How to mail a package without your parents knowing

I need to receive a parcel from somebody, however I don’t want them to know my real address. Is there any way to achieve this? Maybe there are some parcel resending services? Or maybe my friend can post to collection service and then i somehow collect it and he doesn’t know my full address?

Please don’t ask why, its a long story with my gf.

Not what you’re looking for? Try…

  • iPhone 12 sent to my house by accident?
  • Stolen parcel
  • Post office won’t ship my parcel due to weight
  • Can somebody tell me how uni students get their post/mail

(Original post by JohnAndJoana)
I need to receive a parcel from somebody, however I don’t want them to know my real address. Is there any way to achieve this? Maybe there are some parcel resending services? Or maybe my friend can post to collection service and then i somehow collect it and he doesn’t know my full address?

Please don’t ask why, its a long story with my gf.

(Original post by JohnAndJoana)
I need to receive a parcel from somebody, however I don’t want them to know my real address. Is there any way to achieve this? Maybe there are some parcel resending services? Or maybe my friend can post to collection service and then i somehow collect it and he doesn’t know my full address?

Please don’t ask why, its a long story with my gf.

Some convenience stores offer a service called Collect+

Tell the sender to go through the process of sending on that site (there is an option to send it to one of the participating stores)

Select a store near you and then collect the package once it arrives.

Preparing Domestic Mail

Send domestic mail easily with USPS ® . Properly preparing your letters and postcards will get them where they’re going on time and save you money.

For how to ship a package, see Sending Packages.

For mail and packages sent from and to the U.S., see Preparing International Shipments.

How to mail a package without your parents knowing

How to Send a Letter or Postcard

Step 1: Choose Envelope or Postcard

When mailing a letter or postcard, postage cost depends on the size and shape of the mailpiece. You can save money mailing standard sizes that fit through automated mail-processing equipment.

Size & Weight Determine Price

All envelopes must be flat. If your envelope can’t fit through automated processing equipment it is considered nonmachinable and costs more to send. Nonmachinable items include lumpy or rigid envelopes, and those that have clasps, string, or buttons. Unusually shaped square or vertical envelopes will also cost more to send.

Envelopes

  • Envelopes must be made of paper.
  • Envelopes must be rectangular to qualify for letter prices.
  • Envelopes larger than letter-size will be charged package prices.
  • Large envelopes must be rectangular to qualify for Flat Rate prices.

Postcards

  • Postcards must be rectangular to qualify for First-Class Mail® prices.
  • Oversized postcards will be charged as a letter or large envelope.

Size & Weight Requirements – Postcards & Envelopes

Step 2: Address Your Mail

Write or print your return address and the address you’re mailing to clearly in the correct spots to make sure your mail is delivered on time.

Address Format

Envelopes with addresses that are unclear or written in the wrong place may not get delivered.

  • Print addresses neatly in capital letters.
  • Use a pen or permanent marker.
  • Do not use commas or periods.
  • Include the ZIP+4® Code whenever possible.

Write Recipient Address

Write the recipient’s address in the bottom center of the envelope. Include the following on separate lines:

  • Recipient’s full name or company name
  • Full street address and apartment or suite number, if applicable
  • City, State, and ZIP+4 Code

If the apartment or suite number cannot fit on the delivery address line above the city, state, and ZIP+4 Code, place it on a separate line immediately above the delivery address line.

  • Recipient’s full name or company name
  • Apartment or suite number
  • Full street address
  • City, State, and ZIP+4 Code

Secondary Address Unit Examples

Write Sender Address

Write the sender’s address in the top-left corner. Include the following on separate lines:

  • Sender’s full name or company name
  • Full street address and apartment or suite number, if applicable
  • City, State, and ZIP+4 Code

Postal Addressing Standards

Special U.S. Addresses

Puerto Rico

Mail to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or an APO/FPO/DPO has specific address requirements.

