Small-town girl doing some big-city mailing
September 22, 2007 9:49 AM   Subscribe

NYC SnailMail DumbFilter: If I put a normal outgoing letter in my apartment's mailbox, is that acceptable? Or do I need to find a blue mailbox?
posted by lauranesson to Law & Government (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Blue mailbox.
posted by jeffxl at 9:51 AM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A blue mailbox or a post office, unless there's a slot for outgoing mail somewhere alongside the normal mailboxes.
posted by wsp at 9:59 AM on September 22, 2007

Response by poster: Thank you. I also found this mailbox locator, if you wanna get really nerdy about it.
posted by lauranesson at 10:06 AM on September 22, 2007

Most apartments that I've lived in have had a box for outgoing mail in the mailroom. Look around and make sure you haven't missed it.

(of course, I've also never lived in NYC)
posted by chrisamiller at 10:25 AM on September 22, 2007

Inside my apartment building there's an old "letter box" that actually looks like this. It has the pickup schedule card on it from the Postal Service.
posted by ALongDecember at 10:32 AM on September 22, 2007

I would definitely go with a blue mailbox, having heard too many stories of important mail disappearing from other places.
posted by qvtqht at 11:06 AM on September 22, 2007

Blue mailbox, also for the reason that in some parts of the city they pick up mail several times of day.
posted by kimdog at 11:17 AM on September 22, 2007

Run a test and mail something to yourself from the box that you are wondering about.
posted by Kevin S at 11:38 AM on September 22, 2007

I specifically asked my local post office about this; they said that dropping it off in a blue mailbox was necessary.
posted by WCityMike at 12:44 PM on September 22, 2007

Sorry — and I live in a Chicago apartment building.
posted by WCityMike at 12:44 PM on September 22, 2007

In NYC, the mailperson will NOT pick up mail from your apartment mailbox - delivery only. Cute try though!
posted by bunnycup at 12:52 PM on September 22, 2007

Wait, your mailperson actually delivers mail to your NYC mailbox? I only get stuff for the other apartments, which get mine.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:12 PM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm in Brooklyn, and we often put the outgoing mail in the mailbox where our mailman picks it up.

From the USPS site:

Sending Mail
You can send mail by:

* Dropping it into a blue collection box.
* Leaving it in your home mailbox.
* Taking it to a Post Office.

So go ahead and drop it in your mailbox.
posted by cmgonzalez at 7:16 PM on September 22, 2007

They're supposed to but they won't. The mailperson made this clear to me shortly after I moved into my new place (the first place I lived had a mail chute).
posted by brujita at 10:42 PM on September 22, 2007

Best answer: You will find MANY MANY instances of "they're supposed to but they won't" in our fair city. It's the price you pay for living in an incredible but overcrowded and underserved (relative to population) area.

Beware of having important things mailed to you via USPS unless you're sure they will fit in your mailbox. Otherwise they are stored at your local PO and they will not give you your package without the special pink slip that is supposed to be left (but often isn't left) in your mailbox. My post office has routinely refused to give me packages addressed to me because their mail carrier failed to put the slip in my box. No slip, no box. They won't even look for it without the slip.

When I moved to NYC I had a few experiences of envelopes never getting mailed even from Blue mailboxes. So I switched to only mailing at a post office (only mailing by handing mail to a human being behind the window). I would suggest that for important mail. I've never had anything lost when I do that.
posted by lorimer at 11:20 AM on September 23, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks, all. I'm definitely still in the process of figuring out all of the "it's supposed to happen like that, but really it happens like this" instances in the city.

I ended up dropping a check into a blue mailbox. Cross your fingers. This wouldn't have even been a question if the local bank branch had accepted a combination of my passport, birth certificate, social security card, and state driver's license as ID. They also wanted to see a credit card ("Like, maybe do you have a Gap card? We can't use a Visa debit card"). Sigh.
posted by lauranesson at 6:53 AM on September 24, 2007

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