All businesses require some kind of mail delivery location. New services like iPostal1’s online PO box tout their convenience and affordability, granting you a clear picture of your high-priority mail with the click of a mouse. As a bonus, online PO boxes eliminate time-consuming trips to the post office (After all, time is money).
Additionally, online PO boxes empower business owners to manage their mail on the go—whether they’re seated at a coffee shop or boarding a flight to a cross-country conference.
Unfortunately, physical PO boxes are extremely limited in terms of size and location. With their cost-inefficiency and ability to put your credibility into question, it’s safe to say these physical PO boxes aren’t worth the money for those looking to use them as a business tool rather than a personal one.
But are virtual business solutions a good idea? Does this high-tech mailing solution truly outrank its old-fashioned counterpart, the physical PO box?
So, before you opt for the traditional route, consider the top disadvantages of PO boxes for your business.
PO boxes are not credible
Businesses that list only a PO box as their point of contact seem less credible. Since anyone can own a PO box, customers have no way of knowing if the company they’re doing business with is legitimate.
Additionally, you cannot register your PO box as your business address for an LLC or corporation, as they require a physical address. Sole proprietorship is the type of business you can register using PO boxes and virtual offices.
PO boxes are legally limited
PO boxes, by law, cannot receive mail that FedEx or UPS delivers. With a PO box, business owners only receive mail delivered through the United States Postal Service.
On top of that, PO boxes offer no additional services like scanning or shredding. The USPS only recently added informed delivery. Beyond that, a PO box is nothing more than a makeshift storage unit.
PO boxes are physically limited
The largest PO box currently available through the USPS is 12 inches by 22.5 inches by 14.75 inches, which is barely large enough for a standard flat rate box and small packages. If your business receives a lot of mail, a PO box is impractical.
As an aside, the largest option for a PO box isn’t available in all post office locations, so you may have to select a post office further away to ensure you have enough space for high-priority mail.
PO boxes are expensive
Bank Rate reports the contract cost of a PO box to range anywhere from $19 for the smallest option for six months to more than $75 per six months. The length of the contract, the size of the box you’re choosing, and its physical location determine the price, extra fees, and interest rates included.
Businesses in larger cities may end up paying astronomical rates for even short contracts on small PO boxes. Considering their limitations, this may be impractical if your company is not getting lots of mail regularly.
PO boxes are inconvenient
As mentioned earlier, to get the appropriate size of PO box for your business, you may need to choose a location that isn’t accessible to you regularly. Choosing a PO box location that involves a commute may lead to a build-up in the mail and slow response times, which means less reliable contact with your customers and your network.
On top of this, most post office locations aren’t open 24/7. You’ll have to plan your pickups around their schedule. If your office runs on a typical 9-5 schedule, that means taking time out of your workday. Delays and closures can also affect your access to your mail.
PO boxes are great for personal mail, especially if you’re unwilling to have it delivered directly to your home address. They’re more secure and, if you live near enough, convenient.
For business mail, though, it’s better to go with a digital option. Virtual mailboxes offer you everything a PO box can’t. From physical addresses that boost company credibility to additional mail services provided at no extra cost, you’ll wish you skipped the post office line sooner.
Ready to go virtual for your business? Opt for a virtual PO box over a traditional alternative.