS once every 5 years, are shipped to your address when they arrive?

 

In other words, what if you get the lion share of your mail (99%) virtually and only get official government documents (1%) delivered to you? 

 

Residential mailbox shooting snail mail out of a computer screen

 

Think of the time you would save annually, driving back and forth from the post office, think of the gas you would be saving, and think of the convenience of checking all incoming mail from the comfort of your own couch & phone. 

 

Not only that, but think of how much time you’re going to be able to save wondering if something has arrived at your mailbox, driving down only to find it empty, and then maybe skipping that errand for a couple of days in around – only to find out that your package or parcel has arrived and was waiting for you to pick up.

 

The traditional USPS mailing system is a little bit broken, little slow, and (honestly) a little outdated. There are a lot of huge advantages you can leverage when you move to a mailing service like US Global Mail, for example – and just one of them is having a much better and firmer understanding of everything that’s being delivered and when it has actually arrived.

 

It gets better when you consider that all mail items you receive are scanned externally so you can actually see who the sender is and whether it’s worth it to have it scanned or just shredded. Additionally, all incoming mail items will be added into your Virtual Mailbox and from there, can be organized & labeled, the same way you use Gmail. As an example; let’s say that you want to look at your Tax Records or IRS Notices from the 3rd quarter of 2019, you can just filter your inbox based by date and easily recover it. Virtual Mailboxes are terrific tools for documentation purposes and keeping track of all files. No more paper mess; not in this decade!

 

You’ll never again have to worry about piles and piles of physical documents accumulating, having to find a place to store everything, or scanning things manually so that you have digital records you can rely on later down the line.

 

Instead, mail scanning services work to handle all of that heavy lifting for you. They give you the digital documents save on any device you want (on multiple devices all at once), streamlining your mail reception assess and generally just making life a whole lot easier to navigate forward.

 

And what about mobility? If you need to spend some days (or months and years) out of the country or even out of State, having a virtual mailbox means you can always access your paper mail on demand. No need to wait until you’re back, nor rely on relatives & friends in picking it up for you. Many times, people who take a couple weeks to go vacation overseas, will leave all mailing concerns with their friends back home; but do you really trust your friends that much as to pick up your social security check, or go through your financial data? It’s definitely not the most reliable alternative and in some cases, not the safest either. 

 

Nobody wants to worry about whether or not their physical mail is going to become compromised in these situations. This is especially true if you are running a business and expect sensitive or confidential documents to be sent through the mail while you are away.

 

Having a service that can hold onto those packages and parcels for you rather than hoping one of your friends or family members can take care of that is a huge advantage and should give you a lot of peace of mind.

 

Person relaxing on a beach

 

Additional perks you would not get with a traditional PO Box, include the Check Deposit. Let’s say you get a check from the social security office – why would you want to drive to the post office, get the check, then head to the bank and deposit it if you could do all this with the click of a button? And speaking of easy to use apps and clicking on screens, any undesirable mail you can easily shred also from within the app.

 

This just isn’t the kind of service that you’re going to be get when you’re having all of your mail handled through the USPS. This kind of hybridization mail and banking (as well as scanning and shredding) all works to create a more streamlined approach to mail services, putting you in the driver seat and giving you a whole lot more control over the overall experience from start to finish.

 

Below is a full breakdown of all the benefits you get, when using a Virtual Mailbox.

 

Additional services offered with the signup of a mail forwarding plan

 

So circling back to our original question on the importance of maintaining a PO Box in 2020, we think there are more perks with using a Virtual Mailbox as opposed to a physical mailbox (or PO Box,) and it’s even half the price (because it’s all stored in the cloud.) A good portion of people’s banking needs is done using an app or even online banking. Most (if not all) bills are also paid online. Why not also use your phone to get your Snail Mail?

 

At the end of the day, a lot of people are moving away from a traditional PO Box and instead looking to leverage services like those provided by US Global Mail – and it isn’t hard to understand why.

 

People today want more control over their physical mail, want to take advantage of dependable and reliable scanning services, and are looking to find ways to move their physical mail to the digital route without having to sacrifice the ability to receive mail at the same time.

 

There are plenty of options out there willing to promise the moon and the stars when it comes to results, reliability, and overall service capabilities.

 

However, time and time again the folks at US Global Mail are recognized as the best in the business – a trusted service that you know is going to continue to innovate and pioneer new mail solutions that you’ll be able to take advantage of as a customer.

 

It’s a good idea to have a look at the services they offer currently to see if they are a fit for your needs. You’ll find that they offer services for more complete and comprehensive man what’s available from the USPS (as highlighted above) and that they have plans and packages available for every individual – and every business – regardless of budgetary constraints.

 

There’s no better time than right now to take control over the traditional mailing process. Work with US Global Mail to change things up completely, digitizing everything that can be digitized, and streamlining and scheduling the rest to better suit your specific needs and your specific schedule.

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Should I Rent A PO Box?

In this article, we will be covering the topic of PO Boxes: Is it really an important part of life in the 21st century or are there any better alternatives? 

 

Here’s everything you need to know.

 

What Is A PO Box?

