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Four Simple Ways to Avoid Porch Pirates

Avoid Porch Pirates

Are ready for some mind-blowing statistics? According to Pitney Bowes, there were 13 billion parcels shipped throughout the U.S. in 2018. Wow! It gets more staggering, according to Digital Commerce 360, consumers spent over $600 billion shopping online in 2019, representing a faster rate of increase than in 2018. Today, virtually everyone is shopping for just about anything online. With a simple mouse click your package is delivered. But did you consider how you’ll avoid Porch Pirates?

Thieves have been targeting neighborhoods from coast-to-coast, looting America’s doorsteps. These pesky villains are commonly referred to as Porch Pirates, and they present an ever greater threat as we all increasingly rely on online shopping during COVID-19, shelter-in-place orders.

So, before you click that buy button, think about who you might be inviting to your porch, and follow a few easy steps to avoid having your package stolen by a Pirate.

Add delivery instructions or require a signature

Did you know that you could add special delivery instructions, or require a signature? Sure, some online retailers may require a signature when shipped items exceed a certain value, but you can require a signature for nearly all packages.

If you don’t want packages to sit on your doorstep, require a signature when possible. The longer a package sits in plain view, the more tempting it will be to porch pirates.

Another clever way to avoid the package sitting in clear view is to leave instructions like “live behind the bush” or “deliver to the rear door.” Thieves are far less likely to steal your package if they simply can’t see it …  out-of-sight is out of mind as they say.

Use an alternate delivery address like an office or neighbor

One of the easiest solutions to porch piracy is to have your package delivered to work, assuming your employer is OK with the practice. This allows you to have the package delivered to you, at a location where you know you’ll be present. It also gets that package off the front stoop.

Another option, if you have a friendly neighbor who works from home, is to have the package delivered to a neighbor or friend.

Install a video doorbell, camera or use another tech

Sometimes deterrence is all you need, and a camera or video doorbell may be enough of a deterrent to send your would-be porch pirate on their merry way. And if it doesn’t, at least you’ll have video evidence of the crime if needed with law enforcement, your credit card company, or insurance.

 Additionally, many companies now offer products specifically designed to protect packages left at your front door. From simple bags that you can attach to your front door to high-tech lock boxes, there are many options on the market to choose from.

Does your online retailer use a hub or partner with a local store?

Many online retailers now offer options to have your packages delivered to a hub, partner retailer, or other secure location. These are normally convenient locations in the city, where you can easily pick up your package.

Amazon offers Amazon Hub Lockers and UPS has its Access Points. FedEx has partnerships with local retailers.

This solution is certainly not as convenient as your porch, but at least you can rest assured that your package will be safe and there when you arrive.

Will my insurance cover stolen packages?

Your typical home insurance policy does cover personal property, and this would include items nabbed from your front porch. So, you could file an insurance claim. If you elect to file a claim, you’ll likely need to file a police report and be responsible to pay your deductible. So, depending on the cost of your deductible and the cost of your lost packages, it may not always be worth it.

Use these tips to help avoid porch pirates

Thieves seem to take advantage of all the new modern conveniences. Our online shopping is certainly fraught with more than a few perils. But if you do a little planning, protect your identity online, and follow these few tips, you can make your online shopping experience just a bit safer.

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