Did you know Wednesday is “National Package Protection” Day? With all those Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, consumers did a lot of online shopping and that means millions of packages will soon be out for delivery. It seems porch pirates are getting bolder and more brazen each year as they eagerly wait for holiday packages to arrive in neighborhoods across America.
There are a few things you can do to help keep your delivered items safe and avoid porch package theft. Here's a list of tips to help you protect you holiday deliveries.
1. Dummy Surveillance Cameras
One of the simplest things you can do is get a couple of fake security cameras. For around $20, you'll ward off potential robbers by easily mounting these in a very visible spot on your porch. I found this one on Amazon that even comes with bonus "Warning" signage.
2. Guard Your Packages
The Package Guard is like and electronic German Shepard! This brilliant invention is a simple-to-use, Frisbee-shaped device that provides you and your invite-only Safe Circle with instant, guaranteed notifications when you receive a package. It has an alarm to protect your package until you or someone in your Safe Circle can safely pick up your delivery. Watch the video below to see how it works.
Ring a Ding Ding. I'm constantly amazed by technology and the Ring doorbell is one of those "WOW" items. Armed with motion-activated alerts, 1080HD video and two-way talk, Ring lets you watch over your home and answer the door from anywhere. Even if you're NOT, the bad guys will think you’re always home.
Of course, I can't write a post about package deliveries with out mentioning Amazon Key. Everyone went nuts a few weeks ago with the launch of this new service that gives Amazon delivery drivers (i.e. complete strangers who supposedly passed a background check!) access to your house. Yeah, um...that TOTALLY sounds like an awesome idea.
3. Break from the Norm
The most common place packages are stolen from are front porches. So change it up! The FedEx Delivery Manager lets you provide delivery instructions on where you want your packages to be dropped off. Maybe inside your back gate or behind your favorite prickly rose bush?!? You can even opt for packages to be dropped off at another location, but that'll cost you an extra $5.
4. Get a Text Alert
If you have a tracking number for a package being delivered via USPS, you can receive a text alert when that package is delivered. From your phone send a text to 28777 (2USPS) with your tracking number as the content of the message. The text reply from USPS will be the latest tracking information for the item. Once you get notified a package has been delivered, maybe have a neighbor grab it or hurry home before it's swiped. "Swiper, no swiping!" Get more info HERE and to sign up through the USPS website.
5. Sign up for Informed Delivery
If you're someone who stalks the mail truck waiting and wondering what surprises will be delivered to your mailbox each day, sign up for Informed Delivery at USPS.com This FREE service from the U.S. Postal Service lets you digitally preview greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mail pieces and track packages.
I've been using UPSP Informed delivery for several month and love getting an email each morning showing me what to expect in the mail that day...especially if I'm waiting on something important, like a paycheck! :) Go HERE to sign up for Informed Delivery U.S. Postal Service.
6. Use UPS My Choice®
No need to take time off work, change plans or stay home for a package anymore. UPS My Choice® lets you decide how, where and when home deliveries occur to fit your schedule. Get estimated arrival and progress alerts. Sign for a package in advance. Set vacation holds, change a delivery address or hold at a UPS location. Whether online or by mobile, UPS My Choice® makes it easy to put your plans ahead of the package.
7. Choose Amazon Locker
If your neighborhood is prone to package theft and none of the suggestions above will work, instead of delivering a package to your home or business address, opt to have your amazon order delivered to a safe and secure Amazon Locker. It's FREE to use, and once your package is delivered to the Amazon Locker, you'll get an e-mail notification with a unique pickup code and barcode. When you're ready to pick up, just scan the barcode scanner and follow the instructions on the screen.
- ACCEPTS DELIVERIES & RETURNS
- OVER 2,000 LOCATIONS ACROSS 50+ CITIES
- EARLY & LATE OPENING HOURS
- NO ADDITIONAL FEE TO -- USE
I did a quick search of my zip code and found lockers located at Compass Bank, 7-Eleven, Whole Foods. But most of these were located several miles from my home, so I doubt I would ever use this service. Go HERE to get more info and find an Amazon Locker pick up location near you.
And if all else fails, you can always leave a special gift for these crappy thieves...
Natalie Reid has been featured on WFAA, NBC5, CBS11, KWTX (Waco) and has been speaking to groups for over 10 years on ways to shop smart and save money. As a former broadcaster turned blogger, she’d much rather be in front of a camera and a microphone than sitting behind a keyboard. That means you’ll always find plenty videos to keep you engaged and entertained at ModMomTV.com