According to CNBC, “about 1.7 million packages are stolen or lost every day in the U.S.” On top of that, Value Penguin states that 18% of consumers have experience package theft in the past four months. Of those who have experienced package theft, 1/3 of them have never taken action to reduce their changes of experiencing porch piracy. Though some people do get their money back when their packages are stolen, 30% of victims do not get their money refunded averaging around $106 in losses per person.
When talking about package delivery during the holiday season, many times those packages have a timeframe in which they need to be delivered. When a package is stolen, most companies will not overnight a replacement package, instead opting to send at the cheapest shipping price. This could mean one less gift to give your loved ones on time. So how do you prevent package theft?
Tips on Preventing Package Theft
- Outdoor Security Cameras
Although outdoor security cameras do not actually prevent someone from walking up to your porch and grabbing a package, it is the number one theft deterrent. Having video cameras and security system clearly pointed at the front porch then it deters the thief from even choosing your porch.
- Video Doorbells
Not as big of deterrent to thieves as full security camera setups, video doorbells can be an affordable and still very effective option. Motion activation on your video doorbell allows you to always be alert to what is happening on your porch, including being aware of when packages arrive when you are not home. They also have the ability to capture the face of thieves, and as an added bonus many have the ability to speak through them, giving you the opportunity to spook potential porch pirates.
- Package Lockboxes
When considering potential package lockboxes, there are plenty of available options. You can purchase a mailbox for your home that is a little bit bigger than standard. This would allow carriers to deliver smaller packages to be securely locked away. Another option is to purchase larger lockboxes for your front porch. The idea is like a mailbox with a lock and an opening to put packages in and without the ability to have packages taken out. Though this is a more expensive option, this is one of the best ways to deter the pirates.
- Home Security with Signs
With both video doorbells and security cameras, there is not always a clear sign that houses are protected by these security systems. Especially when it is dark, the security cameras are hard to see. Having a clear sign from the security company right next to your porch shows that you mean business. It is a simple thing to do that has a large and lasting affect.
- Track Packages (Delivery Alerts)
There are plenty of ways to track packages. You can obsessively check the tracking number, or you can go the simple route and turn on delivery alerts. Let technology do the work for you and remind you when something is expected to be delivered, and when it has arrived. It is important to note that delivery alerts are usually slightly delayed and do not tell you at the very second the package is dropped off on your doormat like a video doorbell alert can, but by receiving alerts you can ensure packages wont be sitting out for long periods of time or overnight.
- Request deliveries require signature
When you request a delivery that requires a signature, carriers must knock on your door and let you know that a package has arrived. On top of that, if you are not there to sign for the package then it will not be left on the porch. The carrier will have to come back and try again later, or you will be requested to pick up the package from a specific location. This keeps your packages safe and secure.
- Keep the area around your front porch clear and visible
According to the police, this is the best deterrent for porch pirates. Thieves want to be able to walk up to the porch and grab something without being detected. When the area is cleaner and less hidden, then they cannot come in and out swiftly.
- Deliver packages elsewhere
Whether you want to pick up your packages at your local post office, deliver it to the store and pick it up, or even deliver it to your local carrier office (such as UPS or FEDEX), by choosing to have your packages delivered elsewhere, you virtually eliminate all chances of your package being wrongfully taken. If you shop with Amazon, then you can also utilize the amazon lockers. We know that this can take away some of the convenience of getting items delivered and can also be seen as an extra step. We suggest only delivering items this way if your items are costly or they are time sensitive. A $10 gift is not worth sending it elsewhere unless you need it that day and cannot risk waiting for a redelivery.
These steps may seem like an investment in time and money, but if you have been a victim of porch pirates, chances are they will usually attempt to steel your package more than once. 56% of people who have had their packages stolen have had them stolen more than one time. Setting these things up will help you now and in the future to save more time and money!