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How Much Does a P.O. Box Cost

By Bill Gassett | November 20, 2020

What to Know About P.O. Boxes

Are you considering getting a P.O. box? Do you know what a P.O. box costs? There are many reasons why you might need a P.O. box. Maybe you want to keep your home address separate from a business address, or you want to make sure you don't lose mail during a house move.

When people want to know how to change a mailing address, they sometimes opt for getting a P.O. box simultaneously.

But whatever your reasons for needing the P.O. box, you’ll need to know the costs involved. Let's take a look at how to get a P.O. box along with the what you can expect to pay.

How Much do Postal Boxes Cost?

What is the cost of a P.O. box

A few variables decide the overall cost of P.O. boxes; let’s take a deep dive.

Your location will matter

The prices for postal boxes are different all across the country. Demand for mailboxes will, of course, drive up the price. So if you're looking for a P O box in a major city, the expense is likely to be much greater than in a rural location.

Locations are separated into two categories - Competitive and Market Dominant - and each of these categories has different fee groups. There can be quite considerable differences in prices between the fee groups, however. For example, in the most expensive group, the largest size box costs $625, with the next most expensive group costing $380 for 6-months.

Also, not every post office location will have every available size of the mailbox. Even if you need a particular size, you may have to compromise based on what is available at your local post office.

Choosing the Right Size Post Office Box

How much space do you need in your mailbox? The more room you need, the more you will have to pay. Let's look at the available sizes, what you can expect to fit in those boxes, and the likely P.O. box costs.

Extra large box

If you expect to receive substantial items and parcels in your mailbox, extra-large might be the best choice. They measure 12” high and 22.5” wide, and so should be able to fit multiple boxes before you run out of space.

Since these are the largest available boxes, the disparity in prices between different locations will be the greatest. Expect to pay from $109 to $625 for 6 months. Not surprisingly, the larger the P.O. box the more costly it will be.

Large box

The next size down is half the width of the previous mailbox. Measuring 11” x 11” and capable of holding a couple of boxes plus lots of letters, this box costs from $62 to $400.

Medium box

The medium-sized mailbox is half the height of the large option, measuring 5.5” x 11”. They are capable of holding large envelopes and magazines as long as they're laid flat inside. The price range for this box is between $42 and $250. The medium-sized P.O. box is one of the more popular choices.

Small box

A small mailbox choice can hold 5 rolled up magazines or up to 15 letters. It measures 5” x 5.5” and prices start at $28 up to $150. The small P.O. box is also a great choice for many.

Extra Small box

The cheapest PO box will cost you from $21 up to $75 for 6 months rental. Costs for a 3-months rental are between $13 and $44. The box can hold two rolled-up magazines or about 10 letters, measuring 3” x 5.5”.

Most P.O. boxes will have a depth of 14.75”. Information about the pricing categories for post office locations can be found on their website.

6 or 3 Months P.O Box Rental?

Most of the figures we have given here are for 6 months rental, but you can sign up for just 3 months instead. It is more expensive per month to rent for 3 months, however.

For example, the largest box in the most expensive group costs $360 for 3-months and $625 for a 6-month contract. An extra $95 for the shorter contract if you end up renewing the box for 6-months.

Extra Costs

You have to pay a $4 deposit for your first two keys; if you need an extra key, this will cost $8. If the lock needs to be replaced or fail to pay on time, you will be charged $23.

How to Get a P.O Box

The easiest way to get a PO box is to go direct to the USPS website. There you can put in your ZIP code to find your nearest location. If you're happy with that location, you will be given the option to either reserve a box or join a waiting list.

If they have the size you want, you can choose your contract period. Then fill out the form with your payment information and details, and you'll then have 30 days to visit the post office with two forms of ID to collect the keys.

You can also get a P O box by visiting your local post office. You will need to fill out a form, and if you have two forms of valid ID, you will be able to pay and collect the keys right away.

Are There Other Options Other Than The Post Office?

If you are wondering whether there are other options besides getting a P.O, box there are other choices. One of the more popular ones is going with a box from UPS.

One of the advantages of using the UPS store is that you will get a real street address rather than a P.O. box number. Some businesses will prefer to have a real address rather than a P.O. box.

A significant advantage the UPS offers that the post office does not is package acceptance from all carriers, as well as notifying when packages arrive. You can also call in to check on mail too.

Final Thoughts on Getting a Post Office Box

When you are moving, there are so many tasks to complete. Whether you are gathering moving boxes, packing up your house, getting a moving truck, or putting your things into storage, there is a myriad of things to do. Getting a P.O. box is just another one of those tasks to add to your list.

Hopefully, you have found this guide to getting a P.O box and the associated costs to be useful. When someone asks how much does a P.O. box cost, you should have an answer.

Bill Gassett is an authority in the real estate industry with 38 years of experience. Bill is well respected for his informative articles for buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents to make sound decisions. His work has been featured on RIS Media, the National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Newsbreak, Credit Sesame, Realty Biz News, and his own authoritative resource, Maximum Real Estate Exposure. He has been on of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last two decades.
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