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Why is it illegal for Amazon to deliver packages to your mailbox? What should you do if a package gets caught in Amazon-USPS limbo?

Can Amazon deliver packages to your mailbox? The holiday shopping season is in full-swing, and that means packages getting delivered by many carriers and services.

Amazon has it’s own delivery service it utilizes, but it also leans into other services as necessary.


A viewer recently asked News10NBC to determine why Amazon cannot deliver packages to your mailbox. The answer, as it turns out, is because it’s illegal. The viewer in question said she received a notification that a package to her Rochester-area home had been delivered, but it wasn’t there.

The package showed up the next day.

As it turns out- the package was confiscated by the U.S. Postal Service, then returned the next day.

Why? It’s illegal for Amazon to put a package in your mailbox. It’s all due to federal regulations around use of mailboxes. “Other delivery companies are aware of this Postal Service requirement and work with their local non-postal delivery personnel to ensure they are not delivering to mailboxes,” a spokesperson for the USPS said.

Amazon said it was an error. “We work hard to provide customers with a great experience and deeply regret that this situation did not live up to our high standards,” a spokesperson for the company told News10NBC.


What about packages that are traded off from one carrier to the USPS?

This is a scenario that many in our region have experienced. You place an order through a service like Amazon or another online retailer- and receive a FedEx or UPS shipping number. Then, the day before the delivery is set to take place- it says the package was delivered to a local USPS branch. The next day, the package is delivered with your mail.

This appears to be the workaround method for delivery services when necessary. It doesn’t happen as often now, with the prevalence of Amazon’s proprietary delivery service. That said, it’s still reported occasionally. Especially in rural communities.

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