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Is there such a thing as a monthly fee/rent-based service that gives you a "virtual" address to which you can ship your packages, and pick them up at your convenience? Something that would eliminate the anxiety of receiving important mail and packages, for busy people.

I've searched combinations of keywords like concierge, reception, delivery, service, and packages, but can't seem to find any relevant results. Especially in a large urban area like New York City, you'd think there'd be such a service, maybe one that'd even let you call to schedule a delivery of your packages to your actual address.

Is there a name for such a service that I don't know about? Or, is there an alternative that would work as well? (As I understand, a PO box only accepts mail from a specific carrier, e.g. USPS, rejecting others, e.g. UPS, FedEx, so that wouldn't work.)


TMI, but might preemptively answer follow-up questions, e.g. why I'm asking this on P.SE:

To give more context, my significant other is making her start in a new city, no family or (close) friends, frequently switching apartments and jobs as she gains a footing. I think receiving mail (especially important mail, e.g. regarding job applications) may be a constant source of anxiety for her, adding to her day-to-day distractions and stress. I thought I'd purchase for her a one-year subscription to a service that would take care of all that, letting her focus on her actual goals. But, I can't find one! Meanwhile, I've come across services where people would even do your grocery shopping for you.

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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, there are a number of these in various countries, and more seem to be popping up all the time. Useful search terms would be Mail Boxes and Package Holding.

In the UK one of our big ones is Mail Boxes Etc. who not only provide a basic mailbox, but also a wide range of services around that function, including phone notification when mail arrives.

I don't know of any company that only receives from one carrier, even the ones I have looked at in the US receive from any carrier. One that might be useful for you is New York City Mailbox - they also do mail notification, so you don't need to visit if there is nothing there for you.

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In the US, Mail Boxes Etc was purchased by UPS and is now know as the UPS store. As long as you rent a mailbox from them, they accept packages from anyone (USPS, Fedex, UPS etc.). –  tcrosley Feb 5 '13 at 19:10
    
This is the answer. –  Frank B Feb 5 '13 at 20:51
    
I can't believe I missed that keyword. I searched "mailbox" on Yelp and found a ton of results. To give future readers a sense for the price (a Yahoo! Answers post misled me into thinking it wouldn't cost more than $20/month), the UPS at Union Square charges $40/month, with 1 month free if you sign up for 6 months, and 3 months free for 12 months. Greenwich Village Mail Center (great reviews on Yelp) charges $40/month for 6 months, $35/month for 12 months, and also gives 3 months free if you sign up for 12 months. I called several other places, and the prices were all in this range. –  Andrew Cheong Feb 15 '13 at 16:36
    
Um - in the UK, (I'm also here) doesn't the post office also hold parcels as well? –  Joe Feb 19 '13 at 21:50
    
Joe - yes, but many countries don't have a direct equivalent of that :-) –  Rory Alsop Feb 19 '13 at 23:13
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I originally was using a package receiving service and paying $3.50 for every package, but found out that you can just use a P.O. Box for it. The P.O. Box I have accepts USPS, UPS, and FedEx. You just have to let them know you would like to ship boxes there as well with those services I think.

Basically they just told me that you have to have it shipped to the address of your po box and then append your po box number as a unit number. I would take my particular implementation with a grain of salt though and just do whatever they tell you.

I guess my point is that you can use a P.O Box, and depending on your purchasing habits, could be cheaper than a service. I hope this helps.

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In UK, a company lowcostletterbox.com does exactly what you want. This service is designed especially for online shoppers, though you can get other parcels delivered too. You can get your parcels/packages delivered to their centre that is local to you and collect at a time convenient to you. This is a pay-as-you-go service, only pay when you use them. visit www.lowcostletterbox.com for further details.

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Are you affiliated with this company? If so this site's rules require you to mention this in your answer. –  THelper Jul 23 '13 at 11:54
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