With online shopping at an all-time high, packages of all shapes and sizes arrive at doorsteps on a daily basis. This convenient way to shop during the holiday season has escalated in popularity, which unfortunately also means package theft is on the rise. In 2021, Consumer Reports noted 11% of Americans had at least one package stolen from their home in the past year. How do we go about protecting our purchases once they’ve been delivered to our homes? We’re here to help! Below is a practical guide detailing the steps you should take if your online purchase has been stolen.
Utilize a Smart Locker
If you own a home in a high crime area, or rent in a building that does not offer a secure mail location, you might be interested in a third-party solution to prevent theft. Many companies offer smart lockers you can purchase to secure your goods from potential thieves. These lockers are created to physically protect your packages, which is a step further than utilizing a security camera which simply alerts you to the potential crime. You can choose to receive an alert the second your parcel is placed into the locker, giving you peace of mind that your items will be safe until you can arrive to retrieve them.
Pick it Up In-Store
Although it’s tempting to get items delivered to our door, especially around the holidays when online shopping offers many incentives, an option that should not be overlooked is purchasing online and picking up in-store. Many retailers nearby will offer this service free of charge. You simply drive to the store at your convenience and they pop it into your vehicle for safe keeping. This is a smart, easy way to bypass porch pirates all together. You can still utilize online shopping deals & discounts, enjoy the ease of shopping from your computer, but with extra peace of mind your parcel will never be sitting unattended.
Require a Signature
Although some deliveries still require signatures, (for example, alcoholic beverages) it may be worth it to require a signature on any holiday gift items being delivered to your home. This is often an option with major online retailers on the checkout page. If you don’t see this option, contact a customer service representative to utilize a delivery signature before you complete your purchase. This is a great way to be assured the package will go directly into your hands, and won’t be sitting outside for an extended period of time.
Not Home? Reschedule Your Delivery
If your package is due to arrive during a timeframe when you won’t be home, don’t panic! Did you know you can contact your carrier or local post office to reschedule your delivery? This is a great option, especially for those higher-priced deliveries that should no be left unattended for long. You can reschedule with major carriers online, and even divert the shipment, should you be traveling and want your item to show up at your temporary destination. Alternatively, you can contact your post office to hold your deliveries while traveling and simply pick them up once you return.
Have Your Neighbors Pitch in!
Having a neighbor close by can be handy for a number of reasons, especially around the holidays. If you plan to be out of town, or absent during the window of time when you expect your delivery, try asking your neighbor to pick it up for you instead of letting your parcel sit unsecured on your porch. These days, it’s easier than ever to receive alerts upon delivery. Once your items have arrived, you can notify your neighbor and ensure the package is in safe hands within minutes.
About Travis Etheridge
Travis, the co-owner of The Insurance Alliance, joined the insurance industry in 2011. He is married to his lovely wife Anica, and has an amazing son Henry. Travis is passionate about helping people, so the insurance industry is a natural fit. The thing he loves most about the industry is being there for his clients at their most trying times. He believes everyone is an individual and they deserve an individual plan best suited for their situation.