Most Puerto Rico addresses have the same format as standard addresses. Others include an urbanization or community code for a specific area or development. Addresses with an urbanization code, abbreviated URB, should be written on four lines.

MRS MARIA SUAREZ
URB LAS GLADIOLAS
150 CALLE A
SAN JUAN PR 00926-3232

U.S. Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands addresses have the same format as normal addresses. The right abbreviation for this territory is “VI,” not “US VI” or “USA VI.”

MRS JOAN SMITH
RR 1 BOX 6601
KINGSHILL VI 00850-9802

APO/FPO/DPO

To prevent mail from entering foreign mail networks, do not include city or country names in APO/FPO/DPO shipping addresses. Make sure you include the unit and box numbers, for APO/FPO/DPO shipping addresses (if assigned).

Step 3: Calculate & Apply Postage

How many stamps you need to mail your letter depends on where it’s going, its size, and its weight. Requesting a Certified Mail Receipt or other proof of delivery will add to the price. The current price of a First-Class Mail® Forever® letter stamp is $0.55 and $0.36 for a postcard.

Paying for Postage

There are several things to consider when calculating a postage price.

  • Destination
  • Speed
  • Shape and size
  • Special handling and insurance
  • Delivery confirmation receipts

Postage Options

There are several ways to get postage for your envelope.

  • The Postal Store ®
    Shop online for all stamps and ad-on postage for oversized envelopes.
  • Click-N-Ship ®
    Print and pay for your own postage for Priority Mail ® and Priority Mail Express ® envelopes.
  • Post Office ™ Locations
    Buy stamps at Post Offices or at Approved Postal Providers ® such as grocery and drug stores.

Step 4: Send Your Mail

Mailing your stamped envelope or postcard is easy. You can leave it for your mail carrier to pick up or drop it off in several locations.

To send your letter or postcard:

  • Leave it in your mailbox for carrier pickup.
  • Drop it off in a blue collection box.
  • Take it to a Post Office ™ lobby drop.

Post Offices & Drop-Off Locations

UPS and FedEx are contending with a new wrinkle in package scams that involves fraudulently ordered electronics being returned to criminals rather than to a legitimate retail shipping address.

Watch out for this hot package scam

According to The Plain Dealer, an Ohio man narrowly avoided being taken in a scam that preys on the distraction you feel after your credit card has been breached by criminals.

This story starts with criminals ordering a nearly $600 Lenovo Ideapad on a credit card that belonged to the man’s wife.

Fortunately, the couple was signed up for email alerts from their bank. Each time a new charge is posted to their account, they get an instant notification.

The couple immediately reported the charge as fraudulent to their bank, which hadn’t noticed any red flags around the purchase of the computer from Best Buy.

Once alerted, the bank immediately stopped payment on the order.

Yet a few days later, the computer showed up at the couple’s home on a UPS truck. The man called Best Buy to explain what was going on.

Fortunately, he able to return the computer to a local Best Buy store — no harm, no foul.

Here’s where this package scam gets really interesting…

The day after the man returned the computer, FedEx showed up at the couple’s home with a shipping label and instructions to pick up a computer for return to Best Buy.

However, the address on the return shipping label wasn’t for a legitimate Best Buy location; it was for a residential street address in the Philadelphia area — likely the home of re-shipping mule who doesn’t even suspect that their new work-from-home job is part of a criminal front.

So the m.o. of the criminals is this: They order expensive electronics on a stolen credit card and have the purchases shipped to the home of the legitimate credit card holder. The criminals expect that the card holder will become preoccupied with disputing the purchase with their bank.

That’s when the crooks strike a second time by sending a return label and package in which the item is supposed to be shipped back to the retailer.

But if you ship it before noticing that the address on the return label is not that of legitimate warehouse or place of business, the retailer may hold you financially responsible for the cost of the stolen merchandise.

It’s a simple yet effective scam that preys on the overwhelming feeling you get when your credit card is breached by criminals.

The lesson? Never return something you didn’t order without first verifying that it’s a legitimate address to which you’re return shipping.

