Virtual addresses can be used instead of your own address to receive and distribute mail, as well as for services that ask you to provide an address. Find out what they are and how to get one.
You should use mail forwarding when you need mail sent on to an additional destination, after it’s been received somewhere else. There are many scenarios where mail forwarding can be of service, and it’s particularly useful for anyone who spends time away from home, wants to ship mail internationally, or wants more flexibility with their post in general.
If you’re new to mail forwarding and would like to learn more, you should read our What is Mail Forwarding blog, where we cover all the ins and outs of the service.
What type of mail can be forwarded?
Most mail forwarding services will allow you to forward both mail and parcels, but this depends on the provider you choose. If you’re forwarding mail overseas, you need to bear in mind that there may be restrictions on what you can send, as well as additional taxes and fees. Aside from this, you’re able to forward any mail you like.
Will mail forwarding forward parcels?
You can expect to pay a premium for Parcel Forwarding; they cost more to store, deliver and are subject to additional checks when being sent abroad. If you’re considering a Virtual Forwarding Address, you should check with your provider whether they also handle parcels, as they may not have the facilities to support this.
Who uses mail forwarding & when is the service useful?
Mail forwarding is a great service for people who move around frequently, have permanently moved abroad, run a business across several locations, and just about anyone who doesn’t live at a permanent, fixed address. Here are the sort of scenarios where our customers benefit from using our Mail Forwarding service.
During a holiday
Your holiday may be for five days, three weeks or four months; while you can control how long you’re away for, you can’t control the mail you receive while you’re away. By utilising a mail forwarding service, you can have your mail sent on to someone else, or even to you while you lounge on a sunny beach abroad.
Forwarding mail for business
Mail forwarding is great for businesses which operate across multiple locations, have travelling or remote workers, and just about any company that handles a lot of mail. It makes it easy to forward mail to your employees away from the office, or for when you need mail sent on to other businesses.
For elderly parents
There may come a time where your parents move out of their family home into facilities geared towards caring for the elderly, and they’ll no longer be able to handle their mail. Your parents may have been living at their home for a long time, which means there will be a lot of mailing records that match them to that address. In this scenario, you can have their mail forwarded onto you, or to their new permanent address.
Forwarding mail when moving abroad
For anyone who has moved abroad but still has a presence in the UK, such as expats, there will be UK mail items that need your attention. Mail Forwarding is particularly useful for anyone who used to live in the UK, as not only can you have your mail forwarded to family in the UK, but you can have it sent overseas to your new location.
For military personnel (HM Forces Mail)
Members of HM Forces will often be stationed away from their home address, meaning there are long periods where they won’t have mail access. Using a mail forwarding service means they’ll be able to get their important mail sent on to them.
The frequent address changer
Some people’s lifestyles mean that they have no need for a permanent address, and they’ll move around on a regular basis. While this sounds like an exciting way of life, it begs the question of what happens to their mail items? You could inform people of your updated address every time you move, but a mail forwarding address serves as a much simpler solution. You won’t lose track of your mail, and you’ll be able to action the important ones as and when they arrive. No more mail trail following you around!
While travelling abroad
Travelling abroad for any period is one of life’s greatest adventures, and amidst all of the route planning and accommodation booking, you may overlook what happens to your UK mail. With mail forwarding, you can have your mail join you on your adventures, or sent to someone else for safekeeping back home.
International Parcel Forwarding
Parcel forwarding is a must-have service for many people of the world. It’s sometimes the only way to access overseas products and is great for both the personal shopper and the e-commerce fanatic. Parcel forwarding can come in different forms with varying benefits; Some services may just offer you the option to have a package forwarded overseas, but here are some of the added benefits we provide to our parcel forwarding customers:
1. Shop and ship - parcel consolidation: If you’re buying from multiple UK retailers, let us know, and we’ll combine them into a single parcel before forwarding it on for you. It’ll save you money on shipping fees, and you’ll have less packaging to worry about!
2. Parcel storage: If you don’t want your parcel forwarded straight away, that’s not a problem either. We can store your parcel for you, ready for when you need it forwarded on.
3. Premium parcel app: You can manage all of your Parcel Forwarding needs online through our app, wherever you may be (as long as you have an internet connection).
Every UK Postbox customer will receive a Dedicated Courier Point address for their parcels included with their postal address. We also offer Shop and Ship fulfilment services for anyone who wants their UK parcels shipped internationally. Please bear in mind the customs requirements when sending parcels from the UK overseas.
Virtual Mail Forwarding - An improved Mail Forwarding service
Mail forwarding is an essential service for so many people; it simplifies an otherwise time-consuming process and gives people flexibility when managing their mail. But, we’ve taken mail forwarding one step further and used technology to improve how the service works. When you purchase any address with UK Postbox, you’ll receive access to our advanced mail management app, which allows you to read, manage and action all of your mail items online from any connected device.
In this example, we’ll look at how a business owner can benefit from Virtual Mail Forwarding over traditional Mail Forwarding.
1. You sign up to a UK Postbox business address
2. You update your mailing information to your new Business Address, which means your mail will be sent to UK Postbox.
3. Whenever we receive mail for you, you’ll receive a notification within our web app that something has arrived, and we’ll scan the envelope for you to view.
4. You log in to the web app, check out the mail item and let us know what you’d like us to do with it, such as:
a. Scan the contents of the letter for you to read online
b. Forward the mail on to an address of your choosing
c. Securely destroy the mail item
d. Store the mail item for you to action at a later date
The benefit of virtual mail forwarding is that you can choose on a case by case basis what you’d like done with your mail. You won’t need to forward everything you receive as a business owner, so having control over this, as well as the additional features, gives you much more flexibility over your mail management in comparison to traditional mail forwarding.