Categories
Uncategorized

How To Get A UPS Mailbox

If you’ve been growing frustrated with traditional mailbox options from the US Postal Service, exhausted with their limitations, price hikes, and lackluster customer service and support, keep on reading. The odds are pretty good you started to look into other mailbox solutions for your home or small business.

 

And while there are a number of different options to pick and choose from today, UPS mailbox solutions are among some of the most popular on the market right now – and it’s easy to understand why that is.

 

Below we dig a little bit deeper into everything you need to know on:

 

  • How to get a mailbox address
  • How to determine what is the right UPS mailbox for you
  • The benefits UPS mailbox options have to offer
  • Additional information to help with your research & due diligence 

 

Shall we get right into it?

 

Let’s go!

 

Mailbox UPS

 

UPS Mailbox Size Determines Everything

 

Right out of the gate, the very first thing you’re going to want to consider when searching for a UPS mailbox solution, is the size of the mailbox you are looking to lease.

 

For the most part, your UPS mailbox decision is going to be heavily determined by the size of the mailbox you are after.

 

The location you are interested in renting a mailbox from, may only have a handful of different box sizes available. Since one of the most important factors that determine the price of your mailbox, is the size of the actual mailbox, being limited with a small variety of boxes will also limit the pricing options available to you.

 

You want to ensure  you are getting a mailbox to accommodate everything you anticipate on receiving, with zero headache or hassle whatsoever. So doing proper due diligence with your local UPS store, is always the best way to go when scouting for the best UPS mailbox.

 

As a general rule of thumb, all UPS Mailbox locations provide three different sizes:

 

  • Small boxes (perfect for individuals,)
  • Medium boxes (ideally suited for individuals, larger households, and small businesses,)
  • Large boxes (usually set up for small to medium-sized businesses with large mail volumes.)

 

UPS Store

 

Your local UPS Mailbox location will be able to help you figure out which box makes the most sense for your needs and budget, if you’re still having a tough time settling on a box size.

 

It’s not a bad idea to visit the UPS store in person, before you make a commitment. This will ensure you know exactly what you are getting into.

 

 

UPS Mailbox Notification 

 

How Long Will You Be Renting Your UPS Mailbox For?

 

The next big piece of the puzzle that you’re going to want to figure out when it comes to getting a UPS mailbox is determining how long you want your lease to run.

 

UPS locations offer mailbox rentals in three-month, six-month, and 12 month terms. You may be able to come to an arrangement for a more custom duration, depending on your specific needs and budget.

 

You’ll find that a lot of UPS mailbox services are very flexible with the kind of leases that they provide, especially if you are giving their service a “trial run” and aren’t comfortable with committing to long-term agreements, just yet.

 

At the same time, you’ll be able to save a lot more money on your UPS mailbox lease when you extended the length of it & sign up for a longer term. Those that have 12 month leases (or longer) almost universally save more money than those on shorter-term agreements.

 

That’s definitely something to consider if you want your new UPS mailbox address to be permanent or (at least) semi-permanent, going forward.

 

UPS Location 

Find a Local UPS Store Near You

 

It’s obviously a good idea to make sure that the local UPS store, is conveniently located in your side of town. Most UPS stores do have these kinds of facilities ready to sign up for, though not all of them are going to have the mailbox size you are interested in. It is best to communicate with the local store you are interested getting a box in, and they should be able to accommodate you.

 

You can always jump online and go to the UPS Store Locator page to find the nearest UPS mailbox location in your community. It’s not at all uncommon to have a couple of different options to pick and choose from (which definitely increases your odds of finding the mailbox size you’re after), and you’ll want to find one you can commute to every so often to pickup packages & mail.

 

US Passport 

UPS Mailbox ID Requirements

 

It’s important that you bring two independent forms of identification; one of the ID’s must be a photo ID. A driver’s license and any other form of identification you have handy – including bills, credit card statements, bank statements, etc. – will help you streamline the sign-up process, significantly.

 

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about whether an ID you hold on hand will cover you or not, it is best to communicate with them in advance. That will save you a trip to the UPS store, and any easy checkout experience.

 

UPS Agreement

 

UPS Mailbox Agreement

 

Each individual store will have their own unique agreement that you’ll need to read carefully. Generally speaking however, all of them follow the same general outline.

