Don’t be fooled by the name “freestanding collection mailboxes.” While these units are great for collecting mail, they have many more uses that a creative property manager or owner can find that will help your rental property, company, or organization.
Virtually everyone deals with mail, and will need a means to collect and store it safely. Freestanding mailboxes, if placed outdoors or in another area that’s always unlocked, can eliminate the need to have staff always available to accept drop-offs.
What Are Freestanding Collection Mailboxes?
These mailboxes are exactly what they say they are: they stand alone, typically outdoors, and have a simple slot for collecting mail.
- Most are made of durable aluminum that is made to stand up against damage and vandalism.
- Strong locks and tamper-proof doors help to prevent vandalism and theft.
- Mail enters a slot and then drops far enough into the unit to prevent thieves from reaching in and taking the contents.
- These mailboxes also come in a variety of shades and shapes, as they aren’t meant for USPS delivery and don’t need to meet as many requirements as USPS mailboxes. This allows your organization to choose one that will meet its specific needs and palette.
- Different door or slot sizes allow a variety of different items to pass through.
The Perks of Private Delivery
Many freestanding collection mailboxes are sold for private use, which means that they aren’t directly checked by or delivered to by the USPS. Rather, third parties use them to drop off mail and packages. This can be employees of your company, members of your organization, or even the public.
This may sound like this limits the use of these collection mailboxes, but private delivery means quite the opposite. Any mail receptacle sold for private use is free from the restrictions placed on curbside and centralized mailboxes. However, it is a good idea to adhere to the ADA, specifically Sections 305 and 309, and also place your freestanding collection mailboxes where your employees or the public can easily use them. After all, you want to keep your members or customers.
What Uses Can I Find for Freestanding Collection Mailboxes?
Of course, you can use freestanding collection mailboxes for mail and package drop-offs if your company isn’t open all the time, or if you get a lot of small packages from non-USPS carriers. They’re also great for mail delivery from business to business, or from within your organization. It’s possible to use a freestanding collection mailbox to gather mail from employees, and then have another employee take the mail to the USPS in one go in order to save time.
However, you can also use freestanding collection mailboxes for many other things, including:
- Rent Payments in Apartment Complexes and Other Multi-Family Properties
- Other Payments Such as For Services and Utilities After Hours
- Book Drop-Offs for Libraries and Schools
- Medication Drop-Offs
- Charitable Contributions for Clothing, Non-Perishable Food Items, and More
- DVD, CD, and Audiobook Returns
- Ballots (By Using Secure Ballot Boxes)
- School Assignments or Other Paperwork in Colleges, Universities, and Other Educational Settings
- Drop-Off For Paperwork or Tax Payments in Municipalities
- And More
Who Can Use Freestanding Collection Mailboxes?
Many organizations can use these receptacles for a myriad of purposes.
- Since libraries aren’t usually open 24/7, they’ll make good use of drop-offs, especially if patrons will be returning books, movies, or audio media after hours or during weekends. Using a drop box will increase timely returns and increase patronage, as they improve the convenience of using a library despite busy schedules.
- Voting Organizations. Any organization such as a county, township, or state can make use of freestanding collection mailboxes, so long as it’s a secure ballot vault. Election security is very important, and ballot vaults act as highly secure mailboxes for the drop-off of ballots, usually from a vehicle in an outdoor setting.
- Townships and Cities. For tax collection or other paperwork and payments, secure drop boxes can assist the public in dropping off their payments on time and help to collect revenue.
- All schools deal with homework assignments, book returns, and paperwork. Providing a drop box in front of a school library can aid in book return, and other drop boxes can be used for homework and projects.
- Churches and Nonprofits. Donations such as clothing, smaller items, and some food items such as canned and boxed goods can be placed into some collection mailboxes, particularly those models with larger doors. Delivery vault collection mailboxes can come with plastic totes inside for better handling heavier items.
- Military Bases. Large amounts of outgoing mail will need somewhere to go, so collection mailboxes are a great solution for collecting this mail before it is sent via the USPS.
- Many businesses can benefit from collection mailboxes for commercial deliveries, especially from non-USPS carriers or from business to business. Many can also use collection mailboxes to collect payments and paperwork.
- Medication Collection Sites. Freestanding mailboxes are often used to collect discarded or unused medication which can’t be thrown away or flushed down the toilet. Security will be very important for such collection mailboxes, so opt for a model with extra security, such as tamper-proof locks and doors.
- Apartment Complexes. Your residents will need an easy way to drop off rent, as some will be working during open hours and others may struggle with electronic payments. Providing multiple ways to pay will ease the stress on all involved.
- Collection mailboxes can also be used to collect utility payments, either to companies directly or to a city or township. This is useful for those who prefer paper mail and payments.
Which Freestanding Collection Mailbox Is Right for You?
If you have questions about which model is right for your delivery or drop-off needs, be sure to contact us at National Mailboxes today. We’ll answer your questions and help you meet the needs of you and your customers.