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Why Small Businesses Need Mail Forwarding

Own a business? You probably need to deal with lots of mail too. Streamline your mail management by having all packages & snail mail forwarded and managed online.

 

Running a small business is never an easy task; depending on what industry and customers you are catering to, you have to deal with complex operations, HR, state regulations (and the list goes on.) What is more, is that there are several administrative tasks that require the attention of an already very busy owner. 

 

At the time of writing this blog, Covid-19 has set in as a new reality. Remote work places, social distancing and stay at home orders, have disrupted literally every business. The ones that were able to go online, were able to get through the storm and operate under new circumstances. Local businesses such as restaurants that were not heavily invested on digital alternatives, had no option but to shut down. 

 

Being able to pick up the mail, became critical; with everyone working from home, who is going to visit the office just to pick up the mail? Very inconvenient and a great time killer. 

 

Virtual address on a map

 

What Is Mail Forwarding? 

 

When you would normally receive mail at your business location, with mail forwarding, you are notifying the USPS to redirect the mail delivery and instead of sending to your former location, it forwards all mail to the new one. The best way to think of this, is if a business re-locates: what happens to all contacts who only know your former address? You would have to go through the list of all friends, business associates & customers, to inform them of the address (something not practical at all.)



With mail forwarding, all your mail gets redirected from your former location to your new location. All you need to do to get this process underway, is completed a change of address with the USPS. And within a few days, you’re all set to go. 

 

How to Forward Business Mail

 

Now, before we get on to the best way to start forwarding business mail (i.e. by signing up with a virtual mailbox service), let us take a look at how to just use the United States Postal Service to change your business forwarding address.

 

The first option that the USPS offers is opening a PO box. So, without further ado, we are going to get right into the details.

 

USPS PO Boxes for Business

 

PO boxes are offered at many local post offices and can be used for both personal and business use. They are secure, accessible, and easy to open online. But, it is worth noting that you still have to visit the post office once or twice a week to collect everything that came in; for some, this is enough to put them off.

 

Before you make up your mind, we will have a look at the pros and cons of using a PO box as your mail forwarding for business service.

 

The Pros of PO Boxes

 

  • It’s a secure way of receiving mail while you’re not in the office.
  • You don’t have to worry about packages sitting on your doorstep.
  • It is easy to keep confidential documents safe and private.
  • You can travel to your PO box whenever is convenient for you.
  • Some are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

The Cons of PO Boxes

 

  • You have no choice but to go to the physical box once, twice, or three times a week.
  • It isn’t as secure as a virtual mailbox since it is right next to everybody else’s box.
  • If your office moves far away, you will have to change your PO box as it won’t move with you.

 

USPS Business Mail Pickup

 

This option is for those of you who receive a lot of mail (or numerous parcels and packages that are too big for the largest PO box).

 

How Does It Work?

 

The post office will receive all of your business address mail forwardings once your office has moved or you have started working from home full time. Then, you arrange a time to collect all your letters, parcels, and packages, turn up, gather them up, and you’re all set!

 

How Do I Get Started?

 

If you’re interested (although we’d advise you to check out the pros and cons below before you settle), here is how to set up business mail pick up. It won’t take long, you will just need to supply two forms of ID and fill in a form.

 

  1. Find the PS Form 1093-C online.
  2. Print it out.
  3. Fill out the “Application for Post Office Caller Service” section.
  4. Take your completed form and two types of government-approved US identification. For your primary form, you can use one of the following (ensuring they are either federal, state, or tribal issued):
    1. State driver’s license
    2. Non-driver’s ID card
    3. Uniformed Service ID card
    4. US Armed Forces card
    5. Corporate identification
    6. US passport
    7. US passport card
    8. US university identification
    9. US permanent resident card
    10. Any ID card issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
    11. US certificate of naturalization or citizenship
    12. Tribal identification card

For your secondary ID document, you can bring one of the following:

  1. Lease agreement
  2. Mortgage agreement
  3. Deed of trust
  4. Voter registration card
  5. Home insurance policy
  6. Vehicle registration card
  7. Utility bill
  8. Form I-94
  9. Vehicle insurance policy
  10. Decide which service option you want. This could be 1 year or 6 months.
  11. Pay the fee. Make sure you do this at the post office where you’ll be using this service is located. You can pay with a credit or debit card, cash, check, or money order.
  12. Pick up your business mail whenever you need to.

 

The Pros of Business Mail Pick Up

 

  • You can receive large items without worrying about whether they will fit in your PO box.
  • If there aren’t any PO boxes available, this is your chance to get an even better service.
  • You can pick up your mail whenever is convenient.
  • Your business can easily scale up without fear that it won’t be able to cope with the influx of mail.

 

The Cons of Business Mail Pick Up

 

  • You might not want to pay for a mail service that lasts a year or 6 months, especially if you are a start-up as it restricts you to one location.
  • You still have to travel to a specific location to receive your mail.
  • Could be quite time consuming depending on travel time.

 

Okay, now that you are familiar with the mail forwarding business address services that the USPS offers, it is time to show you where you should really put your money!

 

Why Does Your Small Business Need Mail Forwarding?

 

There are plenty of reasons why your small business needs mail forwarding! We are about to go through each one in turn but, if you haven’t got much time, just scoot down to the end of this section where you will find a quick-glance list.

 

So, if you are still with us, let’s jump straight into all the benefits you’ll reap once you set up a virtual mail forwarding service.

 

Convenience

 

When a package is shipped to you, and requires you to be around to pick it up, it can be problematic if you happen to be out of the office, visiting a job site or simply too busy to receive your parcel. What business owners end up doing, is signing up for a PO box to receive all packages and mail. That gives birth to a new problem; you need to allocate a certain day of the week to drive to your local post office location, stand in line, and get your mail. But what if you had someone sign for your package only with your authorization, and at the fraction of the cost of having your secretary do so? What if you could request that package is shipped on demand to your location, for up to 80% off typical shipping rates? The time saving and shipping costs advantage to this is pretty obvious.

 

Virtual mailbox on desktop and mobile

Mail Security

 

When you get mail at your location, it can usually be accessed by pretty much anyone who wants to get their hand on it. From ID theft, to mail theft and everything in between, having mail sit at a location without supervision or while you’re away, is probably not the best idea. When you have your mail outsourced, all packages are stored in a warehouse with 24/7 surveillance systems, and on-site security personnel. There is no safer place to store your snail mail, than at a mail forwarding facility. 

 

Security lock

Look Sharp

 

As a company, there is nothing worse than looking unprofessional, right? Well, if you are an online business, or have simply decided to register it under a PO Box or your home address, that comes with a number of issues.

 

Not only are there added security concerns that you need to consider (angry customers knowing your place of residence etc,) but your business does not look professional at all. A business registered with a post office box, surely does not look as good as a business registered under a real physical address.

 

business address location

Home Privacy

 

We already touched on this a bit, but when you decide you want to use your home address for business mail, you are exposing that address to literally every ill-intentioned person online. Angry customers, employees or investors, can know of yours and your family’s whereabouts with a simple Google search. Registering your business with a real physical address that is not your home address, keeps your privacy and family protected.

