If you have a Post Office Box, you aren’t going to be home and where you are doesn’t have reliable mail, or you move around a lot then you may have issues. Especially when you are supposed to receive a package or certain kinds of letters, you may not be able to receive them. PO Boxes come in handy for sure and give a sense of security, but there are businesses like Fedex and UPS that clearly state in their policies that they will not deliver to a PO Box. This can cause you problems when you are wanting to buy something online and have it delivered. So, what can you do to address this issue?

Well, the answer to this new age problem is actually an old school way of doing things. This answer is called General Delivery. This was created a long time ago when a lot of people didn’t have mailing addresses. What people did was just go to the post office every now and then to see if they had any mail waiting for them. This service is still available to this day, people just don’t realize it. There are plenty of rules that apply now that didn’t used to exist of course. You can find the whole list of rules online if you are wondering what they all are.

How to Use USPS General Delivery

The first thing you need to know to use this service is where the main post office in the city is. you could get General Delivery at a smaller post office, but your best bet is to go to the main post office where you are. If you can’t find this out, you can call USPS directly to find out at 1-800-275-8777, or you can call one of the post offices in the town you’re in and they will be able to tell you also. You will probably get a quicker answer from a local post office than calling the USPS number honestly.

The second thing you need to find out is what your General Delivery address will be. You may also want to get the street address of the post office as well because it could come in handy later on.

The format for a General Delivery address is as follows.

  • Your Name
  • General Delivery
  • Post Office Street Address
  • Your Town, State and Zip Code+9999

General Delivery is used in the address line and you want to use the zip code and 9999 to also indicate that this is General Delivery.

Picking up your mail that comes this way is a simple process. All you have to do is go to the post office, show them your I.D. and then ask for any General Delivery mail that may have came for you. You may be able to develop a relationship with the postal workers and not have to have your I.D. every time, but you shouldn’t count on this.

Does General Delivery Work For All Mail?

This doesn’t have an exact answer to tell the truth. It really depends on what you are having delivered and how much you are having delivered. If you are having huge packages delivered and aren’t showing up the day they are delivered or if you have a ton of letters being delivered and aren’t showing up to get them either, then the PostMaster has the ability to say no to holding your stuff for you.

You only have 30 days to get anything delivered this way and if you have too much stuff taking up room in the post office, they will start getting rid of it or turning it away. The PostMaster has total say over whether you can use this service or not.

Also, if the package you are having delivered is being delivered via UPS or Fedex, you could also run into issues. People have reported three kinds of outcomes when dealing with these companies and the USPS.

1. The package arrives and there were no issues at all with getting the package

2. The package was delivered, but the USPS wants to collect postage fees for handling the package for you

3. UPS or Fedex refused to deliver the package to the post office and therefore your package doesn’t show up

People say that if you are getting packages or letters delivered to you through General Delivery and are using UPS or Fedex, you should include the physical address of the post office to increase the chances of getting your package. When using the USPS to deliver the mail there isn’t really an issue ever.

Will Amazon Deliver to Your General Delivery Address?

Everyone knows that Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world. If you shop online there is a good chance that you have bought something, and had it delivered from them. Amazon uses their own delivery now, as well as USPS and UPS.

The fact that they use UPS makes it a little sketchy using your General Delivery address through Amazon even though they will allow the address on the website. You may be unlucky, and they use UPS to deliver your package and then UPS turns the package down and then you are left not knowing what happened to your package or where it is exactly. The call is yours to make with this one.

Engage with the PostMaster

The fact that the PostMaster has total control in the post office makes it really important to talk to them. You should go in and talk to them when they aren’t that busy. Let them know why you are using the service and ask them how you should handle it.

Make sure you ask about UPS, Fedex, and Amazon to see if they can help you out with those or if they are not going to help you out at all. Either way it is good to know ahead of time what you are getting yourself into.