The main difference between selling home decor these days, as opposed to say 20 years ago, is the overwhelming selection available. We remember the days when the biggest obstacle to succeeding in this business was trying to locate any supplier of quality products. It was literally searching for a needle in a haystack. Nowadays, it’s far more confusing with such an overwhelming availability of product choices, manufacturers, and on-line sellers. Just shopping on Amazon, Wayfair, and eBay alone gives you literally 100’s of items to choose from.
At the Mailbox Shoppe, changes occur very slowly. Our product line has remained pretty stable through many many years. We like the dependability that long established products give our customers. For us, they have a long established history of exceptional quality. I can look at developments, for example, where we installed Imperial Mailboxes and Posts, to see how well they’ve held up over the years. In many cases, they still look great. We have enjoyed long established relationships with manufacturers like Imperial Mailbox Systems, Whitehall Products, Gaines Manufacturing, Ecco Mailboxes, Special Lite Products, Royal Crowne Cupolas, Bacova Mailboxes, and Salsbury Industries. We have seen (and installed in the old days) so many of their products over the years that we quite frankly know them inside and out. When a customer calls with a specific question, we rarely need to look up references to provide an accurate answer. And any manufacturer’s product that falls short, whether it be product quality or poor customer service, we stop selling their items.
Wall Mount Mailboxes
If a customer were to ask me “what kind of mailbox should I buy”, I’d say “come back with someone who knows you better than me”. Truthfully, a good quality mailbox hanging next to your front door is something you will look at literally 1000’s of times, so it better be something that you love. The Mailbox Shoppe does its best to provide you with a large selection of tested, high quality products, and as much detail about those products as possible. We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision.
I, myself, am more of a practical purchaser. I strongly consider the functional aspect of a wall mailbox. It better be large enough to fit all my mail, even if I’m away for a few days. Start by noting the mailbox size and cutting out a cardboard outline and taping it to the house. You’d be surprised how quickly that helps you visualize the correct size. IMO, no one ever regretted buying a larger size wall mount mailbox. This is not the 1950’s. People get a lot of mail. Go large, just for the sake of convenient.. You won’t regret it.
As for materials, we like cast aluminum. The casting process produces a pattern in the metal. And usually anything cast from aluminum comes in a wide variety of colors. This will help narrow down your selection, since the color of your wall mount mailbox will usually be matched first to whatever item is closest to it, for example, the color of your door, light fixture, or house numbers.
Post Mount Mailboxes
In our opinion, post mount mailboxes are monuments unto themselves. We have seen customers suffer over trying to find a color that will exactly match their house. In some cases, where the distance from the house to the street is very short, then color might be a critical choice. But in many cases (many cases), the house is set back so far from the street, no one (no one) will ever tie in the color of your front door, for example, with the color of your mailbox some 75-150 feet away. We have always thought that a post mount mailbox should be selected based on it’s size, it’s construction material, it’s likelihood of being vandalized (or broken into), how it compares to others in the neighborhood, and what kind of statement you’re trying to make. The other important issue is whether or not you need a locking mailbox. Unfortunately, mail theft is reaching epidemic levels and more and more people are finding the need to secure their mail. We offer locking mailboxes, plus locking mailbox inserts that can adapt standard post mount mailboxes into mailboxes with a key locked compartment for increased mail security.
Mailbox and Post Sets
We mix and match different items for customers all day long. In many cases, you get to piece together something a little unique. In other cases, we’ll contact you to say that such & such items do not play well with one another. For example, a white mailbox from one supplier and a white mailbox post from another supplier can be very different looking whites. Glossiness, texture, and shade can make a white mailbox and post from two different suppliers look a little off. Whenever possible, sticking with one supplier is the way to go. You’ll be purchasing items that have been tooled to work together (all the holes line up), colors that are an exact match, and installation instructions that will be complete and easy to follow
Over the years, I don’t think any one product has been more confusing for a customer to purchase than a cupola. We get people all the time asking, “What size cupola should I buy?”. That question would be answered by 9 out of 10 on-line cupola sellers. Truthfully, we’re that 10th guy, because having installed a few cupolas in our day, and having just looked at cupolas everywhere for many years, it is clear to me that different people appreciate different looks. I have a two car garage with a 28″ wide cupola, and I wish I bought a 32″. I have a neighbor down the block with the same size garage and his cupola looks no larger than 24″ wide. My advise to people is to first: if there is an architect, builder, or contractor involved, ask them for a scaled drawing. Other than dragging cardboard boxes up to the roof, there is no better way of getting a clearer visual than a scaled drawing. And if you ask someone on line, you might get dependable information from someone truly knowledgeable, or you might get someone doing some quick side math using the old 1-1.5″ of cupola width for every unbroken foot of roof line formula. That’s a risky way of buying an expensive item that will sit on your structure for decades.