 

All the same, it’s not a bad idea to request a copy of the agreement in advance. Take it home, read it over from start to finish, and only sign if you’re comfortable with that you see. Keep in mind that different stores, will have different pricing setups as well as different deposit and fee schedules. This is something we will dig a bit deeper into later in this article. 

 

UPS Mailbox Store

 

Advantages To Registering A UPS Mailbox

 

Get a Real, Physical Address

 

One of the biggest benefits you’ll get out of signing up for a UPS mailbox is getting rid of – once and for all – the need to put down a PO Box, as your mailing address.

 

PO Box addresses can sometimes be a nightmare to deal with, especially when you are having products shipped to your PO Box. Anybody who has done a decent amount of online shopping – especially from e-commerce platforms like Amazon –  knows that PO Box addresses can wreak havoc on shipping and delivery times. Sometimes the order delays can last for several days when using a PO Box (which would not be the case with the use of a physical address.)

 

On top of that, if you are running a business out of your home, you will be able to add an extra layer of legitimacy & credibility by using a physical mailing address (as opposed to a PO Box.) Combine that with the privacy and security perks that come with distancing your business from your residence and soon you realize how moving forward with a UPS Mailbox becomes a lot better of an option, compared to using a traditional USPS PO Box.

 

UPS Delivery Truck

 

Full Service UPS Package Delivery

 

The United States Postal Service (generally) will flat out refuse packages from third-party carriers like UPS, FedEx and DHL if they aren’t contracted for “last mile” services. That makes getting your packages at a traditional PO Box a real pain.

 

Because UPS is a full-service shipping and delivery company you won’t ever have to worry about those issues again. Not only will UPS streamline the shipping and delivery of products and merchandise through UPS themselves to your new mailbox, but they are also going to accept deliveries from all other shipping carriers and services as well – without exceptions.

 

UPS Tracking ID

 

UPS Security & Privacy

 

The privacy and anonymity you get with a UPS mailbox is something that you can’t get with PO Boxes, but you also get an extra layer of safety and security as well.

 

Unlike the post office, when you’ll have to visit during normal business hours, you will have 24/7 access to your UPS mailbox whenever you need to retrieve packages or mail.

 

All of the items that you’ve ordered are going to be stored securely and safely in your box or a shipping locker indoors – not left out on the porch or the front doorstep. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about mail piling up in front of your door when you are away for a couple of days (letting folks know you aren’t home inadvertently).

 

Person checking UPS Mailbox

 

Flexible UPS Mailbox Solutions

 

Of course, UPS mailbox solutions also provide a bunch of other personalized mailbox services that the USPS has not – and may never – provide themselves.

 

On top of the 24/7 secured access we just mentioned you’ll also be able to take advantage of Mail Check services, mail receipt notifications & mobile texting to alert you when new items hit your mailbox. The ability to know exactly when mail has arrived at your UPS mailbox (and the opportunity to have that mail pre-screened and photographed for you so that you know whether or not it’s worth driving to the UPS store to get your mail and packages) is a major convenience, and one that just makes sense in today’s hyper connected world. You’ll also have the opportunity to call the UPS store directly and ask them if you have mail, receiving friendly confirmation right away. 

 

UPS Mailbox Price Sheet

 

UPS Store Box Prices

 

Before we get into specific pricing details regarding UPS mailbox services it’s important to make one critical distinction. Each individual UPS store is owned and operated independently and as a franchisee. That means rental costs and leasing fees for all mailbox services are going to differ from one location to the next. As a general rule, though, the services all fall under the same range of prices – and that’s what we highlight below.

 UPS Mailbox prices depend primarily on the size of the box you are looking to register. The available box sizes, usually break down to small, medium & large. Below you will find the pricing details for each UPS mailbox size you are interested in.

 

Small UPS Box

 

Small UPS mailboxes cost between $10 and $30 a month

 

Typically, you will find mailboxes at the range of $10 – $15 per month, but they can some times reach up to $30, depending on the location.

 

Medium UPS Box

 

Medium size UPS mailboxes will cost between $20 and $40 a month.

 

These boxes are a bit larger, can handle a little more mail flow on a day-to-day basis, and are ideally suited for those that do a lot of online shopping and anticipate to receive a lot of packages. 

