Whether you run a large enterprise or a small business, you need a mail delivery location.
This serves as a point to collect mail and can instill trust in your clients that you run a legitimate operation.
That’s where a Post Office box proves useful.
However, physical PO boxes have their challenges.
- Mail and package forwarding from a PO Box can be costly
- You must regularly collect mail to ensure your PO Box doesn’t overfill
- Additionally, the modern digital lifestyle means that many businesses today do not want to be location dependent
Luckily, there are PO Box alternatives to provide you with better options. Keep reading to know more about the PO Box, its limitations, and its best alternatives.
What is a PO Box?
A PO (Post Office) Box or Postal Box is a lockable mailbox usually located in the post office hallway. It is conveniently used to receive mail in a place where physical mail can’t be delivered directly to your home address.
The PO Box allows you to receive the mail if you have the access code or the key without revealing your home address.
Some people like this delivery method because it’s secure, and the mail is temporarily placed in the post office, where it is monitored.
Moreover, people sign up for PO Boxes because they may not always have access to their physical mailbox. For instance, people who travel for work may not necessarily keep up with their physical mailbox without the help of a neighbor or a friend.
The Limitations of a PO Box
PO Box clearly has many benefits, yet there are still some things you may want to consider before renting one.
- A physical stress address is necessary for a corporation or LLC, and a PO Box is not accepted.
- Some standard PO Boxes can only receive mail delivered via the United States Postal Service (USPS). This process limits what you can do if your preferred carrier is one of the big logistics companies like DHL, FedEx, and UPS.
- In eCommerce businesses, this can even lead to business losses. Just imagine shipments get a green light for PO box delivery, but the carrier denies the request. Moreover, you cannot keep a close eye on things you receive if you’re a frequent traveler.
The good news is that there are alternatives to a traditional PO Box, without these restrictions.
15 Best Alternatives to Post Office Box
Thatch is a digital mailbox for all offline communications.
It serves as a virtual mailbox where all your incoming mail gets scanned and sorted, and you’ll receive a digital copy. This is a better option than the traditional PO Box since you can access your mail 24/7 from any device.
With Thatch, you can also send mail virtually, a full-featured phone system, fax, SMS, and more. It can be used by a team in sync so it’s easier to manage all customer interactions in one platform.
Other features include
- Track your engagement across all your channels to maintain a consistent brand and message across all of your communications.
- A team inbox lets you chat with your team, message across platforms, and keep everyone updated.
- Communicate across SMS, Phone, Physical Mail, Fax and Email. Know exactly where every interaction left off in your communications, who was the last person to handle an issue, and what needs to happen next
- Send mail virtually with our PDF upload to mail service.
As a virtual phone system, you can make and receive calls from your web browser and be assigned a virtual phone number. This is a better alternative to PO Box since you can instantly reply to your customers directly to their phone, leading to about a 98% open rate.
2. Traveling Mailbox
Traveling Mailbox is a virtual mailbox for travelers, ex-pats, and RVers (those who occupy recreational vehicles).
The versatility of this platform makes it a great alternative to traditional post office boxes.
Once you’ve signed up, an address will be issued to you, and you can log in to that new virtual mailbox through their website. You will then have to complete the USPS Form 1583 to verify your identity and establish a private mailbox.
You can also take advantage of the ScanPAK feature, which allows you to receive a prepaid envelope from the Traveling Mailbox to your business or home address. You’ll then fill it with papers you don’t want to lose, including notes, business cards, receipts, and other documents.
Once the Traveling Mailbox team receives the filled envelope, they will scan all documents and have it ready for your future instructions.
3. Mailbox Forwarding
Mailbox Forwarding packs a punch in terms of high-quality services and features. It also offers a free trial to test its capabilities.
With this platform, you have everything from parcel and mail forwarding, document scanning, check deposit, and shredding to package and mail storage. Storage for packages and mail is free for one month before you’re asked to pay.
Mailbox Forwarding provides you with a unique street address box number where your mail is sent. Their staff automatically scan the front of the envelope whenever a new piece of mail arrives.
You can also manage your mail through an online control panel and request that their assigned personnel open and scan the contents or forward-ship to your business or home address.
MyMailForwarder is a mail forwarder and digital scanning service. It can receive all types of mail from every carrier, even those requiring a signature.
Best for long-term travelers, international students, and ex-pats living overseas, this service makes a better alternative to a PO Box. Users of this platform basically rent a US mailbox with a dedicated street address.
So, whenever you receive mail, you will be alerted through email. They also provide a virtual office, which includes a mailing address, fax line, voice line, and more. All forwarded mail can be delivered through reputable carriers, including DHL, USPS, UPS, or FedEx.
5. Planet Express
Planet Express is a package forwarder for online shoppers. They have mailboxes in the US (Florida, Oregon, and California) and the UK, making them a good choice for those shopping from those countries or anyone living abroad.
Compared to other mailbox providers, this platform doesn’t deal with letter mail but only packages. This is a downside if you’re looking for a business address to accept your business mail.
Nevertheless, the great thing about this service is it doesn’t charge monthly fees. They only charge about $5 to $25 per month. Their website states that “You only pay for the services you order,”
iPostal1 offers more than 2,300 addresses, powerful and unique digital mailbox features, and consistent plans in different locations.
This platform lets you view and manage your business mail and packages 24/7 through their app or website. Their plan starts at $9.99 per month with available international shipping discounts.
For those running a business at home, this platform makes it affordable for them to obtain a real street address to protect their family’s privacy while upgrading their company image.
With iPostal1, you can choose virtual office plans with fax and phone and exclusive access features, like real-time shipping prices.