 

A Post Office, or PO box, is a mailbox located in one of the 31,000 Post offices across the United States. With over 21 million available, businesses and individuals are able to rent these boxes to receive their mail and packages. 

 

How Does a PO Box Work

 

The process for taking advantage of a PO Box is really simple and straightforward, and learning how PO boxes work isn’t going to take you very long at all.

 

To get things going, you’ll have to find a post office location that you want to set up your PO Box in to begin with.

 

Most people are going to find a post office that is located near their home or business (just for the sake of convenience), though you could certainly choose a PO Box pretty much anywhere and everywhere you’d like in the United States.

 

After choosing a postal office location, then you’ll need to go through the actual process of figuring out how PO boxes work and how to sign up for one.

 

You’ll need to choose the size of the PO Box that you are most interested in, figure out how much that PO Box is going to cost, and then you’re going to have to provide identifying information and documents that allow you to officially sign up mail at that specific location.

 

Another piece of the puzzle to figuring out how PO boxes work is determining the length of the rental agreement you are going to enter into with the post office.

 

Some people are only going to need a temporary place to get mail while they are traveling for work, away at school, etc. Short-term rental agreements – usually three months in total – are available, though you can also sign up for six month engagements, twelve month engagements, and even longer terms if you are going to be sticking around in that area (or are going to want the box for that amount of time, to).

 

After signing up, you’ll then need to go to the postal office location physically, use the key that has been provided to you to open up your box, and then take physical ownership of your mail. If you have too much mail for the box size – or if you have packages that have been sent to that PO Box address – you’ll usually find a secondary key inside the box to access a dedicated storage locker to receive the overflow or the bigger packages.

 

Be sure to return the key when you are done (usually at the front desk or in a dedicated dropbox) and you are good to go. Now you know exactly how PO boxes work!

 

How Much Are PO Boxes?

 

The price will vary based on the duration of the rent agreement as well as the mailbox size. A P.O box for 6 months will cost as little as $19 and up to $75 in certain locations. For more information on pricing, please visit the official USPS website.

 

Why Do You Need To Get a PO Box?

 

There are a couple of reasons behind why people get a PO Box to begin with, but the first one is that rural mail delivery isn’t always the most consistent thing in the world – especially in areas where homes and properties are spread out across a pretty wide geographical area.

 

There are a lot of towns and municipalities in the United States where home mail delivery just isn’t all that possible, at least not with any real efficiency. The USPS recommends that those kinds of homeowners take advantage of PO Box services to enjoy more consistent mail delivery, and almost always offer significantly discounted rates (if not totally free rates) depending on certain situations.

 

Other folks trying to figure out why get a PO Box are going to want to separate their physical address – the residential or business address – apart from their mailing address.

 

Business owners (especially those that do not a silly need to conduct business out of a physical location) are particularly most interested in leveraging the benefits of a PO Box when it comes to privacy and a little more anonymity.

 

There aren’t too terribly many business owners out there that want to give away their home address to customers and clients that always have become unhappy or disgruntled, for obvious reasons. This is especially true when you are running an online business and have to know face-to-face interaction with your clients.

 

Nobody wants a stranger to arrive on their doorstep, unhappy and potentially causing an unsafe situation, just because your residential address is doing double duty as your businesses mailing address.

 

Obviously, there are other benefits of a PO Box that you want to consider – having a secure location to receive mail at and one of them. There’s a reason why the USPS has millions of people taking advantage of PO Box services each and every year.

 

PO Box Sizes

 

Across all Post Office locations in the US, there are 5 standard PO Box sizes that you can pick from. Each box will come with a different pricing plan.

 

  1. X-Small (3″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 3/4″)
  2. Small (5″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 3/4″)
  3. Medium (11″ x 5 1/2” x 14 3/4″)
  4. Large (11″ x 11″ x 14 3/4″)
  5. X-Large (22 1/2″ x 12″ x 14 3/4″)

 

Wondering how they can benefit you?

 

Here are the Pros and Cons to getting a P.O. Box VS the alternative: a Virtual Mailbox

 

 

PROS

 

1. Permanent Address

 

Moving itself is already a hassle; you’re packing up your entire life. But now you have to change the mailing address for your bills and bank statements, not to mention the IRS and other government programs. And what happens if you’re already gone and your bank statement arrived at your old address? Then there’s a possibility of having your identity stolen and used to commit fraud and run up credit cards. With a PO Box there’s no need to update your mailing address every time you move, because it’s permanent.

 

2. Privacy

 

Your home is for your private life; the fewer strangers knowing where you live, the better. Having a PO Box allows you to give out a mailing address that doesn’t subject you to danger. For example, if you’re a business owner or providing services for someone and they’re far from satisfied, you don’t want that disgruntled customer knowing where you live.

 

Physical mailboxes located at a pack & ship store

 

3. Professionalism

 

A PO Box is very useful for small business, but it’s not just for protection against angry customers. If you can’t afford an office space, P.O. Box helps you appear more professional in comparison to your home address. It also makes sorting mail easier when the mail for home and business aren’t lumped together

 

4. Delivery Time

 

Since PO boxes are located in the post office, it’s delivered much faster than it would be to a residential mailbox. A PO Box removes the wait time that a postman delivering mail to you. Your mail is ready for pickup as early as 11 am.