And sign up for email alerts from your bank! They’re free and put you on the front line of protecting your accounts.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make sending your next shipment easy.

Follow these step-by-step instructions to make sending your next shipment easy.

  • Shipping Instructions
  • More How to Ship Guides
  • View Shipping Options
  • Get Shipping Costs

Quick Links

A step-by-step guide for how to send a package

How to mail a package without your parents knowing

Take a look at our how-to video to prepare your next shipment.

Follow these steps to learn how to ship a package. You can also visit the pros at any FedEx Office location to get friendly in-person help picking the right shipping box, as well as shipping options based on delivery time and shipping cost.

Plan your shipment based on destination.

Ensure the item can be shipped.

Package the item.

Determine which shipping service is best for your needs.

Create shipping labels.

Choose additional delivery options and special services if needed.

Print and attach the FedEx label.

Get the package to FedEx.

Plan your shipment based on destination.

Do you need to ship a package in the US (domestic) or mail something to another country (international)? FedEx follows different guidelines for domestic and international shipments. If you’re shipping domestically, proceed to Step 2 of this guide. If you want to ship a package internationally, please review our International Shipping Guide for instructions that meet international shipping regulations.

Shipping to another country?

Ensure the item can be shipped.

Some items need special care to ship safely, and others can’t be shipped at all. View the Service Guide to learn more about restricted and prohibited items, dangerous goods and more.

Package the item.

Do you need to ship a box, envelope, tube, or mailer? Choosing the right kind of packaging can help protect your shipment and create a better delivery experience. View our packing and shipping supplies to find the best options for your shipment, learn about packing services and get tips on packing items yourself.

The only time you have to use FedEx packaging is when you use FedEx One Rate ® . Otherwise, you can use any sturdy, undamaged packaging for your shipments. If you’re reusing a box, just make sure any old addresses and barcodes are completely covered. You can also get more packaging tips and order free FedEx supplies.

You don’t have to buy FedEx boxes; they’re free! You can pick up free FedEx boxes and other packaging supplies at your local FedEx location, or order them online at fedex.com.

Yes! When you choose to send shipments via FedEx, you can choose from a range of free, ready-to-use self-sealing packaging in your choice of shapes and sizes. It’s available in store or online at fedex.com.

Yes, our experts are ready to help! Stop by your nearest FedEx Office location’s Pack Plus counter for expert assistance from our team, backed by the FedEx Office Packing Pledge. With a range of free packing materials, standard boxes and specialty boxes, we’re prepared to package most items, including oversized, bulky and fragile ones.В

Determine which shipping service is best for your needs.

FedEx offers a range of options to accommodate different timelines and budgets.В With our rating tool, you can calculate rates based on your preferred delivery speed and destination and then compare which FedEx В® shipping service is the best option for you.

My father in law lives in a nursing home and now my mother in law who was still living in their apartment will have to move into a board and care facility. With it being an apartment we will have to move her stuff out of there by the end of the month and I’m not sure what to do about the mail. Should we forward it to one of the facilities they are at (not even sure if you can do that), rent a PO box or have it forwarded to our address? What do you recommend? There are a lot of loose ends that we need to follow up on so we will need to keep track of the mail for awhile. I’m a little concerned about using our address as there are many delinquent bills that we are not responsible for but I know when creditors get a hold of your information they can be relentless.

30 Answers

baroness, I had all my parents mail forward to my own home address, bills and all. It just made life simpler for me. Relatives could still send cards directly to my Dad’s facility. Mom, sadly was too far gone, so all her cards came to my house and I hand delivered them to Mom.

One time Dad would get his own mail, but once I found active bills and current statements in the wastebasket, I knew it was time for all mail to come to my home address.

Post office boxes can be a huge pain. My parents had one for about 40 years and when my parents could no longer drive, I use to go on my work lunch hour to gather their mail. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”. Nothing like driving in heavy snow only to find junk mail in their Post Office box !!

