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Old 01.01.2015, 14:10
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P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

Heya everyone! I have a little problem that I need some advice on, and would greatly appreciate any insight :}

In a nutshell, my husband and I are building an online business/brand here in Switzerland. Everything is going very well so far, but there's one thing that we keep getting snagged on. We're required to give a physical mailing address for the impressum/legal notice, and also on our email mailing list in accordance with international spam laws.

The thing is though, we're very wary about slapping our home address on the internet along with our names. We went to the Post last week and requested a P.O. box, but our request was turned down. According to them, as we don't receive enough mail to warrant one. Of course they're willing to sell us one for 250 francs a year, but that is not a route we're willing to take just starting off. We already invested a great deal into this, and we'd like to start seeing returns, not shell out even more money if there are alternatives.

So! My question for the community, is, aside from using our home address or shelling out 250 for a P.O. box, do we have any other options? Any services that we aren't aware of, etc.

Thank you so much in advance, and Happiest 2015 to everyone <3
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Old 01.01.2015, 16:43
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

Are you sure you can use a PO Box for the legal notice? Don't they require a physical address where the business is located?

You can pay for the services of a company administrator to get an address, as many Swiss companies do. It is what I do. But it costs thousands of CHF, not 250 CHF.

If you really don't want to use your home address, I can't imagine you will find an alternative cheaper than 250CHF per annum.
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Old 01.01.2015, 17:04
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

Thank you for the response, Amy.

We're not a registered business yet. Just a blog that will make modest cash through ad revenue while we build our brand. Our email newsletters require the address at the bottom of the mail according to international spam laws (either street address, a P.O. box, or a private mailbox registered with a commercial mail receiving agency). We also need such an address on our website itself as requested by Google AdSense, and to help SEO (search engine optimization - it helps us build our audience). A P.O. box is all we need for now.

So while we're just starting out, 250 is a bit more than what we're willing to spend on something like this. Since posting this thread, my husband and I found this. It's a P.O. box, but instead of being at our local branch, it can be in another city since "delivery" is purely digital. The non-premium service is free, and we qualify for it.

But, it's only a temporary solution. We're still up for suggestions if anyone has them
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:01
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

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Thank you for the response, Amy.

We're not a registered business yet. Just a blog that will make modest cash through ad revenue while we build our brand. Our email newsletters require the address at the bottom of the mail according to international spam laws (either street address, a P.O. box, or a private mailbox registered with a commercial mail receiving agency). We also need such an address on our website itself as requested by Google AdSense, and to help SEO (search engine optimization - it helps us build our audience). A P.O. box is all we need for now.

So while we're just starting out, 250 is a bit more than what we're willing to spend on something like this. Since posting this thread, my husband and I found this. It's a P.O. box, but instead of being at our local branch, it can be in another city since "delivery" is purely digital. The non-premium service is free, and we qualify for it.

But, it's only a temporary solution. We're still up for suggestions if anyone has them
Um, did you actually look at the subscriptions? Yes, there's no monthly fee, but each letter opened and scanned costs 1.95, additional pages or copies of a letter cost too and it'll cost you 25 francs for the yellow identification to set the PO box up.

https://secure.swisspostbox.com/regi...n=Swisspostbox

Assuming you get 10 1-page letters a month you'd pay more than the 250 for a normal PO by the end of the year.
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:06
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

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We're still up for suggestions if anyone has them
Make up an address.

Tom
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:08
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

Yes, Medea Fleecestealer, we did indeed read all the subscriptions. Quite thoroughly.

Should we receive enough mail at that P.O. box to make it more expensive than the alternatives, than we would qualify for the free P.O. box in our hometown. Which was our problem in the first place So we can only hope we get that much mail.

But. We're not expecting to receive mail at this box. Since we're just running a blog, most of, if not all of our business will be conducted online. Also, we copied our identification and are mailing it to them, thus avoiding the 25 franc fee. So, still massively cheaper, if not free. Any mail that we would get there would likely be spam, and we would have them toss it. There would be no multiple page scanning, just the initial received fee.

