Will these post office innovations put private mailboxes out of business?


English: United States Post Office mail collec...
English: United States Post Office mail collection boxes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live and work in Carol Stream.  For about thirty dollars a year, you can rent a small postal box.  Since this place is a regional postal distribution center, it’s open twenty-four by seven.  They also have large overflow boxes on site.  What does this buy you?  If you receive a package too large for your box, it can be placed in an overflow box.  They put a key in your box to open the overflow box.  Otherwise, if all boxes are being used, you receive a notice for counter pick up.

Private mail boxes

A few years ago, I used to have a private mail box.  They cost much more, but here are some advantages:

  • If you have a UPS, Fed Ex, or DHL package, someone will receive the package for you.  They will then put a notice in your box.
  • You can use a street address to receive mail.
  • You can call the office and they will let you know if mail is available.

Unfortunately, private mail boxes had one drawback.  If you moved, the post office wouldn’t send mail from them to a new address.

Cost of private mail boxes.


I contacted two local carriers, to price private mail box services.

Pack, Ship and More

Personal boxes:

  • Three months – forty-five dollars
  • Six months – seventy-five dollars
  • one year – one hundred and thirty-two dollars.

Business boxes

  • Three months – fifty-seven dollars
  • Six months – ninety-six dollars
  • one year – one hundred and sixty-five dollars.

UPS Store

The UPS store didn’t distinguish between personal and business mail.  They rented a small mailbox for three months at forty-five dollars.  A medium-sized mailbox cost sixty dollars for three months.

Post Office initiative

Mooresville, Alabama post office boxes
Mooresville, Alabama post office boxes (Photo credit: jimmywayne)

This week, I received a letter announcing some new initiatives for PO Box owners.  They are offering the following items:

  • Recurring Payment – I really don’t see a benefit in this.  I now have the option of mailing back my PO Box renewal, or renewing it via the automated machine in the lobby.  The machine is really easy to use and I don’t have to worry about updating expiring credit cards.
  • Street Addressing – Here’s what they say in part: “Both street addressed mail and PO box addressed mail can now be delivered to your PO box.”  This means I can receive mail from carriers like UPS, Fed Ex and DHL to my PO Box.  Then the post office officials can usually transfer it to an overflow box and put a key in my PO box.
  • Real mail notification services – Here’s what they say in part: “Your time is valuable and you know when your mail has arrived.”  They will send me either an email or text message when mail is placed in my box.
  • Signature on file – What this means is that express mail, insured mail over $200 (even with electronic return receipt) and signature confirmation will be taken care of by them.

I had to go in person to sign up for these services.  I fully expected to pay extra for them.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered it wouldn’t cost anything extra.  The postal worker helped me fill out the form and initial the services I wanted.  They took the form to their supervisor for review.

The supervisor informed the worker I would receive an email when the services are ready – I’m still waiting.  But this is a step in the right direction.

Technology partner

English: Screenshot made using Scribus 1.3 on ...
English: Screenshot made using Scribus 1.3 on Linux Mint 5.0. The file being edited was created by myself, and is not copyrighted. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you have been reading my blog, you know the work Im doing with two technology partners. – where one recently passed away. Now I working on a white paper and article for publication in a U.K. Trade journal. It seems I’ll need to do my own desktop publishing. I’ve looked into open source candidates with Wiki at Wiki on desktop publishing. The best candidate is Scribus, which has been around since 2003. They have an online community but I need to install Ghostscript for it to work. A good portion of Scribus is written in the language python.

By the way, a good book on white papers is Writing White Papers by Michael A. Stelzner.  He has a very workable outline to approaching the topic.  And if you wonder about the history of Eastern thought on the west, check out American Veda by Phillip Goldberg.  Amazon will give you a good overview of these books.

