Basic Posting and Addressing

Any parcel must display the complete correct mailing address of the recipient. Describing a building on a street or expecting that your postal carrier will know the apartment number of your friend when all you can provide is the address of the building… this will not result in your mail being delivered as hoped.

Making Sure It Gets There

Don’t guess at whether the road it’s on is called street or avenue or circle. Don’t guess at the zip code or leave it blank. Suggestion: Use the internet to type in your friend’s address in your browser. As long as you know the numbers and the street name, unless the name/ number combination is extremely common (main street, park street, etc), you can find the full address including the area code if you don’t know it.

The more readable your writing, the more likely the mail will reach the intended recipient and not be returned. All addresses must be written in English characters. It is a good idea to address your envelope with a water-resistant pen.

Sending domestic mail (within the USA) costs your regular postal rate no matter the distance. So the next city costs the same as the next state. International mail will cost more because you need to pay for your parcel to be processed and delivered in that country as well.

Don’t tempt fate. If there is something valuable in your envelope or parcel, don’t make it obvious. A classic example is sending cash that can be seen through the paper of the envelope. If you have to send cash, wrap it up within the envelope or card so it isn’t obvious from the outside. If the contents of a box have something in them definitely worth stealing, leave no indication on the outside of the box of its contents.

Just because your mail wasn’t returned, does not mean it got to the recipient. Some mail gets misdelivered or lost, less commonly stolen. Sometimes it gets impounded or destroyed. Most commonly, mail is impounded at customs. (When you send internationally) If the contents are unknown or you are sending mail containing items that are sensitive or illegal in the receiving country, your package may be impounded. Count on any package you send internationally to be opened and inspected, it is a common occurrence.

Speaking of making sure it gets there find out - how much will it cost to send a letter?.