 

Large UPS Box

 

Large UPS mailboxes cost between $30 and $50 per month.

 

These are the kinds of mailboxes you want to get if you are using them for a commercial operation and especially if you anticipate receiving larger packages.

 

UPS Contract Signing

 

Lease Agreement Duration

 

Just like pricing differs from each individual UPS Mailbox Store location, lease terms and agreements are going to differ as well. Generally though, you can expect lease terms to range from three months and up to twelve months. The longer your lease agreement, the larger the discount you get.

 

UPS Mailbox Deposit and Fees

 

Almost all UPS mailbox agreements are going to include a 100% nonrefundable fee of between $10 and $15 per key. This key isn’t just going to give you access to the mailbox itself, but it’s also going to give you access to the mailbox center 24/7 year -round.

 

Replacement keys are available if you lose your key, though you’ll have to pay an additional nonrefundable fee.

 

A lot of locations that offer UPS mailbox services will sometimes charge an overflow fee of three dollars, if excessive amounts of mail begin to pile up at your mailbox or if large packages are left at the location for extended periods of time. Due to the instant notifications & alerts you receive with the arrival of a new piece of mail, this shouldn’t be a big problem and is something that can easily be avoided.

 

Here is guide with a full list of UPS fees & rates.

 

virtual mailbox platform 

 

Virtual Mailbox VS UPS Store

 

Of course, as much as UPS Mailbox services are a great convenience and better alternative to USPS, they do come with some limitations. Typically, people that are not happy with the USPS, will sign up with either the UPS or some Virtual Mailbox service. 

 

Some of the main reasons why a virtual mailbox makes more sense than a physical mailbox, can be found here. In short, virtual mailbox will allow you to manage all mail online from your desktop or mobile device, without the need to visit a physical location.

 

Other perks they come with, are free check deposits (where they deposit a bank check on your behalf,) more favorable mail storage terms & discounted shipping. In fact, due to the volume of mail these platforms process, you can usually get up to 80% off of typical UPS shipping rates. Use a shipping calculator, and you will be able to see what a typical shipping would cost with & without the use of a Virtual Mailbox platform. Virtual Mailboxes are usually favored over physical UPS mailboxes, due to lower fees & more streamlined mail management that can be done online.

 

US Global Mail is privileged to be the Virtual Mailboxes, since 1999. For more details, click here.

Categories
Uncategorized

5+ Reasons Your Business Needs A Virtual Mailbox

Businesses and individuals alike, will oftentimes contemplate if getting a virtual mailbox, is the right choice for them. Ever since the early 2000’s and the boom of the Internet, there has been an increase in demand for virtual addresses; platforms that will upload postal mail in a digital format. 

 

Some of the primary reasons why someone would want to sign up for a virtual mailbox service, differ depending on the size of the company and nature of operations. 

 

For small businesses, one of the primary reasons they want to leverage the use of virtual mailboxes, is due to the associated virtual address that comes with it. For larger companies & corporations however, registering a virtual mailbox is more than just about getting a fancy looking address or registering a new LLC with the State. For larger companies, it’s all about outsourcing mail & digitizing the mail room

 

Here are 5 reasons why your organization needs a virtual mailbox for business. 

Ribbon cutting for a new business

 

You Own A Small Business

 

When you decide to start a new company you will be required to not only file with the secretary of state, but also receive government mail pieces from that point on. What happens, especially in the case of startup online businesses, is the owner usually wants to run their business from home, without exposing that residential address online. 

 

Using your home address for the sake of a business registration, in addition to security risks, will create a wave of incoming mail (in addition to what you’re getting already.) Depending on the complexity of your operations, it will always be something getting in your way that takes your attention & time away from your job of running operations. 

 

Another reason to consider a virtual mailbox for your small business, is that showcasing a home address as the address of your business, will reflect negatively on you as a business owner. Everyone knows it’s more convenient and cheaper to use their home address for business purposes; but it does not look professional. If maintaining a professional look to your brand matters, then you should consider distancing home from business. 

