You research Black Friday deals for days before clicking “add to cart” and buying just the right item as a holiday gift. And then it’s stolen by “porch pirates” not long after being delivered to your house.
According to a national survey of 1,500 consumers from LendingTree’s ValuePenguin, 35% of Americans have had a package or delivery stolen from their doorstep or mailbox.
Although there is no guarantee your items won’t be stolen, there are steps you can take to make it more difficult for thieves.
Track your package
We’ve all likely followed our Amazon delivery on the map as it approaches our home. Amazon isn’t the only company that offers tracking, however. Most will send you an email telling you when your order has shipped, with an expected delivery date. You’ll receive another update when it’s delivered, so you can bring it inside before it’s liberated from your stoop.
Buy a lockbox
Lockboxes range from the basic — weatherproof container that hides deliveries from passersby — to more sophisticated systems that require a smartphone app or code to open. These range in price from less than $50 to hundreds of dollars.
Work with neighbors or your office
Ask your workplace if you can have packages delivered to your office. If that’s not allowed, talk to your trustworthy neighbors about bringing your deliveries inside their house until you get home. Be sure you return the favor if they need you to keep an eye out for their gifts.
Pick it up
Amazon, Walmart and other retailers give you the option of having your order delivered to one of their own storage lockers. Your package stays safe until you retrieve it with a code. You can also have package delivered and held at your local UPS or FedEx store. You’ll get a notification when it arrives at the delivery location.
Require a signature
Although not as convenient as having your package left on the porch, requiring a signature on delivery will ensure a valuable gift ends up in the right hands. Most companies will give you this option when ordering.