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I have experienced the difficulty, living in Tubac, of being told that a company can’t ship my order to me… now, I live in Morning Star Ranch. Both are beautiful places to live. Both are kind of off the beaten path.  The difficulty comes from living in an area where the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t deliver mail to my home. I don’t have a mailbox in front of my home, I have A PO Box. Mine is in Tumacacori. So this is about how to get shippers to ship to your PO Box. 

PO Box ImageEven when I still lived in Santa Barbara, I was ordering stuff from and they would deliver it. Same with Amazon. It isn’t that can’t deliver, they just wont. They have a really stupid policy that if they can’t confirm your home address with the USPS data base that you must not exist. My home in Tubac did not, and my address in Morning Star Ranch cannot, received mail… so thinks I don’t exist. My Costco membership card says otherwise, but the online Costco guys do not care. They have a policy that, even though they will not ship to a PO Box, they will not alternatively ship to a street address that the USPS does not have in their database. Sharp minds, huh?

The same issue exists for other businesses… Amazon does not deliver to PO Boxes in some cases. Why? It’s just the policy of that company, depending on the company within Amazon that you’re actually buying from. They must feel that somehow they’re protecting themselves. Many of the orders that I’ve placed with Amazon require a street address. So I enter my street address and then some nimwhit at Amazon sends it out FedEx Smartmail (“not Smartmail” is what it should be called).  They send it my street address and then FedEx Smartest delivers it to the Post Office in Rio Rico, with whom I have no relationship. They have no idea who I am or where I am. so the product gets returned to the shipper telling them that they tried to deliver it to me. No, they really didn’t.

Neither of these services allow you to choose the shipping method so I have included in my address “(UPS ONLY)”. That generally gets ignored by the shipper. They are, after all, most likely singing along with the rap music that they’re listening to in their ear buds as they stick the label on your product box to ship. And, BTW, the shippers won’t tell you which shipping method they’re going to use so that you can help to avert their self imposed delivery mistake.

I may have discovered the solution:  I will be giving these kind of shippers my new package delivery address:  1910 E. Frontage Rd, # (PO Box Number goes here), Tumacacori, AZ 85640.  It’s a street address. UPS and FedEx deliver here anyway, and the morons that make such policies at Amazon will never be aware of it. It just helps UPS figure out how to deliver it.  Obviously you have to use the street address of the Post Office where you receive your mail. You might want to chat with your local Postmaster/mistress to be sure that they’re on board with this.

This is not sanctioned by the USPS, and they might stop this at some point, but for the moment… it works.

Russell Palmer