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Bills and Car Stuff,  Blog,  Expat Life,  Life in Queretaro

How to Get Mail in Mexico

Getting mail in Mexico is one of the great mysteries of living here. Before moving to Mexico, we had heard that mail delivery was slow, even non-existent. If we want to receive mail from the United States, it may arrive a few weeks or months later, or maybe not at all. And the same if we wanted to send letters or care packages to friends and family back in the States.

*This post has been updated to include merchant and delivery websites for your online shopping convenience.*

Disclosure: Some links may be affiliate links where we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. 

What’s a Mailbox For?

We’ve seen slots for mail, but we never see anyone getting any mail. I’ve asked our neighbors how they receive their mail.

“Oh, someone delivers it to our house.”

When?

“When I get something.”

You see there is no daily mail delivery. In 9 months, we’ve seen the postman twice on his motorbike with two milk crates of packages and envelopes. So yes, there is mail delivery, but we haven’t figured out the schedule.

FEDEX and DHL

DHL and FedEx have multiple offices around Queretaro, so there are ways to get mail in Mexico. We’ve used FedEx to ship one of Tom’s old phones back to his dad. We’ve also received new credit cards through FedEx from our banks. I’ve heard DHL is more reliable, but both DHL and FedEx are expensive to use.

Do We Get Bills Through The Mail?

No, bills don’t come through the mail either.

When we lived in our rental house, we were connected to public electric and water companies. The electric company would drive by every two months and hand deliver the electric bills to the security guard of our neighborhood. The bills are not in envelopes. They literally hand a stack of papaers to the security guard and then the security guard walks around shoving the bills under each door.

Same thing for the water company. They hand a stack of bills to the guard once a month, and he shoves them under the door. Sometimes he rings the doorbell if he sees the car, and let’s us know that are bill is “very expensive”.  Maybe its expensive by Mexican standards, but $25 for water is awesome for us!

In our new house, we are using water from a private water company who sends us a bill through email every two months. Our neighborhood is still new, so currently we do not receive an electric bill. To see the comparison of our household costs with renting, owning and the United States, read our post: Cost of Living in Queretaro.

Is There a Mail Service?

I have been searching for a US to Mexico mail service, but it hasn’t really been a priority. I don’t miss the junk mail, and the bills I receive from the US are online. Recently, I came across another expat’s blog on how they get their mail which you can read about here: http://retirementbeforetheageof59.blogspot.com/2018/09/how-we-deal-with-our-bills-other-us.html?spref=bl

I even asked our Mexican friends about the Mexican mail system. Their answer was it’s “inefficient” so people don’t use it. My friend told me about the time she received a Christmas card in June from a family member living outside of Mexico. It’s the end of August and we are still waiting for Tom’s birthday card from his parents that was sent in April.

Amazon.mx Will be Your New BFF

Imagine our excitement when we ordered something from Mexican Amazon and it arrived two days later! That might not be such a big deal when you are living in the United States, but for us it was a HUGE milestone.

Tom with his new book THE NOMA GUIDE TO FERMENTATION.
Tom with his new book THE NOMA GUIDE TO FERMENTATION. Click the picture to learn more about the book.

I think what I’m most overjoyed with is that I wrote our Mexican address correctly for delivery.

Our address is not just a number, street, city, state and zip code. It’s the main street, neighborhood number, house number, larger neighborhood, town, zip code and state. And both the electric bill and water bill list it differently so it was a real stretch if I was going to get it right for Amazon.

Amazon Prime

And while we are discussing Amazon.mx, yes, they have Amazon Prime. The two day delivery option with Prime sometimes works, and if your internet is strong enough, you can get Amazon video.

TIP: Make sure you order from AMAZON.MX not Amazon.com

MercadoLibre.com.mx

Mercado Libre is another website where you order just about anything. We’ve tried, but because our billing address and shipping address were not the same, they refused our purchase.

We Got Mail!