 

Snail mail going into a computer and smart phone

 

You Need Streamlined Mail Management

 

As mentioned earlier, larger corporations tend to lean on virtual mailboxes for the sake of a more streamlined mail management system. When you consider payroll, maintaining physical storage and the headache of dealing with paper mail, you quickly realize why companies such as Shell & Netflix, look for a virtual mail processing experience. At the time of writing this blog, Covid-19 has also set in as a reality, with several areas of “offline” life going virtual, with the flip of a switch. 

 

Handing mail online is more than just avoiding to deal with paper however; a virtual mailbox platform will typically allow for several users to manage mail from a single account. Think of it as “seats.” Depending on the size of the company and the amount of mail you receive, you can have 1 or more people manage all mail virtually. And it can be some assistant remotely located from your corporate offices (if you have hired from abroad.) Finally, taking mail virtual from a corporate perspective, allows for business management & cloud storage tools to document important files and keep everything in one place. 

 

virtual check deposit

 

You Want To Complete Check Deposits Virtually

 

An often overlooked perk of using a virtual mailbox, is the added feature of an in-account check deposit. What that means is, you get to request some bank check be deposited to your bank of choice, from your desktop or smartphone device. Examples of companies that benefit from a feature like this, are property management companies. The amount of mail they need to deal with as well as checks, can sometimes become overwhelming for office staff to handle. Or simply, these firms would like to have their staff focus on activities such as showing units & maintaining high occupancy rates. 

 

Being able to deposit bank checks remotely, comes very handy if the person in charge is in an out of state location and it saves that employee several trips & time to the bank. 

 

Virtual addresses

 

You Want One Virtual Address For Life

 

Registering a virtual address, means that regardless of where you decide to relocate, your mailing address stays the same. Think about it; if you decided to move to some other office location, would you change your phone number?

 

Registering a virtual mailing address is similar to getting a phone line; you are not location dependent and can move anywhere without leaving your mail behind. The alternative is keeping track of all mail correspondence and contacts that will need to be updated on your address switch (that includes online directories, your website, Google etc.)

 

Maintaining a permanent address shows consistency as well; if the nature of your business is such that you need to move occasionally, then being able to show that you are staying put in one location will only help the image of your brand. 

 

Google postcard verification

 

You Need A Physical Address For Marketing & Google Verification Purposes

 

When you have an online business or a business that does not require a physical location, it is very tempting to use a home address. However, as mentioned before, doing so puts you into so many liability and privacy risks that really do not make it worth it at all. Another reason you may want to distance your home from your online business, is for the purpose of marketing and getting the Google postcard. If you are trying to rank on Google Maps, as your marketing advisors probably recommend, getting a Google Postcard sent and verifying your Google My Business listing is an essential part to ranking on Google Maps.

 

You do not need to actively operate out of that address location, since you have the option of selecting Google’s “phone driven business” option. It’s basically one of the ways of setting up your Google My Business account, so that customers do not actually drive to your location (which would be virtual) but still get to see that you are local to their city. After completing a Google Map verification, most likely you will also be picked up by a bunch of other directories online in their effort to push your brand forward into a larger audience. Using a home address in cases like that, means that your location (residence) will be seen by a lot more people than you would like, online. Therefore using a virtual address for your business, can come in handy with protecting your home while marketing your business online effectively.

 

A map with the zoning of a city

 

Complying To Address Zoning Laws

 

Zoning is a process via which land is divided into zones in which certain land uses are allowed or prohibited. Other factors like the sizes & placement of buildings may also be regulated. Essentially, areas of land are divided into zones as a technique of land-use planning which is a tool for urban planning.

 

One of the biggest problems a local business will run into, in using a personal home address as their business address, is the zoning laws that are in effect for your county. There are certain parts of your county that are designated as residential or business. What that means is, you cannot operate a business within a residential district and vice versa. Therefore, if you happen to be located in a “residence only” area and you are trying to register a business with that address, it probably won’t be as easy as you’d think.

 

Something to keep in mind, is that zoning laws change all the time. And especially if you live in a city with no current zoning in place (e.g Houston) this could be subject to change. So you may find yourself a few years down the road, where it wasn’t a problem having a business in a particular side of town, but then due to a change in zoning laws you have to deal with a series of legal battles.

