How do you send/receive mail?

It may be a weird question, but after seeing all the postboxes on PX’s 15th birthday, I started wondering how everyone sent and received their postcards (and the rest of their post).

Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?
Do you have to visit a post office?
Do you have to leave your house?
How does mail arrive to you?
How often is it delivered?
How do you purchase stamps?

In the US, we have mail delivered 6 days a week (all days but Sunday, and even some packages are delivered on Sunday). In general, it arrives just after lunch for us.

We live in a (detached) house, so we have a mailbox at the end of our driveway (where we park our cars). The postman drives around in his mail truck from house to house depositing mail. During the Covid quarantine, I learned very well what his route was and how long it would be until the mail arrived!

We just have to walk to the road and deposit our cards that we want to send and pick up any mail that arrives. If the mail has already arrived for the day but we want to send the mail, we can take the mail to a nearby post office or other collection site that accepts mail until a later hour. (The latest place around us can accept mail until 8:00 pm.)

As for stamps, I mostly place online orders which are mailed to me, but sometimes I go to the post office to get some, especially if I need some sooner rather than later.

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Hi, I asked 3 questions about mail delivery in a lottery I’m doing & I’ve received replies from 25 countries so far. I’m hoping to put the answers into a wiki later on. There’s already a wiki that has many countries postal rates for stamps (I’ve added the link below). It’s fun to find out more about each other’s postal systems. They are so essential!
I asked the following:

1.How many days a week do you normally receive mail in your country?
2.Does your post office deliver mail on Saturdays?
3.Does your post office deliver mail to you more than once a day?

Postal rates wiki - if your country’s rates aren’t listed, please add them.

Maybe you’ve already seen it, but Postcrossing did do some official polls and got some fairly detailed statistics on the subject: Your nearest place to send mail

Anyways, here are my answers to your questions:

Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?
Technically yes. It’s outside so I’d have to walk. There’s an outgoing mail box in my apartment complex but I’ve actually never used it.

Do you have to visit a post office?
The closest post office is only a couple blocks away so I find it a little silly if I don’t visit it. Since it’s right across from the grocery store, I generally drop off my mail whenever I’m also on a grocery run.

Do you have to leave your house?
Yes.

How does mail arrive to you?
It arrives in my mailbox, which is just a short walk from my front door. It usually gets delivered some time in the early afternoon.

How often is it delivered?
Once a day, except Sundays.

How do you purchase stamps?
Mostly online because I get the largest variety there. The local post office, unfortunately, runs out of the popular stamps very quickly. And it’s next to impossible to get Christmas/holiday stamps there because they sell out so fast. But if I need to actually wait in line for anything, I do go ahead and buy some extra stamps anyway. Can’t hurt to have more.

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I could walk to my postbox in my block, but I prefer to go to the postal outlet(privatized sadly) because it gets picked up faster & gets off on it’s journey sooner that way.

Mail in theory is delivered 5 days a week, but I generally only get it 3-4 days week mostly due to staff cuts & bad re-organization by Canada Post management. During Christmas or pandemic rush periods we sometimes get parcels delivered on Saturdays.

I mostly buy stamps online now as I can get the selection I want. I do buy some at the outlet, but I’m learned from Postcrossing that many other countries have way more stamps choices than we do in Canada.

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I have to walk to the post office and post boxes.

We don`t have many stamp designs.

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What an interesting topic! Let’s see…

Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?

Yes. I live in small village and the nearest box is about a kilometre away. It is along our puppy walk route so I just take the mail out when I am walking dogs. I usually prepare week’s mail on weekend and send on Monday unless I have promised otherwise or it is holiday so I have time to write cards and such during week too.

Last winter one of my neighbors accidentally drove over the postbox with a tractor (luckily it had been emptied before the accident!) and we had to wait for a month and half to get a new one… During that time I took the mail to work with me and dropped in the first postbox I could find during my work route.

Do you have to visit a post office?

Technically we don’t have post offices but these “service points” located into shops act like one. Nearest to me is 25 km away so I usually don’t use it for sending unless I am not sure of the postage or I need to custom declare the sending. But that place is also the one I get my weekly groceries from so technically I visit them every week, I guess.

