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A Guide to Collection Mailboxes

You may remember the days where you saw a blue USPS collection mailbox on every corner and in front of every business and apartment complex. These boxes had the iconic eagle on the side and were managed by the USPS. Anyone could walk (or drive) up and deposit outgoing mail, so long as it could fit through the slot, into the box for a USPS employee to collect. These boxes are convenient for those living in apartment complexes and those working in commercial properties.

However, these blue boxes have been disappearing over the past several years as the USPS re-evaluates customer needs. This means that customers have fewer collection boxes to use for their outgoing mail.

The good news is that if you manage a residential property, community, college campus, military base, or a commercial property, you can provide one or more collection boxes for your customers.

What Are Collection Mailboxes?

These types of mailboxes are designed to collect outgoing mail, usually through a door flap or a slot that the customer can slide mail through. A USPS employee will then collect the mail when he or she arrives to deliver to your property.  If being used within an organization, these mailboxes can be used for private (employee to employee) delivery as well. These mailboxes are locking, so that only a USPS or a private employee can access the mail deposited inside.

These mailboxes can handle letters, small outgoing packages, letter bins, and ballots, depending on the type.

Types of Collection Mailboxes

Thankfully, you can find the right kind of collection mailbox to fit your community, school, organization, or commercial property. You can even purchase these boxes for private delivery, where employees may deliver important documents or packages to other employees or a supervisor.

Some models of collection mailboxes are designed with USPS pickup in mind, and are already USPS-approved. Others are only approved for private use. A mailbox’s product description will tell you what type of delivery it’s appropriate for.

Beyond USPS and private use, the two main types of collection mailboxes are pedestal boxes and wall-mounted boxes. Many centralized mail delivery systems such as 4C horizontal mailboxes do include outgoing mail slots as well, but this blog will focus on the freestanding and wall-mount types.

Pedestal collection mailboxes are models mounted on a pedestal or legs. Some are simply freestanding without pedestals or legs. There are a few different types and they are typically found outdoors on commercial properties and in some residential communities.

Curbside collection mailboxes look somewhat like the iconic blue USPS mailboxes, with legs and a collection slot, and these are available for private use. They’re good for collecting rent payments and other items such as rented DVD’s, making them ideal for many communities and businesses. Bulk mail collection boxes are also available for private mail collection in an outdoor setting.

Letter lockers are designed for large institutions such as schools, airports, and military bases and they handle large amounts of incoming and outgoing mail, usually contained in bins. To use them for USPS delivery and pickup, you’ll need approval from your local postmaster.

Mail and package drop collection mailboxes are often USPS-approved and can be curbside. Mail and small packages can be placed inside using a hopper door for USPS collection. These boxes can be good for businesses who send out moderate volumes of mail. These models can be freestanding or come with a pedestal.

Wall-Mount Collection Mailboxes simply mount onto a wall. They’re good for indoor and outdoor use and are most ideal for letter and document collection. Like freestanding and pedestal boxes, they can be used for USPS or private mail collection and sometimes small packages.

Some of these collection boxes can be recessed into a wall, saving space. Some have mail slots for letters, while others have hopper doors and flaps. They are similar to door slots found in some offices.

Some types of wall-mount mailboxes can be purchased to add to existing centralized mail delivery, and these types are typically USPS-approved and good for apartments and other properties that already use 4C or 4B centralized mail delivery. These types can also be used alone.

Delivery vault collection mailboxes are excellent, high-security options for packages, and can be used by customers or employees to drop off packages or other items if the volume isn’t too high.

Benefits of Collection Mailboxes

All types of collection mailboxes are made of sturdy material such as steel or aluminum to keep outgoing mail safe. These collection boxes are also versatile, fairly inexpensive, and work for a variety of residential and commercial uses. Rent payments can be made on a resident’s own time, libraries can receive returns after hours, and businesses can send out large amounts of mail at once.

Convenience is valued by customers, employees, and residents alike. Saving extra trips to the post office by supplying a USPS-approved collection mailbox can reduce time and money costs for a business in the long run. Residents of an apartment complex or other community will appreciate close, convenient collection boxes for sending out mail and small packages, making them more likely to stay on for another lease term. An organization can easily keep all mail in one place, preventing loss of important documents, bills, and invoices.

Collection mailboxes are easy to install and come in a variety of colors to suit your business, community, or school.

Find the Right Collection Box For You

Different organizations have different needs, and the need to handle outgoing mail or customer deliveries is no exception. The type of box you’ll need will depend on your outgoing mail volume, security needs, customer needs, installation site, and more. Contact us today so we can help you determine which type of collection mailbox will best suit your organization.