What is nice, you can do the initial transferring on-line for a small one time cost.

That isn’t a silly question at all. Forwarding to a local PO Box might be a great solution for you.

My husband was his mother’s POA. When she became unable to handle her own affairs, we had her mail forwarded to us from the PO boxes she used. We changed addresses for the newspaper and magazine to have them sent straight to the nursing home. We directed friends and family to send personal mail to the nursing home too. Junk stuff we didn’t inform of an address change, so when we close the PO boxes that will just disappear as far as we are concerned. Important things we changed to our home address. Sometimes that required sending a copy of the POA.

She recently passed but we haven’t closed the boxes yet since we’re still managing things.

It sounds like your parents need you to handle the delinquent bill situation for them. I don’t mean pay with your own funds, but see about figuring out if the mess can be cleaned up. The reason we took over MIL’s stuff is because we found out that she was spending money for various things instead of paying her bills. It took a few months to clean up the mess, but people were patient because we were actively working towards a solution and kept them in the loop, vs my MIL simply throwing bills away.

Baroness – I’m a big fan of having postal mailing boxes as an alternative address no matter what.
Once you have the new rental box address, you do a change of address on all Dec. bills and mail it with a minimum payment or like $10.00 ck from their existing checking account to all creditors. For bills that your in-laws are going to walk on (delinquent & not getting paid), I’d suggest you in addition to doing a change of address on Dec bill, you like in January send all their creditors a notification to close out their account, it comes from whomever is dpoa but make sure you only do this typed and as “John james Smith in my limited capacity as DPOA for Mr. Michael John Smith or Mrs Ann Jones Smith”, in the closing, Don’t ever do an actual signature. These all get mailed certified mail with the return registered card from a USPO. On the RRC, you put the rented mail box as the address the RRC postcard goes to. The duet is like $8.00 and it establishes that creditors are notified to close accounts and you have the RRC card that verifies this. Start a binder to keep their debt stuff in.

my experience on renting mail boxes.
– regarding renting a PO Box, in order to do so wherever. USPO, UPS, etc. – it will require you or hubs to open it in your /his name as you have to give valid, current instate drivers license to get one. If MIL is still competent and cognitive she can go with you all to do this, so she & you or she & hubs rent it.
– I’ve found a USPO has become pretty tight about adding names / delivering mail onto/into a box unless there’s a name match up. BUT if it’s rented in the name of a valid business, you can add whatever names as receiving mail at that address.
– USPO box has to be at the station associated with your drivers
license zip code, which may or may not be optimum for you. BUT
– USPO in most places have 24/7 access to postal boxes, which might be ideal for you as your free time is Sunday afternoon.
– UPS stores usually have mail box rental. These are franchise stores so could possibly close or have to move as shopping center they are in decides to kick out tenants & put in condos. If mail requires a signature for delivery, some UPS stores will not allow employe to sign off on these. So that type of mail gets returned. When their creditors stop getting paid, they will send out signature required letters eventually.
– Pack & Ship type of stores often have postal mailing box rentals. If you have a college or university in your town, likely to be one nearby. These are usually privately owned single location with owner there and reliable staff. Personally I’d go this route as you can develop a relationship with the owner and they call you when something interesting comes in or box is super full. These will usually sign off on delivery received for mailings.
– I’ve found UPS and PacknShip shops are more ahem. flexible as to the name on the mail. It’s all about the post mail box #.

Unless you plan on going weekly like clockwork, rent a bigger box and just pay for a full year from the get go. If your delinquent in paying, they have to close it & cannot just hold mail till whenever.

If your in laws are going to walk on debt and you start getting dunning calls & Letters, do a new post as many of us have been thru this. My mil had lots of debt cause once she went onto LTC NH Medicaid all bills stopped being paid. Medicaid requires basically all their income paid to NH. So everything hit debt collections relentless cycle & recycle. You’ll be super glad there’s a box rented for them & their debt. So it lessens commingling their debt to your address / your credit report.

