Should I use a PO Box to handle my companies returns?


I have a small online retail store and am trying to figure out the best way to deal with returns in terms of shipping address. I looked into virtual mail boxes which give you a physical street address but the problem is because I am receiving actual packages it will cost too much to have them forwarded to my house. I know a PO Box doesn't look quite as professional and requires me to go down to the post office with my 2 small kids in tow every day. I am hesitant to use our home address because (1) I don't want customers showing up and (2) I blog about my kids on our site and feel it is a safety issue to have our home address out there. I am leaning towards a PO Box being our best option. Anyone have any suggestions or input?

Business Process

asked Nov 30 '10 at 02:41
Earthy Crunchy Mama
40 points

3 Answers


We keep a mailbox at our local UPS Store. It's a standard street address with a box number. For about $10 a month you get all your mail and - unlike a PO box -they'll sign and receive any size package for you from any major carrier.

answered Nov 30 '10 at 06:57
Keith De Long
5,091 points
  • The only catch with this is if someone googles your street address they are likely to see 40-50 business there, one of which is the UPS Store. If you can afford a few bucks more you can get Virtual Office space, where if googled shows a nice big corporate building. Its just like the UPS store, but some wont give you all the package receiving for free. – Frank 13 years ago


Personally in the first instance I'd go for a commercial offering such as Mailboxes, etc. What that gives you is an address insulated from your home, manageable costs, and the ability to phone in and check whether you have mail instead of dragging your kids to the Post Office.

answered Nov 30 '10 at 02:55
Jeremy Parsons
5,197 points


Your best bet is to find a Mail box close to your home. If its not an actual PO Box (US Post Office) then you can list it as a # versus PO Box on your site.

Plus most of these mail places make extra money on shipping, (can probably get lower rates than you could alone), and can hold your packages until you pick them up.

I had one, it cost about $300 usd a year, with a very good address.

Last thing you want is customers showing up to the door.
I would use the address for everything related to your business, (banking, filings etc)

answered Nov 30 '10 at 02:51
2,079 points

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