USPS is one of the best and biggest mail distribution providers in the United States, competing against FedEx and UPS combined due to the company’s increased number of drop-off locations.
But can you drop off a USPS package at locations other than the post office, and if you can, where and how do you do it? If you’d like to find out, keep reading to see what I learned!
Where Can I Drop Off USPS Packages?
You can drop off USPS packages at national retail stores such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Staples, Michaels, and Office Depot, with other drop-off locations being self-service kiosks and collection boxes. USPS launched the Approved Postal Provider Program in order to add these drop-off locations to be more convenient for consumers and make shipping supplies more readily accessible.
If you’d like to learn more about the Approved Postal Provider Program, such as where and how you can drop off USPS packages, keep reading this article to find out more information on this subject!
12 Places You Can Drop Off Your USPS Packages Other Than the Post Office
Here is a comprehensive list of locations for where to drop off USPS packages!
1. USPS Collection Boxes
One of the most common locations to drop off a USPS package without having to visit a local post office is a USPS collection box (also known as blue boxes).
To drop a package off in a collection box, you can visit USPS.com and use the scroll-down menu to select “collection boxes” and find the one closest to you.
After you’ve located the collection box you’d like to use, all that’s left is to put your package in the box.
A postal worker will come around on their route and pick up all the mail in the collection box, and then your package will be on its way!
2. Self-Service Kiosks
USPS also has self-service kiosks available that allow you to drop off packages to be sent without having to visit a local post office.
The self-service kiosks are offered typically in densely populated areas as a way to help relieve some of the traffic in post offices while also making the location more convenient for the average consumer.
To use a self-service kiosk to ship a package, you can check out the USPS website and use the scroll-down menu to select ‘self-service kiosks’ to find one near you.
Once you’ve found a kiosk you want to use, you can follow the prompts on the kiosk screen and ship your package.
3. Contract Postal Units
Contract Postal Units are their own subcategory, offering the Approved Postal Provider Program.
Contract Postal Units operate in a similar way to franchises such as 7-11, as independent partners of USPS can open a CPU and sell different shipping supplies and services.
One of the services sold by CPU is shipping packages, making them a good option for dropping off a package without having to visit a post office.
Dropping off a package at a CPU is much the same as shipping a package at the post office, as you simply have to talk to a partner at the front of the store and pay for your package to be shipped.
Walmart is one of the largest and most readily accessible Approved Shippers in the USPS system.
However, while you can drop off a USPS package at most Walmarts, not every store location offers this service.
Therefore, to find out if the Walmart near you offers shipping services through USPS, you can use the location finder on this page of the USPS website and use the scroll-down menu to select the “National Retailer” option.
Next, you can scroll through all of the national retailers in your area that offer USPS services until you find the closest Walmart location.
To ship a package with USPS through Walmart, the best rule of thumb is to look for the customer service counter, typically located at the front of the store, and to inquire there about shipping your package.
Staples is another well-known national retailer that has partnered with USPS as an Approved Shipper.
Staples utilizes both USPS shipping services as well as UPS shipping, so when you go to the counter to ship a package, be sure to specify which service you’d like to use.
Some Staples locations also offer a drop-box feature similar to the blue collection boxes USPS already utilizes.
Therefore, be sure to keep an eye out for the boxes at the front of the store if you want to save time and avoid waiting in lines.
You can find a Staples location near you that takes packages by searching on USPS.com (previously linked above).
Walgreens is a great option for dropping off USPS packages around the clock since Walgreens locations are open 24 hours a day.
Walgreens also has over 8,000 locations, so they’re also an incredibly convenient option for drop-offs, especially considering that they’re usually located in suburban areas along major roads.
To drop off a USPS package at Walgreens, you can look for a USPS-labeled drop box or go to the customer service counter and ask for assistance.
CVS is an option comparable to Walgreens, with a similar location strategy that makes them an easily accessible option for shipping packages.
Dropping off a USPS package with CVS is also very similar to dropping off a package at Walgreens, as you can look for a drop-box with a USPS label or go to the customer service counter.
It’s also wise to note that both CVS and Walgreens are common locations for USPS self-service kiosks, which are also offered under the Approved Postal Provider Program and combine the ease of collection boxes and Approved Shippers.
8. Office Depot
Office Depot is an Approved Shipper that is a similar national retailer to Staples, providing office supplies and other miscellaneous office needs in one place.
Office Depot is also similar to Staples in the way they handle shipping USPS packages, as some locations offer a collection box service at the front of the store, while others require that you go to the customer service desk.
As always, it’s important to note that not every location of Office Depot (or any of the listed national retailers, for that matter) participates in the Approved Shipper program.
Therefore, to find out if the Office Depot near you is a participant in the Approved Shipper program, you can use this link to the USPS website and use the drop-down menu to select “national retailer”.
Albertsons (also known as Safeway, depending on your location) is another national retailer that participates in the Approved Shipper program and offers the greatest convenience possible to consumers.
By offering USPS shipping services in a grocery store used by millions of people, it provides a one-stop shop for many Americans who need to get packages shipped quickly and efficiently.
Some Safeway/Albertsons locations have a USPS-labeled desk or kiosk for customers to ship packages, while others use collection boxes or the customer service desk.
If you tend to do your grocery shopping at stores that offer groceries in bulk, there are also options available for you at Costco!
Many Costco locations participate in the Approved Shipper program with USPS, which provides the same ease and convenience as an Albertsons/Safeway location for many shoppers.
Costco typically only ships USPS packages from their customer service desk, so once you verify that the Costco near you is an Approved Shipper, you can drop by the customer service desk to ship your package.
11. Sam’s Club
Sam’s Club is another bulk grocer national retailer that participates in the Approved Shipper program with USPS.
Sam’s Club operates in a similar way to Costco in both retail and as an Approved Shipper- to ship a USPS package, simply go to the customer service desk with your package (once you verify that your location participates).
12. United Heritage Credit Union
United Heritage Credit Union is currently the only bank that offers USPS services.
While most United Heritage Credit Unions only offer stamp booklets for sale, there are a select few that also offer shipping services for small pieces of mail such as letters, postcards, or business solicitations.
Therefore, to check and see if the United Heritage Credit Union near you offers shipping services, you can check USPS.com and use the scroll-down menu to select “national retailers”.
Scroll until you locate a United Heritage Credit Union, and then click on the location. If the location only offers stamp booklets, it will be stated in the upper right-hand corner.
What Is the Approved Postal Provider Program?
The Approved Postal Provider Program is a series of services launched by USPS in order to make shipping packages easier for the average consumer.
The different services included under the Approved Postal Provider Program are as follows:
- Approved Shipper Program
- Contract Postal Units (CPUs)
- Stamps To Go
- Approved Resellers Program.
Under the Approved Shipper portion of the APPP, national retailers such as grocery stores, banks, and more were approved to become part of the USPS shipping journey by allowing consumers to drop off packages for shipping in their stores.
By partnering with USPS, these national retailers not only got more foot traffic in their stores, but they were also able to add a small convenience upcharge to the shipping costs, enabling them to profit from the partnership.
While retailers benefit by turning a profit, USPS benefits from this program by getting more business due to an increased convenience factor for consumers, as well as more brand recognition.
Both the Stamps To Go and the Approved Resellers Programs are focused on providing shipping materials to consumers in brick-and-mortar locations that aren’t post offices.
In contrast, the Contract Postal Units allow retailers to act as a post office as a partnership arrangement.
When you’re looking to drop off a USPS package, the two most important parts of the Approved Postal Provider Program are the Contract Postal Units and Approved Shippers, as these are the services that offer additional drop-off locations outside of post offices.