With Christmas around the corner, many people around the world are going to be taking advantage of Cyber Monday or simply order online. With so many people having access to the internet, it makes sense that online sales are going to be on the rise and become the preferred method of shopping.
While it’s a neat and convenient idea, the fact so many people order online now has given a rise to some new people. These people are called porch pirates – people who walk up to your front door and take packages right from the doorsteps of people.
And it’s a growing problem.
In the US alone, over 25 million Americans have their packages stolen this way. If you don’t want to be part of that growing problem, there are all kinds of tactics you can consider. Here are some ideas.
Check The Require A Signature Box
When you’re checking out of the online store, make sure you take a moment to check off the “signature required” box. Every major carrier service provides this and it has some perks to it.
First off, if a signature is required, the company is not going to leave the package at your doorstep. Instead, if you’re not there to sign for it, they’ll provide you with some information as to where to pick it up.
While this can provide a mild inconvenience for some I’d argue that this option is better than spending more money to place another order and have the risk of the package being stolen again.
If you don’t want the package to be sent to the carriers facility, you can always redirect the package to a trusted neighbour’s address or a family member.
Pay For A Package Receiving Service
As mentioned most major carriers will hold onto a package for a period of time, but there is a way for them to hold onto it for longer. In the cases of FedEx and UPS/USPS, they have post office boxes or lockers that you can pay for to keep a package in there for longer. They also have these all across the globe so it doesn’t apply to only Canada and US.
This allows you to pick it up at your leisure if you’re someone who is away for extended periods of time.
If you’re in any big city, there are other local package receiving centers to consider as well. Some that come to mind are things like GoLocker and City CoPilot. One thing to note about those though is you’ll likely find these in bigger cities. So if you live in a small town you may be out of luck on this option.
Have The Doorman App
One other nifty app to consider is the Doorman app. The idea of this app is that your packages will go directly to a local Doorman address. All that you have to do after that is schedule a time between 6 pm and midnight to have the package delivered to your door.
It’s a nifty app for those who work nine-to-five over the weekdays or have unusual shifts. This removes the worry. The only catch to this app is that it’s only available in three major cities in the US. Those being New York, San Francisco and Chicago. That being said, the company is growing and can spread to other places soon enough.
Invest In A Porch Pirate Bag
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of signing or redirecting packages, one simple method is investing in a Porch Pirate bag. These bags are 30-inch by 40 inches and is a PVC reinforced nylon bag.
The beauty of this bag is that it locks to your front door or gate. Paired with the fact that there is a lock combination and the bag itself being pretty sturdy, it can deter any porch pirate pretty much.
Of course, like any security measure, these can be cracked by a highly determined thief, however it’s only $35 and it’ll turn away most people from trying to crack it open. All you need to do is instruct the delivery folk to drop the package in the bag and lock it.
Consider Amazon Key
For Amazon Prime members in certain locations, you’re able to sign up for what’s called an Amazon Key. Despite what the name says, there is no key involved. What it is is an Amazon Key Home Kit which allows your packages to be delivered into your home or a vehicle.
The kit includes that home kit along with a smart lock, security camera and the ability to download the Amazon Key app. The idea behind this is that you’re able to remotely unlock your door through the app and allow a deliver person inside. The camera that’s with the kit will also allow you to get live footage of the person coming and going too. (This involves a lot of trust)
Or Try An Amazon Locker
For non-prime members, your other option is an authorized Amazon Locker. All you have to do is use your online postal (zip) code and find a locker that’s close to your location. From there, you use that as your delivery address and leave the rest up to that. It’s free to use and for Prime members using this, you’re entitled to free two-day shipping. This location is also suitable for returning packages or products too.
Invest In A Package Guard
Similar to the Porch Pirate Bag, this Frisbee-like device serves as a virtual security guard. Leave it on your doorstep, connect it to your WiFi, and instruct the deliver people to drop any packages on it and you’re good to go.
What the package guard will do is if a porch pirate would attempt to steal the package, the device will let out a loud internal siren until you place the package back. Of course for the actual owners of the package, they can deactivate the alarm via an app.
Get Your Personal Security Camera
Because of this growing problem, it makes sense for people to invest in cameras. There are all kinds of cameras available these days that are suitable for different people. If you are looking to catch thieves red-handed, place a camera near your front door and consider the Ring Video Doorbell. It has night vision and is a solid choice for starters.
Or if you want to deter people, you can always get a cheap camera. One option is the WALI “dummy” cameras which look like security cameras but aren’t.
Motion Detector Lights
While most Porch Pirates probably work in the light of day, some prefer working late at night. This is where this equipment can come in handy. There are all kinds of motion detecting lights these day and one solid choice is the outdoor lights by Light It! They’re cheap and will deter any thief seeing as most don’t like being in the spotlight at all.
Of course Amazon has some options as well. One popular system is the Baxia Technology which people absolutely love.
Have A Full Home Security System
Up to this point these are simple tools that can deter any thief. But if you want to go all the way, you can always consider a whole-home security system. With every security system like this you get, you’ll get a sticker which will deter any thief.
And that’s not just me saying that. One study found that those without a security system were 300 times more likely to be vandalized. Any smart thief would avoid places that have these systems in place. The most popular and ideal brands to consider are Ring, Honeywell and ADT.
Stop Porch Pirates
Porch Pirates are thieves and of course like anything, the more steps that you put in place for people to steal your stuff, the more likely they’ll turn to something else. If you make their work hard, they will stop in most situations.
This isn’t to say that you’ll never be robbed or have your packages attempted to get snatched, but having one of these options in place will help. Make them think twice.