Marvelous Mailboxes & More Marvelous Mailboxes & More
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Mailbox & Mailbox Flag Etiquette

If you are looking for the yellow “Mail’s Here” Alerts, please click here.

Use of the Signal Flag:
The red flag is only used to signal to the mail carrier that you have outgoing mail inside and you want him/her to stop and pick it up. The
mail carrier puts the flag down to let you know he/she picked up the mail.

Some people put it up everyday, whether they have outgoing mail or not, but this REALLY aggravates mail carriers because you made them stop, and if you had no outgoing mail that day or no incoming mail either you made them stop for nothing.

Because mail theft is rampant in some areas, many people are no longer leaving outgoing mail in their mailboxes. It's safer to mail it at the post office or in an official outgoing mail receptacle.

Mailbox Location:
You may not locate your curbside mailbox just anywhere. You need to ask the mail carrier that delivers on your street where they need it to be and how tall they need it to be installed. The clerk at the window or the postmaster may not know and will have to consult with the carrier who services your street anyway, so why not talk to the right person in the first place?

In most areas the mail carrier wants the mailbox to be 42" to 46" tall, measuring from the pavement to the bottom edge of the mailbox door. If you place it in the wrong place you run the risk of having to move it. If you don't place it in a designated location the post office can and will refuse to deliver mail to it. ASK your mail carrier! If you can't get a hold of him/her then go to your local Post Office for instructions.

If it's a new subdivision, the post office does not have to deliver to your new home until at least 50% of the homes are occupied. If it's a good post office they will deliver to the very first home.

Address Numbers on the mailbox:
The official statute asks for your address numbers to be applied on the flag side of the mailbox, neatly applied in a contrasting color at least 1" tall. Here in my area, if you don't have your numbers on your mailbox, the mail carrier will use a magic marker and put them on for you...Not too attractive!

About "Postmaster Approved" (or not) Mailboxes:
Millions of people receive their mail everyday in "non postmaster approved" mailboxes. Did you know that ALL wall mounted mailboxes are NOT "approved"?

When it comes to mailboxes, it's just common sense. If the mailbox is large enough (that IS VERY important!), the door is easy to insert mail into, is easy to open and close and STAYS closed, has no sharp edges and if you keep it maintained you will have a very happy mail carrier.

Your Mail Carrier keeps "breaking" your mailbox:
Take the hint. Your mailbox is poorly constructed with a flimsy door and/or too small and you need a larger or sturdier mailbox! If you had to try to stuff wads of mail into a tiny mailbox at 500 homes a day you'd go "postal" too!

Marvelous Mailboxes & More | Milwaukee, WI USA | (262) 366-5959
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