Overall, iPostal1 is a secure and reliable virtual mail provider that’s been in the industry since 2007.
7. PostScan Mail
PostScan Mail offers more than 600 US mailing addresses to receive packages or mail deliveries. Once received, the items will be scanned and uploaded to your online mailbox account.
This PO Box alternative comes with unlimited cloud storage and a robust mobile app. You can also add recipient names and user accounts to your account. It likewise offers users international or local street addresses.
8. Virtual Post Mail
Virtual Post Mail helps users read their postal mail online, deposit check payments, work, and open bank accounts remotely.
In addition, VPM offers a variety of other mail services. These include package forwarding, package storage and shipping, online viewing of mail, mail opening and scanning, mail forwarding, mail shredding, mail recycling, and mail disposal.
9. Business Anywhere
Promising to provide businesses with more flexibility, Business Anywhere brings modern services to digital nomads, ex-pats, and entrepreneurs.
Users are asked to create an online mail dashboard that allows them to digitize their postal mail. This tool offers several services, including remote documentation notarization, company registration, and a virtual mailbox.
Users can easily register their C-Corporation, LLC, Nonprofit, or S-Corporation through this platform. It has accredited notaries and registered agent services to keep business compliant and users’ information private.
10. US Global Mail
US Global Mail is a smart mailbox that partners with USPS to forward mail to any place worldwide.
Users only have to signup, pick a plan, and get a US Global Mail street address. In the virtual mailbox, users see images of their boxes, envelopes, and the digital contents of their mail.
They can read, ship, print, save, download, and search for instant access – no more traveling necessary to access your mailbox, just like in a PO Box.
This mailbox serves well-known organizations in the world, like Netflix and Shell, by offering environmentally friendly and secure mail management services.
Users can also integrate tools, such as QuickBooks, so it’s easier to organize their invoices and payments.
11. Anytime Mailbox
Anytime Mailbox has a list of locations across the United States and internationally. Users of this platform first must select a real street address from those locations. For each location, they can preview what their future digital address looks like.
For the next step, users have to pick the right service plan. Whether they’re ex-pats, a traveler, or businesses, they can select the right service plan for them. This tool's features include opening and scanning mail, forwarding, check deposit and shredding. It services 1,832 locations as of writing.
Best PO Box alternative for freelancers and travelers, this tool provides users 24/7 access to their mailbox through the online dashboard. Once logged in to the Anytime Mailbox account, users can look at any scanned mail and manage their package or mail forwarding settings.
12. Earth Class Mail
Best for businesses handling sensitive documents, the Earth Class Mail is a safe alternative to the traditional Post Office box. This virtual mailbox is popular and is seen as one of the most highly regarded in the industry.
This PO Box alternative delivers documentation and mail via third-party storage apps, including Google Drive and Dropbox. It likewise allows users to integrate checks in various accounting tools, like Xero, Bill.com, and QuickBooks Online.
Earth Class Mail also allows the conversion of paper documentation into digital format for quick deliverability. It offers a high level of security for your scanned mail and personal data.
Although this is one of the pricier options compared to other tools listed in this article, its great customer service and multiple features are worth it. Another benefit of this tool is its flexible pricing plans so users can pick the right service according to their budget.
13. Sphere Mail
This web-based mailroom management software allows coworking spaces, assisted living homes, retail shipping stores, and business centers access to their incoming postal mail from a mobile device or online.
Regarding ease of use, functionality, value for money, and customer support, Sphere Mail got a 4.5 rating from business software reviews provider Software Advice.
14. Sasquatch Mail
Sasquatch Mail is a mail forwarding service that allows businesses or individuals to have mail delivered to a mail address (purchased) and relayed either through a digital or physical address.
It’s a common practice to maintain security and privacy while doing business. The need to use this platform is also common with ex-pats, globetrotters, home business owners, business travelers, and college students.
All mailing address plans from Sasquatch Mail have the option of your envelopes being scanned and uploaded online. This allows easy sorting of traditional mail, like sorting through email.
15. PO Box Zone
PO Box Zone works like an advanced PO Box without the hassling of picking up the mail in person. Instead, your mail is immediately accessible online. Once you read your mail digitally, you can give the PO Box Zone further instructions about any mail piece.
This is marketed for frequent travelers, retirees often on long vacations, and small businesses who avoid putting their personal addresses on a business card.
While it’s relatively inexpensive and provides a good service, the few street address options and high upfront costs make this service undesirable for many.
Standard PO Box Address vs. Virtual Mailing Address: Which is Better For Your Business?
The PO Box and Virtual Mailbox are great options if you decide on your business mailing address, especially if you don’t have a physical office space yet.
However, virtual mailboxes win over PO boxes when it comes to business requirements, functionality, and convenience. Virtual mailboxes take all your incoming mail and digitize it, allowing users to access the document from any device 24/7.
Virtual PO Boxes for businesses even ensure security since your mail will be stored at a secure processing facility with surveillance systems and onsite personnel. Every mail item will be securely scanned and protected by encryption once sent to you.
All of the services listed above work like an advanced PO Box, wherein you can manage your mail online.
The same goes for your packages, as they will be stored safely, and you can decide what to do with them.
Yet, these software/services differ in pricing and features. Some offer software integrations, and others are more convenient for users. Then, there are those that feature a variety of locations and some provide check deposit services.
The best overall virtual mailbox depends on your business needs.
Looking for a virtual mailbox that offers all the key mailbox features you need with the best pricing options? With Thatch, you can manage your mail anywhere, anytime, without stepping foot in a post office.