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A Brief Cluster Box Unit Buying Guide

When was the last time you sent a letter?

Unless it was for a formal reason, it was probably a while ago. The less we use the mail service, the more difficult finances become for mail carriers.

This is why USPS has been cutting down on costs to offset the lack of income. They now require new buildings to have a cluster mail dropoff.

To get ahead of the curve, you should invest in a cluster mailbox for your building. If you are already considering this, now is the time to buy.

But first, let’s look at some considerations you should take when shopping.

Safety First

No matter what type of building you manage, safety is always a concern. Choosing the right cluster mailbox will help put your mind to ease.

There are about 200 federal mail crimes, and criminals break thousands of them each year. The last thing you need to deal with is a postal investigation.

Safeguarding your tenants’ mail may prevent that from happening. A more secure box could cost more, but extra locks and stronger metal are worth it.

Another safety concern is the weather in your area. Tenants should not have to walk a long distance to their mail in icy conditions.

Consider buying multiple small cluster boxes instead of one large one. Then, scatter them around your building to shorten your tenants’ walk.

Know the Standards

You should also take USPS cluster mailbox regulations into consideration. USPS even gives some suggestions on where to buy your mailbox.

These regulations explain how you can get a license for your mailbox with USPS. During the annual Mailbox Improvement Week, mail carriers and citizens examine mailboxes. If there is an issue, someone may report you to USPS.

Cluster boxes usually come in sets of 8, 12, 13, or 16 boxes. And fortunately, USPS lists all the approved mailboxes in its postal bulletin.

One important standard to know is that USPS requires that you provide keys for your tenants. A local USPS employee will buy a master key for your cluster boxes though.

Parcel Lockers

People use parcel lockers to receive packages. Small packages may be able to fit in some cluster boxes, but lockers are still a necessity.

Depending on the number of cluster boxes you have, you make need to buy more lockers. In apartment complexes, for example, you must have 1 parcel box per ten cluster boxes.

Mailpeople use parcel lockers for packages that are too big to fit inside of a cluster box. Tenants use a temporary key or code to enter the parcel locker and retrieve their package.

The cost for a four-door parcel locker starts at around $1,000. For maximum safety, you may want to invest in a more expensive option. Companies like Packcity have lockers with unique access codes for residents.

If you choose not to use a parcel locker, your tenants need to pick up their packages from a central office. This can be frustrating for some tenants if your hours don’t fit with theirs.

Buying Your Cluster Mailbox

Buying a cluster mailbox is the right decision for your building or complex. If you need help deciding, please contact us for a free quote on your next mailbox.

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