UPS and FedEx are contending with a new wrinkle in package scams that involves fraudulently ordered electronics being returned to criminals rather than to a legitimate retail shipping address.

Watch out for this hot package scam

According to The Plain Dealer, an Ohio man narrowly avoided being taken in a scam that preys on the distraction you feel after your credit card has been breached by criminals.

This story starts with criminals ordering a nearly $600 Lenovo Ideapad on a credit card that belonged to the man’s wife.

Fortunately, the couple was signed up for email alerts from their bank. Each time a new charge is posted to their account, they get an instant notification.

The couple immediately reported the charge as fraudulent to their bank, which hadn’t noticed any red flags around the purchase of the computer from Best Buy.

Once alerted, the bank immediately stopped payment on the order.

Yet a few days later, the computer showed up at the couple’s home on a UPS truck. The man called Best Buy to explain what was going on.

Fortunately, he able to return the computer to a local Best Buy store — no harm, no foul.

Here’s where this package scam gets really interesting…

The day after the man returned the computer, FedEx showed up at the couple’s home with a shipping label and instructions to pick up a computer for return to Best Buy.

However, the address on the return shipping label wasn’t for a legitimate Best Buy location; it was for a residential street address in the Philadelphia area — likely the home of re-shipping mule who doesn’t even suspect that their new work-from-home job is part of a criminal front.

So the m.o. of the criminals is this: They order expensive electronics on a stolen credit card and have the purchases shipped to the home of the legitimate credit card holder. The criminals expect that the card holder will become preoccupied with disputing the purchase with their bank.

That’s when the crooks strike a second time by sending a return label and package in which the item is supposed to be shipped back to the retailer.

But if you ship it before noticing that the address on the return label is not that of legitimate warehouse or place of business, the retailer may hold you financially responsible for the cost of the stolen merchandise.

It’s a simple yet effective scam that preys on the overwhelming feeling you get when your credit card is breached by criminals.

The lesson? Never return something you didn’t order without first verifying that it’s a legitimate address to which you’re return shipping.

And sign up for email alerts from your bank! They’re free and put you on the front line of protecting your accounts.

Did you know that there is a federal law that states that it is illegal to open mail that is not addressed to you?

What Happens If You Accidentally Open Someone Else’s Mail?

The USPS mail delivery driver who delivers your mail has the job of sorting each letter and parcel so that it ends up in the mailbox of the person that it’s addressed to. Unfortunately, a mistake may occur and you might end up with a letter that is addressed to your neighbor. If it’s combined with a few other letters that are addressed to you, you may accidentally open it, thinking that it was yours.

The federal statute 18 USC Section 1702 states that it is illegal for individuals to open correspondence that is addressed to other individuals. However, if you accidentally open someone else’s mail, you have not committed a crime. The law was created to punish individuals who knowingly open mail that is addressed to someone else. These type of people may be looking for personal information that they can abuse or valuable items that they can steal.

What Should You Do?

Even though you accidentally opened another person’s mail, your actions after doing so will dictate if you have committed a crime. If you decide to throw the piece of mail into the trash, you have committed a crime as that action has intentionally obstructed and stopped the delivery process relating to that correspondence. In fact, you can be charged for taking that action.

If you unintentionally open an envelope that is not addressed to you, it is best to write “return to sender” or “delivered to wrong address” by the person’s name who the envelope should be delivered to. By taking this action, the USPS will recognize the mistake and redeliver the letter to the correct person’s address.

Intentional Act Of Opening Mail Addressed To Someone Else

Federal statute 18 USC Section 1702 was mainly initiated in order to punish individuals who knowingly steal mail with the intent to perform identity theft or other crimes. When a delivery is made to your mailbox, the USPS is relying on you to do the right thing and reroute the mail to its intended recipient.