Do you have to leave your house?

Yes, I get my mail into a mailbox standing in row of exactly identical mailboxes along the road. However, I did quite few to door orders this past summer so now the mailman sometimes gives me my post from the car if I happen to be at home and out when he comes. Wouldn’t call it “have to” however, I just check the mail when I come from work and walk past it.

How does mail arrive to you?

The guy comes with a light blue car :slight_smile: They are el-cars tho so they usually manage to sneak past before I notice them. In the cities I have seen them using these funny, mini-car things that are surprisingly fast.

How often is it delivered?

So far five times per week, but there has been lot of talk about starting the every second day (aka. 2 or 3 times per week) delivery.

How do you purchase stamps?

I buy mine online from PostNord’s shop because the service point is so far away. Also sometimes you get a free gift when you use the online shop and there you can select from all the stamps available. The service point usually have only one or two different ones and once I accidentally bough all they had (very small place that one)

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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?

  • yes, but it’s just across the street, so a 50 meter walk

Do you have to visit a post office?

  • only when I want to :wink: or to pick up packages

Do you have to leave your house?

  • yes, I live in an apartment building and the mailboxes are located in the hallway on the ground floor of the entrance next to mine

How does mail arrive to you?

  • the mail carrier drives a cute little red electric car and drops the mail in my mailbox

How often is it delivered?

  • every other weekday (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, then Tuesday & Thursday the following week)

How do you purchase stamps?

  • online
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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?
Yes, i have a postoffice close to my home.

Do you have to visit a post office?
Yes, In UAE having a home delivery option for normal post will be additional cost. So i have rented P.O.Box in head post office. Used to check weekly once.

Do you have to leave your house?
Yes, i did not take the home delivery option.

How does mail arrive to you?
It is dropped into my P.O.Box and i collect weekly once. But if it is registered post i get SMS to my
hand phone. So i can collect it from the counter depending on the package size.

How often is it delivered?
Am not sure with this information.

How do you purchase stamps?
I can get definite stamps from all the postoffice counter, it is the standard stamp design. So in order to make more interesting i buy stamps from EMIRATES PHILATELY CLUB for different commemorative issues. Nowadays we are seeing stamps are issued with the value of AED 3 (this for sending postcard to most part of the world)

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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?
Yes. There is luckily one over the road from my house, so it’s often a short walk! But sometimes I’ll take myself on a longer walk to see what other postboxes I can find, and I post them there.

Do you have to visit a post office?
No. I only visit a post office if I need to buy some stamps, though I now have switched to buying most of them online.

Do you have to leave your house?
Yes.

How does mail arrive to you?
We have a mailperson who walks with either a bag of post or pushes a trolley of post, and they post the postcards through the letterbox. We have a shared letterbox with the flat downstairs, so I just have to go find the ones for me!

How often is it delivered?
6 days a week.

How do you purchase stamps?
I either get some from the post office or I order them via Philatelink Ltd (UK).

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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?
We don’t have postbox anymore. When we want to send something, we must go to post office. If you visit my country and see a postbox on the street or anywhere outside post office, don’t use it. It’s not working.

Do you have to visit a post office?
Yes.

Do you have to leave your house?
Yes.

How does mail arrive to you?
Can’t answer. I use PO Box.

How often is it delivered?
Can’t answer. I use PO Box. Usually I checked it twice a week. During pandemic I only check it once a week.

How do you purchase stamps?
In philatelic office, in post office counter, or online through https://filateli.co.id/

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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?

Yes, in most places in Germany the mail won’t be picked up at home. But in some rural areas the mail carrier might do so :wink: It’s different for parcels though.

Do you have to visit a post office?

No, but it’s a possibility.

Do you have to leave your house?

Yes! :slight_smile:

How does mail arrive to you?

Most houses have their mailboxes attached next to or close to the front door or (on larger properties) at the street in front of their house. The mail carrier transports all the lovely mail by bike (which is common in urban areas in Germany, in rural areas with more spread out houses mail is delivered by car).

