If you’ve ever wondered how to receive postal mail while you are traveling, you’ve come to the right place. Whether or not you have a permanent address, if you’re a business owner that needs access to mail on the go, or if you are just constantly on the move, you know how important it is to have immediate access to your mail. That’s where virtual mailbox services can come in handy. Below I’m going to give you a brief rundown of how a virtual mailbox service works as well as a comparison of the best virtual mailbox services.
How Virtual Mailbox Services Really Work:
After some set up, a virtual mailbox is a very convenient way to check your mail while you’re on the road or out of the country without having to inconvenience anyone else. Most companies I’ve seen run on a basic model that looks similar to this:
You are given a personal mailbox number that is similar to a PO box but different in that these services can accept packages on your behalf. Rarely will you ever need to actually visit this mail address to pick up your mail. Incoming mail is scanned and uploaded to a virtual mailbox that you can view online from a computer anywhere in the world. These services only scan the front of the mail, giving you the option to discard without opening because you get the choice. You can choose to discard, archive, open or forward the mail you receive in an email-like interface. You only get a certain number of “mail opens” per month with most service packages but you can always pay for more if you need. So once you make the request, the company will open your mail and scan it up to however many pages you specified. You can also always request for them to forward the mail on, for those situations when you need to receive the package yourself.
It’s a simple and very useful service for those who are always on the go! The only catch is that you need to go through an identity verification process in order to give the company permission to open your mail.
A Comparison of Virtual Mailbox Services:
- Traveling Mailbox –
Traveling Mailbox has been an excellently reviewed service over the past few years. They are a well-rated and very professional company that has been around since 2011. One of the unique features about travelling mailbox is its integration with the Evernote app. This allows users to upload scanned mail directly to the app on their phone. Traveling Mailbox also allows for tagging and organization of your mail in a manner very similar to how you would with your email. Which makes finding and archiving important mail fast and easy. They also have no setup fee and offer all of the other traditional services that any virtual mailbox would offer such as check deposit, shredding, parcel forwarding, etc. Security also plays a big part in deciding which service to use, and Traveling Mailbox will have you sleeping easy at night. They are very transparent about all of their practices and are officially authorized by the USPS. Also, all of their offices are kept under video surveillance at all times.
Pricing plan: $15-$55 per month.
- US Global Mail –
One of the most established companies on this list, US Global Mail started back in 1998 and has been used by thousands of travelers over the past decade. They have a great reputation with a high rating with the Better Business Bureau. Therefore, when it comes to a service you can trust, US Global Mail is a leader on this list. Again, no hidden fees, no start up fees required with this company either. They have plans set out for both individual, family and businesses so you can select accordingly. US Global Mail also offers unlimited scans, where most other services will only offer a limited number of scans per month before they start charging you extra. This is a major upside as well for businesses. The only downside to US Global Mail is that they only have one location in Houston, Texas. There are no other available options for cities or addresses. So if you can get passed the single location, you can save some serious dollars by going with US Global Mail. They offer great value when you sign up for 3 months, a year or two years up front. That will make it the cheapest virtual mailbox service on this list.
Pricing plan: $10-$30 per month.
- Earth Class Mail –
Earth Class Mail is more suitable for a small business. It offers a few services you won’t find anywhere else. Including an integration with Dropbox, or the ability to have multiple “user” login accounts. Earth Class Mail has the highest number of different locations to choose from when compared to all the other services on this list. Most of them are physical addresses while a few are P.O. Boxes. Another benefit of this service is that since they are so directed towards the small business customer, they are very serious about security. They offer secure warehouses, secure online storage and even secure shredding (whatever that is!). I suppose the biggest downside to Earth Class Mail is their cost. Besides a $25 setup fee, which will include one free session with NotaryCam so that you can get your Form 1583 notarized. The price is higher than the average.
Pricing plan: $50-$100
- Mailbox Forwarding –
Mailbox Forwarding is another great option for the traveler because they offer high value for a relatively low price. They offer all of traditional services you find with every one of these virtual mailbox services. At all at one of the best prices available on the market. In addition, they allow you to accept a fax on their shared fax line which can then be scanned and read just like the rest of your mail. This is the only service that I found that included this as part of their package. They only offer limited locations (three) in CA, MI, and FL.
Pricing plan: $15-$50
Conclusion: Choosing the Right Virtual Mailbox Service:
So, obviously there are plenty of options of you to choose from. Depending on your needs, each individual service may be better suited for you. So figuring out what is most important to you will help you narrow down which virtual mailbox service is right for you. In my opinion, the best all-around service based on what it offers, price, and customer reviews would be the Traveling Mailbox. But everybody has different needs, hopefully this list can help you make the right decision.
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