 

Crook spying on home

Permanent Address

 

What happens if you decide to move the location of your business? You need to keep updating all your contact info, informing customers of a move, and completing change of address forms with the USPS. When you register for a virtual address, this address is yours for life, regardless of where you are physically located. Think of it; do you change your phone number whenever you move? Why would you therefore need to change your mailing address when you do so? 

 

Streamlined Mail Management

 

When you sign up for a virtual business address, all employees are able to digitally manage incoming mail. There is no requirement of someone being on site, and virtually, from the comfort of their own office or home, they can make a few clicks and handle mail online.

 

The Quick Glance Pros and Cons

 

For all of you busy bunnies who don’t have time right now for our fully-fledged conversation, here is a speedy summary of everything we talked about above.

 

Ready? Let’s go!

 

business people shake hands

 

The Quick Glance Pros

 

  • Convenience — you don’t need to be around to pick up your important document or package, an expert mail handler will do it for you.
  • Mail security — all your mail will be held in a secure facility complete with 24-hour video surveillance and more. You won’t find anywhere safer than this!
  • Look sharp — having your home address as your business address does not look very professional. With a virtual mailbox, this problem is solved.
  • Home privacy — using your home address for business can get messy. Angry customers, unhappy investors, and raging employees will be able to find you and your loved ones incredibly
  • Permanent — you will never have to go through the hassle of changing your mailing address every time you switch offices!
  • Streamlined mail management — all your employees can access your office’s mail from a smartphone app or their computer. No one needs to be onsite.

 

Okay, so what are the cons here then? Everything has a downside, right?

 

Well, yes, but the advantages of signing up for a virtual mail forwarding service drastically outweigh the potential disadvantages. Regardless, we will chat briefly about the things that aren’t so good about a virtual mailbox system. (Hint: when we said “things” we meant “thing” as there is only one potential downside)!

 

The Quick Glance Con

  • Extra cost — this especially applies to start-ups. We have found that many new companies do not want to incur the extra cost that business address forwarding proposes. However, it is important to remember that a virtual mailbox will bring you a huge return on your investment (looking at the advantages above will tell you that!).

 

The Bottom Line

 

To summarize; using a virtual mailing solution for your small business can be a big time and money saver. The convenience, security and savings it provides you with makes all the sense in the world to test out — yes, even if you are a start-up company.

 

If you need to reach out with any questions about business mail forwarding or get a proposal, contact us here.

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Does A Virtual Address Matter in 2020?

When everything turns digital, one thing seems to not turn digital at all: business addresses & residences. Or do they?

 

In this blog, we will be discussing the importance of using a virtual address for business or for personal use. There are certain pros & cons you need to be aware of and understanding what your options are along with associated costs, will be important in your consideration of acquiring a virtual address. 

 

Person checking snail mail on a tablet

 

What Is A Virtual Address

 

A virtual address is a physical address in a remote location, used as your own mailing address.

 

For example, let’s say you live in the suburbs of NYC but want to showcase your business being located downtown on Main Street. You would be selecting from a list of virtual business addresses located downtown NYC which could be used for your business registration, receiving & managing mail from your virtual mailbox that comes with it, and displaying that address on your business cards & website. 

 

Another example (in the case of residential virtual addresses,) would be that you are located in Cleveland, Ohio and are about to move overseas for an extended period of time. That means there will be no one back home to pick up your mail, and you would still need to access your mail some way while overseas. Using a virtual address physically located in your former home town, will allow you to access all needed documents & snail mail from your smartphone or desktop device, through your virtual mailbox. An easy way to think of it, is “snail mail that looks like e-mail.” 

 

All your documents will be scanned & uploaded into your virtual mailbox. From there you can decide to have the content of your envelope opened up & scanned, you can have it shredded (in the case of sensitive information such as bank statements or social security numbers,) and you can even have the real physical copy shipped to your location at up to 80% off of typical shipping rates.

 

Virtual mailbox on a mobile device

Is A Virtual Address Important In 2020?

 

As with anything in life; it depends. 

 

Here are some cases where using a virtual address will come in handy for you:

 

 

Virtual Address For Business

 

Sure, you can always use your home address as your business address, but there are a couple reasons you would want to avoid that. For starters, using your home address for business is probably not the most professional thing you can do. An easy Google search will be a quick way for people to tell that you are operating your business out of your home. And even though you may be able to do some from an operations perspective, it still looks a bit “cheap” and you won’t a good first impressions from potential customers.

Another more important reason for not using your home address as a business address however, is the fact that it’s in public display online. Whether on Google or online directories, everyone now (well or ill intentioned) knows precisely where it is you & your family live. So if you have  grumpy customer or someone that is straight out an ill intentioned person (or criminal,) you are exposing the rest of your family to the dangers of them walking up to your doorstep and harming you and loved ones.

Alongside this, you need to protect all the important documents your business will receive. You can’t do this with a home address. You need a virtual address for proper security. Otherwise your legal contracts, licenses, permits, correspondence with suppliers, vendor contacts, statements, payments, bills, invoices, and contact information could fall into the wrong hands. Remember, your 4-year-old tot counts as the wrong hands! You never know, you might come home to your taxes covered in purple crayon and apple juice. That wouldn’t look so good, would it?

 

Plus, you get immediate access to your mail with a virtual box. Regardless of the device you use — smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, you name I — you can access your mail as soon as it comes in. It doesn’t matter where you are; you just need your login details and your received mail pops up. This can be fantastic if you’re awaiting that all-important order your business needs or you are currently talking to vendors about potential contracts. Things like that can’t wait for you to get back from your travels.

 

Finally, a digital mailbox presents a paperless, seamless document management solution. You can set up it to automatically perform functions that you would otherwise have to make time for — think getting rid of junk mail and shredding certain items. You will never fall short with record-keeping ever again. Imagine that!

 

Person standing in front of a business plan on a white board

 

Going abroad

 

One thing Americans are known for, is travel. Whether for leisure or professional reasons, there are millions of Americans that have moved overseas on a more permanent or temporary basis. They did not turn in their passports necessarily, but rather they have decided to be overseas for a little while. Certain US obligations still follow you however. The simplest thing that comes to mind, are IRS notices & US taxes. These will only come in via the mail. So being able to stay on top of these, will help you avoid fines & being able to pay your taxes or penalties in time. Additionally, other important documents or information will be sent to you; if you are retired, your social security check also comes through the mail. So getting it delivered to you, while overseas can be a very important reason to register a virtual address. Check out what a check deposit is and how it could be a great convenience in getting your bank checks deposited quickly. 

 

You want a virtual solution.

 

When you consider the amount of time we spend in our vehicles every day, it is staggering and adds up to months or years over a lifetime. Why drive to the Post Office, just to stay in line to open an empty mailbox or one stuffed with junk mail? Many people are turning to virtual solutions, considering the ease of accessing all mail from your phone. You simply log into your account the same you would with Gmail, and check all snail mail online. It’s as easy as that!

 

You are a frequent traveler

 

Many people need to move every quarter, either because their job requires that (i.e travelling nurse) or because someone has decided to become a full time RV’er. That means that every single quarter, you would need to complete a change of address with the USPS. Although I am sure some people have the time to do that, it’s probably easy to understand what a hassle that can be and how unreliable considering the flexibility required to align with your schedule.

