In an age of email and cell-phone text messaging, snail mail — mail sent by post — has become increasingly rare.
Given snail mail’s endangered species status, it may seem unnecessary to have a mailbox anymore, but Mail Boxes Etc. Managing Director Lucy Tibbetts says there are many good reasons to have one.
“A mailing address, even in this day and age is a necessity,” says Tibbetts. “Banks, utility companies and other businesses require you to have a postal address.” Although the volume of posted mail is much less than it used to be, there are still a variety of items sent by mail besides bills, including government notices, documents, and occasionally even postcards, greeting cards or letters. And yes, sometimes the cheque really is in the mail.
Since home delivery of mail is not available on Grand Cayman through the Cayman Islands Postal Service, people need to have a way of receiving various posted items. Some people choose to have their posted mail sent to their employer’s address, but this can create privacy and reliability issues and can be problematic if the person changes jobs. Post office boxes are one way to safely and reliably have your mail delivered, but not all post offices have boxes available and some of them have only inside boxes that can’t be accessed after hours.
Mail Boxes Etc. offers mailbox service, channelled through the Cayman Islands Postal Service, that provides safe indoor access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tibbetts says mailbox holders island-wide can optionally receive delivery of their mail at their business or residence.
Unlike post office box addresses, which all include the designation “P.O. Box,” addresses at Mail Boxes Etc. give the street address “10 Market Street, #” followed by the mailbox number. The mailbox functions like a traditional post office box for the receipt of local and international mail and parcels, but because it has a physical address, it can also be used for receiving courier packages.
Mail Boxes Etc. also offers the option, for a small fee, to the have your registered mail or parcel collected for you, rather than having to go to the post office and waiting in line for those items.
UNITED STATES ADDRESS
In addition to a local Cayman Islands address, Mail Boxes Etc. offers customers the ability to add a U.S. post office box and street address from which it forwards mail and packages from Miami.
“This enables people to do things like order small goods from companies like Amazon or to receive shipments from courier services that don’t ship to P.O. boxes,” Tibbetts says. ”This is a very popular add-on to our mailbox service and is also available as a stand-alone service. These items are then shipped via air cargo directly for pickup at the Mail Boxes Etc. store in Camana Bay twice weekly.”
Tibbetts says Mail Boxes Etc. can also provide another address in the U.S. to which large bulky items like furniture can be forwarded.
“Those items are shipped to Grand Cayman by ocean cargo,” Tibbetts says, adding that those shipments go out once a week regardless of whether or not there’s a full container.
Another benefit of having a U.S. address is that people who buy Grand Cayman real estate and move from the U.S. to the Cayman Islands can have the United States Postal Service forward their mail from their previous address to the Mail Boxes Etc. address in Miami for up to one year. The mail is then automatically forwarded to the Camana Bay address. This negates the need of updating their address to all who might send them mail and is particularly useful for people on a fixed-term contract or for those who don’t know how long they’ll stay in the Cayman Islands, Tibbetts says.
OPEN TO ALL
One of the misconceptions about getting a Camana Bay address through Mail Boxes Etc. is that some people think they have to be associated with Camana Bay, either as a resident, commercial tenant or employee of a business located there, Tibbetts says.
“Anyone can have mailbox here,” she says.
There are three sizes of mailboxes at Mail Boxes Etc., similar to those offered at Grand Cayman’s other post offices. “The small personal-sized mailbox price equates to just under $10 a month,” Tibbetts says. “This gives you your own street address and a place to securely get your mail any time of the day, any day of the week, plus a lot of other benefits,” says Tibbetts.
Mail Boxes Etc. also offers a variety of other services including the sale of postage stamps and packaging materials, and the provision of various document services like digital colour or black-and-white copies, binding and laminating. People can also get their passport photos there.