Thread Number: 75226  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Mailboxes and newspaper boxes
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Post# 990478   4/12/2018 at 20:12 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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Previously I had a metal mailbox with a wooden fish head and tail fins. The fins had rotted. Late last year I replaced it with a plain black steel mailbox. I am still using the old aluminum post with decorative scrolls.

Some of my neighbors, such as the one across the street have those plastic Step 2 mailboxes in green or beige. Some like my neighbor's have another open compartment below. I'm not sure what this compartment is supposed to be for, as I've never seen these used for anything. Another thing is these mailboxes have another door on the back side, for picking up mail without stepping in the street. As my neighbor's mailbox is in front of my yard, the rear door doesn't really serve any purpose. I remember at one time, the lower compartment had a flap on the back side, but it since disappeared.

Another thing are those plastic newspaper boxes, which are supplied by the newspaper company. I'm not sure these were ever used either, as the paper is usually just tossed onto the driveway. I guess these newspaper boxes identify which houses get the newspaper.

I've also noticed some mailboxes have green or red round stickers that are reflective. I guess these identify if the mail is on hold or not.

Also, all of our corner newspaper vending boxes in my area disappeared awhile ago. Not sure why, seems inconvenient. I guess to get the newspaper I'd have to go to the corner store or a shopping center to find a vending box.

Post# 990482 , Reply# 1   4/12/2018 at 20:31 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Around here, you have to go 1/2 mile to the main road to get your mail in a big trailer park cluster of metal boxes. Newspapers may be delivered but after bad weather are stuffed 3 days worth in your box after you already read it on line, needless to say I dont subscribe. I have Informed Delivery thru USPS and get an e/mail every morning to let me know what is in my box or no e/mail and I wont bother to check it. When mail is on hold here, the mail carrier just puts an elastic band over the catch and knows to forward anything or hold it at the Post Office. Dots on paper boxes tell the carrier if it is an everyday delivery or just weekend.

Post# 990504 , Reply# 2   4/13/2018 at 03:52 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I have a heavy plastic "rock-look" mailbox with the back door too.  It also has a vacation drop inside it.  When we leave, I take the bottom out of the box and the mail falls down inside.  When we return, I take the key, unlock it and remove all the mail.  One year we came home to find a note inside from the mailman saying he was afraid to drop the mail in since the bottom was missing!  Had never had any problem prior to that.  Ever since then I tape a note inside the box hanging from the ceiling that says "please drop mail down into box".

Post# 990547 , Reply# 3   4/13/2018 at 09:15 by cadman (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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Finding an attractive, good quality mailbox is tough these days. There are some 'retro' creations now I could see myself springing for if I lived in the city and didn't have to deal with county plows and kids with baseball bats. I know our mail carrier isn't real happy trying to stuff small packages into our standard sized box, but those huge steel farm ones look awful to me.

Honestly, I've contemplated building one out of plate steel with some jaunty lines, but that's a project for another day.

As a kid, the neighbors up the street had a regular mailbox with a magnetic switch fitted inside and apparently wiring buried in the yard up to the house. Whether this rang a bell or tripped a relay, I don't know. Kind of a neat idea until some part of it fails and the owners say to hell with it.

Post# 990548 , Reply# 4   4/13/2018 at 09:25 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

I have a multiple-user steel pedestal mailbox shared by five neighbors and me. Each of us has a locked compartment about 12 x 14 x 6 inches. In addition, there are two parcel lockers (holds maybe four shoe boxes in volume) into which the mail carrier can place a parcel; the key is placed in the recipient's locked mail compartment. Way better than coming home to a yellow USPS receipt instructing you to pick up your parcel at the post office.

This way the carrier can quickly distribute mail for six households at one stop (we have small lots, distance is only several hundred feet). There is also an Outgoing Mail slot which is convenient, rather than searching for a blue USPS collection box. I had to mail four tax-related payment envelopes yesterday and did so from home. Design is nondescript, but form follows function.

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Post# 990562 , Reply# 5   4/13/2018 at 11:39 by golittlesport (California)        
Same thing here

We are in the OC too and have the same cluster boxes as Passatdoc. Gated community with 40 homes. There are two banks of boxes, one at each end of the community and each set serving 20 homes. Love this system. Secure and convenient, and as stated it is safe and easy to receive packages and deposit outgoing mail. There is a red curb in front of the boxes so no one can park and block access. Easy to walk or drive up to the boxes and collect your mail. I usually pick it up while out walking the dogs.

Originally, we had rural-type boxes on posts on the sidewalks when they built these homes. Nothing but trouble. Folks would park and block the boxes and mail would not be delivered. Sometimes packages stolen off front porches. They were obtrusive on the sidewalks and I thought they looked junky.

USPS offered to install the new boxes if we agreed to go to centralized delivery. A few people objected as they didn't walk to walk 15 feet to pick their mail. (Can you believe that? As if we have inclement weather here.) The pros outweighed the cons and the lazy people were outvoted. Now even the lazy bones like the new system and our sidewalks are cleared of those old eyesore boxes.

