In today’s busy world, we don’t often have time to go out of our way to drop something at the post office.
So, what are you supposed to do if you have a package that you need to mail to someone?
Can you simply put it inside your mailbox, raise the flag up, and have USPS collect it for you the same way you would a letter?
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know.
Can I Put A Package In My Mailbox For Pickup?
Yes. Packages can be placed inside your mailbox for pickup as long as they fit fully inside the mailbox, and the postage has been paid for the shipment.
However, only packages shipped using USPS services can be picked up this way. This means that it will not work for packages meant for other couriers, such as UPS and Fedex.
Note that if the package weighs more than 10 ounces or is 1/2″ thick or larger, you can only pay the postage with stamps if it’s taken to the post office, and handed over to a USPS employee directly.
However, this requirement is waived if you use a prepaid shipping or return label.
What About Multiple Packages?
If you have a large number of packages that you want USPS to collect, it would be best to take them to the post office (along with a scan sheet) for quick processing.
Alternatively, you can have USPS schedule pickups at your location.
This works best for eCommerce businesses with a steady, consistent number of packages that need to be shipped each day. It’s also ideal for large or heavy packages, that may not fit inside of your mailbox.
Can You Put UPS Or Fedex Packages In Your Mailbox?
No. Only packages that are being shipped USPS can be placed in your mailbox for pickup, and only if they have the appropriate postage required to ship the item.
If you leave packages in your mailbox from another courier (such as UPS, Fedex or DHL), than it will simply be ignored when the mailman does their route, and will remain in your mailbox even if you put the flag up.
Therefore, if you plan to leave packages in your mailbox to be picked up, you should ensure that you are shipping via USPS and have adequate postage for the shipment.
Many online retailers such as Amazon often use companies like UPS to process their returns, which won’t be accepted by USPS.
However, some couriers may have package pickup services that may be available in your area.
A Warning About Thieves
If you live in an area where mail theft is common, you may wish to avoid putting expensive packages in your mailbox.
Even if you do everything right, you may not be able to recover the lost item, nor receive a refund if you are returning an item you bought online.
Signaling that you have something in your mailbox by raising the flag may be seen as enticing to potential thieves. Some thieves specifically target mailboxes that have their flags raised, which puts your packages at risk.
If your shipment is of high value or you have a problem with mail theft in your area, it may be best to take it into the post office yourself, or drop the package off in one of USPS’ blue collection bins. These bins are far more secure than your mailbox, and are picked up at least once daily.
It is perfectly fine to put packages in your mail box, raise the mailbox flag, and wait for them to be picked up.
However, this will only work if you’re shipping USPS packages, using a USPS service like First Class Mail, Priority Mail, or Media Mail. It will not work if you purchase shipping via UPS or Fedex.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about shipping with USPS, please ask them using the comment form below.
Thank you for reading,
– James McAllister