Private mailboxes are provided by companies like The UPS Store, PakMail, PostalAnnex and local independent providers. While they serve a similar purpose to post office boxes at a U.S. Postal Service location, they bring additional benefits. They also can be an excellent alternative to receiving mail where you live or at your office.
When you have a private mail box, you don't have to give out your street address. This can be valuable if you don't want someone to know where you live. Since many private mailbox companies accept packages from delivery services in addition to the post office, you can use your private mailbox address for packages as well as for letters and envelopes.
If you move around a great deal, such as if you are a student, your address constantly changes. A private mailbox lets you keep the same address so that you don't have to repeatedly change it. Some private mailbox companies offer mail forwarding services that let you keep the same address even if you move to another location.
A Street Address
While a post office box can bring many of the same benefits as a private mailbox, it doesn't have a real address. When you use a P.O. box, anyone that sees your address knows that you're using a P.O. box. With a private mailbox, you can have a street address and a box number. Some private mailbox providers are located in prestigious or desirable business areas, which can be valuable if you are using your box for business purposes. An address on Peachtree in Atlanta, Market in San Francisco or Wall Street in New York can add credibility to your business, and a private mailbox can create that illusion for you.
Private mailboxes can do other things your street address or a post office box can't. A private mailbox address will allow your business to show up in many search engines when a post office box won't. Renting multiple mailboxs can even increase your search engine presence in multiple communities. Some private mailbox companies will let you call in to check your mail, saving you from making an unnecessary trip. While you're checking your mail, you can take advantage of the other services at your private mailbox provider, like sending packages with various shippers.
Steve Lander has been a writer since 1996, with experience in the fields of financial services, real estate and technology. His work has appeared in trade publications such as the "Minnesota Real Estate Journal" and "Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Advocate." Lander holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Columbia University.