Online package deliveries soar every holiday season. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are many excellent deals to take advantage of on Amazon or other online marketplaces. And with Christmas looming around the corner, it’s nice to be able to buy that perfect gift with just a few clicks of a mouse, right from the comfort of your own home.
Unfortunately, the convenience of online shopping brings a hidden risk – package theft, otherwise known as porch piracy. An increase in package deliveries means an increase in boxes left on doorsteps. With deliveries happening at all hours of the day, there is a good risk your package may be delivered while you’re not home, making it a very easy mark for package thieves. Being home might not even help – a savvy porch pirate might follow the delivery driver, allowing them to nab your package within minutes of its arrival.
If your package is stolen, you should file a claim with the online retailer, contact the shipping carrier and provide the tracking number, and file a report with your local police department. In most cases, online marketplaces will replace the stolen items or provide you with a refund. But how do you prevent package theft from happening to begin with?
You could do what this former NASA engineer did and surprise unsuspecting porch pirates with a glitter bomb. But you don’t have to be quite that ambitious to prevent porch piracy. Here are several other ways you can thwart porch pirates:
- Ship Your Package Elsewhere: Some stores have a “ship to store” option, allowing you to pick up your package directly from its customer service department. You might also consider having your package held at the local FedEx office, or, if your boss allows it, having your package delivered straight to your workplace. Local businesses in your area may also provide package receipt services for a small fee.
- Make Delivery Requests: Leaving specific requests to the delivery company is always an option. You can ask that the delivery person require a signature before they hand a package over or for them to leave it somewhere besides your front door.
- Use an Amazon Locker: Amazon offers secure self-service kiosks in over 900 cities and towns across the United States. Once your package is shipped to an Amazon Locker, you can use a unique six-digit code to retrieve it. Do note that there is a limit on the size and weight of packages that can be shipped to an Amazon locker.
- Take Advantage of Amazon Key: The Amazon Key Smart Lock Kit allows the delivery driver to deposit your package within your home, your garage or the trunk of your car if you’re not home. Although these are vastly more secure options than your front porch, this does require giving a complete stranger access to the inside of your property.
- Use Home Security Devices: If you’re willing to spend a bit of extra money, motion-detecting lights and a home security camera can help deter porch pirates. A good security camera can also help police identify the perpetrator if your package is stolen.
Every day, over a million Americans have a package stolen right from their doorstep. You don’t have to be one of them. Instead, take advantage of some of the options above and ensure your package arrives safe and secure.
Have a safe and happy holidays with the Don Turner Legal Team!