Getting a PO Box, wondering about different sizes

Essentially, I’m looking to get a PO Box at the local post office and thinking of going for the smallest option (because I’m a cheapskate). My parents used to have a PO Box when I was a kid, and anything too big to fit in had to be picked up from the counter.

With that in mind, what’s the advantage of paying more for a larger box? Is it purely the convenience of not having to wait in queue for larger items? I can’t see any reason to fork out any more if that’s the only benefit. And most larger parcels are going to need to be collected from the actual post office anyway.

Some people might need a big box because they get a lot of mail, or because much of their mail comes in larger sized envelopes. Most people would prefer to pick up at the counter as rarely as possible; the counter isn’t always open, and if it is, you may have to stand in a long line.

Some post offices have package boxes. You get a key delivered into your PO box if you have a package.

Another advantage of a larger box is that you don’t have to go the post office as frequently. I tend to collect my mail every week or two so having a larger box saves my having to go to the PO frequently to prevent the box from becoming over full. That said, it’s fairly amazing how much stuff they can squeeze into the smaller boxes. The only downside is that magazines and other larger envelopes can get a bit mangled in the smaller boxes if you don’t get there often enough to prevent some zealous over stuffing.

I don’t know if P.O. boxes are accessible 24/7, but I know they’e accessible many more hours than the service counters at my local P.O. If having access to my mail nights and weekends were important to me, I’d want a box at least big enough to handle magazines and larger envelopes without having to go back during business hours.

I just gave up my PO Box after 14 years. The boxes were accessible 24/7, and there were lockers for parcels. But if there were more folks getting parcels than the number of available lockers some folks had to get them from the counter.

I had a medium size box and catalogs etc were sometimes crammed in and damaged.

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Whatever you do, make sure they show you where the box is before paying for it. You don’t want a box that’s six inches off the floor and you need to get on your hands and knees to unlock it. :smack:

I guess it depends on your situation and that of your PO. I did fine with a small PO box, but when it overflowed it was usually easy and quick to pick it up (if there was a line I usually heard up the ‘yellow tag’ which would have a friendly postal employee ask me of that was all I had and get me my stuff).

Well, all points considered, I ended up opting for the smaller box. I’m not expecting a large amount of mail, and most parcels I get will be too big for even the biggest of the boxes available anyway. Maybe I’ll upgrade in the future but small will do me for now.

Lucky for me it’s at arm level. Though it still takes me a while to find because they haven’t bothered putting the boxes in numerical order for whatever reason.

Our post office has larger lockers for bigger parcels. They leave the key in your box so you can get your mail. We’ve had the teeny tiny box for years and have only had to go the counter for packages we have to sign for.

“Though it still takes me a while to find because they haven’t bothered putting the boxes in numerical order for whatever reason.”

Huh? Only curious–have you asked them why?

I’m not sure what kind of message this conveys to customers about the competence of this PO’s employees…

Fyi, another data point: The smallest-size box has always worked for me.

At our post office, the bigger boxes are usually snapped up by businesses since they get a larger amount of mail than the average person.