SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 34
  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Darren884's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southern California, United States
    Posts
    1,616
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Question Do you think its necessary to have a PO box?

    Do you guys think its necessary to have a PO box for online stuff? I just moved and am wondering if I should have a PO box in the new city I live in? What do you think?

  2. #2
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    16,869
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Most delivery services will not deliver to a PO Box so you'd only be able to use it for regular mail.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  3. #3
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    from Madrid to Heaven
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    246 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I think that a regular, normal address is better but a PO Box may come handly for certain things

  4. #4
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,840
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Personally I feel more comfortable having a PO box for my business so that I don't have to worry about some disgruntled user tracking down my home address/phone number and causing me and my family grief.

  5. #5
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    from Madrid to Heaven
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    246 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by tke71709 View Post
    Personally I feel more comfortable having a PO box for my business so that I don't have to worry about some disgruntled user tracking down my home address/phone number and causing me and my family grief.
    In depends on the type of business and if you have an office or not, but it is true that many packages can't be delivered to a PO Box.

  6. #6
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,840
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    In depends on the type of business and if you have an office or not, but it is true that many packages can't be delivered to a PO Box.
    Packages can come to my house, I'm not worried about someone who works at Amazon stalking me. I just don't want someone who is smart tracking down my home information from public sources like whois and the such. If they track down my PO box, or pay as you go cell phone number, I don't really care because none of that is going to let them show up at my house with a baseball bat because I banned them from some site I own that they're obsessed with or because I declined their refund request.

  7. #7
    Community Advisor silver trophy

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,559
    Mentioned
    40 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I'd agree it depends on what kind of business you do, but I find that you build trust by having a real landline number and a real address. I'm reluctant to trade with any entity that feels the need to hide their location, it strikes me as a bit 'fly by night', and apart from the legality (here in the UK, companies trading online have to publish their registered office address) it puts doubt in mind about the professionalism of their operation.

  8. #8
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    from Madrid to Heaven
    Posts
    8,265
    Mentioned
    246 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
    I'd agree it depends on what kind of business you do, but I find that you build trust by having a real landline number and a real address. I'm reluctant to trade with any entity that feels the need to hide their location, it strikes me as a bit 'fly by night', and apart from the legality (here in the UK, companies trading online have to publish their registered office address) it puts doubt in mind about the professionalism of their operation.
    That's also true.

    TKE, I agree with you on protecting your privacy but having a regular address is better than a PO Box. That's one of the reasons why having an office is so good!. Unless that you're doing a special promotion and expect lots of letters... then a PO Box is the way to go.

  9. #9
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    5,774
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post
    I'd agree it depends on what kind of business you do, but I find that you build trust by having a real landline number and a real address. I'm reluctant to trade with any entity that feels the need to hide their location, it strikes me as a bit 'fly by night', and apart from the legality (here in the UK, companies trading online have to publish their registered office address) it puts doubt in mind about the professionalism of their operation.
    Hmm. Consider my situation: I live in a very small community, so small actually that the post office does not deliver mail to the homes or businesses around here. We are forced to have a P.O.Box in order to receive mail at all. Hiding? Certainly not.

    The package carriers deliver to the street addresses. When a merchant addresses the package with our street address and the package is shipped by post office, it is rejected by the post office as an invalid address and send back. The credit card companies want the mailing address (P.O.Box) as the valid address, not our street address. When we order merchandise merchants crosscheck the addresses with the post office database, and since we are not a street address, the post office does not have us in the data base. So we do not exist.

    It is a nightmare for us. We run our businesses out of our residence, and because we are forced by the post office into this situation we are fly by night?

    And think about how many people run their businesses out of their residences today-- the internet made that possible--you should reconsider your attitude Many people now have the possibility to live where they want to through the internet, so many choose to live away from the busy centers and move to small communities with rules of mail delivery that are similar to the situation we face.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  10. #10
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    16,869
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If you are going to use a PO Box address as where you want people to send mail to you should also list your street address so that those who are wary of fly-by-night operations that work out of PO boxes can see that you are not trying to hide by using the PO Box.

