We all buy more things online than we used to. This means packages lying on our doorstep, getting rained on, signaling we aren’t home, and opening the door to “porch pirates” — people who steal packages as they wait on our doorsteps.
But what do you do to prevent packages from being stole when you are out?
Porch Problems in 2021
Online shopping is incredibly convenient but has produced a problem. Many of the recipients have not been able to take in packages immediately which has enabled thieves drive around neighborhoods looking for packages to steal after being left on the porch.
This thievery has been problematic for both businesses and homeowners. Some people see this as a minor crime because the package is covered by the shippers’ insurance and many sellers, like Amazon, are quick to replace packages, but this is not the case. Lost items mean lost time, and sometimes you need things immediately — maybe it’s for work or health-related items. Plus lost packages mean lost time talking to shippers, talking to sellers, negotiating about insurance, proving items were lost, and so forth.
The worst part is that a dropped off package is technically understood to be delivered, so the burden is largely on the homeowner to figure out the status of their package.
Luckily, there are ways to ensure that your packages are safe from thieves…
How To Protect Your Packages
Here are some tips to ensure your packages stay safe and get delivered to inside your home.
Request Tracking And Signatures
Package tracking is offered by both the the postal service and major delivery companies. It’s pretty much always present now, but it’s not mandatory. Make sure everything you buy has a tracking number.
You can also require a signature acknowledgment. This tracking feature will come via two options. The first option is that you can make arrangements to be at home when the package arrives. The second option is that you can ask a neighbor to receive the package on your behalf. The signature will ensure that you know who has received the package.
This is a hassle from some sellers, may cost an extra dollar or two, and may not be an option through mega-sellers like Amazon or Ebay, but it’s usually something you can ask for and receive. Some shippers, like DHL, are very good about getting signatures so you might start to use them more often.
Ensure Packages Are Picked Up Or Hidden
In case you have to be away from home when the package is delivered then have another person pick it up. Many neighbors form groups where they take in each other’s boxes and then give them to the owner when they are home. This is especially useful in vacation communities and commuting areas where people are regularly away from their homes.
A thief will be tempted to steal a package only if it is clearly visible. If the package is small you can find a way of hiding it from wandering eyes. The most commonly used option is a planted pot, but anything will work, like placing it behind a chair, etc. on the porch. Most delivery people will be happy to accomodate this request.
Install A Home Security System With Front Door Camera
Investing in a home security system is a smart thing to do, but most don’t protect packages from being stolen. Installing a camera over the front porch is enough to make most thieves think twice… so long as the know the camera is there. It’s often better to have some sort of smart doorbell with a camera installed in order that a potential thief knows they are being recorded. These doorbells are easy for thieves to recognize and they have a better view of people approaching the door.
Buy A Package Locker
Something you can do instead of a camera, or in addition to one, is buy a package locker for your porch. This is basically a locking mailbox, but for your boxes. They are large and, well, not very good looking, but they are effective.
Package lockers work because they lock, but even if they aren’t locked thieves won’t know that packages are in them, making stopping at your house an inefficient operation.
Top package containers picks include:
- Non-locking Weatherproof Box – $50
- Costco Locker – $90
- Collapsible DoorBox – $150
- Keter Storage Container – $160
Use A Receiving Center
You can have your Amazon packages shipped to a locker hub or your packages shipped to a UPS store or similar mailbox center.
Amazon and many other start-up companies provide storage box options. Here they would store your package for 24 hours. You can protect packages by using these boxes. The company would provide you with a code that opens these boxes. You would either receive the code needed to open the lock or be able to scan the display screen found on the locker. It is a good option to protect your packages from being stolen.
We have all started purchasing things online. That means many packages get delivered to us at home. Unfortunately, many thieves have started taking packages left on the porches. It is a problem for both recipients and small businesses. The methods suggested above can protect packages from being stolen, but they are not a guarantee. On the bright side, if you use more than one method, you can reduce the chances of your package being stolen.