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Need help finding general delivery location


Blues
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I used to find post offices that accept general delivery mail by going to the USPS web site and when on the map for the area I'm interested in, clicking on an individual post office, and in the "On-Site Services" section, look for "general delivery."  Then I would call that post office to confirm, and to get the address they want me to use.

Now it appears that they're no longer listing "general delivery" like that.  I've checked several that I know I've used in the past, and "general delivery" isn't there.  For example, I got general delivery at this post office in Chandler, Arizona last year, and I found it by using this method.  But now it doesn't say "general delivery."

In a small town, you can kind of assume the main post office will do general delivery, but I need my mail forwarded to the San Francisco bay area, and would rather not use the main San Francisco post office.  Anybody know how I can look around to see which outlying cities might be candidates?

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"First-class mail volumes have been falling for years, but the rate of decline in fiscal 2016 was 2.2. percent, Corbett noted. In the most recent quarter (third quarter of fiscal 2017), it fell by 4.1 percent, almost double the previous year’s rate....The declines will force the USPS to continue to cut costs" for the complete article CLICK HERE. 

As mentioned in the article above many people are using email or other methods of communication instead of snail mail causing the post office to reorganize and concentrate on money making ventures. I don't know if the post office is phasing out General Delivery as a cost cutting measure but one alternative to mail delivery that is becoming more prevalent is "scanning" instead of receiving hard copy mail delivery. The Escapees mail service offers it: Click here for more info.

Another option if general delivery is not available near you is FedX or UPS though expensive; if you only need it occasionally it can be delivered to your RV site.

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Yes, I know all about mail--I've been fulltiming for almost 15 years. 

My question is:  given the changes to the USPS website that I mentioned, does anyone know of a way to find out which post offices accept general delivery in a large metropolitan area?

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50 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

To find the Post Office that handles General Delivery in any area, call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and request “Customer Service.” 

I just tried calling and there weren't any menu prompts that sounded like what I needed, and I said "customer service" at every opportunity and it didn't recognize it. 

 

44 minutes ago, rynosback said:

Why call them?  Just go to the local Post Office with a smile and ask.  I have not come across a Post office that does not do this.  It might be different if you are in one place for a while, more then a month is what I have been told.  Then you would have to open a PO box.

I'm traveling (that's why I put this in the fulltimer section) and am having my mail sent, and will arrive to meet it.  So I can't go to the post office and smile and ask. 

And I know from experience that the postmaster designates which locations handle general delivery mail, and it's almost always only one in a city. 

 

25 minutes ago, vermilye said:

I don't know if it works for all of them, but every post office I've looked up doing a google search has a link on their home page "Services Offered at this Location".  Click on it & it shows if they have General Delivery.

Can you give me a link for that?  Or look at the link I posted for Chandler, Arizona, above, and see if that's what you were looking at?  They used to show "general delivery" on that page, but it's not there any more.  That's my problem.

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I am a fulltimer also.  99.9% of the time I have mail sent to the CG that I am staying at. But there have been times that they get no mail there and have to drive into town to get mail.  Can’t you just call the post office that is going to be closest to you and ask?  I know with all of the package stealing over the holidays the news even suggested having your packages shipped to the post office or even local police office.

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8 hours ago, Blues said:

Yes, I know all about mail--I've been fulltiming for almost 15 years. 

My question is:  given the changes to the USPS website that I mentioned, does anyone know of a way to find out which post offices accept general delivery in a large metropolitan area?

You go to the place for zip codes.  Type in General Delivery for the street address, then the town, and you will get the zip code (5+4) for the General Delivery.   In a large town, you can then use that zip code to find the location.   

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We've been on the road 3 years and learned not to trust the USPS website!

They will often list General Delivery available at a location when it isn't.

Many Post Offices leave the phone off the hook permanently! I've been into those Post Offices and tackled the Post Master about it personally only to have him/her shrug and say "We don't have the time to answer the phone".

We've called the 800 number and they've got it wrong too! I asked one operator how he found the information and he admitted he Googled it, there is no internal directory for that!

Lately we find the ZIP Code for the area we're going to, Google the information of the Post Office there and get the number, call them and ask. If they won't answer the phone we call the next ZIP and ask them where the General Delivery PO is. That has worked so far.

We also call ahead to campgrounds and ask if they'll accept mail, that works sometimes.

BnB

 

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11 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

You go to the place for zip codes.  Type in General Delivery for the street address, then the town, and you will get the zip code (5+4) for the General Delivery.   In a large town, you can then use that zip code to find the location.   

Exactly (this section can be found under "Quick Tools")!

Then you can go to "Quick Tools" again and click on "Find USPS Locations."  Under "Location Types," select "Post Offices."  and then put in the Zip Code you found in the first step.

That will bring up a list of Post Offices, but only one will have the Zip Code you entered, usually the first one in the list.  It will give you the address of the PO and if you then click on the blue city name, you'll find their phone number so you can call and confirm that they do, indeed, accept General Delivery and if there are any restrictions (for example, the Post Office in Winterhaven, CA allows GD pickup only between the hours of 2:30PM - 4:30PM Arizona time).

