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Your mailbox is off limits. He doesn’t even own it. The moment you place your mailbox in front of your house, it is governed by the rules of the post office. And if you use it for anything other than the postal business (and pay the fees), you are looking for a battle.
Below is a direct quote from the USPS Postal Bulletin (Issue 21861, 2-17-94, p. 37):
Mailed material in or on private mail receptacles Postage-free mailed material in or on private mail receptacles represents a revenue deficiency for the Postal Service and is a violation of federal law. Title 18 of the United States Code, section 1725, establishes a fine of no more than $ 300 per piece for these violations. All employees must uniformly enforce the procedures detailed in the National Mail Manual, section P011.2.0. Failure to follow these procedures in a uniform manner can jeopardize criminal prosecution of repeat offenders.
This is not intended for the accidental piece of mail that is dropped into the mail flow without a seal. Although we spend between $ 20 and $ 30 to purchase and install a mailbox in front of our house, that mailbox is designed, even by mandate of law, for the exclusive use of the post office.
If the local pizza delivery company walks through your neighborhood, they may not post their ads in your mailbox. They can’t hang it on a string, they can’t put it inside, and they’re not allowed to stick it in that little space between the red flag and its box. Not allowed. The same goes for paper delivery men. They can hang their things on your door, stick them between the crack in your door, put them inside your milk carton and, if they’re feeling really brave, even give them to you. But they may not put it in your mailbox without paying the postage. If you find that this “no-mail” invades your mailbox and really bothers you, call your local postal inspector. They will end it very quickly. Technically, your neighbor can’t even leave a message in your mailbox unless they pay the postage, too.
I am not particularly in favor of the rigor of this law, but its existence has allowed the USPS to maintain its monopoly on mail flow, which means that overall our postal service has the highest volume of any country and, thanks to the economies scale and no serious competition, we also have a reasonable first class and bulk shipping fee (even at .42 for first class (or the new .44 fee going into effect mid-May, still lower than most others)).
Why the Post Office Needs a Mail Monopoly: If the USPS delivered only 3/4 of the current mail volume, they would still have to keep almost all of their existing post offices and employees on payroll open, and they would have to increase the difference with a much higher postage rate. Otherwise, they would have to cut service, and nobody would like that. So this rule, which prevents mail not being sent to mailboxes, actually works in our favor.