The UPS Mailbox. What is it? How can you get one? What are the pros and cons and a whole lot more?
That’s exactly what we will tackle in this UPS Mailbox Guide.
Let’s jump to it…
What is a UPS Mailbox?
The UPS Store and related Mailboxes are a way for customers to have a mailbox address for personal or business use.
The UPS Mailbox is a physical mailbox much like a P.O. Box offered by USPS. However, a big difference (and advantage) is that a UPS Mailbox will allow you to receive mail items and packages from all carriers.
The reason for this is due to the fact UPS mailboxes use a real street address rather than a P.O Box number, (the latter being a delivery problem for carriers such as DHL, UPS & FedEx)
The street address used for your UPS Mailbox is actually the address of the UPS Store where it is contained.
When a customer rents a UPS mailbox they will be given a number that corresponds to their box within the UPS store.
UPS Mailboxes come in various sizes, (more on that below) and you are given a key to the box so that you have access to your delivered mail items.
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What Does a UPS Mailbox Address Look Like?
As already mentioned, your UPS mailbox address will contain information relevant to the UPs store address where it is located.
The number of your mailbox is either preceded by the letters PMB, or a # sign.
Cost of a UPS Mailbox
The cost of a UPS Mailbox is dependent on a few factors. First, there is the size, you have a choice between small, medium, and large.
The cost goes up accordingly as a larger box allows you greater mail volume, (and clearly takes up more space).
There is also the location to consider. A UPS Store that provides a New York-based address is going to cost more than a small store (and therefore address) in a rural area. Supply and demand are factors too.
Finally, you have the rental period of the mailbox impacting the cost. Customers that opt for a 12-month rental will benefit from discounts when compared to a person on a 3-month contract.
UPS Mailbox – Other Costs
Most locations charge $10 to $15 fee for the key. With the cost of additional keys being the same again. You will also be charged for losing keys.
This key is used for the mailbox and for 24/7 access to the area of the UPS Store where the boxes are located.
You will also be charged overflow fees if you are unable to pick up your mail items and your mailbox becomes full. This can then lead to additional storage fees.
Customers will also incur late payment fees if they fail to pay for their rental on time.
UPS Mailbox Sizes: Which should you go for?
As already mentioned, UPS Mailboxes come in different sizes. These are:
Small UPS Box
The small mailbox is designed for individuals or solo business entrepreneurs that do not expect too much mail to the box. These cost between $10 and $20 per month depending on factors such as location and rental period.
Medium UPS Box
The medium mailbox costs between $20 and $40 per month and is designed for family users or small businesses.
The capacity to take more volume and packages means you should expect items regularly in order to benefit from the size of the mailbox.
Large UPS Box
The large mailbox is UPS’s largest offering and is designed for medium to large businesses that will use the capacity that is available.
To rent a large UPS mailbox you should expect to pay between $30 and $50 per month.
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How to Rent a UPS Mailbox?
There are a few steps to obtaining a UPS Mailbox. Let’s take a look.
1. Find your Local UPS Store
The first step is to locate your local UPS Store. You may already know this just by being familiar with your area.
If you don’t know, you can search online via the website.
It is a good idea to contact ahead if you can to ensure that they have mailboxes available and in the size that you want too.
Once you’ve ascertained that a mailbox is available, you will need to go into the store, with your I.D
2. UPS Mailbox – ID Required
You will need to show two independent forms of identification in order to rent a USP Mailbox.
One has to be a photographic form of I.D. Obvious candidates are either your driver’s license or passport.
The other form of identification should include details of your home address. Recent utility bills, credit card statements, etc, are recommended choices.
3. The UPS Mailbox Rental Agreement
Once you have provided I.D and a means to pay for the rental, you will sign a UPS Mailbox rental agreement.
This will look similar to the screenshot below. (UPS Stores will differ in the agreement that they provide, although the terms are universal throughout).
It is recommended that you don’t just sign and forget this agreement. Familiarizing yourself with the terms of the rental will help ensure that you are fully aware of your obligations.
The agreement will also set out what fees and penalties are applicable for breaking any terms.
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The Advantages of a UPS Mailbox
There are a number of advantages of having access to a UPS Mailbox.
24/7 access & Call-In MailCheck
Most UPS Stores provide 24/7 access to customer mailboxes. This means that you can visit your mailbox whenever is convenient for you.
There’s no waiting for the store to be open, or having to rush to collect mail during your lunch break.
UPS also provides a service where you can call in to check whether you have any mail. This saves any wasted trips to the mailbox and allows you to efficiently manage both your time and your mailbox items.
Text & email notifications when mail arrives
This is another benefit of a UPS mailbox. Once the mail has been placed into the mailbox you will receive a text and/or email alert stating that something has arrived.
However, fewer details are provided when compared to using a virtual mailbox. For the latter, you will receive an alert with a scan of the cover of the mail item. You can then act accordingly.
With a UPS Mailbox, you only receive an alert that something has arrived, with no details of its nature.
Receive mail from all carriers
As mentioned earlier in the guide, all carriers will deliver to a UPS mailbox. This is not the case with a P.O. Box through USPS.
There you will have problems receiving mail items from anyone other than USPS.
UPS Mailboxes can be a good choice for individuals or small businesses that work from home.
In this situation, you can use the UPS mailbox address as the contact point for your business. This clearly leaves your home address out of the public sphere.
No longer will you need to share your residential address online or with customers, partners, and vendors. As an added bonus, the address will look much more professional too.
No longer miss mail items for not being home
A top benefit of a UPS Mailbox is that you will no longer miss receiving packages because you were not at home.
Using the mailbox address means items will be safely delivered there for you to pick up at your leisure.
The Disadvantages of a UPS Mailbox
As with any service, there are some disadvantages to using it, especially when compared to similar services such as a virtual mailbox.
Still have to visit the mailbox to manage your mail
UPS mailboxes do not offer any means of managing your mail items remotely. You still have to visit the physical mailbox to pick up your mail.
This is clearly different from a virtual mailbox that will give you access to mail (via scans sent to your inbox or phone app) from wherever you are.
Far fewer options when compared to a virtual mailbox
A virtual mailbox will allow you to open & scan mail items, request them to be forwarded, and ultimately have them shredded and recycled if you need.
None of this is available when using a UPS Mailbox. When you consider the similarity of price between a virtual mailbox and a UPS Mailbox, the difference in the service provided is noteworthy.
Not all states will accept it as a business address
If you are a business looking to use a UPS mailbox as your LLC formation address you could run into problems.
As with P.O. Boxes, not all state agencies will accept UPS mailboxes as valid business addresses.
However, this doesn’t stop you from using one to receive business mail items. It just means you cannot use one as a registered business address.
Conversely, a virtual mailbox with a real street address will be valid for business registration purposes.
Now you know what a UPS mailbox is and how to get one.
Along with the various advantages and disadvantages you can now make a decision about whether a UPS mailbox is the right choice for you.
We do recommend you check out what virtual mailboxes have to offer too, as in many cases they are the better choice.
Head here for our services reviews for more on that.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