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1 hour ago, scouserl41 said:

We've been on the road 3 years and learned not to trust the USPS website!

They will often list General Delivery available at a location when it isn't.

Many Post Offices leave the phone off the hook permanently! I've been into those Post Offices and tackled the Post Master about it personally only to have him/her shrug and say "We don't have the time to answer the phone".

We've called the 800 number and they've got it wrong too! I asked one operator how he found the information and he admitted he Googled it, there is no internal directory for that!

Lately we find the ZIP Code for the area we're going to, Google the information of the Post Office there and get the number, call them and ask. If they won't answer the phone we call the next ZIP and ask them where the General Delivery PO is. That has worked so far.

We also call ahead to campgrounds and ask if they'll accept mail, that works sometimes.

BnB

 

So we've only been doing this for 12 years now (where did that time go?) and have NEVER, EVER, called and asked an individual post office if they accept General Delivery mail.   We just request the zip code on line and use it.  BTW,   we ALWAYS use Priority Mail when having our mail sent out to us, so we can see where it is as is winds its way across the country (sometimes the route is pretty convoluted) and then we see it when the local post office HAS to scan it and it is recorded as received.  I've had people at counters tell me they don't do GD, I pull out my phone, show them that they have accepted the package, and voila, sure enough there it is.   Also works when they walk to the back and then walk forward to say "we don't have it".   I usually go in with the iPhone having the info on the screen, saves a lot of time that way.

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Just to chime in... using the zip code you located (as Barbara mentioned... often a -9999), may... in some areas, produce multiple location results in the same zip code when searching under "post offices". Doing your zip code search under "business services" will generally give you the "main" P.O. receiving and distribution point for that particular zip code, which, is were it would be held under "general delivery".

Edited by Yarome
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You certainly don't want a Main Post Office in a big city.:blink:

We also chose small neighboring towns. Like Barbara we never had to call a post office in our 16 years. We found the Zip, had Priority sent by Escapees Mail Service, and it never failed to be there except for one time in Orange Beach, AL.  The Escapees confirmation said it was there. The service folks at the post office said it wasn't.  Finally after many go-arounds and after not getting the pkg in a week or so, we had a tracer done on it.  It finally showed up back at Escapees but had the Orange Beach stamp on it as being received on one of the days we went in to check for it.  It was there all the time.

Overall, General Delivery worked very well for us.... even in Alaska.

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"99.9% of the time I have mail sent to the CG that I am staying at." The other 0.1% is Escapees campgrounds. We've been to five Escapees campgrounds (two co-ops, two with ERPU lots, and one without). NONE of them accept mail UNLESS it is sent from Escapees.

The three most recent campgrounds all had signs saying that mail should be sent to General Delivery, with the proper address. That's find for those who order their mail sent AFTER they arrive. For those of us who want our mail to meet us, that isn't all that helpful. I'm going to make the assumption that this is the rule for all Escapee parks, so the next time we're going to be at an Escapee park we'll check with the local PO for their general delivery instructions.

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On 1/26/2018 at 1:24 PM, Blues said:

I just tried calling and there weren't any menu prompts that sounded like what I needed, and I said "customer service" at every opportunity and it didn't recognize it. 

 

I'm traveling (that's why I put this in the fulltimer section) and am having my mail sent, and will arrive to meet it.  So I can't go to the post office and smile and ask. 

And I know from experience that the postmaster designates which locations handle general delivery mail, and it's almost always only one in a city. 

 

Can you give me a link for that?  Or look at the link I posted for Chandler, Arizona, above, and see if that's what you were looking at?  They used to show "general delivery" on that page, but it's not there any more.  That's my problem.

The Chandler, AZ post office page is different from some others, and you are right - it doesn't show general  delivery as a service.

An example of one that works the way I described is for Deming, NM. Their (and others) home page has the link to "Services Offered at This Site).  Sorry about Chandler...

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On 1/26/2018 at 8:08 PM, Barbaraok said:

You go to the place for zip codes.  Type in General Delivery for the street address, then the town, and you will get the zip code (5+4) for the General Delivery.   In a large town, you can then use that zip code to find the location.   

Huzzah! 

It's not as convenient as looking at a map and just clicking on the various pushpins, but at least it works.  Thank you.

However...back to San Francisco.  General delivery is:  SAN FRANCISCO CA 94142-9999.

When I use that zip code to find the location, there aren't any locations with the zip code 94142.  The list that entering 94142 zip code produces starts with 94102, and interestingly, the second entry in the list is called SAN FRANCISCO GEN DEL, with a zip code of 94012-2709 and a street address of 391 Ellis Street.  Its hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (not like most post offices).

So I assume I would use the general delivery address given, but go to a post office that has a different zip code.  But I wouldn't do it without calling to verify.

Yep, steering clear from a big city general delivery looks to be a good idea, but see below.

