I’ve had a good experience so far. Though the “website designed in the 90’s” problem always exists with these kind of things.
I am using https://www.usabox.com since a few years and it works well. They dont open your mail, but rather scan the envelopes. You can then decide if you want it forwarded or discarded. They use USPS flat rate enevelopes for forwarding which makes it really affordable.
This year im deciding to let my mom off the hook and get a virtual address.
I just created a top-level comparison of EarthClassMail vs TravelingMailbox: TMB looks like a clear winner for a primo NYC address. The only thing they dont offer that ECM does it seems is on-location pickup.
Here’s my affiliate link to signup for Traveling Mailbox
@TProphet That’s the method I use. You have to aggressively insist that nobody sends you anything, then have a backup (I use a friend’s house). The only thing that goes to the friend’s house is crap anyway, so it’s no real burden (if you ensure all your institutions send everything electronically).
I also recommend consolidating everything you can. I had a couple of different bank accounts, for example. Now everything is at one bank that is very easy to deal with remotely. I use one credit card that is very easy to deal with as well.
Make sure the companies you do business with have excellent customer service. This is key. I can easily get a real human on the phone at my bank in 30 seconds. As for a credit card, Capital One has actually been great to deal with as well. If you have a crap company, it mak es everything else more difficult.
Another Earth Class Mail user here. Agreed with @scotty the UI is terrible and it is not cheap, but it works well and the folks there are great. And you can use the same box for multiple people and companies.
I use Virtual Post Mail for my business. Like ECM, the UI is terrible, but it works just fine for me.
I like Traveling Mailbox; lots of my clients pay me like it’s 1999 (paper checks), and TM has never let me down with a deposit. Here’s a perspective on the matter from my partner in crime and travel: http://roguepriest.net/2013/08/22/dont-make-parents-open-mail/
Great post! I had the same plan when I first left home (only it was with a friend) and it was a disaster. Traveling Mailbox is a lifesaver for me. (now we’ve got dueling affiliate links!)
I look at it as if its a local economy question. I thought: why pay travelingMailbox company, when I can pay a local high school student, or a mom in my area to handle the mail. I live in a small town, so had a long talk about privacy, and security, then agreed. She scans what looks “important”, and emails it to me. All the junk I have her recycle or trash. Also, I had gone to “paperless” with most of my official documents, so its worked out ok. And she is saving for college!
Read the post 2 messages up. Blog post sums up the issues pretty well. It ends up being a huge hassle for the person receiving and scanning the mail. Also, who’s to say she misses something that doesn’t “look” important but actually is. For the small cost of a traveling mailbox, it’s definitely worth it.
Also, no one actually wants to do this for someone, even if they say it to be nice. Don’t hassle your loved ones.
I was thinking about giging my mom instructions for use a app like Scanbot to deliver my mail.
It can be set, to auto-upload all the scans to Evernote.
Again, it’s a huge PITA for the person receiving the mail. Just pay the $15 a month.
Mmh, in The Netherlands we do not have a fitting service like that.
Plus, it is just for months.
Ahh, I guess I’m looking from an American perspective. Sorry!
Been using Traveling Mailbox for about a month now and we’re very satisfied! They’ve been extremely responsive whenever we’ve had requests or questions, and the service appears to work flawlessly.
All these services require a notarized USPS form 1583.
I am in Thailand. Do I have to go to the embassy to get this notarized, or is some notary at a Thai bank OK?
Any notary should be fine. I used a private notary in Portugal without issues.
I’m using Traveling Mailbox. So far so good, but…somehow I forgot to fill out that USPS authorization form when in the U.S.
Now in Goa, India I’d need to find an embassy or consulate to ‘notarize’ that form… or I can’t get my mail scanned. This is a huge problem as I’m not taking a plane flight just to do this…
Overall, my mistake. Their support, interface and Portland based address is good.
I’m not sure if it’s the case in Goa, but many banks and post offices, as well as professional notaries can notarize the form for you (all over the world). It’s very unlikely that your only option is a consulate or embassy.
I’m surprised no one has mentioned state residency in conjunction with a mail forwarding/handling service.
For many years now I’ve been using Americas Mailbox, in South Dakota as my mail forwarding service. Unfortunately they only do forwarding, not document scanning The price is also not as competitive as others mentioned (such as Traveling Mailbox).
But the ability to be a South Dakota resident and have a drivers license is the primary reason I’ve stuck with them. My home state was requiring me to pay state taxes despite the fact I hadn’t lived there in over 6 years. They wanted me to prove residency elsewhere, which, being a digital nomad, I couldn’t.
In the end South Dakota is friendly to full-time travelers (most of which are elderly, retired, domestic full-time RVers), and I only need to return once every 5 years to renew my drivers license.