 

Physical mailboxes

 

It’s Faster To Get A Virtual Address Than A PO Box

 

When you consider your alternative options in dealing with the registration of your business and the address requirements that follow, you are only left with a PO Box. But signing up for a PO Box is not exactly an instantaneous type of process. First you will need to fill out paperwork,  as well as select the people that are authorized to access your box and of course pick up your keys. Getting a PO Box also means you need to stay on top of mail, so it does not reach the box capacity.

 

When you get a virtual mailbox instead, you are able to receive mail, pretty much right after sign up has occurred. And then you have mail clerks who work on your behalf to sort through the junk mail and only deliver mail that is important to you. Additional perks of course include the fact that you do not need to head to the post office every week, but you can rather check all your mail online with the click of a button.

 

physical mailboxes at a postal center

 

Virtual Mailboxes Are Cheaper Than Physical Mailboxes

 

Think about it; all your mail is stored in the cloud which means that the postal center does not need to save all your files physically nor have that many physical mailboxes. That results in lower lease expenses which extend to lower prices for you as a consumer. In short, getting a virtual mailbox is a cheaper alternative to a physical mailbox (usually half the price) and the cancellation terms are usually more favorable to you as well without any cancellation penalties or fees.

 

Depending on what company you decide to work with, you can select from a variety of virtual mailbox terms and extend the subscription once your term is up. A typical physical mailbox will ask you to sign a contract on a longer term agreement; something that you cannot opt out of as easily. The other advantage of course, is that everything can be done virtually from anywhere in the world and you do not need to walk into any physical office to sign these agreements. You will be sent an electronic agreement (think docu-sign) and you’re good to go. Some companies do not even require an agreement. You just sign up from their website and that’s it!

 

People networking online

 

Networking Opportunities With Virtual Mailboxes & Virtual Offices

 

Many companies that decide to sign up for a virtual mailbox for their mail, can easily opt in for a virtual office. These are co-working (or private) spaces that you can physically attend and book throughout the week, with an on site secretary to handle your calls while you’re away (and much more.) If you are in a particular industry that requires ongoing expansion of your network, getting a PO Box with the Post Office will only give you some life long friends with the clerks there. But when it comes to growing your business and interacting with other people, it won’t do much for it.

 

Some companies, have virtual offices and virtual mailboxes integrated as one. Although a virtual office may be a bit more expensive, it’s something you can easily upgrade or downgrade from at any time. This can be very helpful for people that are on the fence as to what type of a structure they want to their business (online versus in person or a combination of both.) You can sign up for a virtual mailbox, and if you see you want the in-person benefits, moving over to a virtual office is a piece of cake. But you would never be able to transfer from a physical mailbox to an in person office. And completing a change of address when you come to that realization to switch from physical mailbox to virtual office, can be quite the hassle (not to mention confusing to clients.)

 

an envelope in a postal mailbox

 

In Summary

 

The common point that connects all 5+ reasons for getting a virtual mailbox, is convenience. Being able to handle check deposits from your desktop or mobile device, having someone virtually manage mail on your behalf & the sense of 24/7 on demand access, just allows you to focus on things that matter to your organization.

 

The larger your company is, the more moving pieces and pressing issues that you need to focus your attention on. Mail should not be making your top 20 list of things that you need to look out for.

 

To learn more, navigate through our enterprise mailing solutions and if you need a custom proposal for your company, you can send us a message here. 

Categories
Uncategorized

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.

Categories
Uncategorized

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.

Categories
Uncategorized

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 2

 

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!

Categories
Uncategorized

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.)

Categories
Uncategorized

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.

Categories
Uncategorized

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.

Categories
Uncategorized

What Is A Permanent Address

The 21st century has been indeed one of rapid digital transformation. The amount of time people spend online, is getting greater & greater, while shifting from traditional areas of attention such as the TV, spending time with friends, socializing in the “real” world etc.

 

This has led to a whole line of new businesses, that just cater to people online, as well as existing industries that have been disrupted & moved their services & offerings online.

 

Additionally, entire corporations are now banking off of the fact that we spend so much time on a computer & or mobile phone screen. Companies like Amazon, Ebay & Google, will keep us busy shopping online, instead of offline.

 

There is an interesting trend, that was especially noticeable after the crash of 2008, of businesses going online for the purpose of slashing expenses; indeed maintaining an office or building, is a lot more expensive than working out of your own home.

