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How to get a PO Box in Buffalo? Let's Find Out!

Published: May 11, 2024
Author: Aman Chopra

Are you a Canadian shopper looking to score amazing deals on US websites? If your answer is YES, this article will pique your interest. This blog will discuss everything you need to know about getting a PO Box in Buffalo while in Canada.

Plus, get some insider tips on how to turn yourself into a cross-border shopping pro!

Key Takeaways

  • There are different mailbox options for Canadians who want to shop at top US websites. They can use traditional USPS PO Boxes, private mailbox services like UPS, and virtual mailboxes.

  • Choosing a PO Box involves factors like location, package size, and services. Consider proximity to the border and ease of access.

  • Package forwarding services like Shippsy are convenient for Canadians shopping from the US without renting a PO Box or crossing the border. These services give customers a US shipping address, receive packages from various carriers, and then forward them to Canada.

What is a PO Box?

Short for post office boxes, these are secure, lockable boxes inside a post office. It is like a private mailbox you rent from a post office instead of mail delivered directly to your home.

For example:

You ordered a shirt from an online store. Since you want to keep the carriers from knowing your home address, you will use the PO box address instead. Thus, the online store will ship the order to this location rather than your mailing address.

Here are some key things to know about PO Boxes:

  • Security. They're a secure option for receiving mail, especially in areas with high theft rates.

  • Privacy. PO Box addresses don't reveal your home address, which can be desirable for some people.

  • Convenience: They can be helpful if you travel frequently or need a permanent address.

  • Cost. You typically rent a PO Box for a monthly or annual fee, with the size of the box affecting the rental price.

How to get A PO Box in the United States

Getting a PO Box in the United States is a fairly straightforward process. Here's a breakdown of the steps involved:

Choose A PO Box

Consider renting a PO box at a post office close to your home or work for easier access.

US Postal Service

The USPS is your one-stop shop for PO Boxes. They let you search for available boxes by location on their website so that you can grab one near you. In addition, they handle applications and set the rental fees based on box size.

USPS regulations also dictate what mail goes to PO boxes, usually just USPS mail. Plus, they offer additional services like a package notification—basically, the USPS in your PO Box landlord.

You can check the USPS website to see if PO Boxes are available at your preferred location and browse different box sizes.

Physical Mailbox Services

Apart from the post office, you have other options on where to get physical mailboxes. Private companies like UPS Store offer an alternative to USPS PO Boxes. These services provide an actual street address, not a box number, for a professional look.

They accept packages and mail from various carriers, giving you flexibility. Some offer 24/7 access and extra services like forwarding or holding mail. However, they typically cost more than USPS options and depend on the UPS store location.

Virtual Mailbox Services

Another alternative to USPS PO boxes is virtual mailboxes. As the name suggests, these are digital, opposite to physical mailboxes. Instead of receiving mail physically, a company scans it and lets you view it securely online.

You can shred it, forward it (for a fee), or download it for safekeeping. It's perfect for frequent travellers or those wanting paperless mail management. These are also private companies and may have limitations when they receive packages.

For example:

You're a travelling business owner. You use a virtual mailbox service to receive mail at a permanent US address. They scan your mail electronically. Then, you log in to see that you have a credit card statement. Next, you have a few options on what to do with the mail you received:

  1. Download it for your records.

  2. Shred it for security.

  3. Pay to have it forwarded to your current location.

It's a paperless way to manage your mail from anywhere worldwide.

Applying for PO Boxes

There are two ways to apply:

In-Person Application

Head to your preferred post office with some patience! Grab a PS Form 1093 application (or print one beforehand). Fill it out with your info and desired box size. Don't forget two IDs (one photo ID) for verification.

The staff will process your application and collect the rental fee. Once approved, you'll get a notification to pick up your shiny new PO Box keys and start receiving mail!

Online Application

If you want to skip the trip to the post office, you can snag a POX Box online. Head to their website and search for available boxes at your preferred location. Pick your size and pay the rental fee electronically.

They'll ask for two IDs for verification (driver's license and utility bill). Once approved, you'll get a notification to pick up your PO Box keys at the chosen post office. Easy as pie!

Can a Canadian get a PO Box in the US

Yes, a Canadian residing in Canada can get a PO Box in the US, specifically from the USPS. There are no nationality restrictions for renting a PO Box through the USPS.

  • Application Process. Canadians can follow the same application process as US citizens. You can apply online or visit a US post office with the required identification (typically two forms, one with a photo).

