Did you know there’s a way to receive your mail without having it actually come to your business (or home)? It’s called virtual mail, and the service is popular with small business owners and RV owners, among others. I use it for my business, and my husband and I use for our personal mail. It cuts down dramatically on junk mail, and converts all our “real” mail to PDF. That makes it easy to digitally file important mail items. A Google search reveals a comprehensive list of companies who provide the service. The two largest ones are Virtual Post Mail and Traveling Mailbox.
Here’s how virtual mail works.
- Select a virtual mail company and purchase a subscription.
- Fill out and send in USPS Form 1583.
- Update your address with senders of your mail and/or submit a Change of Address form to the USPS.
- The virtual mail company you selected in step one will scan envelopes of incoming mail and send you an email notification when new mail is waiting. You then log into an online dashboard, review each envelope, and decide whether you want it opened and scanned to PDF, shredded/deleted, or forwarded.
Virtual mail companies typically take stringent security measures to ensure their employees don’t steal vital personal information; these measures are different with each company. If the company’s website doesn’t explain those security measures, I encourage you to contact them and ask. It’s probably wise, however, not to have things sent there that contain bank account numbers, debit/credit card account numbers, etc. And if you do have them sent to your virtual mail company, request that they be forwarded to you rather than opened and scanned.
The larger virtual mail companies have locations in multiple states, and can therefore provide you a mailing address near where you live. In addition to virtual mail services, each company offers different add-on services, so it’s important to evaluate each one carefully in order to find the best combination of price and services you need.