What is a Virtual Mailbox and Why Should I Use One?

Maybe this is your first time hearing about virtual mailboxes, or perhaps it's a term you're already aware of. In the simplest of terms, a virtual mailbox is a unique service that gives you a physical address located anywhere in the United States.

Are you an international shopper who wishes to acquire products that only ship in the United States? If so, a virtual mailing address could be the perfect solution. However, even those with a real street address in the USA can benefit from having all their mail available through a virtual mailbox account.

Virtual Mailbox

What is a Virtual Mailbox?

A virtual mailbox is a service that acquires all of your postal mail for you. When you get a new virtual mailbox address, there are a variety of features you can make use of. A few of the most common include:

  • You may have a single US physical address that doesn't change no matter where you work or live.

  • When mail arrives, the virtual address service scans the outside of mail and packages.

  • You can view scans of the mail and let the service know whether to ship, hold, or shred the items.

  • Some virtual mailboxes can open the mail and scan what is inside for you.

  • In some cases, incoming checks can be deposited via mail to a bank in the United States.

When you consider all of the features of mail forwarding to a virtual mailbox, you will note the many opportunities are available. Even people within the United States can make use of having access to postal mail online.

How People Use a Virtual Mailbox Service

You may be familiar with the preponderance of "digital nomads" today. You might also wonder how they get their mail and packages when they might be out of the United States for weeks or even months at a time.

The good news is that you can visit the US postal service website and put your mail on hold. All it requires is filling out a short form on their website. You can put a hold on postal mail for up to 30 days. If the need is longer than that, long-term mail forwarding will be needed.

Whether you're an executive who travels on a regular basis or a digital nomad, constantly enabling and disabling all your mail for forwarding can be challenging and frustrating.

This is where a virtual mailbox company will certainly come in handy. Whether you're on business in Amsterdam, waiting for a flight in an airport, or traveling to Asia, you can scan mail as it arrives.

You have to admit that this is far more convenient than having a PO box that fills up with mail over the course of weeks. It's also simpler than trying to remember to turn on and off USPS mail holding.

If you'll be in a certain area for a week or more, the virtual mailbox service can even ship only the most important items to you, forgoing the junk mail.

The companies that offer virtual mailboxes ship huge amounts of mail, which means they get lower rates than the average person. If you want even more savings, have all the items sent to you in a single box.

Whether you're backpacking through Europe or hiking the Appalachian Trail, you can always access your postal mail online.

But this isn't the only benefit of choosing a digital mailbox for your virtual office. Below, we'll delve into other benefits you may experience with a virtual mailbox address.

The Benefits of Viewing Postal Mail Online

If you aren't fully sold yet on a virtual mailbox, you might change your mind after you see the three additional benefits listed below.

Receive Mail Without the Clutter

Let's say you already live in the United States. You don't frequently move or travel for work. In this situation, you might wonder whether a virtual mailbox is still useful.

The quick answer is yes, it is. Based on information from the NYU School of Law, junk mail makes up around 5.6 million tons of plastic and paper that go into landfills.

On top of that, the typical US household receives nearly 850 pieces of junk mail, which is equivalent to one and a half trees. For all households in the country, this is over 100 million trees.

A virtual mailbox can prevent you from needing to deal with all this extra mail that would otherwise arrive in your mailbox. Virtual mailboxes make it unneeded to even go fetch the mail each day.

Instead, see what mail arrives by taking a few minutes to log into your virtual mailbox. Scan through to see what you have received and choose what to do with each piece of mail.

Some services will let you open specific letters and see what is inside. This means you can have a digital version of important correspondence like bills without all the extra waste.

Since a virtual mailbox company deals with thousands of pieces of mail each day, the process is efficient and streamlined.

Better Security Paired with Time Savings

Are you worried about the security associated with your mail and packages? You don't have to be when you use a virtual mailbox address. Here's why:

  • The people who live with you will never see the real street addresses on your personal mail.

  • Credit card numbers on statements can't be found and used by thieves as they could when sent to physical locations.

  • Other sensitive information included in your mail can't be recovered by unsavory people.