 

Registering a virtual address, means that you get to have a permanent US address, that follows you wherever you go. Just pick a city, complete your change of address and 1583 form, and you’re good to go. No more hassles, and access all paper mail online!

 

For all you digital nomads out there, the benefits of a virtual mailbox solution don’t stop here.

 

With a virtual address, you are guaranteed the utmost security. The mail handlers who work at the facilities are incredibly well-trained and have nothing but the safety of your personal information and mail in mind. The data is encrypted and uploaded to your dashboard so nobody could even dream of hacking it. Plus, any packages you may receive while you are globetrotting are professionally handled and kept in secure, remote locations.

 

Additionally, depositing checks is now a breeze. Yep, regardless of what currency! When you get a paycheck, your virtual mailbox service will send you a notification. Then, you can use the app to deposit it to any bank in the United States of America. This way, the money will appear in your account as quickly as possible. You shouldn’t have to wait for your money when there are so many experiences to be had out there!

 

At an airport about to board a plane

You Are an Expat Looking for Seamless Solutions

 

While moving to another country is super exciting and you’ll be pouring your heart and soul into making a life for yourself there, you still have to manage your life back home. You will still need a permanent address in the United States of America. Why? To ensure you acquire all the necessary correspondences, receive packages, and shop securely — all without the risk of your mail getting lost.

 

A virtual mailbox allows you to relax with the knowledge that your parcels, packages, letters, and business documents will get to you in one piece. There are tons of advantages for you, an expat, and a digital address.

 

For starters, you will be able to stay connected. A virtual mailbox ensures you have a permanent address, regardless of how many times you move around. It is incredibly simple to forward packages to your current residence from here. Plus, you can still shop at all your favorite US stores without having to worry about whether or not they will actually reach you.

 

Additionally, you can deposit checks (in any currency) easily, without visiting a bank. All you need to do is go on the app, hit deposit and you are well on your way to seeing your cash.

 

Oh, and you will never miss important documents. Since you will get instant access on any device to the contents of your mailbox, you don’t need to worry that you will miss payments, tax returns, invoices, and more. You can even set up notifications that will let you know when there is mail you need to check out.

 

The Benefits of a Virtual Address

 

If any of the above apply to you, you’ll know a lot about the benefits of a virtual address already. However, if you still feel like you are in the dark, let us walk you through the benefits, step-by-step.

 

1. Permanent Street Address

 

A virtual address is mostly globally accepted as a permanent, American street address, unlike a PO box. This saves a bunch of time because you won’t have to make your way to your physical mailbox every day (or week).

Plus, it will allow you to receive parcels from pretty much all couriers. For this reason alone, it’s a win-win kind of deal.

 

2. Deposit Checks Quickly

No more having to visit the bank when checks come in the mail. With a virtual address, you just have to go on the app, ask to have it deposited into your bank, and it’s done! This way, you get your money within one working day, rather than waiting 3 to 4! Not to mention that you can be in any country while this is happening.

3. Flawless Record Keeping

At the moment, you probably have a huge binder full of all your important, previously mailed documents, right? Well you can kiss goodbye to that with a virtual address. It allows you to store files for as long as you need. Whether that’s 5 seconds, days, weeks, months, or years — it can handle it all. This will save you a lot of space in your home too, so you’ll have more room for storing things that bring you joy.

4. Auto Admin

 

When the mail comes in, you can decide whether you want each piece shredded, held, or shipped to your current location. Everything can be done from within the app and takes a matter of seconds!

But that’s not all.

Thanks to new technology, the app allows you to search through the uploaded PDF scans of your mail. Again, this will save you time as you won’t have to trawl through everything you’re mailed. Instead, you can focus on your business, your significant other, and your family — you know, all the truly important things in life.

 

Documents being sent to a computer

The Bottom Line

 

Virtual addresses are not for everyone. But they can come in handy for quite a large percentage of the population. Usually, a business mailing address will also be cheaper than a typical PO Box, considering that all that mail is stored in the cloud (instead of a real physical location) making it cheaper for the end user.

 

Whether you have decided that you are about to launch a new business, want more privacy and the convenience of accessing all your mail virtually without needing to drive weekly to the post office, or simply because you’re about to relocate – having a virtual address can come in handy.

 

Talk with our award winning customer support team today, and see if a virtual address is right for you.

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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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Uncategorized

What Is A Virtual Mailbox? Here’s Why You Need One

No text messages, no social media, no email…none of that back in the day. How did we even survive back then? (my 15-year-old son asks)

And although most of the aforementioned means of written communication have taken up the lion share of what the USPS used to be responsible for, it still hasn’t completely wiped out this organization that employs so many millions of Americans. IRS notices, the occasional letter from grandma, the DMV (and the list goes on) are some of the reasons why everyone still needs to receive some kind of paper mail. 

 

A pen sitting on a written letter

 

Of course the environmental toll we’re paying is humongous, considering that most paper mail is junk (marketing) mail. Other factors to consider (outlined in the paragraphs below) may lead someone to start thinking of alternative options to traditional paper mail. Something faster, easier to use & more secure. A virtual mailbox.

 

What Is A Virtual Mailbox?

 

It is a secure mailbox you can access online, in which all your paper mail is scanned & stored in a digital format.

 

On top of that, you’re able to gain a whole lot more control over the mail experience – sending and receiving mail – when you move to a virtual mailbox service than you would have been able to otherwise.

 

Similar in a lot of ways to a traditional PO Box, but differing significantly when it comes to how technology, digital scanning, and a host of accessory services included with virtual mailboxes are concerned, there are a lot of individuals and a lot of businesses moving away from PO boxes and towards virtual mailboxes for a couple of reasons.

 

We dig a little deeper into those reasons below, but you’ll be happy to know that signing up for the right virtual mail service is pretty easy.

 

Obviously, you’ll want to find the right company to do business with – a trusted partner like US Global Mail – but after that you can really hit the ground running without a lot of headache and without a lot of hassle.

 

The process is very simple:

  1. First you will receive a virtual address.
  2. Then all your mail arrives to that address.
  3. Items you receive are scanned (exterior envelopes) and you can view them in your Virtual Mailbox
  4. And finally you pick which items you wish to have opened and scanned. We scan and upload the document into your Virtual Mailbox. 

 

Snail mail entering a mobile phone and coming up as digital mail

 

Above and beyond the obvious benefit of not having to drive to the post office, being able to view everything online instantly and getting real-time notifications, the virtual mailbox gives you several options: you can scan a mail item, discard, shred or even select the option to have it mailed to you. (Sometimes you may need the actual physical mail, for example, your driver’s license.)

 

Never again are you going to have to worry about losing mail that has piled up in your home or office, not being able to track down important packages or parcels that you know you picked up weeks or months ago, or generally just cluttering up your space with mail that you don’t know if you’ll ever need in the future – but know that you probably shouldn’t toss it out on the off chance that you might.

 

The control that you are able to exercise over your mail with a virtual mailbox is unparalleled.

