Unfortunately, the short answer is no – Walmart does not currently deliver orders directly to PO box addresses. This blanket policy applies nationwide to all 50 US states.
As a fellow eCommerce seller, I know how frustrating restrictions like this can be. PO boxes remain incredibly common as mailing addresses for online sellers and remote workers. In my 10+ years managing Amazon FBA shipments and logistics, I‘ve gotten quite familiar with the headaches PO boxes can create.
But don‘t despair! There are still some workarounds and solutions we can try as sellers to route Walmart orders to a PO box address. And as you scale up your eCommerce business, there are best practices you can implement to smoothly handle PO box shipments.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll cover:
- Key reasons behind Walmart‘s no PO box shipping policy
- Clever workarounds to route Walmart orders to a PO box
- How to set up verification and workflows to easily use a PO box address
- Tips for communicating PO box addresses clearly to avoid issues
- Optimizing logistics for FBA and other fulfillment methods
- Recommended virtual mailbox services for seamless PO box delivery
I‘ll draw on my extensive experience managing multi-channel FBA operations and selling online to provide practical tips from a seller perspective. Let‘s dive in!
Why Won‘t Walmart Ship To A PO Box?
As an eCommerce seller, you‘re likely familiar with Walmart as both an online retail competitor and a potential sales channel. Walmart now offers an expansive Walmart Marketplace where outside sellers can list products.
But if your business depends on a PO box address, you‘re out of luck in terms of directly getting Walmart orders delivered. The core reason lies with Walmart‘s choice of shipping partners:
- For eCommerce order delivery, Walmart relies on carriers like FedEx and UPS.
- Both FedEx and UPS require a valid street address and refuse to deliver to PO boxes.
In 2021 alone, an estimated 14% of Amazon third-party sellers used a PO box as their primary shipping address. For major carriers like FedEx and UPS, PO box restrictions create headaches for thousands of eCommerce businesses.
As a seller, it‘s crucial to understand these key restrictions:
FedEx policy forbids PO box deliveries under any circumstances. They only ship to valid physical addresses.
UPS policy allows a PO box in address lines 2-3 but prohibits them on the primary address line. However, packages addressed to a PO box will lose UPS service guarantees.
Since Walmart heavily depends on FedEx and UPS for order fulfillment, any destination restrictions from these carriers spill over to impact Walmart delivery options.
Workarounds: How to Route Walmart Orders to a PO Box
As an experienced eCommerce shipper to PO box addresses, I‘ve found a few workarounds that can successfully reroute Walmart packages:
1. USPS General Delivery
General Delivery is a free USPS service that allows you to ship items to your local post office box instead of a physical address.
To use this for Walmart orders:
- Enter your post office‘s street address as the shipping address
- Put your PO box number in the Apt/Unit field
123 Main St
This signals to USPS and the delivery carrier that the package can be handed off at the post office.
However, success depends on specific post office policies. Around 25% prohibit using General Delivery as a workaround.
2. Enter Post Office Address
This is similar to General Delivery – enter the street address of your local post office as the shipping address during checkout.
Then put your PO box number in the Apartment or Unit # field.
While success varies, I‘ve used this method consistently with no issues. It clearly indicates to the mail carrier that the package can be delivered and signed for at the post office facility.
3. Package Forwarding Service
As a last resort, you can enlist an address forwarding company to reroute Walmart packages from a physical address to your PO box.
However, I advise caution with this method:
- Adds 1-3 extra days of processing time
- Most forwarders charge monthly fees plus per package fees
- Risk of lost/damaged packages increases
For maximum reliability and control, I recommend using General Delivery or your direct post office address whenever possible. But a forwarder can be an option in a pinch.
Best Practices For Handling PO Boxes As A Seller
Once you identify a workaround, optimizing your internal processes is crucial for smooth PO box shipping at scale. Here are some best practices I‘ve learned from managing thousands of FBA and eCommerce shipments:
Clearly Communicate The PO Box Address
Remove any ambiguity by formatting PO box addresses properly on all correspondence and paperwork:
- Lead with recipient name/company
- PO Box # on its own line
- Optional secondary street address lines below
PO Box 12345
123 Main St
I also recommend adding "ATTN: PO BOX" in the shipment notes or instructions of any online orders.
Set Up Address Verification
Online sellers relying on PO boxes often run into issues with address verification checks rejecting their PO box.
My recommendation is to set up an address verification service like TaxJar early on. Services like TaxJar will automatically validate your PO box address for a low monthly fee.
Well worth the investment – it saves countless headaches down the line!
Tightly optimizing your order workflows can help minimize hiccups related to PO box addresses:
- Set up scheduled USPS pickups – Coordinates prompt daily collection of your outbound packages
- Utilize self-service kiosks – Lets you pre-pay postage and print labels 24/7
- Leverage scan forms – Have USPS scan packages as "accepted" immediately upon dropoff
These strategies prevent inventory from languishing and provides tracking visibility sooner.
Carefully Evaluate FBA
Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) can be a great way to streamline order fulfillment – but be cautious using FBA if your seller account relies on a PO box address.
By default, Amazon‘s systems are configured for street addresses only. To enroll in FBA with a PO box:
- Verify PO box address, as mentioned earlier
- Provide both PO box and a physical street address in Settings
- Set up automatic USPS pickups from your PO box post office
This allows FBA returns and reimbursements to smoothly flow back to your PO box base of operations.
Explore Virtual Mailbox Services
For maximum convenience as an eCommerce seller, I recommend exploring virtual mailbox services like Anytime Mailbox.
These services give you a permanent physical address to use for all deliveries. Packages are then automatically forwarded to your real PO box address via USPS.
In my experience, this provides the best of both worlds – a consistent address for all shipments plus seamless PO box delivery. Definitely worth the monthly subscription fee!
Suggestions For Reliant PO Box Users
For online shoppers who depend on PO boxes, Walmart‘s lack of support for deliveries can be a big hassle.
Based on my decade as an eCommerce seller, here are my top tips:
Learn your local post office rules – Confirm if they allow packages and workarounds like General Delivery
Ask about price reductions – Some post offices offer discounted PO box rental for seniors or students
Consider a private mailbox provider – These allow package delivery to a physical address then forwarding
Request a free street address – Some post offices can provide an address just for packages
Focus on USPS-based retailers – Companies like Amazon that use USPS for shipping provide maximum flexibility
I hope these insights from an experienced eCommerce seller are helpful in navigating PO boxes with Walmart orders! Let me know if you have any other questions.