Online shopping is at an all-time high. Here are quick ideas to keep "The Grinch" and his porch pirates from stealing your holiday.
We all shop online. It's convenient and quick. Many sites offer free shipping with certain purchases. And this year, it's one of the safest ways to purchase gifts for your loved ones during the holidays.
"There’s been significant growth in e-commerce in recent years. In 2014, total sales reached just $1.3 trillion. But that number has more than tripled in 2020 to $4.2 trillion and is anticipated to keep growing as we move deeper into the 2020s."
United Parcel Service (UPS), United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx, and Amazon delivery drivers bring your treasured orders right to your doorstep. Unfortunately, a growing number of porch pirates target residences to steal delivered packages before owners have a chance to bring the boxes inside the home.
Delivery companies have improved communication about deliveries including expected delivery times and photo notifications of delivery. Amazon even offers to deliver packages inside your home.
"Recently, police reported porch pirates trailing delivery trucks around neighborhoods and stealing packages from the truck once drivers left to make a dropoff. In January 2020, people reported 1.7 million stolen or lost packages per day, which resulted in an average of $25 million worth of lost items or services." ~Clutch
Know When to Expect Packages
When you order items using the more widely-used delivery services, you're provided with an expected delivery date and often delivery time. Make a note of this and even set an alarm on your phone to check for packages that day. As you get closer to the expected delivery day, check the progress of the order delivery. You should be notified of any delays or changes.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
You might not be able to be home during the day or expected delivery time, and you might have neighbors who are home during that time (whether a young family or a retired couple). It's quite a "neighborly" thing to ask for them to watch for an expected delivery to your home. Depending on the package and your comfort level, you can ask them to take the package to their home or provide a garage code for them to place the package inside your garage.
Arrange a Delivery Time
When placing the order, you often have a chance to select a preferred delivery day and time. Depending on the merchandise company, you might be able to do this at checkout. If not, check the tracking information for the package. Delivery companies have options to edit delivery instructions and request a certain date or time. If these options don't work, you can request the delivery service hold the package for you to pick up at their nearby facility.
Deliver Packages to Your Workplace
Rather than having packages delivered to your home when you're not there, consider having them delivered to your workplace or to a friend's home (who will be home). This way, the packages will be placed inside right away and not at risk for nearby porch pirates on the prowl.
Watch for Delivery Alerts
Pay attention on the day of delivery. No, you don't have to sit outside waiting for your package to arrive. Delivery services provide notifications when a package is delivered, often with a photo of the package on your front porch. When you receive an alert, bring the package inside where it's safe.
Install a Porch Cam
There's a wide range of features for porch cameras, including motion-detecting, taking still photos, capturing video, interacting with an app available on your phone, or allowing you to speak and interact with a visitor even if you're not home. The interaction with a live person can deter porch pirates, and the photo/video capture provides evidence to law enforcement if you do have a package stolen.
If you have significant time on your hands, consider building a glitter bomb for porch pirates. You may have seen Mark Rober's original YouTube video, Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb Trap (with more than 84 million views). Watch the sequel Mark created:
Have you caught a porch pirate? Tell us how you solved the situation in the comments below.