 

Sure, the USPS has a proven method in a PO Box that has been tried and true for generations. But virtual mailboxes don’t throw out PO Box approaches entirely so much as they incorporate what the USPS does well with those services with their own innovative twists, accessory services, and improvements.

 

You really do get the best of all worlds when you choose to move forward with a virtual mailbox service compared to just grabbing a PO Box at your local post office.

 

Another huge convenience is the ability to go back and view mail that came in many months (or even years) ago. It serves as a terrific mail management system, with superb archive features. Which is why you need to ensure you are working with the best virtual mailbox service.

And if you own a business, you realize the amount of paperwork and paper mess this archival system can help you avoid. 

 

You’ll have a completely searchable (easily searchable, at that) archive of every single mail piece, every single package, and every single parcel that comes through your virtual mailbox.

 

On top of that, we aren’t just talking about a couple of data points that you can get out of a spreadsheet with this searchable database, either.

 

No, with the right virtual mailbox service you’re going to get actual digital photographs or scans of the envelopes and packages themselves.

 

You’re also going to get information about the individual or organization that sent you those packages and parcels, as well as concrete dates and timestamps about when they arrived at your mailbox, when you received digital confirmation of those deliveries, and (with some services) when you last accessed that information and those digital documents.

 

All of this is going to streamline your paperwork process significantly. You can forget forever about having to pile all kinds of mail into complicated physical filing systems, living your life with manila envelopes cluttering up the place, or hoping that you haven’t lost a key pieces of mail somewhere in the shuffle just because you have so much to navigate.

 

Overwhelmed professional looking at a stack of papers

 

Something to consider if you have a business that you wish to display in a more “prestigious” fashion, is the fact that a real street address looks a lot better than a PO Box. 

 

It is true you can register your business using the Post Office and get a PO Box, but consider how that would look on your website or when doing a presentation to a client? 

 

A streamlined enterprise mail management solution could help with other business needs as well, such as a check deposit. Check deposits are offered both for individual customers and businesses alike and can come in handy in order to save time from going to the bank. Endorse your check digitally, and you’re good to go!

 

These check depositing services are just one of the accessory options that top virtual mailbox service providers include as part and parcel of your membership package.

 

There isn’t anything like this available from the USPS at this point in time, and there may never be a streamlining of these kinds of services in the future.

 

But the ability to not only have a check delivered directly to your mailbox, a digital document made of that check arriving, a digital copy of that check scanned into your records (available and accessible on any internet enabled device at any point in time), and the ability to have that check instantly deposited into your account is a game changer.

 

It’s not hard to see how a service like this can streamline so much of your operation, especially when you choose a partner that you know you can trust in the virtual mailbox industry.

 

Mail being delivered across the world with the click of a button

 

Here is a list of the advantages you get, when using a Virtual Mailbox:

 

  • Save time, money & stay organized. Long gone are the days when you needed to drive, sometimes in harsh weather, deal with the traffic and get stuck behind a turtle car. If you consider the amount of money you spend on gas going back and forth to the post office yearly, that’s some extra needless spending. And you know what they say about time being money right? So factor that in too! And what about archiving all your documents and going back months & years at a time, digging up some old IRS notice? It’s evident that a Virtual Mailbox, if nothing else, would provide you great convenience and would also be a money saver.

 

A clock held on the one hand and a dollar sign on the other hand

 

  • Save up to 80% on shipping costs. Sometimes you need to access your physical mail and get the actual paper envelope. We understand that, which is why there is an on-demand shipping request made available to you. The advantage here is the fact that when using a mail forwarding service like US Global Mail, due to the volume of mail we ship & handle, we are able to provide bulk pricing. The irony is, that so do several mail forwarding companies, but many of them decide to even mark up the shipping service itself. If you do proper due diligence, you will find mail forwarding services that offer you shipping at a fraction of what the retail cost would be (up to 80% off.) US Global Mail is proud to be one of them.

 

Shipping boxes sitting on a keyboard key labeled as shipping

 

  • The environmental consequence. The tons of junk mail that end up in landfills or our oceans, is scary to even think about. Unfortunately, most residents tend to simply trash the junk mail (magazines, marketing mailers, etc) instead of recycling. Using a digital option, would help lessen our global footprint, considering that the sponsored mailers that we get – should you decide to do so – we shred and recycle.

 

A giant human footstep that has demolished part of a forest

 

  • Security & privacy. Mail theft in this country is growing at a record pace. Identity theft is on the rise, and having your mail exposed in public, can create a series of headaches or even amount to personal losses with criminals using your identity for malicious activity. When you compare this to having all mail sent to a warehouse secured with 24/7 surveillance systems and security personnel, it is evident that you your mail will stay away from the hands of crooks. Additionally, all mail is encrypted and you have access to it all, whenever you choose. 

 

USPS mail theft notification

 

In summary, e-mail in no way has been able to eliminate all physical mail. But obtaining a virtual mailbox will allow you to digitize even the extra pieces of mail that our 21st century digital age has not been able to disrupt. 

 

Two things are certain: virtual mailboxes aren’t going anywhere and nor is snail mail.

 

The trick is trying to find a way to marry these two completely different of communication in a system that doesn’t add more headache, more hassle, and more complexity to your already super busy life.

 

Nobody wants to have to worry about more issues and more anxiety with their mail, regardless of whether or not that’s personal mail or business mail. We are all looking for ways to increase efficiency, cut down on the amount of time we spend having to navigate this type of necessary busywork, and making our lives a little simpler and straightforward along the way.

 

The good news is, streamlining your mail management and keeping everything online in one place, can help organize the busiest individuals and businesses. 

 

The big challenge is always finding the right partner to move forward with, especially today when the market is becoming ever more crowded with new competitors getting into the industry.

 

You’ll want to be sure that you research all of your options, really do your due diligence to find professionals that you know you can trust, and dig deep into the reputation of the companies you’re thinking about doing business with before you sign on the dotted line and have them handle something as important as your mailbox.

 

It’s critical that you work with trusted companies like US Global Mail, experts that have a long and established track record that can be independently verified by you, so that you know you are being well taken care of.

 

Move forward with a fly-by-night operation that you can verify on your own and you’re only adding more complexity and more anxiety to something that could have been almost effortlessly taking care of with the right partner – a partner like US Global Mail.

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Are you ready to make managing all of your mail – ALL of your mail – a whole lot easier than it ever was before, all while enjoying the best of the traditional mailbox and digital communication worlds?

 

How can a Virtual Mailbox make your life easier?

 

Let us know!

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Uncategorized

Why do People Get a Virtual Mailbox? In 2020…

Before we get into why you should get a virtual mailbox, you’ll need to know what a Virtual Mailbox is. A virtual mailbox is a service that offers a permanent street address.

 

Basically working the same as a traditional PO Box with some digital enhancements, you’ll be able to enjoy the best of all worlds when it comes to these two completely different forms of modern communication.

 

You’ll be able to receive snail mail new this virtual mailbox just the same as you would at a physical address or at a PO Box, but after that mail has been received (packages, parcels, and envelopes – everything goes) and then goes through a digitization process that makes these solutions so special.