Penalties For Opening Someone Else’s Mail

The government does not take the theft of mail lightly when sentencing individuals who commit this crime. If a person steals parcels or letters from the USPS and is caught and charged for the crime, they may serve a prison sentence that lasts as much as three years. Typically, if they intentionally stole mail for the purpose of committing another crime, this sentence will run concurrent to sentences given for those other crimes. In addition, there may be sizable fines to pay. Obviously, it’s not advisable to steal mail.

How to mail a package without your parents knowing

Jim Treebold is a North Carolina based writer. He lives by the mantra of “Learn 1 new thing each day”! Jim loves to write, read, pedal around on his electric bike and dream of big things. Drop him a line if you like his writing, he loves hearing from his readers!

Welcome to the Consumerist Archives

Thanks for visiting Consumerist.com. As of October 2017, Consumerist is no longer producing new content, but feel free to browse through our archives. Here you can find 12 years worth of articles on everything from how to avoid dodgy scams to writing an effective complaint letter. Check out some of our greatest hits below, explore the categories listed on the left-hand side of the page, or head to CR.org for ratings, reviews, and consumer news.

Thanks For Letting The World Know I Bought Sex Toys, Adam & Eve

G. writes that she placed an order from Adam & Eve, a venerable seller of adult merchandise. Discretion was crucial, since G. has packages sent to her at work instead of her home mailbox. Fortunately, this company ships packages in unmarked boxes. They do not, however, practice the same discretion with their promotional mailings, which caught G. by surprise.

A few weeks ago, I ordered some…things…from AdamandEve.com, lured in by a good deal I heard on Dan Savage’s podcast. I also liked the promised discreet shipping, since you know, I’m not a prude but I don’t advertise my business at home. My order did actually appear in an unmarked envelope with no clue as to the contents. I had it shipped to my work because my mail carrier at home can’t be trusted with packages when no one is home.

Yesterday, I got home and there was a promotional mailing from Adam and Eve with their name clearly written on the return label! I figure they used my billing address to send the letter.

I couldn’t believe it. Thankfully, it was just my boyfriend who saw it and it was no big deal. But now I’m scared to death that they’re going to send something similar to my work address, since that’s where the order was actually shipped, which would cause me no end of embarrassment here. It’s not like people have never heard of Adam and Eve.

Just because it’s not in a package doesn’t mean that I want anyone in my house or workplace knowing that I have an association with you! Businesses like this should ALWAYS be discreet, whether it’s an order you’re sending to me or some kind of mailing you’ve shipped off. I’ve complained to their customer service department and asked that they remove my name from their mailing list immediately, but haven’t heard back yet. I don’t plan to order from them again, either, since they clearly can’t be trusted to hold up their end of the bargain and keep it between us.

Figured it was worth a warning to your readers – orders from places like this might come in unmarked envelopes, but don’t necessarily count on them to be so smart with anything else they send out. Check first!

A glance at the company’s website shows their promotional e-mail and snail mail policy, which is:

Catalog/Email Opting In
If you wish to receive special offers and discounts via email from AdamEve.com or the Adam & Eve mail-order catalog, just visit the My Account page. Scroll down to the email section and check the potential offers that interest you. To opt-out, just click the box again to remove the checkmark.

Did G. miss opting out of the mailing list? More importantly, should companies that make a point of sending out mailings in discreet packages extend their customers the same courtesy for all mailings?

Update: Commenter ams199 weighed in with this useful bit of information. Thanks!

Just to warn G., A&E will now begin sending you catalogs. They ALWAYS do this. (Full Disclosure: used to work there). It’s very difficult to get off their mailing list. The catalogs are sent in a plain envelope with a return sender name of “PHE Inc.” so it isn’t amazingly obvious what they are, but if you ask me, anything in a plain wrapper stands out much more than an envelope with a regular company name, etc.

You can try calling them at the corporate HQ: 919-644-8100.
Good luck.

Adam & Eve tweeted today that the above number is incorrect, and you should call 1.800.293.4654 if you have issues with their mailings.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.