We are living in an e-commerce world and crooks are taking note of easy targets… packages left on front doorsteps. We have had more reports than ever of package theft. Here are some tips to protect yourself.
Have Your Packages Sent Somewhere Safe
Have your packages sent to your place of work if they will allow it. Ask a relative, a friend or a neighbor who is home during the day if you you can have it sent to their address. Do make sure you ask permission (especially from your boss). And, do make sure they will be home when the package is scheduled to be delivered. Theft can just as easily take place on their doorstep as yours.
Request Signature Upon Delivery
Ask the company you are purchasing from to require signature for delivery. If no one is home to sign for the package when it arrives, your carrier will try again the next day. Be sure not to leave them hanging for too long, after a few unsuccessful tries your merchandise will go back from where it came. Keep in mind retailers may pass along a nominal fee for this service. They are not just looking for new ways to make money off you. They are being charged extra for the service and passing the fee along to you.
Talk with Your Carrier about a Secure Location to Drop Packages
If you find you are going to have things left outside, strategic placement can make all the difference. For instance, the back door is often less visible and inconvenient for would be thieves who want a quick grab an go. Carriers are aware of the issue and most are more than happy to help by leaving your package in a more secure location around your home.
Contact Your Postal Carrier to Hold Packages at Main Facility
Most companies are happy to hold your packages for pick up. Just give them a call to let them know you are concerned about leaving the package outside your home and would prefer to come pick it up. Make sure you find out what their business hours are and whether or not they are open on weekends lest you be without an important delivery due to poorly planned logistics.
Buy a Postal Grade Lockbox
They can be expensive, but if you get a lot of deliveries could be an option for you. The one we looked at at Landport.com features an electronic keypad where the delivery driver enters a unique access code to open the lid. The codes can be communicated to your carriers via online delivery service preferences. They are well built, bolt to the ground, and they’re pretty nice looking too.
Install Video Surveillance
While this does not guarantee theft will not occur, it may offer some deterrent if it is visible. Plus, you have some information for the authorities. This is not the most foolproof option and absolutely does not guarantee the thieves will be caught or your merchandise will be found and returned to you. But, it may offer some deterrent.
So, this article is a little out of our wheel house as an Ultralight Backpacking Gear store. But, we are getting theft reports from our very own customers more and more frequently. Be smart about it and, if it happens in spite of your most well thought out strategies, do call the company you purchased the merchandise from. Be nice. Realize it’s not their fault. In fact, they have been victimized too. Most companies are not unaware that this happens. They will feel very badly about it and if their customer service is any good at all, they will have some sort of solution for you. It may not be that you get every cent of your money back or a completely free reshipment, but the good ones will meet you part way.