Want to surprise your loved one with an anonymous mail containing their dream gift, or you might want a business mail delivered without revealing your physical address? No issue.
Mostly, you may need it for personal communication; Like who doesn’t want to have a bit more control and privacy? Everyone does.
The crux is, that sending mail always leaves a “trail” behind – linked directly back to your physical address, or even your PO Box, ultimately tracking back you down.
No, worries. Anonymous sending is a thing! But there are some limitations.
And if you’re thinking “just put a return address on a package”, and voila! We sent an “anonymous mail” via USPS. It’s kind of a meh way but it is doable.
In this blog post, we’re going to cover how to send an anonymous parcel legally, what things you need to know beforehand and in the end, we will recommend you a reliable option that would handle all of the issues. Excited? Let’s get started.
But first, let’s understand some limitations…
What USPS calls anonymous:
If your package has below 3 things, your package is considered anonymous according to USPS by default.
- Packages having postage stamps as the only postage payment
- Weighs more than 10 ounces.
- Measures more than ½ inch in thickness.
- No return address
If your mail dimensions exceed the above-given points, then we’re sorry, you can’t directly send the package under the anonymous category. If you still try, it would get rejected midway.
But still, no return address could potentially look suspicious, but we can’t say for sure. Don’t worry, we got another way coming up…
USPS anonymous Cons:
Keep reading, and first, understand some drawbacks you face while sending under no return address way.
- The package can easily be lost – the courier won’t also be able to locate it because there won’t be any returning information from the sender.
- The package might be misdelivered – if you’ve mentioned wrong or missing information about the receiver, again, the courier won’t redirect back to you. You know why now.
- If the label gets damaged in its way – the courier company will not deliver the package to the recipient. Again, the package will be stuck at the depot because it doesn’t have a return address.
If you think about it for a while, it looks a little risky. Isn’t it?
Some companies straight-up deny delivering a parcel without a sender’s information. So, if you’re doing it for another courier company, you’ve to first look it up.
But if your package matches the requirements, just ship it. You won’t face any issues. But please for god’s sake, double-check the receiver’s information like house number and zip code.
And to make the label durable, put see-through tape above it, so in its way there won’t be any scratches or dampening over the label. Makes sense?
This should solve 90% of the issues in its way. But what if we exceed the requirements?
Long but legal route to sending an anonymous package via USPS?
So, here us out. How about using a single pseudonym email address for anonymous package delivery?
But to level up it a bit, buy a virtual phone number (costs $10-15/month) to register an email account.
Now, you’ve got an email address with authentication to mention on your return package field to stay safe from delivery mishaps. You should also use stamps as the only payment method.
And this way, everything would be more secure than using free fake phone numbers, and email-address generators available on the internet.
You won’t have to worry about package size, and its dimensions because now in the courier service’s eyes you’re an individual, but who? Nobody knows!
This all can be done via free services but again, we don’t recommend it.
How to find out who sent me an anonymous gift package?
Now, question is, what if someone else sends you an anonymous package? How to know who send the anonymous mail via USPS without a return address, or can we locate the post office it was originally sent from?
The answer is both yes, and no.
If the package has stamps as its only payment method, then you won’t be able to trace it. And keep in mind, if a package is delivered to you directly from a store, they probably have an anonymity policy as part of their terms and conditions. Certainly, in western countries, this is quite common.
However, if the package has a postmark. It wasn’t that anonymous. The local mail processing center (MPC) postmark, will help you locate the originating post office it was mailed from.
The average state has about 5 -10 MPCs. By this, at least you can narrow down the search.
Here’s a tip while you hunt down the location…
If that person had paid postage over the counter, in person, it will get postmarked for that post office.
But if the package has a stamp, it will get postmarked at the Distribution Center, where sorting takes place – means It could be hundreds of miles from where the parcel was dropped, or it could be in the same city.
The return address policy doesn’t make sense?
According to USPS, their official docs state the same as what we told you, they’re implementing this from 2019 but if you still want to read those USPS official limitations to send mail anonymously, click here.
For all the lazy readers, the postal service “encourages” mailers but doesn’t enforce to use of return addresses because they can’t be returned under any mishap.
But there are some instances where senders MUST use a return address:
- Paying postage with precanceled stamps
- Priority Mail
- Package Services
- Mail with Extra Services
- Mail with Company permit imprint
Other than the above instances, you are free to not mention the return address. But what if a return address is required? Then what?
Well, if they require a return address, just put the same address you used for the recipient as the return address. Looks dumb, but does the trick.
If you want to track your USPS Mail, check out our USPS Mail Tracker.
Sending untraceable mail anonymously, how does that work?
It’s the same as sending a package. To send an untraceable and anonymous letter through the mail is to leave the envelope without a return address and drop it in any PO box.
The post office collects those letters and delivers them to a specific post office department to further scan them. But please, you must attach the necessary stamp, to avoid it getting lost.
And again, some courier services don’t allow anonymity at all.
Does USPS scan packages for drugs?
If you’re one of those people who may attempt to send drugs because you think the Fourth Amendment will protect you from package searches. You’re so wrong.
Keep in mind, on any type of suspicion, postal inspectors won’t hesitate to screen packages to check for drugs like marijuana and other substances.
And when we’re specifically talking about anonymous sending or receiving, anonymous package screening might be done frequently. Nobody knows so, keep it clean or the FBI is going to your a** down, for sure!
The solution to eradicating this issue once in for all?
To solve this once it for all, the remailing service also known as “package forwarding” is the one you’re looking for.
This simply means a company that acts as a middleman between a sender and a receiver that takes whatever you want to send anything to someone, and then sends it with their details.
Now, doing this your package would completely have a different return address, and postmark stamp. If anyone who’s tracking trails of you would have to first go through a forwarding middleman to reach you.
You get a lot of privacy, anonymity, and an extra layer of protection against their address or personal information attached to whatever is being sent or received.
And to name one remailing service, the virtual mailbox service via US Global Mail has been providing customers for 20+ years.
You’re not just getting mail forwarding service. You also get a separate fixed physical street address for your use, and on top of this, you also get digital mail scanning, check deposit, and so much more…
Yes, there are a lot of options out there. Just see what suits your budget and what suits your needs.
If you’re confused about available options, and selection just comment down below, we’ll love to dissect everything according to one use and price in our next blog post.
Conclusion On “Sending Anonymous Mail, USPS”:
We get it, you want to do something next level. But losing your gift while making it look like an anonymous delivery isn’t an adventure you would like to witness.
In this blog, we shared the 2 most common “sending anonymous mail via USPS” methods that range from easiest (but have limitations) to longer ones that include identity coverage.
But even after doing this, package safety stays, and to be honest, you won’t be able to blame anyone for any of these methods.
If you’ve got a good budget, and you do regular mail sending or receiving as an influencer or a business. We’ll recommend you get a subscription or pay-per-package offer of remailing AKA mail forwarding of any vendor.
This will not only solve your issue but also gives you the extra features then you needed.
Hope you enjoyed and learned something from our article.