Thank you for your response.

Last edited by Alpine Macaroni; 01.01.2015 at 19:18.
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Old 01.01.2015, 19:37
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

Post Restante or Postlagernd

https://www.post.ch/post-startseite/...lagernd+privat
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Old 02.01.2015, 00:56
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

New customers need to have confidence in your online business before they make a purchase. At work, most new customers look at the "About Us" page before they buy. No physical address and not being able to look up the owner would ring alarm bells for me. People want to know who is behind the company they are dealing with and if they are a risk to place an order with.
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Old 02.01.2015, 12:42
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

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New customers need to have confidence in your online business before they make a purchase. At work, most new customers look at the "About Us" page before they buy. No physical address and not being able to look up the owner would ring alarm bells for me. People want to know who is behind the company they are dealing with and if they are a risk to place an order with.
But the OP is not selling anything through an on-line shop. They are starting a blog to generate advertising revenue.
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Old 02.01.2015, 13:06
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

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New customers need to have confidence in your online business before they make a purchase. At work, most new customers look at the "About Us" page before they buy. No physical address and not being able to look up the owner would ring alarm bells for me. People want to know who is behind the company they are dealing with and if they are a risk to place an order with.
It is definitely a case of credibility.

Once the business is registered what are you going to do then?

You can put a second mailbox in front of your house with the business name.

You can also take your private names out of the telephone directory and delete them from opendi though this is almost impossible to control as search engines will cause it to reappear.
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Old 02.01.2015, 15:16
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Re: P.O. box alternatives? Website advice needed!

Thanks for all the responses, everyone. Seriously, I was stoked to see so many replies. I appreciate it like crazy.

You guys are very right. Credibility is extremely important for what we're trying to do. CH_Me hit the nail on the head about the 'alarm bells' thing. Despite not offering a physical product (thank you for clarifying it for everyone, grumpygrapefruit), having a physical address on our 'About Us' page helps build trust and gives us a 'face' to our readers. Whenever we try to offer help through an article, people are more apt to take what we say seriously; that we are who we say we are. It's about transparency and being yourself. It's hard to do that with the anonymity of the internet.

That being said, the best we can do right now without gambling with our home address (and personal safety) is to use a P.O. box. Mrs. Doolittle, once we're more established it won't be a problem to get a paid or business P.O. box through the Post. Thank you for your suggestions though - this is the first time I even heard about Opendi, so you taught me something new

But yeah. Since we're only starting out, we don't have the money to spend on something that has free alternatives. Thankfully my husband is a talented web developer so we didn't need to spend as much as we might have for the site design, but there's still hosting and a myriad of other little fees that really stack up. Not to mention the investment in additional photography equipment since that's going to be one of our focuses (we live in Switzerland, it'd be some kind of crime against humanity to have a lifestyle blog and not to share the beautiful scenery with the world, haha).

Back to the credibility thing. That's probably the only reason why we're not going to go with Sbrinz's suggestion (despite it being an awesome one. Thank you by the way, I hadn't noticed that option before you mentioned it). The Postlagernd would work perfect for the technical requirements (to appease the spam laws, AdSense, and SEO I think), but when it comes to real people and not just bots looking at that address, it's one step less personal than even a P.O. box.

I think I'm going to update the OP to include all the options we talked about in case others have this problem later on. I love how helpful this community is, and before I even made this thread I looked up similar topics here to see if they could help. But they didn't quite satisfy what I was looking for. EDIT: Actually, no I'm not because the edit option isn't available on the OP. Ah well, I think this thread is still a treasure trove of options for anyone that might need something similar!

So for now, I think we're going to stick with the digital P.O. box with the Post. Should that backfire on us and end up more expensive than just shelling out the 250 for a local box, I'll surely let you all know :P Thanks again, everyone.
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