How often is it delivered?

Officially Mon-Sat, but often private mail won’t arrive on Mon.

How do you purchase stamps?

Personally I’ll buy them online at the official post site, but of course we can get them in post offices or even many kiosks etc.

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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?
Yes! I have a townhouse, and our mailboxes are located in a cluster - each box like a PO box with a lock.

Do you have to visit a post office?
Not unless I’m mailing a package. My local post offices aren’t the most efficient, and the times I’ve gone to buy stamps, they have a very limited supply.

Do you have to leave your house?
Yep!

How does mail arrive to you?
From the USPS to my box.

How often is it delivered?
Monday-Saturday

How do you purchase stamps?
Almost always online.

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I buy my stamps at the post office and put my mail out in our black mailbox at the end of our driveway. :mailbox:

I live on the outskirts of a small town.

Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?
Yes. Thankfully the closest one is only a few minutes away.
Do you have to visit a post office?
Not really. Before I returned to postcrossing I would go to the nearest post office (fun fact: located directly in a small grocery store) to buy stamps. But since they only have machine printed stamps it’s no longer worth it :grin:
How does mail arrive to you?
Via the postal worker on a bike! Usually around 9 am I can check my mailbox for new stuff.
How often is it delivered?
Monday to Friday. I’ve got some parcels delivered on Saturday but I think that was a separate service :thinking:
How do you purchase stamps?
Online! So I can choose all the nice designs and combinations and have it all thought through.

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I live in a small village. There are only two streets. So nothing here at all but a public letter box :grin:
Mail gets picked up Monday to Saturday at 9am. Since this village is so tiny it takes me less than a minute to walk there.

There are post offices in nearby towns. Many postoffices are outsorced and included into other stores, mostely smaller ones and are run by these store owners. I rarely go there.

I buy my stamps online at the online store of Deutsche Post. I have a lot more variety that way not just the one design they sell in the post office. Bigger cities with bigger postoffice have more variety in stamps but the small ones here do not.

I get mail delivered to my house Monday to Saturday. Monday the mailman comes rather early between 9am and 11 am. The other days I get my mail between 1pm and 4.30pm

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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?

  • No, there’s a community mailbox inside my apartment building.

Do you have to visit a post office?

  • People in cities don’t need to, they can just drop it off at a mailbox near their home. People in small rural towns might need to go to a post office.

Do you have to leave your house?

  • Yes for anyone living in a house, and for some living in an apartment building. Some apartment buildings like mine have community mailboxes inside the building.

How does mail arrive to you?

  • Most people who live in houses need to walk to a community mailbox near their house, few houses in Canada still have mail delivered to their home. Most apartment buildings have a mailbox for receiving mail inside the building.

How often is it delivered?

  • Before COVID-19, Monday to Friday in cities, not sure how it’s like in small towns. With COVID-19 it’s almost daily with a skipped day every once in a while.

How do you purchase stamps?

  • Sometimes I order them online through Canada Post, and sometimes I buy booklets at post offices.
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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send? - Yes but its only 3 houses down from me

Do you have to visit a post office? - To buy stamps
Do you have to leave your house? - Yes
How does mail arrive to you? - Post man or woman
How often is it delivered? - Monday - Saturday
How do you purchase stamps? - Local Post Office

These are my answers from Northern Ireland :slight_smile:

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My experience with mail has changed now that I live in an urban area in Los Angeles (Santa Monica), California. I previously lived in Houston (Texas) and SF Bay Area (also California).

I assumed that USPS would work similarly all across the US…apparently not! The main difference I’m experiencing in LA is that we need to take our outgoing mail to a postbox on the street corner (every other street corner has a blue USPS postbox). There is no way to send mail from the mailbox where I receive my mail. Outgoing mail (in the blue postboxes) is picked up by a different mail truck than the one that delivers incoming mail.

At the moment we don’t have a lot of Turkish participation on the forum, so I’d like to answer @TheBeaverFamily’s questions with my experience from living in Turkey (2011-2018). :tr: I lived in two different parts of town during those years, and the mail service differed.

