I admit, it was scary for me at first — just the thought of my personal documents being handled by someone else.
Still, I had been dragging myself to my mailbox or the post office, for too long, just to lug a pile of junk mail home.
Oftentimes upon arriving, I would find the entire mailbox panel open for anyone to help themselves. Not only that, but the USPS delivered more and more unwanted paper in my already small pigeon hole.
It was time for a change. I didn’t want a PO box, and using my home address didn’t seem to be working.
I started doing my research on virtual mail services - and midway through looking for the best virtual mailbox provider, I found a job opening in my area of expertise at the company.
A few weeks ago, I took the leap. I joined Earth Class Mail in July - both as a new customer AND as a new employee. After making the transition to a virtual mailbox, I wanted to share my experience on how I set up my account.
How to set up a virtual mailbox with Earth Class Mail
Step One: Choose a virtual mailbox plan
Visit the Earth Class Mail website and choose a plan. The options vary on how much mail you expect to receive, what address you want, and how many recipients you need on your account. Personal accounts might only need a few recipients, but if you’re a large business or receive mail for several different business entities, you may need a plan that allows for more recipients. (More information on what plan might work for you here)
Many small businesses also opt for a virtual office address, which allows them to operate a company without occupying office space while still maintaining a physical mailing address.
With any plan, Earth Class Mail receives your mail and scans it into a PDF. You can also set up your account to automatically deposit checks. Services also include storing mail or packages, secure paper shredding, and exporting of your digital mail to a popular accounting or cloud storage provider.
2. Create your account
Next, you need to provide your account and billing information. You’ll also see an order summary that confirms your virtual mailbox address on this page.
3. Review your order
Now you have a chance to review and make any changes to your choices and account information. Once you accept, you will see a confirmation screen.
4. Authorize Earth Class Mail to handle your mail
Opening other people’s mail is illegal - So how does Earth Class Mail open and scan your mail?
For security reasons and to meet legal requirements, the USPS needs to hear directly from you that you are authorizing Earth Class Mail to handle your mail.
To do that, you need to complete a form called USPS 1583. This form allows your mail to be opened and scanned or shipped to you.
Since this is an official document, it needs to be notarized. This could mean a potentially lengthy process of downloading the form, taking it to your bank, or finding a local notary to see you in person.
However, I was delighted to learn that Earth Class Mail has an online version of the form and step-by-step instructions. While I was still online, they prompted me to have 2 forms of identification ready.
One needs to be a photo ID, such as a driver licence or passport.
The second form of ID can be an official document such as a utility bill, voter registration card, or vehicle registration.
Then, you go to a free video call with a live notary. This step made an otherwise lengthy process fast and painless. The notary who helped me was efficient, customer friendly and the best part - it was all free to me. Earth Class Mail picks up the notary’s tab.
5. Change your address
The next and final step is to forward your mail to the virtual address Earth Class Mail provides by completing an online Change of Address form with USPS. When filling out a Change of Address form with the postal service, there are two options: Temporary or Permanent. It’s also a good idea to update your address with important senders, such as banks or credit cards that send paper statements, or enroll in paperless billing..
After you complete the form, expect several onboarding emails from Earth Class Mail. These will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about your new virtual mailbox and all the features now at your fingertips. Now, you’re ready to check your mail from anywhere in the world, on any device.
Still have questions? We offer live help with virtual mailbox set-up, too!
Email: [email protected]
Call: (210) 802-5211, press "1" for support
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