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Something even better than a PO Box

Posted in 'General' by Ben Ryland

26 November 2015

Is a PO Box really the best thing to spend your hard-earned money on when looking for an alternative to your home address? Keeping your home address private may be the driving force to finding a suitable PO Box, yet a PO Box can be no more private than simply using your home address.

PO Boxes were once seen as the answer to keeping your home address private and were particularly useful for home business owners. Yet the real address behind a PO Box is readily available to the public on request, and with the advancement of technology, traipsing down to the Post Office to get your mail is very 1900's.

For the convenience of your home address still unprotected and collecting the mail yourself; Royal Mail charge an eye watering £252 a year for a PO Box. Suddenly this can become an expensive way of getting your mail and it may not offer you the privacy protection you've been looking for.

Home business owners still find the convenience of a PO Box very alluring. It helps to keep home and work mail separate, but if you're a busy worker a PO Box may be less of a convenience and more like a hindrance. Finding time in a busy day to drive to the Post Office where the PO Box is located to collect mail, is a luxury many business owners can't afford. Time is money after all. Again the Royal Mail can deliver post from a PO Box to your home, to save you time, but the yearly price jumps up to £312.

If you sell online or by mail order, there are regulations detailed by the Office of Fair Trading which require you to use a geographical address, meaning a PO Box cannot be used. Many people who sell online find that customers view a PO Box negatively as it is seen as the seller hiding.

If you still think you need one, make sure you don’t plan on moving to a new area any time soon. PO Boxes don't move with you and while relocating within the same delivery radius of the local sorting office wouldn’t be a problem, moving out of this reach is. A PO Box would need to be cancelled and re-started as it must be within the sorting office vicinity of your home address. Even more redirections would need to be set up as you change your PO Box address with everyone.

It is perhaps a little tricky to understand why PO Boxes continue to be used – they don’t really protect your privacy, are a bit of a hassle, and many organisations such as banks don’t accept them as valid addresses.

This is why many are turning to using a service address instead. 24/7 access to your post securely online, with no worries that Joe public can simply ask nicely and obtain your home address. A service address provided by ScanMyPost solves all these problems – a real geographical address which can keep your home address private, doesn’t need to change if you move house, gives your business that professional look and can cost as little as £9.99a month.

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Ben Ryland

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Ben has a degree in International Business and Management from Aston University. Prior to working for us, Ben spent a year working for an IT firm in France. He writes on a wide range of topics across the postal industry.

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