how to protect your holiday and christmas gifts from porch pirates

How to protect your packages from porch pirates

What a wonderful world we live in where a person is able to order a gift online and it automatically arrives on their doorstep within a few days. Consumers can avoid the hassle of shopping at crowded brick-and-mortar stores and have the advantage of comparing multiple prices for one item instantaneously. It sounds like a dream come true until the package arrives on your doorstep and someone else strolls off with your items. The holiday season is known for “porch pirates”, the term used to describe thieves that scope out package deliveries and then swipe the boxes from doorsteps.

This can infuriating and really damper holiday cheer, especially if the item is expensive or a last-minute purchase. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to protect your holiday gifts from being targets of pesky porch pirates.

Brick-and-mortar drop off

If you are already out shopping, carriers like FedEx have partnered with brick-and-mortar retail locations to safely store packages. This is more cost effective for FedEx to drop packages at a central location and it prevents your package from being stolen from your porch. It might not be as convenient, but it’s a better option than someone snagging that expensive item from your property.

According to FedEx, shippers may pick up or drop off their packages at over 12,000 locations, including more than 8,900 Walgreens and Rite Aid locations, 1,900 FedEx Office locations, and FedEx Authorized Ship Center locations. You can input your zip code here to find a convenient location near you.

Lockboxes

If you aren’t at home to catch the delivery truck, another great option is BoxLock. It’s a smart padlock that can only be opened by an Amazon, UPS, FedEx, or USPS worker who scans the barcode of a package that is actively out for delivery. The main downfall is you pair the lock with a designated box. Depending on the size of the items you are shipping, this means you could have a massive container bolted into the ground near your home.

Reroute your package

If you know you will not be home during the day, you can ship the package to a trusted neighbor for safekeeping until you arrive at home. If your workplace accepts personal packages, you can opt to have the package delivered to your place of employment. This is a convenient and simple way to protect your package from being swiped by a porch pirate.

If you ship with UPS, the carrier has a service designed to make home delivery easier to manage. The free version of UPS My Choice allows the shipper to add delivery instructions to the package. UPS will leave packages with a neighbor at no cost to the shipper as long as that neighbor is within walking distance. If you want to change the address completely, you will incur a $5 charge per package. You can also adjust “leave at” instructions and designate where you want the package to be left on your property. For example, perhaps the side of the garage is a more inconspicuous location than the porch. All this can be managed through your UPS.com account.

Amazon lockers

Amazon is making a push for its delivery lockers that are available in more than 900 cities and towns across the U.S. These lockers are strategically located near frequented areas like offices, convenience stores, grocery stores, apartment buildings, and malls. Parcel lockers give customers a safer alternative to displaying packages on doorsteps for everybody to see. Just make sure you collect your packages within three days of delivery!

Share a Refund is here for the holidays

If you are one of 26 million Americans who’ve had a package stolen from their doorstep, these options should help eliminate the stress of having your Christmas gifts snagged. Share a Refund audits packages, identifies lost and damaged shipments and files claims on your behalf. Real-time reports are generated to give you a clear view of your shipping network. Let Share a Refund partner with you to lower shipping costs and optimize logistics.

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