Virtual mailboxes are becoming a must have tool for any business or person that wants to work or manage employees remotely. A virtual mailbox will be your agent and receive your important mail so that you can live freely. Many companies have low introductory prices, but you end up getting killed with extra fees.
What you need is an all-in service that is upfront with you on additional fees.
If you run a growing business, these fees can really add up as you get more and more busy. It makes sense to do your research upfront to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck, and scales with you as you grow.
Normal Virtual Mailbox Additional Fees
Here are a few fees that every virtual mailbox company charges.
- Mail forwarding - if you want your mail forwarded to you, you will have to pay USPS shipping costs for this, this is not included. Most companies charge a handling fee on top of this of $1-$2 to mail these items
- Check deposit - if you want the mail service to also deposit your checks, there will be an additional charge for this service. It is convenient to have someone manage your incoming checks, and may be worth it but every company will charge a fee for this. We have seen anything from a large per deposit fee (like $10 per deposit) or a monthly fee of $15 or so plus a small deposit fee
- Image scanning - A virtual mailbox usually will collect your mail for you, and scan the cover, but to scan the contents is usually a more expensive plan, or a per scan fee
Other Virtual Mailbox Fees
Above are the fees that are pretty standard for most companies. It usually involves some amount of additional work that not all customers need so it makes no sense to make everyone pay upfront for those services that will never be utilized. Breaking them out to the people who only needs them just makes sense.
Below are some questionable fees that are charged that doesn't always make sense.
- Recipient fee - This is a fee to have more than one recipient that receives mail at the mailbox you are paying for. For instance if you receive mail in your name personally, as well as a Company you own, there is sometimes a fee to receive mail for both you and your LLC. This is a strange fee, but seems to be standard amongst a lot of companies. So read the fine print and find a company that
- Physcial storage fee - Usually companies will store your items for a certain period like 7-60 days, but then start charging you if you do not tell them to shred or forward the mail. Be sure to understand the amount of time they will hold the documents for free without you being charged.
- Mail receiving fee - Check to see how many pieces of mail that the service will accept. This isn't a scan fee, just to accept your mail. Many companies will charge you just to accept a piece of mail over their limit
- Color scan fee - Some companies have the ability to do either black and white or color, but to show you the color version costs $$$ so if that is important to you, find a company that just scans color and doesn't nit pick you
There are several virtual mailbox services available that offer all-inclusive pricing with minimal additional fees associated (only the main ones that are an extra service). This means that users can receive, store, and manage their mail without having to worry about hidden costs.
Try Thatch for the a Great Virtual Mailbox
The company that does this best is Thatch. That's us! With thatch there is no per recipient fee, no physcial storage fee, no mail receiving fee, no color scan fee. You get a plan that scales with you.
$39 per month for 100 scanned pages each month!
One trick you see from mailbox companies is that they will do a per envelope scan charge, but they will scan up to 20 pages. 90% of mail is 1-2 pages. So a company that will scan 10 envelopes for you you can roughly assume is 50 pages scanned per month, maybe a couple letters that will be more. Our service also includes document management, and mail forwarding, all for a single monthly fee. You can also combine your mailbox with outbound mail, sms, phone and more.
Virtual mailbox services overall are cost-effective and convenient. Anyone you choose you will save a bunch of time and increase your quality of life.