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P.O. Box vs. Online P.O. Box: The Post-Marked Guide to Choosing a Mail Solution

If you have a small business or travel frequently, you’re probably worried about the risks of leaving your mail and packages vulnerable while you’re away at work or on trips. P.O. boxes and online P.O. boxes are two of the most popular solutions for safeguarding your correspondence, but the difference between the two can be confusing to newcomers. 

PO Box Vs Online P.O. Box

Both have advantages and disadvantages, but if you're a digital nomad, travel frequently, or own a small business, an online P.O. box may be best. Here’s your post-marked rundown on the difference between traditional and online P.O. boxes.

What's the difference between a P.O. box and an online P.O. box?

A P.O. box, or post office box, is a mail receptacle that you open through the post office. It provides a secure box for receiving mail that only you and post office employees can access, meaning P.O. boxes can help if you live in an area with a lot of mail theft. A post office box is also the traditional way to get a business address when you don't have an office. 

An online P.O. box provides you with an actual street address where you can direct your mail. The staff receives your correspondence at the real street address, scans it, and uploads photos to your app or web portal. From there, it’s up to you what happens to your mail, from shredding to full scans to forwarding to another address. 

Virtual mail is more than just a box. Unlike the traditional P.O. box, virtual mail uses technology to ensure you never have to leave your home to keep track of your correspondence. 

Does either option have limits?

You can receive mail at a post office box, but there are some limits. Banks and credit card companies won't recognize a P.O. box as the primary business address. You need a physical address to set up a business bank account or register a corporation or LLC in most states, and you can't use your primary residence. 

This stipulation is another point in favor of online P.O. boxes. If you only have a post office box, you'll need a registered agent. Online P.O. boxes often provide this service. They allow you to receive documents from government agencies, banks, and merchants at that location. 

Does an online P.O. Box provide better credibility?

When trying to impress a client or customer, primarily if you sell a physical product, a P.O. Box can diminish your professional image and create doubts in clients’ minds. Many scammers use traditional P.O. boxes as a tool, so some consumers have grown wary of doing business with any company that operates one as its primary mail solution. 

Online P.O. boxes reassure clients that your business is legitimate by providing you with a physical, non-box number address. When buyers feel confident, they become loyal customers, and an online P.O. Box can help with that. 

An online P.O. box address also matters when you decide to register your business with Google because they don't allow companies to use traditional P.O. boxes to register. This feature improves your online SEO footprint and lets you reach more potential customers. 

It also matters if you order supplies from FedEx, UPS, DHL, or Amazon. USPS P.O. Boxes don't take mail from other carriers, but most online P.O. boxes do. An online P.O. box can hold your packages until you request forwarding or pick them up. 

Conclusion

Online P.O. boxes have a significant leg-up over traditional P.O. boxes by blending a classic concept with enhanced ease and credibility of technology. If you’re running a small business or looking to protect your correspondence, an online P.O. box might be the choice for you. 

1 comment

  1. Great I must say and thanks for sharing this informative post. I am happy to find this post very useful for me. Thank you . Emblix Academy is a Team of dedicated Professionals with 12years of experience in various Digital Platforms

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