Academic and business blog posts

Here are some blog posts I recommend from academic and business acquaintances of mine

  • Power to the Online People Blog post
  • 10 Ways Cartoons Help Kids Learn About Different Cultures nationalnannies….
  • How to Make Your Own Baby Food with a Blender Blog post
  • How to Teach a Toddler Spanish Blog post
  • 12 Eye-Opening Self-Assessment Tests to Enhance Your Career Blog post
  • 30 Blogs for Preschool Activity Ideas Blog post
  • 6 Business Boycotts That Actually Worked Blog post
  • Kitchen Safety Tips for Nannies Blog post
  • How to Keep Preschoolers Busy on a Road Trip Without Using a Screen Blog post
  • 7 Food-Tracker Apps That Will Help You Stay on Your Diet Blog post
  • 50 Inspiring Audiobooks to Self-Improve While You Work Out Blog post
  • 50 Best Twitter Feeds to Follow Educational Gaming Blog post
  • 18 Cool Ways Colleges Are Using QR codes Blog post
  • 10 Incredible Rumored Research Projects Going On At Google X Blog post
  • Learning Analytics: Leveraging Education Data [Infographic] Blog post
  • 10 iPhone Applications for Early Readers Blog post
  • How a Nanny Can Determine a Family’s Needs Blog post
  • How to Keep Preschoolers Busy on a Road Trip Without Using a Screen Blog post
  • What Should a Nanny Do If Her Boss is Upset with Her? Blog post
  • Key Components of a Nanny’s Annual Review Blog post
  • How to Screen a Live-In Nanny Blog post
  • 6 Tips to Get Your Child to Eat Healthier Blog post
  • 21 Critical Job Skills You Should Instill In Your Kid Blog post
  • 13 Meeting Mistakes That Could Kill Your Company Blog post
  • 25 Terrific Online Games for English Language Learners Blog post
  • 7 Historical Business Figures Who Shunned Higher Ed Blog post
  • 100 Important Innovations That Came From University Research Blog post
  • 17 School Writing Rules You Need to Unlearn in the Real World Blog post
  • The 10 Biggest NCAA Lawsuits of All Time Blog post
  • Can’t Keep Up? 10 Ways to Simplify Nanny Management Blog post
  • 10 Things Kids Learned from Mister Rogers Blog post
  • 10 Clothing Basics to Buy for a Mix and Match Kid’s Wardrobe Blog post
  • 30 Blogs About Kindergarten Readiness Blog post
  • How to Save Money by Making Your Own Mixes in Bulk Blog post
  • 12 Compelling Reasons Your Teen Should Work Blog post
  • 20 Ways Online Students Can Get the F2F Experience Blog post
  • 25 Little-Known Facts About the History of Our Higher Ed System Blog post
  • 52 Killer Tricks for Your Kindle Blog post
  • * How to Ease Teething Pain Without Medicine Blog post
  • Is the Bedtime Story a Dying Art Blog post
  • 12 Things to Give Your New Nanny Blog post
  • 8 Ways Student Debt Has Really Ruined Blog post
  • How to Host a Birthday Party without Inviting the Whole Class Blog post
  • The 25 Most Eco-Friendly Offices in the World Blog post
  • 10 Spanish Phrases Parents Must Learn to Communicate with Their Bilingual Nanny Blog post
  • The Biggest Advertisers Behind College Sports Blog post
  • The 10 Best Teams Ever Assembled (and What We Can Learn From Them) Blog post
  • 5 Tips for Getting Into the Classes You Want Blog post
  • 6 Signs Your Kid Might Be a Bully Blog post
  • 25 Design Principles Every Educator Should Know Blog post
  • 5 Steps to Making a Simple Container Garden Blog post
  • 9 Challenges Working Moms Face and How Nannies Can Help Blog post
  • 10 Ways Bilingual Nannies Can Benefit Children Blog post
  • 5 Ways to Make Healthier Kids Mac and Cheese Blog post
  • 10 iPhone Applications Nannies Can Use to Track Hours Blog post
  • 7 Important Questions to Ask at Freshman Orientation Blog post
  • 10 States That Spend More on Prisons Than Education Blog post
  • The 12 Most Important Books to Read Postpartum Blog post
  • 50 Critical Tips for Landing an NCAA Scholarship Blog post


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