 

On 1/27/2018 at 7:42 AM, Barbaraok said:

So we've only been doing this for 12 years now (where did that time go?) and have NEVER, EVER, called and asked an individual post office if they accept General Delivery mail.  

I had general delivery sent once without calling in advance, and when I got to the post office they had received it that day, but said they were going to send it back because I hadn't called in advance to notify them it was coming.  (This was in a very small town.)  I'm glad I got there when I did.

Another time, I called and was told I'd have to fill out some paperwork in order to receive general delivery mail.  Maybe if I'd had it sent without doing that they would have held it for me, but I didn't want to take the risk.

So I always call now.  And I'm going to start verifying the street address for where to pick it up when I do.

 

On 1/27/2018 at 8:10 AM, Yarome said:

Just to chime in... using the zip code you located (as Barbara mentioned... often a -9999), may... in some areas, produce multiple location results in the same zip code when searching under "post offices". Doing your zip code search under "business services" will generally give you the "main" P.O. receiving and distribution point for that particular zip code, which, is were it would be held under "general delivery".

Thanks for the tip.  I'll do that, but it'll just be used for more information in my arsenal when I call to verify the address for general delivery and the street address of where to pick it up.

Too bad they can't just have "general delivery" in the listing for the individual post offices like they used to.

 

21 hours ago, vermilye said:

The Chandler, AZ post office page is different from some others, and you are right - it doesn't show general  delivery as a service.

An example of one that works the way I described is for Deming, NM. Their (and others) home page has the link to "Services Offered at This Site).  Sorry about Chandler...

Your link is to postallocations.com.  The site's home page says:

Quote

postallocations.com is not a part of, or affiliated with, the official United States Postal Service (USPS) or US Government.  For the most up to date information, please consult the official United States Postal Service (USPS) at www.usps.com or call 1-800-Ask-USPS.

And their entry on Chandler, Arizona, does show general delivery.  The presentation looks just like what the USPS site used to have, only this site still has "general delivery" in the list. 

I think what's happened is the USPS site, for some reason, has decided not to include "general delivery" in the pages for the various post offices, like they used to.  I wouldn't be surprised if postallocations.com is just using what the USPS site had at a point when it did include "general delivery."

For all I know, the USPS site just got a bit of code mangled and that's what's caused the omission.  Or maybe they did it on purpose.  Whatever...it's made it really inconvenient.

But at least it can actually be done, which is more than I had a couple of days ago.  So thanks! 

 

 


 

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On 1/27/2018 at 3:51 PM, kb0zke said:

"99.9% of the time I have mail sent to the CG that I am staying at." The other 0.1% is Escapees campgrounds. We've been to five Escapees campgrounds (two co-ops, two with ERPU lots, and one without). NONE of them accept mail UNLESS it is sent from Escapees.

The three most recent campgrounds all had signs saying that mail should be sent to General Delivery, with the proper address. That's find for those who order their mail sent AFTER they arrive. For those of us who want our mail to meet us, that isn't all that helpful. I'm going to make the assumption that this is the rule for all Escapee parks, so the next time we're going to be at an Escapee park we'll check with the local PO for their general delivery instructions.

We had our mail forwarded to General Delivery in Summerdale, AL, when we stayed at Rainbow Plantation the first time. They don't like RVers there. The day we picked up our mail they made a point of telling us if we planned to stay more than 30 days we would HAVE to rent a PO Box. We assured them we were leaving the next day. But, what a grouch!

If you plan to visit Quartzsite during the high season I recommend having your mail sent to Blythe, CA, instead. It's not too far to drive, they have good access/parking, and they treat you well. They also have decent grocery shopping which Q does not have.

Linda Sand

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It was several years ago at a minimum that I used Summerdale and my experience was much the same.  The next one I had sent to the next town south of Summerdale which was a little further and had no issues there.  And it was closer to stores and stuff anyway.

That was Foley.

Edited by bigjim
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22 hours ago, bigjim said:

It was several years ago at a minimum that I used Summerdale and my experience was much the same.  The next one I had sent to the next town south of Summerdale which was a little further and had no issues there.  And it was closer to stores and stuff anyway.

That was Foley.

There's also a town north of Summerdale, Robertsdale, which I think accepts General Delivery. Since most of us would pass through Robertsdale on our way too or from Rainbow Plantation that could be a good stop along the way.

Linda Sand

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If the OP is still looking for a Bay Area Post Office, mine is here:

https://tools.usps.com/go/POLocatorDetailsAction!input.action?address=95320&radius=80&locationType=po&locationID=1360288&locationName=DANVILLE&address2=&address1=2605+CAMINO+TASSAJARA&city=DANVILLE&state=CA&zip5=94526&zip4=9998&tollFree=800-ASK-USPS%26reg%3B%26nbsp%3B(800-275-8777)&latitude=37.8080759&longitude=-121.95042

This is in Danville, CA 94526 near US-680.  The website shows general delivery under on-site services rather than on-line services.  That link has their phone number as well.  Danville is about 45 minutes south and east of SF.

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