Meet The New Owner of Coronado Mail Boxes Etc.

Offering the convenience of a United States based mailing address that gets forwarded to you in Panama, Michael Poirier, from Montreal, Canada, the owner of the Mail Boxes Etc® franchise located in the corner of the El Rey Plaza in Coronado, is fast becoming the most popular new guy in town. Michael heard about the sale of the local Mail Boxes Etc® franchise (or “MBE) while on a trip to the US. He wanted to set roots in a new city, but had not thought about Panama until then. After talking to the previous owners and making a couple of trips to Panama to check things out for himself, Michael made the decision to sell his home in Canada and move his family to Panama. Since taking over the business on October 1, 2007, Michael has seen a steady increase in permanent mailbox owners. One of the main reasons is that an MBE mailbox allows people living in Panama to easily purchase and receive goods over the internet.


Apart from offering the service of a US based address, the Coronado MBE adds offers a number of additional benefits to local residents. An important one is the ability to receive courier shipments here in Coronado. “The major courier companies do not cross the bridges to deliver to the interior. When you use your MBE address, we receive all packages on your behalf and bring it to your Coronado MBE box. We do not charge any additional handling fees to bring your packages across the bridge,” says Michael.

Free Custom Brokerage and Insurance

Another convenience of having an MBE account is that you do not pay any additional fees for the customs clearance of packages. A subscription cost includes custom broker charges. Any duties (5 – 15%) and taxes (5%) incurred on goods arriving in Panama are paid by MBE and charged on your monthly bill. Furthermore, packages are automatically insured for up to $1000. “If you have a shipment tracking number, we can also help track your packages and let you know where your delivery is along the way,” says Michael.

Courier Service Between Panama City and Coronado

“Another service we offer is local deliveries. If you have a package that urgently needs to get to Panama City, we can do that for you. For a same day delivery, we need the package before 2 pm. Otherwise, it will be there the next morning. Delivery price depends on the size and value of your package. The average cost is around the $12 mark.”


Average Costs for MBE Services


“A basic mailbox costs $25 per month. This gives you 2 kilos of mail/packages per month. Anything over 2 kilos is charged at 1 cent per gram on excess weight up to 50 kilos. Sizeable discounts are available on deliveries above 50 kilos. We have a number of price options available for people who get regular delivery of packages. We also offer our customers a floating plan. Should a client get an unusually high weight delivery for a month, we will give him the best plan for that month.”

“ We charge based on the actual weight of the package, not the dimensional weight. It is important to understand this difference when choosing a mail carrier. Dimensional weight is calculated according to the height and width of a package. Dimensional weight accounts for the space a package takes. This means is that if you have a large box that is light, you could be charged a heavier weight. MBE charges on actual scale weight".

“MBE customers can also use their Panama MBE address to receive local mail. We do not count weight on local mail. Also, if you are a frequent traveler or one of the many home owners who visit Panama only in the winter months, MBE will hold on to your mail until you come and get it. You can send yourself mail from your anywhere in the world. It will be waiting here for you to pick up when you get back to Panama.”

Who can benefit from an MBE mailbox? “If you receive a monthly magazine delivery or an occasional package, an MBE account is cost-effective for you. Anything less than that is not”

Advertising Services

“Businesses should know that they can use mailboxes to distribute flyers to boxes. For non-profit organizations, we will be happy to place a flyer in the boxes to advertise your causes for free".

“We are really happy with how things are going here in Coronado,” says Michael, when asked what it’s like to be here in Coronado. “I get to meet everybody and hear what’s going on. It keeps me connected to the community. We also are happy to support local non-profit charitable endeavors. Groups that are raising money towards social benefit can leave non-profit tickets or items for sale at our center. You can also use your mailbox to collect donations for various causes at no weight count.”

Faxing and Printing Services

“When we took over the store, a number of services were not working due to mechanical failures. All of those problems are fixed and we are able to offer a greater range of services. We can print and laminate cards, documents, pictures, etc. We have done menus for local restaurants. We also print business cards. We can print anything up to 11 x 17. We make enlargements of documents, plans, and pictures. We also fax local and international phone numbers. We use a flatbed scanner to fax, so large pieces can be faxed as well.”

Internet Services

Coronado’s MBE also offers highly affordable internet connection from the 4 computer stations set up in the store and wireless access for clients who wish to use their own computer. “Internet use costs .50 cents per half hour. All our customers receive 30 minutes of free internet usage a day”

In-Home Audio/Video and Computer Set Up

“Another service we are able to offer the community is in-home assistance to set up or solve simple computer and network issues. For example, setting up your wireless internet, in-home audio and video systems or helping you connect Skype for audio/ video conferencing with home”.

Michael Poirier is the owner of the local Mail Boxes Etc. franchise in Coronado. For more information, or to set up a mailbox MBE, visit Michael at Coronado Mail Box Etc, located in the El Rey Plaza or call the store at 240-4427 or email from Playacommunity article