Mail Forwarding – What Is It, Who Uses It and Why?

What is Mail Forwarding?

Mail Forwarding is derived in meaning from the two words that make up this term: mail and forwardingMail consists of paper correspondence and packages and forwarding refers to transferring something from one place to another. Thus mail forwarding means to transfer paper correspondence and packages from one place to another.

Who Uses it?

It occurs world-wide. It is used as a service to transfer mail from an old address to a new address, or in order to get one’s mail at their residence from another location. The latter is the case when international customers use mail forwarding as a means to get items they have purchased online from US stores shipped to their overseas addresses; or in the case of Americans who are living temporarily overseas, such as with expatriots, exchange students, extensive tourists or military personnel.

When is it Used?

This service is used when it isn’t feasible for the customer (primarily due to logistics or finances) to pick up their mail at their former residence or the other location it is being forwarded from.

Who offers It?

Mail forwarding companies. You can find them online or by doing a search on search engines for the service itself. Additionally, you can find them in the reference section of your library or in the Yellow pages.

How Does it Work?

The customer gives legal permission (this is done simply by completing a short form from USPS) for the forwarding company to receive his or her mail. Upon receipt, the company contacts the company to inform him or her as to receipt of the mail. When the customer is ready to receive his or her mail, an invoice is prepared and given to the customer to pay. After that, the company sends the customer his or her mail.


What About a US Mail Forwarding Address?

The customer is given a US forwarding address at his or her request by the company, to use for delivery and receipt of mail. This generally consists of the customer’s name with the forwarding company’s address.

How Much Does it Cost?

There is not set price and in fact, this varies significantly according to each company. Some mail forwarding companies offer an annual service they charge upfront for, while others charge whenever mail is shipped per transaction. There are those that charge a monthly membership, while others will charge a flat service fee, and some charge a flat service fee plus value percentage.

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