  • Private investigators will not have access to your mail while searching for information about you.

There are also many time-saving benefits associated with a virtual mailbox company. A few of them include:

  • Mail can be checked from home, the office, on vacation, or from any other location.

  • Incoming checks can be forwarded straight to your bank for quick and easy deposits.

  • Gifts can be sent directly to someone else without needing to access the package on your own.

  • Scanned correspondence can be read and responded to before the mail is shredded.

  • There's no need to visit a post office, a PO box, or your personal mailbox.

When you have all of your mail sent to a remote location and handled by professional, trained staff, you can be sure you get better protection over your privacy.

No Need to Change Your Address When Moving

It can be a challenge to manage your postal mail when you move to a new permanent address. If you've ever had to go through the process of changing your real physical street address through the United States Postal Service, you know how stressful the process can be.

When you change your address through the USPS website, they will begin forwarding mail for up to a year. For most people, that's fine. However, if you move regularly or are in the military, this can be a frustrating process.

When you choose virtual mailbox companies with a home address in various areas across the country, this will no longer be an issue.

Select the state where you want to have your mail sent, receive the address, and have no need to alter this information in the future. No matter where or how often you move, you'll be set up for success.


How to Create a Virtual Business Address

The good news is that it's fairly simple to forward mail to a company that offers virtual mailboxes. In fact, most of the time, all you need to do is choose the company you want to use and sign up. Pay the fee for the service, and the process will be all but down.

For instance, with Traveling Mailbox, there are several account types to choose from. The basic plan is the least expensive and designed for limited use. It offers three mailbox recipients, up to 40 envelope scans a month, 35 page scans a month, and free mail shredding. In addition, junk mail doesn't count toward the limit.

The second account is the extended plan, which is the most popular choice. It offers five mailbox recipients with 100 envelope scans, and 80 page scans a month. Scans even roll over with this plan.

There is also a small business plan. It accommodates up to 10 recipients with 200 envelope scans and 180 page scans each month. This plan also offers free unlimited online storage. Additional plans are designed for enterprise use and vary in price and features.

How to Select a Virtual Mailbox Business

There are several things to think about when choosing a company that offers mail and package forwarding. Ask the questions below to make sure you get services from a top company.

  • Where are the addresses located? Make sure the location fits your needs.

  • What actions can you take with the mail? This includes how the mail is formatted, how packages and checks are handled, how easy it is to import information, etc.

  • What kind of security is utilized? Make sure your information is properly safeguarded during business hours and beyond.

  • How fast is mail available? Check on how quickly mail comes through, whether you can span all content, and how you can view the mail.

  • What does the plan include? If you need to pay bills received in the mail or deposit checks, be sure these features are available.

Why Traveling Mailbox Is the Best Virtual Mailbox Service

If you need to break free from the post office and keep your business mail in a virtual location, Traveling Mailbox is an excellent choice. The package forwarding service lets you choose from several packages based on the number of recipients, incoming mail, and page scans.

No matter which plan you choose, you will receive free mail shredding, junk mail filtering, and envelope scans.

In addition, there are over 30 addresses available across the United States with Traveling Mailbox. Premium features are also available, such as check deposits. The service is made to integrate with a number of other tools, like Dropbox, Bill.com, and Evernote.

Both business and personal users can use package forwarding through Traveling Mailbox. Of the three main accounts, two are personal, and one is business. However, enterprise accounts are also available.

As long as you want all your mail to go to a US virtual mailbox account, Traveling Mailbox makes a good choice. It provides only addresses in the United States but in a variety of cities. A few include Portland, San Francisco, Phoenix, Austin, Dallas, Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta, Columbus, and Grand Rapids.

Another major benefit of choosing Traveling Mailbox is that the sign-up process is simple. Subscribe to the service, select an address, and confirm your identity using the USPS form 1583. That's all it takes to make the virtual mailbox work.

If you're ready to move away from the post office and into a virtual mailbox, Traveling Mailbox has a ton of perks and a competitive price. Consider signing up to make the most of all your mail.