    Too many people have sent money to PO Boxes and then not received their purchased goods and had no way to follow up to ever trust an operation that only lists a PO Box.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  11. #11
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    5,774
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    If you are going to use a PO Box address as where you want people to send mail to you should also list your street address so that those who are wary of fly-by-night operations that work out of PO boxes can see that you are not trying to hide by using the PO Box.
    Yes, that is true, and we do list both. But when you deal with bureaucrats and banks and such, they often do not accept two addresses. When mail is send by post office and the street address is included, the mail people cross the street address out.
    There are also problems with merchant's sites where there is a possibility to fill in both addresses, but they choose to use only one. Often we make a call to clarify this. But it is a hassle.

    When I ship packages to customers I do not include our street address, because I do not want them to drop in on one of their vacations . A P.O.Box is fine for doing business IMO. I do not deal with cash, only credit cards and PayPal so people can always draw their money out of the process if they feel that they got cheated. It has never happened
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  12. #12
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,840
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Too many people have sent money to PO Boxes and then not received their purchased goods and had no way to follow up to ever trust an operation that only lists a PO Box.
    And no one has ever entered their credit card info into a site with no clue as to who the payment processor is or where the site is located and had the site owner take off with their money.

  13. #13
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    16,869
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Yes, that is true, and we do list both. But when you deal with bureaucrats and banks and such, they often do not accept two addresses. When mail is send by post office and the street address is included, the mail people cross the street address out.
    When registering a domain you can supply multiple addresses so that both the PO box and the street address can appear in the whois info.

    When setting up a contact page on your site you can provide both the addresses specifying which one that people must use - that way ythey can send to your PO box while still having a real street address as a fallback so they know they will still have a way to contact you if you closed down the PO box (not that you would in your situation but then they don't know your situation unless you tell them).

    When actually sending out goods or ordering goods there would be no need to specify both addresses - you simply specify the one that you need them to actually use. That just leaves you with your specific problem of places that refuse to send to a PO box where your post office will not deliver to the street address. I'd have thought that it would have been sensible for the post office to allow you to set up a permanent mail redirect from your street address to the PO box in that case though.

    Most of the cases I have seen that don't allow PO boxes the package isn't being sent through the post but is being delivered by a courier and so the courier wouldn't have access to the PO box to deliver the package there and the package wouldn't fit the PO box even if they could deliver it there. (Strangely though one of the four books I had delivered to me this week was delivered by the postal service rather than a courier even though all four were labelled the same way on the actual packages - so I guess there's no guarantee of how something will end up being delivered).
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  14. #14
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    5,774
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    When I get an order coming in I send an email notifying the customer when the goods will be shipped, I also include the send-back addresses, clearly telling them how to ship with what carrier if they need to return the merchandise. I will not include my home address to be read by all that wish to have this information in passing. Whois posts this information for our company name, which is an umbrella for our differing businesses. But most people do not know about Whois. If somebody wants to find this information for whatever reason that is easy enough by reversed telephone directory.

    I have not had any problem with customers ever because they do not have my home address, and I have done much business all over this country.

    The post office here in the US is run by the Government (rolleyes). Just last week we tried to convince some higher ups in the system to please include the addresses in our area into the database. It took all afternoon but to no avail. They are bureaucrats and that is that.

    I think today with people doing business online, there is no need to give a physical address. If you charge the cards through a reputable gateway and/or have the customer pay through PayPal, people will not hesitate.

    Oh, our post office has special lock boxes for super large packages. They put a key into the P.O.Box so when you go there after office hours there is access to the shipment.