Twice we have received mail from the United States. New credit cards arrived by FedEx overnight from our USA bank, and a thank you card from our friends who just got married in Orlando. Even with 3 stamps on the envelope, it took 35 days to get here.

Here’s Our Advice for Receiving or Sending Mail and Packages in Mexico

  • If you want to receive letters from family and friends back in the States, the fastest way for you to receive them is by using FedEx, DHL or UPS. It will still take time.
  • If you want to send mail back to the US, the fastest way is also through one of these carriers.
  • If you want to receive packages from the US, be prepared that customs will open every box and decide if the contents can be brought in to the country. This includes letters, official documents and packages. Food and medication will be confiscated.
  • If you want to send a gift to someone in the United States (or any other country), order from websites within that country.
  • If someone wants to send you a gift, tell them to go to Amazon.mx to order it. Amazon will take any credit card from inside or outside the country.

If You Need Certain Medications or Supplements:

One of the reasons many people move to Mexico is because of lower heathcare costs. From what I’ve read, some people have not been able to get the exact medications that their former doctors prescribed. I have a certain brand of vitamin supplements that I prefer, but also can’t get shipped to Mexico.

After checking with local stores, Amazon and MercadoLibre and confirming that the item is unavailable check here these places:

WeCarePharma.mx

They will find your medication and get it shipped to you.

Mexico Mule Forum, Mexico Shipping Forum, Yucatan Mule Connection

These Facebook groups put you in contact with people who might be going or coming to Mexico. From our understanding, you list what you need, someone responds, and you work out the details with them in a private message.

****Please note, that we have not contacted anyone in the above Facebook groups or used WeCarePharma. We are listing them simply as a resource for you.***

Guaranteed Delivery

For a guaranteed delivery, send what you need to your friends or family before they come to visit you. They are coming to see your fantastic life anyway, might as well put them to work!

 

Overall, we are very excited that we have figured out how to order online and get things delivered just in time for Christmas. Tom already has a list started, so I better get working on mine!

 

4 Comments

  • Freda Holmes

    Your article on getting mail while in Mexico was helpful, not helpful in GETTING mail but in understanding why it’s difficult to do so. I’m living out in the country, 11 km south of San Miguel and trying to find an address which which to direct a BajaioGo driver to deliver my daughter, is proving problematic. The road doesn’t have a number, the property doesn’t have a number and I’ve spent more than an hour ‘making’ a map from Google Maps marking it up with directions to here. I may have to report her as missing if she doesn’t show up Friday night by midnight!

    I’m looking forward to exploring your previous articles!

    • Tiffany

      Oh my goodness, Freda! How stressful! I hope everything works out. Google needs to update Mexican roads a little faster! We use on Ubers on occasion, and though they have no problem picking us up, pping us off back at home is always an adventure. But it has helped us practice giving directions in Spanish. 🙂

  • Ray Sparrowe

    Here’s an option we used to receive mail when in SMA: There is an outfit called “Escapees RV Club” that receives and forwards mail for folks who have sold their landlocked homes and are traveling the world in their RVs. We signed up and they gave us a street address and box number at their place in Texas. Then, we had the USPS forward our mail to that address, where the Escapees people scanned the first-class envelopes and emailed us the scans. If there was an envelope that had important contents, we would instruct them either to open that mail and scan the contents (important bills, etc.) or fedex it to the fedex location in SMA where we would pick it up. The service was reliable, efficient, and inexpensive.

    Because we were staying in SMA only for six months, we forwarded our mail rather than actually changing our address to the Escapees location in Texas. But I see little reason why actually changing one’s address wouldn’t work – although there might be a few exceptions, such as seniors verifying their address yearly to receive their benefit checks. There may also be issues whether the Escapees address qualifies as a permanent residence for determining whether state income taxes are due. But such problems are inevitable when moving to another country.

    There are other mail forwarding services that offer similar services. I have no connection to the Escapees, I just am a satisfied customer. https://www.escapees.com/

    Ray

    • Tiffany

      Thank you, Ray for adding some additional information. It can be overwhelming for people who just move to Mexico to find the right resources.

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