How to Stop (or at Least Slow Down) the Pirates on the Porch
Most people who have ever bought something from online stores or service centers have probably experienced or at least feared package theft. Even if you’re especially careful about tracking your packages and have never had a package stolen from your porch or porch, you’ve probably experienced the anxiety of getting delivery confirmation when you knew you wouldn’t be home anytime soon. for a while, leaving your valuable package in full view of the Corruption Pirates.
Because it is a relatively low-risk, low-effort crime, package theft is quite common. The study concluded that in 2022, 14% of us had a package stolen at least once, with an average value of around $112, which is not that big of a deal. As more and more purchases are made online, this problem is not going away anytime soon. While it’s pretty clear what to do after your package is gone , you’ll also need to find a way to stop – or at least slow down – the merry Corruption Pirates operating in your area. Here’s how to do it.
The easiest and most effective way to protect your loot from Porch Pirates is to deliver them somewhere other than your empty, unprotected home. If you get a lot of packages delivered and rarely go home to pick them up, you should consider creating a permanent front door alternative and start using that as your default delivery address. Here you have several options:
- Alternate address. Deliver your packages somewhere other than your home. It could be a neighbor or a nearby family member who is at home to pick up packages, or even your job if you can easily deliver packages home after work. Some retailers, like Amazon, also offer alternative pickup locations through programs like Amazon Locker , so it’s worth checking and seeing if you can route delivery to one of those locations instead.
- Parcel service. Depending on where you live, you can sign up for a package pickup service like GoLocker . These services take your packages on your behalf and hold them until you can pick them up or even deliver them to you later.
- Allow home delivery. Many online retailers have launched programs that allow you to give their couriers access to your garage if you have one. The Amazon Key and Walmart InHome programs work similarly, for example, you install the Smart Garage Management System (at your own expense) and grant access to the merchant. Their couriers can open your garage, leave your belongings, and then close everything. Obviously, you should be pretty comfortable having a rando in your home.
Use all tracking options
When you order something online, you usually have a lot of tracking options. Almost any delivery will offer at least a basic delivery notification that is triggered when your package is offloaded, but many services allow you to track your package in closer real-time by showing the truck on a map as it moves through your area. Subscribing to every tracking option available – e-mail and text messages, for example – and maintaining an app or website on your phone or computer will give you a very good idea of when your package is due to arrive, so you can make arrangements for someone to then there to get it.
Another thing you can do when ordering is to add very specific instructions for your courier. This could be a special hiding place for your packages, or a somewhat unexpected delivery location, such as a side door. You can’t guarantee that your instructions will be followed, but it doesn’t hurt to try.
We live in a society and sometimes people just have to be brothers to each other. Are there people in your area who work from home or just hang around all day? They may want to receive packages on your behalf. Even if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, if you’ve set up your block on a mailing list or an app like NextDoor , anyone can chip in and pick up packages if they see them sitting in front of your house. My wife and I have become more or less unofficial parcel managers in our area because we’ve been working remotely for years and our neighbors know we’re happy to cross the street and pick up a package at almost any time. In other words, sometimes all you need is one or two friends.
Cameras and security
Lastly, and most obviously to many, you can cheat your porch to prevent or prevent packages from being stolen as much as possible. While a determined (and/or desperate) porch pirate may ignore or even circumvent some of these measures, they are definitely worth setting if you know you’re a potential target. This includes:
- Home security systems. Whether it’s a SimpliSafe or ADT system or similar, you can wire your home so that it not only sets off an alarm when people disturb your porch, but sends you a text message or email alert when it does. Some systems also allow you to connect to a video feed and even talk to those on your porch, which can scare them off. Doorbells and similar devices can offer a similar opportunity to be alerted when someone is at your front door and even see and talk to them.
- Motion activated lighting. Whether you’re forced to leave bags overnight or the sun sets early where you live, a spotlight that comes on when people approach can discourage a wide range of superficial behavior.
- Protective bags and boxes. You can buy many protective bags and boxes, such as this pirate porch bag . They all work pretty much the same way: they are attached to your house in some way (using bolts or thick wire), the courier puts the packages inside and then locks them. While a very determined thief could crack them, it takes a lot more work – and a lot more noise and trouble – than most are willing to risk.
This is the era of endless shipping, so it’s time to improve your game and make plans to protect the things you paid for. The only other option is to go back in time and only start shopping in real stores when you have time, which sounds terrible.