By Lori Melton
Online shopping is great. Not only does it save travel time to the store and the gas it takes to get there, but it also allows you to buy whatever you want, any time of the day or night. However, as the popularity of online shopping has increased, so has the number of package (or porch) thefts. How can you make sure your online packages arrive safely? Check out our helpful tips below.
Getting to know your neighbors and forming relationships you can trust within your neighborhood carries a lot of home security advantages. Get involved with or start a neighborhood watch, and rotate responsibilities for a neighborhood patrol designed to monitor and report suspicious behavior. And, if you know a neighbor who is home during daytime delivery service hours, ask if you can have any packages that may arrive while you’re at work or on vacation shipped to their address.
The peace of mind here is priceless. Maybe you can return the favor or bring them a basket of baked goods or other treats to say thanks.
If your employer allows it, having your online purchases shipped to your workplace during your shift makes perfect sense. As long as you are working on the day a shipment arrives, you should never miss it. Or, if you are away, make arrangements with a boss or co-worker to hold it there until you return.
Signature Required Deliveries/Tracking Information
Marking your packages as “signature required” will ensure they will not be left at the doorstep if you’re not home. The United States Postal Service (USPS), FedEx and UPS are major shipping services that offer this option. When making an online purchase, look for a way to designate this requirement for your package. If you’re not sure if the option is offered, contact the customer service line for the retailer involved before you buy.
Also, be sure to keep or print all tracking information on your online orders. Tracking numbers will give detailed information as to the date and time a package was delivered. Although a tracking number won’t identify a potential thief, it will at least confirm the item was delivered and is not simply “missing” in the shipping loop somewhere.
Alternative Shipping Services
Many shipping services offer package “holding” options or redirected deliveries per your instructions. For example, a Premium Membership with UPS My Choice costs $40 per year and offers a variety of package redirecting and rescheduling options to meet your delivery needs. Doorman is another online shipping service that allows you to send your packages to the Doorman shipping address (for a fee), and then use an app to schedule package delivery when it is convenient for you to be there to receive it. Amazon Locker also offers an alternative secure shipping address where you can have a package shipped and held for pickup at a later date.
Having a security camera installed at your home can be a big theft deterrent. And, in the unfortunate event a package is stolen, a camera might record the thief in the act of taking the package. Having this kind of footage is great for filing an insurance claim and/or seeking a refund or a replacement shipment from the online retailer from which you purchased an item.
Security companies, like Guardian Alarm, offer a wide range of home security options to fit a variety of budgets including Smart Home security options that work with your Smart Phone, tablet, or computer to alert you if there is a problem at your home.