Are you trying to figure out how to choose the best virtual mailbox service? Read this article to learn everything you need to know.
More and more people are leaving traditional office jobs to work independently from home or to become a digital nomad, working anywhere in the world. One forecast says that there will be more than 1 billion digital nomads by 2035.
As working and lifestyles change, so do the needs of postal services. Everyone needs a place to get mail and packages while they work from home or anywhere in the world. Even if you’re local and you work from home, there are advantages to having an alternative solution like a virtual mailbox.
Finding the best virtual mailbox service to meet your needs can be hard with so many services available.
Are you ready to find out what a virtual mailbox is and how you can find the best one for you?
Let’s get started!
What is a Virtual Mailbox?
What exactly is a virtual mailbox? It’s similar to a PO box, but it tends to be much more affordable. The key that a virtual mailbox allows you to access and manage your mail from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to the internet.
When you get mail in your digital mailbox, the handlers will take a picture of the items that come in the mail and upload them to your account. You get notified via email or through an app.
You then log into your account and instruct the handlers what to do with the mail. In most cases, the options are to scan the item, shred it, recycle it, forward it, or pick it up.
How to Find the Best Virtual Mailbox Service
Now that you know what a virtual mailbox is, how can you find one that’s right for you? Here are some steps to take to find the best virtual mailbox service.
What is Your Purpose of a Virtual Mailbox?
The type of virtual mailbox you need will largely depend on your purpose. If you’re looking to get a virtual mailbox for a professional look, then a basic plan that allows you to pick up your mail would be a good bet.
On the other hand, if you’re traveling around the world, you’re going to need more services.
Choose a Location
In most cases, it’s much easier to pick a virtual mailbox that’s close to you. In other cases, you may need to establish a presence in another state.
You have to look closely at the services offered because they’ll be different between service providers. They’ll also differ between locations. So, even though you have a virtual mailbox through a national company, each location will offer a different range of services.
Here are some of the more common services are check deposit and mail and package forwarding. These are going to be important if you’re traveling abroad. Some places will offer these services as part of a package and others will charge extra.
This is the area that you need to look at closely. You may look at a virtual mailbox service and think that spending $10 a month on a virtual mailbox is a bargain.
When you look more closely, you’ll find that the plan doesn’t include mail pick up, scans, or anything else. You could wind up paying much more money because you didn’t see the services included.
Check to see how much mail you’re allowed to receive, the number of pages scanned, and what the additional costs are.
One other thing to note is that services will charge you an overage fee if you go over your plan. You’ll also be charged a storage fee if they hold on to your mail for more than 30 days.
Visit the Facility
Most virtual mailboxes are franchises. Even though a company like Anytime Mail has locations all over the country, each facility is going to be very different from the next.
The way your mail is handled in Portland, OR will be different from Bethlehem, PA. Visiting the facility will give you an idea as to how your mail is taken care of.
You want to make sure that your mail is going to be handled in a timely and professional way. Some of your mail is going to be extremely sensitive and you need to make sure that it’s handled with care and discretion.
When you visit the facility look to see how it’s organized. Ask them how mail is sorted
Some facilities already offer mail and shipping services on top of other services. Others might be office spaces that want to offer a professional business address.
When you ask about how your mail is handled, ask about the turnaround times for orders to be completed. For example, if there’s a piece of mail that you need to have scanned, you want to know how long it will take for the scan to be uploaded.
This is important especially when you take into account time differences as you’re traveling. Some documents in the mail require an immediate response. You don’t want to have to wait several days for the mail to get scanned to find out what it is.
It’s the same with package forwarding. You can expect mail to take a while to reach you in foreign countries. You don’t want to add several days to that because your virtual mail provider didn’t get the job done.
Get Your Mail Wherever You Are in the World
One of the best things about working from home is that you have the freedom to work from anywhere. A virtual mailbox allows you to maintain a professional presence, have additional security, and get your mail anywhere in the world.
When you’re looking for the best virtual mailbox service, you want to make sure you look closely at the services offered and what’s included in the price. It can cost more than you expected.
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