Even in this electronic age, for everything from offshore debit cards to buying a bus pass, you will be asked for a physical address.
What Kind of Maildrop is best for a PT?
The kind of mail drop you should use depends a lot on what you are trying to accomplish.
If you want complete insulation & don’t want anyone to know anything about you like your passport number, home address, etc. one way to do it is to get acquainted with the owners of a 2 or 3-star mom & pop Hotel.You could use a 5 star- but the tips expected would be bigger.
How to do it?
Just stop in and say you will stay there for a while in a month or 2. Then ask them if it is OK to hold or deal with your mail till you arrive. Usually, it shud be addressed “Hold for arrival + name you wish to use” You can always call or email them and ask
“Any mail there for me?”
You give the hoteliers a $10 tip now when you come in to make a pickup. Normally they won’t care what name you use or if you stay there or not. As long as you don’t bring them any heat.
You can always trade or get a free maildrop in exchange for favors, cash or your services from places you use. What Places? Hotels, real estate agents, friends, places that sell fone cards, even stamp and coin dealers if you give them some business. An unregulated mail drop [where they won’t insist on ID or utility bills, etc] is generally preferable to one that must keep a lot of records for the Postal Authorities and the Govt.
Is confidentiality an issue? Maybe it’s best to discuss your options with Grandpa …
If you expect very important mail, you must be wary of a fly-by-nite mail drop outfit that might disappear with your mail without notice. We had a maildrop close on us years ago while they were holding a new passport & driving license that was very valuable to us. We got it eventually–but it was a hassle.
Most users should and would rather pay more and get an established, legitimate service.
For general use all over the world, we like the MBE Franchise. They have offices in most countries at most international Airports, and almost anywhere there is a big Yacht Harbor. They are a dependable franchise outfit that will usually give you a price below the document or parcel shipping charges you would get on your own at say Federal Express or UPS.
MBE [Transport MBE Mail Boxes Etc] locations provide mailbox rental, packing, and shipping, faxing, black & white and color copying, printing and binding, mail receiving and forwarding, wire transfer of funds and office/packing supplies. They usually offer cyber-cafe facilities as well.
They want some i.d. and also proof of where you actually live. But we have found they will often accept an un-certified copy of ID and also a local hotel bill as proof of residence. They may accept & send really big shipments like 20 cartons of something or other.
Everything you do as a PT has a purpose, Who you use, what you tell them, and what info they shud have or not have depended on your purpose. Prices may or not be a factor.
Is a mail drop service a good business for a PT?
Normally not. A small percentage of users will be con-men selling fake college degrees, counterfeit i.d. or some other product that will bring the heat down on them. As PTs want to avoid confrontation rather than invite it, I do not recommend this as a PT business.
Maybe if it is entirely electronic –i.e. email & net related, OK.
Post your comments, thoughts, related personal experiences, corrections or questions below.