 

Once you receive mail at this address, its exterior is scanned and uploaded and you can decide whether to have it opened and scanned, shredded, or forwarded to a different address.

 

The best thing about this entire approach – and the number one thing that makes virtual mailbox services so different and so beneficial – is that you are in complete control of your mail in a way that just isn’t possible with any other approach.

 

The amount of control that you are able to exert over your mail – how it is handled, whether or not it is opened and scanned, how it is destroyed, or how it is forwarded to an address of your choosing – but you firmly in the driver’s seat.

 

Instead of having to handle your mail on the terms of the USPS, picking it up at the post office during specific hours, having to physically go there to get your mail, and dealing with all that headache and hassle you become your own postmaster.

 

It’s a game changing paradigm shift and there are plenty of reasons why so many smart and strategic business owners and individuals are making the switch to virtual mailbox is today.

 

Here are 5 reasons why you should get one:

 

Documents being removed from a folder

 

It prevents Identity Theft

 

 

Mail theft is one of the most common ways for someone to steal your identity. By rifling through your mail, a thief can collect:

 

  • Your name and address
  • Social Security number
  • Telephone numbers
  • Email address(es)
  • Employment history 
  • Credit card and bank account information
  • Pre-approved credit card offers

 

This information could allow them to easily run up credit card bills and commit fraud in your name.

 

The security of your mail is more important than most people would think. Is it really safe for your mailbox to be on the street where not only your neighbors, but strangers can walk up to it and pick a lock?  If you have a virtual mailbox, only you can access your mail online. And the warehouse your company stores it in is protected by an alarm system, security cameras, and a key-card lock.

 

When you really think about it, our traditional mailing system is anything but secure and locked down.

 

Sure, it is a federal offense to tamper with someone’s mail – and a huge crime to even open up a piece of mail that hasn’t been addressed to you – but there aren’t a lot of safeguards put in place to protect your package or your parcel as it moves through the mailing process and then gets delivered to your doorstep or to your PO Box.

 

There are a lot of “weak links in the chain”, so to speak, that can become compromised without a lot of effort – but even worse, those weak links can become compromised without you knowing there has been a compromise or without the USPS becoming aware of the compromised, either.

 

That’s a huge problem.

 

By taking advantage of virtual mailbox services you patch a lot of those flaws in a way that just wouldn’t have been possible going the “traditional” route the way that millions of Americans do with their mail each and every single day.

 

Bulgar exiting a home from the window

 

It Prevents your house from being burglarized

 

More people are beginning to realize the dangers of advertising when they go on vacation. 75% of burglars use social media to find their targets and ⅔ of burglaries occur when people aren’t at home.

 

But have you ever thought of how your mailbox advertises your whereabouts? 

 

An overflowing mailbox is an obvious sign that you’re not at home and an open invitation for a nefarious passerby to swipe your belongings. 

 

With a virtual mailbox:

 

  • no one is aware of your absence
  • There is no overflow, you can receive an unlimited amount of mail
  • If you expect an important document to arrive while you’re away you can just check your mailbox online while still enjoying your vacation

 

We live in a world that is a lot less accepting of privacy than ever before, with people online constantly looking for ways to identify individuals that they disagree with – often times over the smallest things imaginable.

 

The last thing you want to do is make it even easier for these individuals to find out where you live, to potentially burglarized your home, or even to terrorize you and your loved ones. No one wants to worry about someone that may mean them harm finding out where they live just because your mailing address is attached to your physical address.

 

With the help of a virtual mailbox service you’re able to eliminate those issues entirely, but you’re also able to eliminate the issues we highlighted above of overflowing mailboxes making your home look like an easy target.

 

The mail is kept safe and secure, you are still immediately notify about any packages or parcels that come into your mailbox – as they come in, in real time – and you have a whole lot more control over what happens to your mail moving forward.

 

It’s Great  For Small Businesses

 

Operating a business out of you home has many advantages. You choose your hours and there’s no commute. However, when it comes to receiving mail, you may have to use your home address which has many disadvantages:

 

  • Strangers now know where you and your family reside, any disgruntled customer or vendor could show up at your home 
  • If you are ever sued, the summons will be served at your home alerting the neighbors to your situation
  • You may appear less professional  
  • And as business is picking up, you’re also going to have to spend an enormous amount of time checking the mailbox

 

Being able to separate your residential address – or even just your business address from your mailing address – provides an extra layer of safety, security, and (some) on anonymity that business owners deserve these days.

 

As we highlighted above, nobody should have to worry about complete and total strangers – especially potentially disgruntled or unhappy customers or clients – showing up at your doorstep unannounced and unwelcome just because your mailing address was the same as your home address.

 

By adding this extra buffer layer you’re able to add a bit more protection and security for yourself, your loved ones, and your property.

 

The other benefits that you’ll enjoy – appearing more professional and more credible, enjoying more control over how your business mail is handled, etc. – go hand-in-hand with the security and safety benefits that you get out of a virtual mailbox account.

 

This is one of those “must-have” business investments you’ll want to make that pays out significant returns on its overall cost, and does so almost straightaway. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

 

Cartoon depiction of a pack & ship store

With a virtual mailbox:

 

 

For example:

Heather’s Flowers

1321 Upland Drive #XXXX

Houston, TX 77043

  • Your family’s privacy isn’t comprised
  • You can sort through company mail from your laptop
  • You can retain limited liability for business activity or debts

 

A stack of USPS folders

 

It helps you sort through your mail

 

When you order from a magazine, or give out your address to a store or business for that enticing coupon, marketers descend on your mailbox like a pack of wolves. No one wants to check their mail for an important letter only to go home with piles upon piles of junk mail that they’re now responsible for discarding

With a virtual mailbox you can:

 

  • discard junk mail before it ever approaches your doorstep
  • Scan or forward the important documents you’ve been waiting for

 

Some people even use their Virtual Mailbox address solely for sign up purposes, so their mailbox at home is reserved for more personal letters like grandma’s birthday packages.

 

Sifting through your mailbox can take a lot of time, especially if you are running a small business or are particularly active on mailing lists.

 

With a virtual mailbox you’re able to separate out your business mail from your personal mail, you’re able to have junk mail discarded before it even hits your hands, and you’re able to keep track of all the mail that you are receiving with digital records of that piece of mail, the information regarding who sent that mail, and important timestamp information that you may need moving forward.

 

Combine all of that with the digital archival data that you can easily search and scan (as necessary) and it isn’t hard to see how this modern mailing system is so much more advanced than the one we all have been using for hundreds of years.

 

Imagine being able to not only quickly sift through all of the mail that you have received, but also easily being able to search all of the mail that you have digitally – going back years, even – just the same way you would search for something online through Google.

 

That’s not the kind of feature you’ll likely ever get to take advantage of directly from the folks at the USPS.


You can access your mail from anywhere in the world

 

Some people may opt to have a P.O. box instead of a virtual mailbox, but this last reason will reveal while the latter is the smarter choice. What happens when you move? Maybe your spouse gets a promotion in another state or even another country? Maybe you’re retiring and want a life of nonstop travel? How are you going to get your mail? 