    Interesting too, when I applied for my new resident card (I still am a German citizen), the homeland security office through which this runs, sent the mail to the street address, even after I had written this P.O.Box with explanation on the forms. Numb-heads.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  15. #15
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    16,869
    Mentioned
    25 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Datura View Post
    Oh, our post office has special lock boxes for super large packages. They put a key into the P.O.Box so when you go there after office hours there is access to the shipment.
    That sounds useful. Whenever someone is silly enough to send large packages to my PO box they just sit at the post office until the post office give up and return it to the sender since I have no way of getting to the post office when it is open to collect anything that doesn't fit the box. I only use the PO box address for a couple of categories of mail that would be expected to fit the box so the only packages that get sent back are ones that shouldn't have been sent to that address in the first place. The lock box idea would solve that problem but since the charge for PO boxes here is based on the size of the box implementing that would remove the difference between the box sizes.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  16. #16
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    5,774
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    The lock box idea would solve that problem but since the charge for PO boxes here is based on the size of the box implementing that would remove the difference between the box sizes.
    Yes, our boxes are different in size as well, cost is different for those too. But the extra large boxes are part of the service, no extra charge. But they really only put over-sized things in there. If a person has a small box and gets normal mail that is too large on a regular basis, they have to purchase a larger box.

    We actually like that we have to pick up the mail, that keeps the ugly boxes off the road, it also entices people to take a walk to the post office. It also is a great place to meet up with people that we normally do not see
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  17. #17
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    8,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    It's rather ironic this subject come up, I am wondering the same thing myself, I don't want clients turning up on my doorstep (as I work from home rather than an office) but I want people to feel like they can write to me (if they want to use snail mail), in respect to phone calls I am considering using a SkypeIn number so people have a physical phone number to call which redirects to my Skype account (via voice), this eliminates the need for calls at 3am round my house, but for mail I feel unsure about using a PO box address as they are very limited and not actually that anonymous (in terms of helping reduce the chances of someone finding where you live) - not in the UK anyway that I am aware of. Are there any genuinely decent cost-effective solutions out there?

  18. #18
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    5,774
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Are there any genuinely decent cost-effective solutions out there?
    UPS has a mail box solution. You can rent a box there, they notify by email when mail has arrived, they also let you use the street address that their office is located at as your own address. It is available in the US this way, I do not know about the UK.
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  19. #19
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    8,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    See in the UK we only have the conventional post office (UPS do deliver in the UK but their a private courier / business delivery system rather than a provider of services outside signed mail delivery), and our post office system REALLY sucks, the UK's mail system is pretty hideous

  20. #20
    I Love Licorice silver trophybronze trophy Datura's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Florida USA
    Posts
    5,774
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    See in the UK we only have the conventional post office (UPS do deliver in the UK but their a private courier / business delivery system rather than a provider of services outside signed mail delivery), and our post office system REALLY sucks, the UK's mail system is pretty hideous
    bummer

    In the US there used to be a company, rather large actually with affiliate owners, called MailBoxes. UPS bought them out. They have storefront facilities where you can ship stuff, have things packaged for you, do copying and all the office stuff too. They have also a bank of mail boxes. They are all over the country. Maybe this system will be eventually adapted in the UK, unless your laws forbid this kind of competitionů
    Ulrike
    TUTs: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard Darren884's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Southern California, United States
    Posts
    1,616
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well guys reason I ask is I have been reading a book called How To Be Invisible and the guy has some pretty good points. I think I will pick up a PO box this week or so.

  22. #22
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    8,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I am thinking perhaps I'll list my home address but just have a note attached to it that it's intended for mail only (as I am a freelancer and don't have an office). Most people will understand that (they wouldn't want some client turning up at their house), but I think it'll give me more credibility to have a "real" address listed for people who need to send me real letters (than to have some generic PO box address), I'll use a separate phone number though.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Near the US capital
    Posts
    119
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you have a professional sounding address and you have a home occupational permit then I'd stick with that. If not, then I'd use a P.O Box. They are inexpensive.
    www.PinitUp.Net world's first infinitely expanding virtual board.

  24. #24
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    8,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    We don't need one of those in the UK, over here you can work from home (without a license) however if you do more than use your house in the normal way you need to have the premises meet certain requirements. But as all my work is conducted through a computer I don't need to comply with those regulations as my office is technically virtual (just conducted via my house). After all, using a computer isn't just business for me, it's a non-work thing too.

  25. #25
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    5,840
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Most people will understand that (they wouldn't want some client turning up at their house)
    Until you get some nutjob client who is pissed at you about something and wants their money back knocking at your door and yelling at your wife about how you're a crook and a hack.

    It's not the "most people" that are the problem.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •