Online shopping has exploded in popularity, especially since companies like Amazon can get items to your door in only a day or two.
And now, the current pandemic has left online shopping your only choice for everything but groceries.
Thieves are now rubbing their hands in anticipation. A huge uptick in deliveries provides them with plenty of stuff to steal.
Unfortunately for you, retailers and delivery companies aren’t responsible for items stolen off your doorstep. Your only recourse is to file a police report — and who if you’ll ever get your items back that way?
Instead, you should take measures to prevent thieves from snagging your orders in the first place. Read on to learn some effective methods for protecting your packages from theft.
Schedule Your Delivery For When You’re Home
The longer a package sits on your porch, the more time a thief has to see it and decide to snatch it. Contact the shipping company to see if you can schedule your delivery for a particular time.
Many companies will charge a fee for scheduled deliveries. Instead, you can set up free notifications for when your package will arrive. Just be sure to be home when it does.
If FedEx is shipping your product, you can ask them to deliver it to a nearby Walgreens. Walgreens will hold it for you until you can come to get it.
Rely on a Trusted Friend or Neighbor
A neighbor or nearby friend should be willing to hold your item for you while you’re away. Contact the friend or neighbor ahead of time to get their permission.
For obvious reasons, make sure it’s not an item that doesn’t require a signature or your friend/neighbor won’t be allowed to accept the delivery. These are generally high-value items, as they are natural targets for thieves.
Add Delivery Instructions to Keep the Package Out of Sight
Most companies let you add delivery instructions on your order during the checkout process. If you have a side door or back door that’s more out of sight, instruct the driver to leave it there.
Perhaps your side door is too exposed. You could even get creative and ask the driver to leave the package in some plants or something similar.
Require a Signature For Your Package
Some items don’t require a signature, usually if they’re less valuable. However, you can still ask that a signature be required to accept a delivery.
If you’re not able to be there to sign the package when the driver arrives, the shipping company will usually either try again tomorrow or leave it at a local drop-off point (such as Walgreens for FedEx) for you to pick up at your convenience.
Have Your Package Delivered to the Post Office
If you’ll be gone from your home for an extended period of time — such as during travel (or self-quarantine) — you can ask your local post office to hold onto any mail you receive. Feel free to order items while you’re on vacation, then swing by the post office when you come home.
Install a Video Doorbell
Video doorbells won’t completely eliminate the chances of package thievery, but they can definitely make some thieves think twice.
These advanced devices let you monitor their video feed from your computer or smartphone. Plus, they’re motion-activated — if a thief comes to snag your item, you’ll have video evidence that you can show to law enforcement.
Leave delivery instructions to have the driver leave the package in a location to the video doorbell.
Now, video doorbells cost $100-$200 upfront. Some charge additional monthly fees for cloud-based recording. If you can afford the cost, however, video doorbells can minimize package thievery and boost your home security.
Shop Online With Peace of Mind
Shopping online is convenient, but you run the risk of having your package stolen if you aren’t home in time. And with the coronavirus shaking up the economy, shipping times are much more unpredictable.
None of this should stop you from enjoying the benefits of online shopping, though. Take the necessary precautions and follow the above tips to keep package thieves away.