 

So in today’s article, we will be covering the topic of permanent addresses, and how these can be used for the registration of your business, helping you avoid many of the unnecessary expenses businesses had 20 years ago.

 

A residence with the street number 237

 

What Is A Permanent Address?

 

A permanent address is a physical street address that is under your name. Examples of permanent addresses would be a home or office address.

 

Such addresses can be transferred over & changed by completing a Change of Address form with the USPS.

 

Permanent VS Physical Address: What’s the Difference?

 

As you have just discovered, a permanent address is the physical street address which is under your name. Again, this could be your home or your office. You can use it for both personal and business needs. However, there are two address standards in the United States of America: permanent and physical.

 

A physical address is a valid street address which you can use for business and personal. However, it isn’t necessarily where you live (or work). Sometimes, it is referred to as a mailing address.

 

Unlike a PO box, it won’t have any restrictions. You will be able to receive unrestricted mail from all carriers such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, and more.

 

Even though it is generally business owners who use physical (or mailing) addresses, they are quite popular among travelers, students, and people in the military.

 

Employee on a computer analyzing data

Is A Permanent Address Required for Business?

 

Depending on the filling of your business, you would need a permanent address or a registered agent address. Such examples are LLC’s and LLPs. Having said that, you may well need a business address for your small company too. It all depends on what services or products you offer.

 

So, What Is a Registered Agent?

 

A registered agent is a person, agency, or other business who you appoint to be your “mail receiver”. In short, it ensures you never miss an important document (taxes, summonses, and more) ever again.

 

Examples of a registered agent would be the address for a business partner or your very own home address. The alternative to using your home address (and having it being in public display with the State and online,) is getting a regular office address out of which your business operates.

 

Due to the fact that office space generally costs more though, and not all businesses require that the business owner (or employees) be physically located there, startups will use a home address as a cheaper alternative.

 

A neighborhood with homes

 

Using A Home Address For Business

 

It is reasonable to want to preserve capital, at the launch of a business. For some people, it makes a lot of sense, using a home address in order to save on office expenses.

 

However, considering the affiliated risks that come with displaying publicly on the web, your family’s home as well as the solicitations you will get, you may want to re-think this.

 

Another reason you may want to avoid using a home address is due to the unprofessional look that it will give your business. Especially if you are just starting out and looking to make a good impression, showing people that you went the extra mile to setup your business properly and professionally, will pay off well in the future. Yes, it may cost you a bit more in the beginning, but it is definitely worth considering a registered agent as supposed to your house. After all, you wouldn’t want your kids getting hold of your taxes now, would you?

 

But there is a more practical reason why you should not use your home address, for business purposes. As you grow the business, you will notice that more pieces of mail will come through your mailbox and at some point, will create a chaotic paper mess for you and your family. Additionally, at some point you may decide to move to another residence. That can cause a serious disruption to the location your business is registered in, and potentially a lot of confusion for clients as well.

 

Black residential mailbox

Alternative Physical Address Ideas

 

So if getting office space is not in the books, and using your home address is not a safe or practical solution, what can you do to register a business? Keep in mind that a PO Box would not work as a physical address so you need some better alternatives than just that. Therefore, we’re going to discover how you can go about finding a business address that is not a PO box.

 

But since we are discussing permanent addresses (and not necessarily physical ones), here are 4 alternatives to a permanent address (which are definitely worth your money):

 

  1. PO Box Address: Using a PO Box will allow you to receive business mail as well as fulfill the address requirement for your business registration. Registering a business using a PO box is probably not the most professional way to go about it, but it is definitely a lot safer than using your home address.
  2. Pack and Ship mailbox: These are independent postal centers that will receive and process mail for you. Every neighborhood has them, and it’s a good way to register a new business. One potential hurdle could be that you are dependent tied down to lifetime of that business. So if for whatever reason the center goes out of business or relocates, you will be dealing with a change of address all over again.
  3. Virtual offices: We already discussed how your startup costs could go up with the lease of a real office space. However there is always the option of going virtual, and having a secretary answering your phone calls for you (and taking messages) as well as receiving your mail. Virtual offices are a cheaper alternative to a real office, but they’re still going to cost you a few hundred bucks per month.
  4. Virtual Mailbox: Think of this as “PO Box meets the Internet.” You get the perks of having an address that is distant from your home address, with the security you would expect from a postal service center, and rates that a Post Office store would give you. It is the ideal situation for any new business registration. There is an additional perk of viewing all mail online of course which should not be neglected. From the comfort of your own couch, using your phone you can access all snail mail online. From there, just click to scan, shred or mail forwarding an item.

