Small business needs to keep postal mailbox costs low
November 3, 2010 1:04 PM Subscribe
I need to receive business shipments. How can I keep my postal mailbox costs low?
posted by mintchip to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I’m getting started as a small part time importer of items to resell online. I need to have an address at which to receive business shipments that come in perhaps once every 3 months and for my return label to customers. Although my use of the box would be minimal, I feel the need to have a business address in order to appear professional, both to the public, and to a lesser extent, to the manufacturers I work with.
UPS and FedEx charge high prices for business mailboxes, while a PO Box through the US postal service is very reasonable. However, I’ve been told that you cannot receive UPS or FedEx shipments to a PO Box, so that's a big negative since all of my shipments are sent through these two companies.
Assuming this is true, is there any good reason why I should not have the occasional manufacturer shipment delivered to my home via UPS (or whatever freight forwarder the manufacturer selects) and then to use a PO Box for the public/customers? Does a PO Box give a business the required legitimacy that a home address wouldn’t, or would a UPS box be better since it would come with a Suite #? Does US law prohibit the receipt of small (both in size and dollar value) business shipments at home?
Other than renting a PO Box, are there any options for receiving the occasional business package at a reduced price? $24+/month adds up quickly, especially when you are operating on a small scale and want to keep your overhead low.