Earlier this year – back in July to be precise – I ordered something that I needed for an upcoming summer trip.
Once the notification came that the package was properly delivered, I felt the same rush of excitement that we all tend to feel when we receive a gift to ourselves. But after opening our front door and circling around the property, I realized that the package was not there.
“Porch Pirates” are not new, this shipment-sniper act became a problem when online shopping started becoming popular, and this time of year marks when these thieves are at their most lively.
If you are wondering how common package theft is, the answer is very common, where a whopping 43% of shoppers said that they have had a package stolen in 2020.
Fortunately, there are many preventative measures you can take to deter these criminals.
Read below for some tips on how to avoid holiday headaches and make it nearly impossible for a thief to steal your packages!
Install a Security Camera
There are numerous home security system options on the market that are easy to install and offer reliable technology. A camera that is visible will deter a porch pirate while providing ample evidence for retaliation in case a package does get stolen.
Get Your Packages Delivered to Your Office
If you are more likely to be at work during delivery hours, consider having your package delivered to your office for added security and convenience.
Set Up Notifications to Track Your Package
You may already have this set, but it’s still important to note as no porch thief can obtain this information. A majority of delivery services provide options for digital notifications throughout the delivery process. These updates enable you to be the first to know when your package is delivered.
There’s no way for anyone to steal your package if you’re there to bring it inside right as it arrives at your front door.
Ask Your Neighbors to Grab Your Packages
Communicating with a trusted neighbor might just do the trick at no cost. If you’re away from your home a majority of the day, ask them to keep an eye out for any deliveries. This way, you’ll know someone is keeping your packages safe until you can swing by and grab them.
Get a P.O. Box at Your Local Post Office
You can obtain a P.O. Box at your local post office. There, you can expect that your packages will be safely handled and properly stored until you can pick it up.
Postal companies, convenience stores, and retailers all want to keep your packages safe like you do, thus leading major organizations into the business of package security.
Some even provide lockers for rent. You can get your package delivered to a certain location and pick it up when you can.
Require a Signature on Delivery
UPS and FedEx offer signature requirements for peace of mind. Sometimes, the shipper will indicate that they must receive a signature
However, you don’t need to rely on their decision. You can add delivery protection features yourself. Do note that this will likely require additional fees. Those could add up if you’re receiving a lot of packages, but it’s definitely worth it on expensive purchases.
Reschedule Delivery or Ask for a Package Hold When on Vacation
UPS and FedEx both offer vacation hold services. FedEx offers 14 days free of charge. UPS offers seven free days of package storage.
To request a hold from FedEx, simply download their Delivery Management App. To request a hold from UPS, use your UPS InfoNotice number online.
Try Smart Locks
Smart locks allow keyless entry into your home. They allow you to let people in when you’re away. They also allow you to check-in with live view and two-way audio.
For deliveries, this means you can get packages delivered inside of your doorstep, at no charge. This Amazon Smart Lock works with a mobile app that allows you to control all of its features away from home.
Before switching up the lock on your doors, be sure to request permission from your landlord if applicable.
Get a Package Guard
A simple solution to deter a package thief, these smart devices send you notifications when your package has arrived on your porch. This device has an alarm that will sound when someone picks up your package without your permission.
Insure Your Packages
If there’s an issue involving your package, package insurance can save you. But before purchasing this extra layer of protection, check if you are already covered.
UPS and FedEx do this. However, the U.S. Postal Service only provides this low-value coverage on Express Mail items.
If you are receiving something worth over $100, you may want to purchase extra coverage.
If you have any successful Porch Pirate prevention tips, drop them below!