I’ve had a PO box for the past 3 years and I strongly suggest you consider getting one as well.
When you rent a box – at either the USPS or a UPS Store – you are given a generic address such as “PO Box 123 New York, Ny, ZipCode” or “12 DerpDeDerp Street, Suite 3, Box4, Somewhere, IN ZipCode” (depending of course on location.) This is a great feature for small business folks who do loads of sending and/ or reieving. I’ve used both USPS and UPS boxes, and I will continue to have one of either for as long as I am in business.
Here are 3 reasons why.
1. It looks more professional
I might be in the minority here – or just plain vain – but it looks a little bit more professional to me to see an address with “suite” or “floor” in it rather than one that is clearly a home address or an apartment. So I’ve switched all of my addresses over to my UPS box now which has an address that is a touch more cryptic + professional looking than my home address.
This is sort of the same idea as not using your personal, younger-self, email address for business purposes. Think: iLuvBSB@aol.com … not as favorable as something like Name@Domain.com or Greeting@Domain.com … you get the idea.
2. Privacy + security
Did you know that your address shows up on the bottom of your email newsletters? I haven’t seen a single one that doesn’t have this. And I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s wicked creepy to have your home address being sent out to hundreds or thousands of people. It’s basically the same thing with your packages. Every time you ship an order, you’ve got a return address on there. Wouldn’t it be best if that address was not one you currently LIVE at? Yeah. Yeah it would be.
3. No more missed packages
When I lived in Boston, before I got my first PO box, I would constantly miss packages and have to go to the post office to pick them up. This was especially infuriating when it was a big supply order or other time sensitive mailing. (In our building, we only had a small letter box and most packages would not be left unlocked by the postal workers – which makes sense, it’s just annoying.) You’ll have to do this anyway if you have a box, but it will be a routine and not a hassle at that point. Mainly though, the reason I hated going to the post office to pick packages up was because the post office assigned to my address was actually in a really bad location for me – and sort of a far walk from my apartment. Also, everyone who worked there was evil. When I got my PO box, I got it at the post office that was closer to my apartment and had happier people working in it. This made it so that I could get all my mail at once, from nicer folks. Now that my box is actually at UPS, they will sign for packages from any sender including Fed Ex. I don’t usually get things sent to me Fed Ex, but that’s a nice feature.
I figure you won’t go get a PO box based on this, but another (4th) reason to consider it: it’s very affordable. Depending on where you live and which route you go with renting a box, of course the price will reflect those things. I’ve never had one cost more than $12 a month. For personal security, that is a small price to pay.