With a PO BOX:

 

  • You don’t have the option of going to pick it up in person anymore. 
  • Some will not forward your mail to you
  • Even if they do forward mail, they won’t sort through it, so you’ll have to pay for those extra pounds of junk mail

 

With a virtual mailbox you can:

 

  • have a permanent address you can maintain for anywhere in the world.
  • forward only the important mail at discounted rates
  • have your mail scanned and available online
  • Shop in the US and have your purchase shipped to you for less

 

Ready to get your own virtual mailbox?

 

At the end of the day, all of the benefits that we highlighted above only begin to scratch the surface of the advantages you’ll be able to leverage when you choose to move forward with your own virtual mailbox.

 

On top of that, there are very few negatives to moving forward with these kinds of services – and none of those drawbacks would be considered deal breakers by any stretch of the imagination.

 

When you choose to move forward with a trustworthy virtual mailbox company, a company that has a real reputation in the industry as being a legitimate operator, as constantly innovating and improving their services, and a company that is committed to offering great solutions at affordable prices, there’s next to nothing to worry about.

 

Obviously, you’ll need to do your research and due diligence. This is, after all, decision that is going to hugely impacted the way that you interact with your mail from here on out.

 

This is not the kind of decision you want to make on a whim.

 

At the same time, while you’re conducting your research and due diligence you shouldn’t at all be surprised to discover glowingly positive reviews of all that US Global Mail services bring to the table.

 

There’s a reason why these services are considered to be some of the best in the business, a reason why the customer service is so well-regarded, and a reason why US Global Mail is so frequently recommended by people that have actively switched to a virtual mailbox and are loving the results.

 

Sign up with US Global Mail and get a physical street address in the US and get notified of its arrival through your virtual mailbox!

 

How to rent a virtual mailbox

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Expat Resources Compare Mail Forwarding Services

Expat Mail Forwarding (the why, how and what in 2020)

 
 
Moving abroad- whether for work, retirement or other reasons- can be equally exhilarating and nerve wrecking. There are mixed emotions of sadness at leaving behind family and friends and the thrill of starting a new adventure.
 

One question that expats often miss in the hustle bustle of moving, is what will happen to the paper mail that they get at home. Even if you have moved your banking online and get most bills via email, there are still many pieces of mail for example from the IRS, tax notices, new credit cards, renewed Drivers License, and other paperwork that comes only via mail.

 

USPS will forward mail internationally for a steep cost. You can enroll in the USPS forwarding service, which costs $21.10 retail or $19.35 if you enroll online. There’s an additional cost of $21.10 for each week of service. So about $84.40/month and Priority Mail items are are sent at an additional cost. Ouch!

 

US Airlines

 

Depending on what country you move to, getting mail can be difficult.  And keeping a US address even when you are overseas is important if you bank in the US or expect to deposit any checks in the US. Many companies, not to mention government services, require one, even if it is not your official residence.
Which begs the question:

 

How do I forward my mail to another address overseas?

 

You can do that via the USPS by getting a PO Box, and the USPS will forward your mail to your international destination. Other options include:


(1) Ask a family member or a reliable friend to pick up your mail daily

(2) Forward your mail to a family member’s or friend’s home address

(3) Use a professional mail forwarding service

 

Let’s start by looking at how you go about getting a PO Box, and then we will move on to the other options we just mentioned.

 

How to Get a PO Box with The United States Postal Service

 

To make this as easy as possible to understand, we are going to go through each step in detail, so you can decide whether this is the right option for you. Just make sure you don’t make any set-in-stone choices yet since we still have to tell you about the best way to go about your expat mail forwarding.

 

Step One: Choose a PO Box Size

 

The United States Postal Service offers 5 different PO box sizes. Namely extra small, small, medium, large, and extra large. Thankfully, they also tell you what each of these can hold! We will have a closer look at them now:

 

  • Extra small (3 inches x 5.5 inches) — this one can hold around 10 to 15 letters or 2 magazines (rolled up). The depth is around 14.75 inches which is a universal size throughout all PO boxes.
  • Small (5 inches x 5.5 inches) — this option can hold around 10 to 15 letters or 5 magazines (rolled up).
  • Medium (5.5 inches x 11 inches) — this one can hold large envelopes and magazines that are stacked flat.
  • Large (11 inches x 11 inches) — if you receive larger packages, you will want to go with this one. It can hold around 2 shoeboxes and 10 to 15 letters at the same time.
  • Extra large (12 inches x 22.5 inches) — this one can hold a number of flat rate boxes and parcels, along with letters too of course.

 

Step Two: Reserve Your PO Box

 

Once you know which size will suit you best, you need to search for the post office that is nearest to your home. Then, just click “reserve a new PO box”.

 

Step Three: Pick Your Payment Period

 

There are multiple payment periods that you can select. It is up to you and your financial needs as to which one will fit you best.

 

Step Four: Enter Your Contact and Billing Information

 

You will be asked to supply the obvious information like your first name, last name, address, card number, security code, expiry date, and a few other bits. After you have hit “submit”, you are able to move onto the final step.

 

Step Five: Validate Your ID and Pick Up Your PO Box Keys

 

By law, you have to validate your identity in person. So, you need to go down to your PO box location with two forms of government-approved ID. The primary form needs to be a federal, state, or tribal photo card. You can choose from the following:

 

  • State driver’s license
  • Non-driver’s ID card
  • US Armed Forces card
  • Uniformed Service ID card
  • US passport
  • US passport card
  • US university identification
  • Corporate identification
  • Any card issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • US naturalization certificate
  • US citizenship certificate
  • Tribal identification card

 

The secondary form can be one of these:

 

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

 

After they have been approved by the person at the post office desk, your keys will be handed over to you. Then you can do a little celebration dance because the PO box is yours!

 

Ask someone to pick up your mail daily

 

Works short-term. Long term though… not really. If your close friend or brother asks you to pick their mail for a week, that’s fine. You can help out! But picking up their mail daily for a month or a year sounds crazy. Plus, are you comfortable when your friend or sibling looks through your bank statements or W4 form?

 

person giving out mail

 

Forward your mail to a friend’s home

 

Are you comfortable with your friend or sibling looking at your tax documents or W4’s? Even if you can compromise your mail privacy and confidentiality, you still have the issue of getting it to yourself. Are they going to go to the Post office and mail your stuff every week?

 

Use a mail forwarding service

 

A mail forwarding company receives your mail, gives you near real time access to it so you can view it, read the contents and have it bundled and forwarded to your new home or office or any place in the world.

 

Can USPS forward mail internationally?

 

As we mentioned briefly earlier, you can ask the USPS to forward your mail overseas. But it is ridiculously expensive. It would almost be more worthwhile to fly back to pick up your packages, parcels, and letters up yourself!


The best way to get your mail securely, in near real time so you can act on it as soon as needed, is to use a professional mail forwarding company.

 

USPS mail

 

How do mail forwarding services work?