Post# 990836 , Reply# 6   4/15/2018 at 14:16 by superocd (PNW)        

I have a locking mailbox with a slot to drop mail and small padded envelopes. Even all my banking and financial stuff is done online, but invariably something comes in the mail with some type of identifying information on it. I rarely mail something out, so if I do, I take it to the post office.

Packages are tucked away on my front porch. Fortunately, I live in a pretty nice neighborhood, it's just that the riff raff can drive to any neighborhood of their choosing, even three or four towns away, and steal mail to commit identity theft or just look for packages to steal in hopes that it is something expensive.

As far as packages go, my wife and I do shop online very frequently, but a stolen package wouldn't sting as much as having a letter with identifying info stolen and being used to open and max out credit cards or whatnot.

I've never had any packages stolen but I would imagine that it would be lot easier to deal with than a singular piece of mail being taken--enclosed with a SSN or other identifying info--and being used against you.

Post# 990845 , Reply# 7   4/15/2018 at 15:09 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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I've seen those pedestal type grouped mailboxes in my area at some places where the houses are spread out and it's an unpaved road, for example. Sometimes I also see them at gated communities.

I typically take any envelopes I'm mailing to one of the big blue mailboxes at the shopping centers, or drop it into the slot at the little post office window at the shopping center. My mom was always big on NOT putting outgoing mail into the mailbox at the street, as she thought the raised flag was a red flag for thieves to take it.

Post# 990854 , Reply# 8   4/15/2018 at 16:32 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Those cluster type mailboxes are called or were called Super mailboxes in Canada when they debuted maybe 20 or so years ago.. At that time any new subdivisions would not get to the door delivery and would rely on those things. Over the years the govt has been trying to get rid of all home delivery to the front door. The previous govt had already started the process of cancelling it and putting those cluster boxes in older neighborhoods when it was stopped by the current govt.. But those that lost it are not getting it back and are stuck with them.. Fortunately our neighborhood was spared for now.. What really pissed a lot of people off was a comment made by one of the poohbahs of the post-office when he said "many seniors will appreciate being able to go for a little walk to the corner to pick up their mail" something along those lines almost verbatim. Yes.. granma really wants to walk down to the corner in sub freezing weather in a foot or more of ice and snow where she'll probably break her hip. This aint California.

Post# 990870 , Reply# 9   4/15/2018 at 18:54 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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I suppose the UK's postal service isn't so bad after all - we have 'to-the-door' deliveries, usually via the ubiquitous 'in-the-door' letter-box slot.

Where daft folk decided to replace their front doors, and forgot about postal deliveries, there are those lockable steel letter boxes mounted on the wall.

The postal service has dumbed down over the years. Ordinary post used to arrive before Noon. Nowadays, it is frequently afternoon; once recently it was almost 4pm!

Post# 990872 , Reply# 10   4/15/2018 at 19:32 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Ironically I meet my mail lady delivering every so often and she loves Max when I go to get the mail. She always leaves 2 Milk Bones for him in the box with my mail. She showed me how to get USPS informed delivery so I dont have to go 1/4 mile to the box when nothing is coming. Max always gets a special delivery.

Post# 990883 , Reply# 11   4/15/2018 at 20:08 by cadman (Cedar Falls, IA)        

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One thing I found surprising was a comment made by a German colleague when visiting the US. He was curious what the little red flags were on our mailboxes. Apparently mail delivery to the box is common in his part of Germany, but if you have outgoing mail you must take it to a central gathering point elsewhere. Talk about a pain in the butt.

Post# 990916 , Reply# 12   4/16/2018 at 01:07 by Brisnat81 (Brisbane Australia)        

Hi Cory

Australia is the same, delivery is to the mailbox in your yard, or to a PO Box, but to send you have to go and find a Big red post box.

The flags on mailboxes always seem a cute Americanism. As a kid I wanted nothing more than a mailbox with a flag on it. Iíd seen them on tv and I wanted one more than anything in the world. Luckily I didnít start collecting mailboxes as well.



Post# 990924 , Reply# 13   4/16/2018 at 03:14 by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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Only rural addresses in Canada use the mailbox on a post at the end of your driveway, with the flag . Never used in towns or cities like some in the US, not that I have ever seen

Post# 990938 , Reply# 14   4/16/2018 at 08:06 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Our post offices have also gone through a bit of a change and it is perhaps not an improvement.

Royal Mail was the overall brand and it deals with letters and parcels, but then ParcelForce (parcel delivery specialist) and Post Office Counters were separated, effectively becoming competitors to each other.

Recently, some standalone post offices have closed, and now some convenience stores have a Post Office counter. The problem is, the old (now closed) post office near me had reasonably good parking very close-by, and was quite easy to access.

The new convenience store-cum-post office is anything but convenient. It is stuck on a busy street in the town centre, with very little parking available, double yellow lines and a pedestrian crossing. I blame the idiot local councillors for allowing it.

Post# 990946 , Reply# 15   4/16/2018 at 09:09 by PassatDoc (Orange County, California)        

The USPS has been reducing the number of blue collection boxes. I'm in a suburban area and the nearest box is 1/2 mile away. There used to be one outside my office building, but that one is now gone. So I appreciate the outgoing mail slot in my cluster mail box. Don't use it much, but good to know it's there when needed.

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