Porch Pirates: Protecting Your Holiday Gift Packages
Christmas shopping has gotten easier over the years with the help of the internet! Who wants to drive in inclement weather, wait through long lines and tough through the traffic? Okay maybe some shoppers still do that, but Pew Research Center identified that as of 2015 79% of Americans are now online shoppers. USPS alone is looking at an estimated 750 million packages in total for the holiday season, averaging 5 million packages per day!
Unfortunately, you’re not the only one waiting for those Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals to hit your porch. A report released in 2015 estimated that 23 million Americans had packages stolen from their doorstep. Although package theft is a threat all year long, it is especially prevalent during the holiday season. We’ve got some easy options to help ensure your precious gifts end up under your tree safely and not in the hands of a thirsty porch pirate:
Deliver Packages to Your Work
Some employers allow employees to have packages delivered to the office to ensure there is always a person to intercept the package. Double check that this is okay with your boss and notify the front desk or mailroom so everyone is on the same page and can keep an eye out for you!
Use a Package Delivery (Parcel) Box
Both community delivery boxes and single home boxes are an easy, convenient and secure delivery option for consumers. Grocery stores and other retailers might carry community boxes in a locker system format, sending you a unique code that allows you to safely retrieve your package. You can invest in your own parcel box to be installed at your home as well. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes based on your typical delivery needs.
Require a Signature for Package Delivery
This is a simple and effective way to ensure your package ends up in the right hands. Without your signature, delivery services will not leave the package at your door. This ensures your packages won’t be left unattended for any length of time.
Send Your Package to Someone You Trust
If you have a close friend or family member who might be available to receive your package for you, don’t hesitate to ask! This way your purchase is in the hands of someone you trust until you have time to retrieve it.
Provide Specific Package Delivery Instructions
When you order something online you can typically leave special instructions for the delivery driver when entering your shipping information or by using an online profile. Do you have an available space that is hidden from the road? Maybe you have a side door that is more concealed than your front door? Your delivery driver can utilize this information to ensure your package is delivered as securely as possible.
If something comes up to make you unavailable for the delivery, you might be able to reschedule your package delivery through a profile with the delivery service. This way you can be sure to scoop your package off of the porch while you’re home.
Utilize Your Home Security System
Even though your cameras won’t prevent a package theft from occurring, they could dramatically deter thieves from attempting to steal in the first place. Simply having outdoor lighting and security systems in place is often enough to make a thief prey on another home. Also, the video evidence your camera provides can help police apprehend criminals and potentially retrieve your purchases.