 

Mail forwarding services give you a US address which you use to redirect your mail to. You fill out a change of address form with the USPS and tell USPS to start sending your mail to the new address.  When your mail arrives at this address, the mail forwarding company will usually
 
 
– upload it to a Virtual mailbox, which you can access via a secure login
– you can see images of your envelopes and boxes along with other info like sender, weight, dimensions of boxes etc.
– you can take actions on your mail to have it opened and scanned to read contents
– you can store your mail for some time and then have it bundled and shipped together to your new home
 
At US Global Mail, we have helped over 80,000+ expats with our mail forwarding service.
 
 

Top Reasons Expats Need Mail Forwarding

 

Shop Any US Website. Whenever you are overseas, that can make getting items from your favorite US companies in the mail, a problem or a difficult attempt. Many companies do not ship overseas or if they do ship, then you can expect to pay some very high shipping fees. With a US address, you are able to receive all those items at your US location, and from there we can ship them to you at up to 80% off the typical cost you would.

 

Direct Access To Mail. When getting a virtual mailbox, you are able to stay on top of mail 24/7, with your own login credentials. It’s a bit similar to e-mail, only for mail & packages. Log into your account, request a mail scan or have some item shipped; all with the click of a button.

 

Cloud Storage. When you get mail, all items are scanned and uploaded into your virtual mailbox. You can receive an unlimited number of mail items to your address with unlimited storage. You can also store your items up until 180 days, free of charge. And eve if you do need to store items for a longer period of time, it only costs a few additional cents for your item. Saving files online, makes accessing files more reliable and a cheaper option for your mail.

 

Privacy. When you have mail clerks are the company you work at, handle your mail and ship to you, then you probably have a series of people that get to your mail before you do. With a virtual mailbox, you are the first one to access all important documents from your phone or computer, without a bunch of intermediaries. Communication with customer service can be done within the app as well; so any request you need, can be completed within just a few clicks.

 

It’s More Reliable. The alternative to having a professional company handling your mail, is having some relative or friend picking up mail on your behalf, heading over to the post office and shipping them out. As you can realize, over the course of several weeks and months, this can turn into a part time job for your friend. And even if you did have someone so committed to just deal with your mail, they probably would have to work it into their schedule to get it shipped to you in time (making up for several delays, or mistakes in forwarding on your items.) When you have a professional mail forwarding company handling this on your behalf (and especially a company like US Global Mail that has been around for 20+ years,) you are assured to get your mail on time.

 

How much does mail forwarding cost?

 

US Global Mail plans start from $10/month. You can view our plans and pick one that works best for you. USPS mail forwarding is $84.40/month. Here’s a comparison cost chart of some of the common services.

 

Is a Smart Mailbox Going to be Your New Best Friend?

 

The likely answer is, yes! Virtual mailboxes are a fantastic way to make sure all your important documents reach you, no matter where you are in the world (which expats benefit greatly from, of course). But to give you a better idea, let’s go through all the advantages you will gain by opening a smart mailbox.

 

Trustpilot reviews

 

1. Mail Security and Privacy

 

Identity and package theft is a growing concern throughout most countries these days (sadly). It just isn’t safe to have your parcels and letters left in a previous neighbors’ box or outside their door anymore, especially if you have moved overseas.

 

With a virtual mailbox, this won’t be a concern anymore.

 

You get access to your mail online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not to mention that your delivery is guaranteed. There won’t be any missed or stolen packages anymore. You can cross that off your “things to stress about” list!

 

By now, you are probably wondering how all of that is possible. Don’t worry, we will tell you how it works.

 

Firstly, the apps use industry-leading security that will always work. Yep, we’re talking bank-grade encryption here — your mail security is not a joke to us! Any information that travels through our warehouses and servers is protected against hackers and thieves.

 

Secondly, all the staff members are aware of the privacy policies, compliances, and controls they must abide by in order to give you the best service imaginable. So, no matter where you are in the world, your US mail will be kept safe from your old neighbors, nosy family members, and the government. Basically, privacy is our middle name.

 

Thirdly, 2-step verification is enabled on all accounts to ensure it is really you trying to look at your incoming mail. It isn’t just your username and password you need, but also a secondary bit of information to ensure complete security, all the time.

 

Finally, you can always change how you handle your mail data. Whether you want to back it up, download it, or delete it entirely, it’s up to you.

 

2. Check Your Mail Any Time

 

Since you are an expat, you probably aren’t going to be in your old home country all that often, right? Not to worry, with a virtual mailbox you can access all your mail, no matter where you are in the world.

 

Missing important bills or documents is a thing of the past!

 

3. Never Have to Enlist People’s Help with Your Mail Again

 

Asking a previous neighbor or your old colleagues to take care of your mail until the next time you fly over to sort it can be incredibly stressful. You are likely to receive important documents such as tax notices, IRS letters, passport renewals, credit cards, insurance paperwork, bills, and checks that you won’t want people snooping through. Makes sense!

 

In this case, a smart mailbox is definitely the right way to go. You can have your super-important letters scanned immediately so you can sort them out on the day they’re delivered. And, you can make sure everything is bundled up and shipped to your new overseas address insanely quickly.

 

4. You Can Still Shop In the USA

 

Depending on where you live now, they might not support the importation of American goods. As an expat, you are bound to be fairly frustrated by this — hence another reason to set up a virtual mailbox. You can shop online in the United States of America, have it shipped to that address, and then tell the expert mail handlers that you want it sent to your current address. It’s as easy as a, b, c!

 

5. You Will Be Saving the Planet

 

You know as much as we do how annoying spam mail is — supermarket coupons, pizza deliveries, gym brochures — and you won’t even be in the US to be able to use them, so why bother getting them forwarded by the USPS?

 

With a smart mailbox, the professional handlers will discard anything that is clearly spam before they upload your mail every day. You won’t even have to see the annoying stuff. The best part is, these pizza deliveries advertisements won’t just be going to the landfill. Instead, they are recycled to ensure we do our bit to save the trees.

 

6. You Can Have the Same Mailing Address for the Rest of Your Life

 

Yup, you read that right; we thought we would leave the best till last!

 

We are going to assume that you’ve moved a lot in your life. Correct? We thought so. And with each move comes all the boring paperwork — including changing your address with the USPS, your driver’s license, passport, and everything else. It’s hard work.

 

But that all changes with a virtual mailbox. Regardless of where you move, your mailing address can stay the same. Perfect, isn’t it?

 

The Bottom Line

 

Here at US Global Mail, we have helped over 80,000 expats find freedom with their mail thanks to our awesome smart mailbox. We can’t help to start making your snail mail dreams come true! If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to get in touch. We are always happy to help.

Categories
Expat Resources By Country Information

What Is A Mail Forwarding Service?

When you move from one home to another within or outside the US, you want to make sure you get your mail at your new address. Mail as in: tax notices from IRS, health care information from insurance companies, paper statements, bills, checks, federal notices, magazines, journals etc.
This happens via a mail forwarding request. Mail Forwarding is a service that allows you to get your mail from your old home at your new one. Increasingly that new home for your mail is now your device!

Physical mailbox in the cloud filled with paper mail

Will I get paper mail, in 2020?

 

Despite the technological advances in our lives, there are still a bunch of things that are only be delivered via paper mail. These include:

 

  • IRS notices – tax info, and bills
  • Social security – info, benefits and checks
  • INS notices – immigration notices
  • Credit and Debit cards
  • Passports
  • Drivers Licence
  • Jury duty notices
  • Hand written notes and cards

 

How does mail forwarding work?