  • Identification. While Canadian documents are acceptable, ensure they're valid and have your current Canadian address.

Things to Consider:

  • Convenience. Picking up mail from your US PO Box might require crossing the border, so factor in travel distance and frequency.

Factors to Consider When Choosing A PO Box

A US PO Box can be your key to unlocking amazing deals on American websites. But before you dive in, here are some key factors to consider when choosing your PO Box:

Location

Close proximity to the border reduces travel time and hassle when picking up your mail. Plus, consider bridge wait times. Also, USPS boxes only accept USPS mail. If you get packages from other carriers, a private mailbox near the border accepting those might be better. Picking the suitable PO Box saves you time, money, and frustration!

Package Size

Package size matters for Canadian PO Boxes! Here's why:

  • USPS PO Boxes have size limits and typically only accept USPS mail. A small box might overflow with envelopes, leaving no room for packages.

  • A standard PO Box might not work if you make bulk purchases online. You might need a larger box or a private mailbox service that accepts parcels from various carriers.

  • The right box size saves you the hassle of return trips or mail refusal due to lack of space.

Services

Services can make or break your deal when choosing a PO Box. Most post offices in the US offer basic services. This means they only accept mail within limited hours. A private mailbox is better if you need extras like extended access or package acceptance from other carriers.

How much do PO Boxes cost?

The cost of the USPS Boxes differs depending on the size. Here's how much it costs:

PO Box OptionSizeCostFeatures
XS - Size 13 in x 5.5 inUSD 4.83 per monthIt can hold 10-15 letters and 3 rolled magazines.
S - Size 25 in x 5.5 inUSD 6.17 per monthIt can hold 15+ letters, 5 rolled magazines, or 1 Small Priority Mail Flat Rate® Box.
M - Size 35.5 in x 11 inUSD 9.17 per monthIt can stack large envelopes, magazines, and 2 Small Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes.
L - Size 411 in x 11 inUSD 13.50 per monthIt holds Small and Medium Priority Mail Flat Raye Boxes and still has room for 10+ letters.
XL - Size 512 in x 22.5 inUSD 24 per monthIt is big enough for multiple packages.

Is there a better way than having a PO Box in Buffalo?

If you really want to save time and money, why not use a package forwarding service instead?

PO Boxes have been popular for Canadian shoppers looking to score deals on US websites. But what if there was a more convenient way to get your purchases north? Enter package forwarding services!

Say Goodbye to Border Hassles:

  • Forget the bridge crossings and wait times! Package forwarding services have facilities in the US. You order online, and they receive your package and then efficiently forward it to your Canadian address.

  • Did you buy multiple items from different stores? Some forwarders allow combining them into a single shipment to Canada, potentially saving you on shipping costs.

Embrace Flexibility:

  • Unlike PO Boxes with size restrictions, forwarders can handle a wider range of packages, perfect for bulky online purchases.

  • PO Boxes typically only accept USPS mail. Package forwarders often accept deliveries from various carriers (FedEx, UPS, etc.), giving you more online shopping freedom.

Deliver Your US Packages with Shippsy Instead!

Ship with Shippsy today!

Shippsy is Canada's leading package forwarder. It is the best option for a smoother cross-border shipping solution than traditional PO Boxes for getting your US treasures north! With Shippsy, you can skip the border crossings and say goodbye to limitations.

The common reason why Canadians get a PO Box is to purchase items that do not ship to Canada. Shippsy eliminates this issue by providing shoppers with a US shipping address, which they can use when buying from their favourite retailers.

You don't have to worry about the rates because they offer the lowest shipping fees. Instead of paying almost USD 5 a month and needing to travel to the US to get your items, you only have to pay CAD 6.99* to get your items to Canada! You don’t have to cross the border and allot more time, money, and energy. In addition, you can receive the package within 2-4 business days**.

Once your packages arrive at the US facility, pay for the handling fee + applicable customs duties and taxes. Then, Shippsy will transport the package to the designated branch near your location. Plus, if you're unavailable to get your package personally, you can have them delivered to your home.

*The price starts at CAD 6.99 in Ontario and CAD 7.99 for British Columbia and Québec.

**The indicated transit time is for Ontario shipments only. British Columbia and Québec take 4-7 and 5-7 business days, respectively.

Final Thoughts

A Buffalo PO Box is an excellent option for Canadians wanting to access US brands that do not directly ship to Canada. However, a package forwarder like Shippsy can eliminate the limitations and costly PO Box rental fees. Plus, you can enjoy more products without leaving the comfort of your home!


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