:tr: Do you have to walk to a postbox to send? Yes, always. Turkey doesn’t seem to have the concept of sending outgoing mail from home.

:tr: Do you have to visit a post office? It’s safer to send mail from the post office. Unfortunately, many people use the yellow postboxes on the street for trash and cigarette butts :smoking: …and the mail is not reliably collected every day. Several times, the mail sent from a street postbox never arrived.

:tr: Do you have to leave your house? Yes

:tr: How does mail arrive to you? My 1st apartment: The PTT would deliver mail to the apartment managers, who would deliver it to the apartment building’s mailboxes. At my 2nd apartment, a PTT person would walk into the apartment building and put mail directly in our boxes. However, I experienced stolen mail and a trainee mail person who (probably) threw away 2 registered packages and at least 20 postcards in 2017. :cry: They never found any of these items. I’ve heard similar stories from my Turkish Postcrossing friends… So there is a lot of variation in the postal service in Turkey!

:tr: How often is it delivered? At my 1st apartment on a university campus, the mail came very sporadically, maybe once a week, maybe once every 1-2 months. I hated it! Mail delivery usually slows down during the holy month of Ramadan. At my 2nd apartment, our mail was more reliable, delivered M-F (and I received mail on Saturdays a few times, maybe it was delivered very late the Friday before).

:tr: How do you purchase stamps? In 2011, I would take a minibus to the central post office in Ankara, an hour-long trip. There, you can sit in the philately office with an employee, who shows you all the books of available stamps, and buy a great assortment of stamps directly from there. I felt bad about taking so much time to choose my stamps, so in 2012, I started ordering from the PTT philately website. It was easier to take my time, change my order, and get access to all available stamps without the 2-hour round-trip bus ride. Sometimes I would buy a few stamps directly from my closest post office, but their selection was always small, and they didn’t have the prettiest stamps available.

:tr: One of the strangest things about Turkish PTT is that it’s only possible to buy multiples of small-denomination stamps directly from the post office – from the philately office, small-denomination stamps are sold as part of sets that contain higher-priced stamps. You might need fifty 0,35 lira stamps, but who’s going to use the fifty 15,00 lira stamps that are part of the set?

(Also weird, they often raised the price of postage with no warning, and without already printing new stamps that have the new value. So people would struggle to paste the correct price with stamps available.)

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Thanks for your responses about Turkey. I have been living here for 3 months now and am only now sorting out how mail really works, so I was hesitant to answer.

My experiences so far in Istanbul that I would add to yours …

The yellow mailboxes also only exist outside post offices, so there is no advantage to be gained from using them.

Mail to my home address works as follows: All mail for the occupants of the apartments is crammed into the decorative metal on the street door. Someone maybe brings it inside and crams it into the metal on the staircase railing. You can find your mail in one of those two places (assuming it hasn’t blown away outside or blown down into the basement inside).

As a result, I have a P.O. Box!

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Do you have to walk to a postbox to send?

  • Well, since i use office address so the card will show at front desk when i come to work every morning
    it’s weird i know but when i use home address, post man delivery delay and it got lost sometime
    i use my workplace address since 7 years ago and it cool!

Do you have to visit a post office?

  • I’m visit 2-3 days per week because i’m not trust postbox at street, ah i know postman will pickup them but i’m comfort more if i send it with officer (even i have to explain about rule send card every time when i change post office)

Do you have to leave your house?

  • Yes, of course. I work Mon-Fri. and card coming everyday to me

How does mail arrive to you?

  • Postman will drop at office building at front desk : )
    If Monday people will call me to pick postcard and it make me smile everyday.

How often is it delivered?

  • everyday i think (if not postcrossing it have direct swap in Thailand and other countries from Facebook and Instagram)

How do you purchase stamps?

  • at Post office (if new issue)
  • on local group Facebook (old stamp with same price or sale 10%)
  • trade with friend at meetup (this part was fun because if we can’t buy from other we can buy from friend!)