 

When you move from one address to another, your mail needs to move too. You can either inform everyone who sends you physical mail- like your bank, the government, IRS, etc. of the new address, or you can simply forward your mail from your old address to the new one by filling out the change of address form with the USPS, when moving within the country.

 

Man & dog are running and a bird is carrying paper mail away with it

Moving within the US

 

So, how do you forward your mail to another address? You go online or to your local post office and fill the change of address form. 
 
There are 2 options when moving your address:

Permanent change of address: USPS will update your old address to your new one in their system. Any mail addressed to your old address will come to your new address.

This is a permanent change.

We recommended it when moving overseas or when you wish to keep one permanent address for life. And never have to deal with the hassle of changing your address again.

With this change, you should get a Virtual Mailbox so you can move as many homes or countries as you wish without ever changing your permanent address.

                                *  *  *

Temporary change of address: This method changes your address anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months at a time.

After the duration of change of address expires, USPS will stop forwarding your mail from the old to the new address.

The mail will start going back to your old address, unless you renew the forwarding again. You can do this again for 6 more months.

USPS does not state what happens after 6 months, but you could keep doing it on and on forever, if you wish.

Be prepared for delayed mail in the change of address process, mostly due to ineffectiveness of the US postal system.

The upside is this is a free service provided by USPS.

 

Man waiting for the mail next to an empty mailbox

Moving outside the US

 

USPS will forward mail internationally, but for a steep cost.

 

You can enroll in the USPS overseas mail forwarding service, which costs $21.10 retail or $19.35 if you enroll online. There’s an extra cost of $21.10 for each week of service.

 

The service will cost you $84.40/month. You will also pay shipping for all Priority Mail items that USPS will ship immediately as they are received.

 

Not a cost effective way to forward your mail overseas.

 

How long does it take for mail to be forwarded to a new address?

 

If there’s one thing certain in life, other than taxes, that is the fact that people will keep moving in the near future. According to reports, about 35.5 Million Americans move each year from some place to another.

 

We have already discussed what mail forwarding is, and why it’s something you probably want to consider when moving. Time is money however, and depending on your move date, you may want to get ahead of time & start right away the mail forwarding process. 

 

After you have completed your online application with the USPS, it will take about 10 to 15 days for your mail to show up in your Virtual Mailbox

 

Keep in mind, you’ll also need to fill out a 1583 Form which grants us permission to process & handle mail for you.

 

Person being sleepy

 

Mail forwarding can be such a convenience when the time comes where you need to move. Think about it; it saves all the hassle of emailing or calling friends & relatives and ensuring they got the new address you will be moving to.

 

Once you have decide to do a change of address, your friends or family will still get to address the same location on the envelope, and then the USPS knows automatically (given that you’ve completed the mail forwarding process) what address to send it to. 

 

But then that raises the question: Does forwarded mail take longer to arrive?

 

There is a lot of buzz online and horror stories on forwarded mail taking weeks for it to arrive to your new address. It is true that sometimes there are factors that can contribute to a piece of mail that is being forwarded to a new address, to be delayed. 

 

The short answer is no; forwarded mail does not take longer to arrive. 

 

USPS package distribution warehouse

 

Understanding how mail forwarding works, may be a good way to understand why your new address would not delay the delivery of your mail. 

 

When someone decides to send you some piece of mail, it is initially sent to a USPS station responsible with sorting out incoming mail. If you have completed the mail forwarding process with them, then by default they will know to change (re-address) the package that is intended to be sent to you. What that practically means, is that this re-address of your package, is a bit more instant than you’d imagine. 

 

Should I choose temporary or permanent mail forwarding to forward my mail?

 

The answer depends on your move:

 

  • Or moving cities within the US?
  • Or moving homes within the same city?
  • Are you moving to a permanent or a temporary home?

 

The best solution is to get a permanent address for life so you never have to change it again, no matter how many times you move.
Kind of like your cell phone number – you don’t change that anymore when we move, why keep changing your permanent address?

 

If moving overseas, you will need to keep a US address for many reasons. A permanent change of address makes sense in this case.

 

If moving within the US or within a city, it depends on your preference whether you wish to get mail at home, a PO Box or  a Virtual Mailbox. If former, do a change of address with USPS as mentioned above.

 

If you do not wish to give out your home address because you want it to stay private, or you get business mail or you get mail at different homes, you can have all that mail consolidated and be available via a Virtual Mailbox.

 

User interface of the virtual mailbox on a computer & smart phone

 

A mail forwarding service like US Global Mail will help you get your mail via a Virtual Mailbox, no matter where you move. You can see, read and take action on your mail online, which makes life so much easier and mail handling so easy.

 

How To Forward Mail

 

Step by step of how it works: You sign up with a mail forwarding company and get a US address. This address is your anchor while you move around the globe. Your mail forwarding sign up will also come with a Virtual Online Mailbox. The process is simple:

 

  1. You get a local US address (make sure it is a street address, not a PO box). The State your address is in or place does not matter as long as it in the US.
  2. You fill a change of address form at post office fill online informing USPS that you have a new address where you mail should be delivered.
  3. Your mail and items start arriving at the mail forwarding company. The mail forwarding company then uploads the items to your online virtual mailbox.
  4. You  see those items online and decide what you want to do with them. Depending on the features offered by the mail forwarding provider, you can get mail opened and scanned or shipped, get items packed together and shipped, discard any junk mail etc.

 

What to look for in a mail forwarding service?

 

Unlocking the mystery of mail forwarding services: here are 10 things you should look for in a mail forwarding service.

 

Child at the "love locks" tourist attraction in Paris

 

There are many, many companies out there that offer mail forwarding services. Before we tell you about all our research, here is a word of caution: never sign up for one from Craigslist or such services. These might be scammers trying to get your mail!

 

What to look for when signing up with a mail forwarding company?

 

Of course, we think we are the best but you should look around and choose one that will work best for you. We want you to choose us only if we are a good fit for you. When shopping around, look for:

 

  1. Reputation: how long has the company been around, BBB rating, reviews, how secure is your mail with them
  2. Prices: how upfront and clear is their pricing, how competitive are their shipping rates.
  3. Plans: do they offer comprehensive plans for your/your family?
  4. Shipping Rates: This is a biggie! And can add up your costs significantly. Check if the service charges “retail” shipping rates meaning they don’t give you any discount on shipping and keep the discounts they get from shippers like UPS, FedEX, DHL etc for themselves?
    Or do they offer  you discounted shipping rates so you can ship for a lot less when you need to ship your mail or other items to yourself.
  5. Customer service: do they have a way for you to talk to them, do they have live phone and chat support, or is it a bot and what is the email response time? When you need a shipment to sent out asap or when you need a mail piece scanned within the hour, this matters a lot.
    At US Global Mail, we ship all requests received by 1pm the same day. And our email response times are usually less than 4 hours.

 

We did a comparison of the more popular mail forwarding companies to see how they stack up against each other. You can see the info pasted below and a larger chart here.

Mail forwarding price comparison chart