 

How to Get Mail Without a Permanent Address

 

Of course, there is more to life than business needs. With that in mind, we need to talk about how to get personal mail with no permanent address.

 

Thankfully, it is possible. Whether you are a digital nomad, travelling for a living, or moving house without knowing where you’re actually going to end up, you can still receive letters, packages and parcels.

 

There are a few solutions that the United States Postal Service has devised that are fantastic options for you. Let’s get into the specifics.

 

Get a PO Box

 

Granted, this may not be that great for those that are travelling as you’d have to stay around the same area to access your mail. However, if you are planning to move to a location but don’t have an address yet, PO boxes are definitely the answer.

 

They tend to be located in the lobby of post offices so they are easy to access. In fact, some places offer extended opening hours for PO box owners (sometimes even around the clock access 7 days a week).

 

You won’t need to worry about security either as each box is locked by a code or key. Just bear in mind that there can be only one named key holder. So, you can’t have your partner’s name on the file too, unfortunately.

 

Snail mail entering a computer screen

General Delivery

 

If you are going to be staying in the same city for a decent length of time, or you know that you will be moving to that area shortly, you can use general delivery. Going with this option means your letters, parcels, and packages will be forwarded to one of the mail offices in the city.

 

Don’t stress, you won’t need to rush off there every time a piece of junk mail comes in. They will hold all your mail for 30 days. Bear in mind that you will need to pick it up in person and bring a valid, government accepted photo ID. This could be a driver’s license, student card, or military identification.

 

The great thing is that it doesn’t take long to set up when you need it. Although, if the city you’re in is quite big, the process will take longer. Why? Because you will need to call someone to figure out which post office to forward your items to.

 

Temporary Address Change

 

Of course, these options won’t suit everyone. So, you can simply ask a trusted friend or relative to collect your mail for you. Then, they can send it to your new address when you have figured everything out. Alternatively, you could save them a job and pick it up!

 

We mentioned earlier about the Change of Address forms. You will have to fill one of these out if you want to ensure your mail goes to your loved one. As we said, it’s easy to input all your information and submit it. Here’s how to do it:

 

  1. Go to the USPS website.
  2. Locate the Change of Address page.
  3. Click Temporary.
  4. Pay $1.05 so the online platform can verify your identity.
  5. Fill out all the information on the form.
  6. The United States Postal Service will send you a confirmation code. Make sure to keep this safe as you will need it if you want to cancel or adjust the information you provided.
  7. A welcome kit will turn up at your temporary address.
  8. All your mail will be sent here until you make a permanent change (or a different temporary one).

The Bottom Line

 

Using a permanent address does not necessarily mean that you need to put your home and family at risk. Distancing business from residence is good for so many reasons beyond security and privacy. Having control of business-related mail and keeping it separate from your individual mail will allow you to stay on top of things. It’s a pretty win-win situation, don’t you think?

 

There are several options available to you when it comes to using third party addresses to register a business. By far what we would highly recommend, is the consideration of the virtual mailbox, which gives you the advantage a PO box would give you, along with the convenience and ease that comes with a digital mailbox system.

 

Virtual mailboxes allow you to shred, scan, deposit, and ship your mail, all from within the app. Not to mention that our mail handlers are more than trained to give you a high-quality, secure experience. Trust us, it will feel like you’re living in the future!

 

US Global Mail is proud to be leading the way, in the virtual address world. With over 80,000 customers since 1999, our proven track record and success with handling your mail, has allowed us to continue with the same passion and dedication that we had 20 years ago. Just look at all the amazing customer feedback we have received over the years. We are proud to be backed by such brilliant people.

 

For any questions feel free to reach us here. We are always happy to relieve your concerns and queries you may have before you commit to our virtual mailbox.

Categories
Uncategorized

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.