 

Worker checking physical mail in a mailbox

 

5. Security

 

A PO Box is a lot more secure than a mailbox on the street or in front of an apartment building. It’s under surveillance and locked inside a building. This leaves you less vulnerable to mail thieves who may use your mail to steal your identity. It’s also not exposed to the elements. When Grandma sends you candy, it’s not as fun to eat it when it’s melted from the summer heat or water logged from the rain. Mail delivered to a P.O. Box is only exposed to the light breeze wafting from the air conditioner.

 

CONS

 

A PO Box isn’t all rainbows and air conditioning though. To make an educated decision you need to understand the disadvantages that PO Boxes have as well.

 

Icon that shows a thumbs down

 

1. You Have to Pick it Up

 

Having a PO Box means that rather than a short walk to your mailbox, you have to drive all the way to the post office. For some that’s 10 minute drive, for others it’s longer, and it’s especially not fun after a long day of work. However, if you live in a rural area that mail is hard to deliver to, this won’t have a big effect.

 

2. No 24/7 Access

 

Many Post offices don’t offer the 24/7 that a residential mailbox does. The times available may not always be the time available for you, especially during the holidays

 

3. Not Professional

 

If you’re a small business owner, a PO Box can make you appear less professional. I know what you’re thinking. “You said the exact opposite earlier!” While a PO Box appears more professional than a home address, it’s still indicative that you don’t have an office space. If you want peak professionalism you’ll have to fork over more money for street address.

 

4. It Overflows

 

PO Boxes come in different sizes that correlate with their price. You may immediately want to go for the smallest size to save money, but if you do, you’ll need to make that drive to the post office more frequently. If you’re box constantly overflows you’ll be charged with caller service fees that can amount to 500$ over 6 months.

 

Paper mail & folders stored at a USPS warehouse facility

 

5. No Mail From Other Carriers

 

It’s federal law that only a postal employee or box user can put anything into their box. As a result, major shipping companies, FedEX and UPS only deliver mail to actual street address. With a PO Box you can end up only being able to receive USPS mail.

 

6. No Additional Services

 

The USPS has tried to improve recently. You can now have informed delivery for residential PO Boxes, but it’s still lacking in comparison to the other option you have: a virtual mailbox.

 

PO Box Alternatives

 

Though there are a multitude of benefits of a PO Box (many of which we have highlighted above) there are also a couple of drawbacks – including the ones that we made mention of earlier.

 

Thankfully though, you are not limited to only having to choose between a physical address that you used to double as your mailing address and a PO Box available directly from the United States Postal Service.

 

You can also choose to take advantage of a whole host of PO Box alternatives, many of which combine the best things about a traditional PO Box (and operate similarly to a PO Box) with the best of the digital communication tools and technologies so many of us are used to using on a day-to-day basis.

 

The trick is in identifying the best virtual mailbox services to match your specific needs and your specific budget.

 

There are a lot of top-quality options out there for you to pick and choose from, but there are a handful of options that stand head and shoulders apart from the rest of the pack – like US Global Mail, for example.

 

You’ll want to choose PO Box alternatives that have great reputations in the industry, PO Box alternatives that offer a suite of services and solutions you’ll actually be able to take great advantage of, and PO Box alternatives that fit your budget perfectly.

 

A little bit of research and due diligence will help you uncover the ideal options for you if you’re looking to move away from a PO Box without having to use a physical mailing address only. Let’s dig a little deeper into the alternative approaches below.

 

The Alternative: Virtual Mailbox

 

A virtual mailbox is almost like a PO Box, only better. You get a permanent address, privacy, security, and professionalism. What sets it apart is that it has none of the cons of a PO Box. Once you receive mail at this address, its exterior is uploaded online and you can decide whether to have it opened and scanned, shredded, or forwarded to a different address.

 

Illustration of what a virtual mailbox looks like

 

No more driving the post office! See how they compare at a glance:

 

PO Box vs Virtual Mailbox

 

How to rent a virtual mailbox

 

Interested in getting more value for your money? Learn more here or follow these 3 easy steps to start renting your own:

 

How to rent a virtual mailbox, US Global Mail

 

How to rent a PO Box

 

Still interested in signing up for a PO Box? That’s okay, sometimes change can be scary. We’re still here to help though so here’s a guide on how to rent a PO Box in 5 easy steps:

 

How to rent a PO Box

 

Hope this helps. Give us a buzz if we can help answer any questions for you.

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Mail Forwarding and Forms of Identification..Why?

For an expat, having a commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA) when you move out of the country is kind of like the Robin to your Batman. They are perfect in every way, except there’s one little nagging issue. It is super easy, but not breezy to set up an account.

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Hey, India! Order your favorite US items

Are you missing your favorite U.S skincare brands while overseas? Can’t get a hold of that grooming kit for your beard just like the one in the states? Want your hands first on that electronic or phone before it hits India?

Now you don’t have to miss any of your favorite products! Get your products sent to you at discounted rates when you need them. Take a look at this infographic US Delivered sent us over to learn more: