We have become a society of on-line shopping fanatics. Don’t let Porch Pirates ruin it.
Holiday’s are stressful enough without Porch Pirates stealing you shipments
With the holiday season quickly approaching USPS, UPS, FEDEX and other shipping companies will be busy bringing to our doorstep all sorts of packages.They will be overburdened and overwhelmed and may not take the same care and consideration of hiding your packages as they do the rest of the year.
Every year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, billions of packages will be delivered to homes. That is a lot of packages. And quite a lucrative time for Porch Pirates.
What is a Porch Pirate?
Urbandictionary.com says Porch Pirates are “Person or persons who steal package off of unsuspecting customers porches or front door areas. ” My definition is “just another scumbag thief trying to get something for nothing.”
The Grinch who IS stealing Christmas comes to mind!
I belong to several Online Seller Facebook groups and let me tell you, there are tons of stories of packages that tracking shows delivered but they are nowhere to be found. It happens….don’t let it happen to you.
Here are 7 tips to keep the Porch Pirates from stealing your Holiday
1. Ship your packages to a more secure location like a next door neighbor who you know is usually home, your place of business if they allow it, your grandmas house or you can look to see if there is an Amazon Locker in your area. I was surprised that even my small little town has an Amazon Locker/Hub!
I never have studio packages shipped to the studio because its a very visible location and i am not always there. All those packages get shipped to my home which is much more secure, off the beaten track and my hubby is usually home.
2. Have all your packages shipped “signature required”. In theory, the delivery service is not supposed to release the package unless someone signs and takes delivery. You should do this especially if your package has high value.
3. Have UPS or Fedex hold your package. This works if you know how the package will be sent which isnt always possible. Sometimes, for a small fee, you can intercept and have the package delivered to another address.
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4. Keep your eye on tracking numbers. These become your best friend. By following tracking numbers you know when to expect delivery so you can be prepared. Most on-line sellers use tracking numbers and apps to follow your shipments. USPS now offers Informed delivery so you can see exactly what is heading your way. Same with UPS and FedEx. Here is their services Fedex Delivery Manager UPS My Choice®
5. Have a camera on your front porch. Doorbell cameras are awesome and very useful and I have heard a lot of good things about RING. Most of these are activated when someone steps up to your porch or rings your doorbell (porch pirates won’t do that). These could work if your delivery carriers place your package close to your front door or within range of the motion detector.
For my studio I installed the YI system and got 4 cameras that I could point to various locations. They are not battery operated so I never have to worry about them not working when I need them most. They are motion sensitive but I can set the motion area to a smaller section so every leaf blowing by doesn’t trip it. The cameras connect wirelessly to my internet and I can watch all four cameras live on my phone. I pay a small extra fee for all footage to be sent to the cloud, I thinks its 7 days worth.
6. If you are shipping packages, wait until it gets closer to pickup time to put them out or take them to the nearest post office or UPS/Fedex store. Don’t chance it. Lines might be a bit long but it will be worth the wait and lessen your anxiety.
7. Chose In-Store Pickup. More and more big box retailers now allow you to order online and have the item shipped to the local store for your pickup. I know Walmart, Target and Home Depot does this as well as Best Buy. You place your order online and if its in stock, you just go pick it up. If its not in stock you look for the store closest to you and have it shipped there for pickup. There is usually a 24-48 hour turn around for that and is usually free.
What to do if your package shows delivered but you cant find it?
First off, dont panic, it doesn’t mean they were stolen. Wait a day to see if it comes the next shipping day. We recently had some packages coming thru USPS that showed out for delivery and then delivered. Even though we had packages delivered that day, these packages were not among them. Both packages showed up the next day during mail run.
If it doesnt show up in a day or two….
- Check with your neighbors. It may have been delivered to them in error and they hadn’t gotten around to contacting you.
- Contact the delivery company and request to know where the package was delivered. Even the Post Office has GPS tracking and can see where it was left.
- Contact the police department if you feel your package really was stolen and get a police report. Often times the seller will make exceptions and offer to reship or give a discount if you have done your best to find the package.
- Once a shipping company marks your package delivered, insurance no longer covers it so don’t count on that.
I hope that this bit of a mind dump helps you safe guard your on-line shopping this year . Don’t let Porch Pirates (aka Scumbag Thieves), ruin your holiday.
Feel free to comment, share or if I missed something let me know.
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Yellow Cottage Studios is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as well as other Affiliate Advertising programs. This is a way for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.