You know the easiest way to get a mailing address in California – simply use your business or residence! But you may find yourself in a situation where you need a separate mailing address; perhaps for business purposes, or to have sensitive parcels delivered. If you do end up in one of these situations, here are some of the mailing address options that are available:
Post Office Box – One of the most tried and true methods for getting mail delivered somewhere else, post office (PO) boxes are safe shipping locations found at your local post office. Usually a small metal box secured with a key, you’ll often see hundreds of them in the lobby of a post office branch.
PO boxes are simple to rent (you can even do it online), and a 3-inch wide box can be had for as little as $56 per year (price varies by size).
However, because of the ease of getting a PO box, they have long been associated with scams and shady businesses. If you desire a professional mailing address that engenders confidence in your business partners, a PO box may not be the best bet. Also, many post office lobbies have limited hours, prohibiting you from accessing your PO box after hours.
UPS Mailbox – Like a PO box, a UPS mailbox is found in a central location (a UPS store) with many other mailboxes around it. But there are a few key differences. A UPS mailbox will allow you to use a real address for receiving mail, instead of a PO box number. You can also be notified when a package is delivered, either by cell phone or text message. Some UPS locations even feature 24-hour access to your mailbox.
Virtual Busines Address – A virtual address gives you everything a UPS mailbox does, but takes it a step further. Instead of one central shipping location, a virtual address is part of an office building or office suite. Not only do you get the benefit of using a real street address for your mailing address, but there’s also a virtual receptionist there to receive your packages and sign for documents.
Another tremendous benefit of virtual addresses is the ability to use Google Places. Have you ever searched for a local business on Google? If the business is part of Google Places, it will be one of the very first listings on the search results page, at the top of the screen. PO boxes and UPS mailboxes can’t be used with Google Places – but a virtual business address can. If you are running your own business, a Google Places result is an excellent, free resource that can greatly increase your visibility.
Virtual addresses are more expensive than UPS mailboxes, but only slightly, and are a truly cost-effective way of maximizing your business potential. They also provide an extra layer of security and comfort, as you know a trusted receptionist will be receiving all your deliveries.
All of these options will give you a dependable mailing address at a reasonable cost. But if you want to get the most out of a new mailing address, a virtual address is your best bet.