BY BEN DEHNER
It’s 2019 and we may not have flying automobiles, but we do have instant gratification in the form of eCommerce. As package delivery quickly becomes the new normal for busy shoppers, we have seen an increase in one-click shopping, Apple-Pay, free two-day shipping. Unfortunately, with so many eCommerce options the risk of package theft rises, especially in our Wash Park neighborhood.
As the number of online shoppers increase, so to does the likelihood of losing deliveries to package theft. In fact, in 2015 twenty-three million Americans reported having a package stolen from their home. In the same study, ninety-one percent of homeowners reported having at least one package delivered to their home in a month. So, what exactly does this say about our society? Most of us recognize that the chance of our delivery being stolen is high, yet we continue to place online orders. While we may not have all the answers, we could assume that many Americans expect, and thrive, off of convenience and gratification. Let’s face it, none of us really want to go to a specialty store to pick up a specific light bulb, for our unique light fixture, and Amazon has provided us with the perfect excuse – just order it online! eCommerce does something that we think all Americans need, it gives us just little bit of our time back. Gone are the days of running from store to store trying to find that one specific item, you can now just order it online; and if you do it before 2 pm, your item is guaranteed to be delivered the next day. Honestly, eCommerce seems like a no brainer to so many of us. In order to ensure your prized package makes it into your home safe and sound, we’d like to offer up a few tips to consider the next time you place an order online.
Many delivery services such as USPS off a resource called “signature confirmation.” Signature confirmation tends to give shippers extra peace of mind by requiring a signature from the recipients of their packages. It’s important to note that this service works both ways, recipients can also request a signature upon delivery. The only downside to this feature is it requires extra coordination on your part to ensure you are there to sign for your package.
Hold for Pickup
Hold for pickup is another option if you are fearful that your package might be snatched from your doorstep. With this option, the recipient can choose to have their packages delivered to a delivery service’s customer center. This allows for the service to call the recipient when the package is ready for pickup. Hold for pickup eliminates the threat of theft – however, it does require you to arrange your schedule with your facility of choice.
If you’re looking for a way to deter criminals from stealing your packages, a security camera might be a good option. You can place a camera on your front door and capture a package theft in broad daylight. However, we’d like to caution you that, as security cameras become more common place, many criminals are not fazed by them. You might just end up with a catalog of porch pirates getting away with your deliveries.
Alternate Shipping Address
An alternate shipping address is a great solution for those of you on the go. If you are expecting a package delivery during your work hours, you can redirect the package to be delivered to your place of work. Hopefully your colleagues won’t ask about what you ordered every time there’s a box on your desk.
Tracking alerts may seem like a no brainer, but they can be easily ignored. You can make a point of tracking your package from facility to delivery. This will help you arrange your schedule in order to be home when your package arrives.
If an alternate shipping address doesn’t seem right for you, a smart locker might be a better option. Amazon, for example, has set up Amazon Lockers in some locations to make deliveries and returns easier for their customers. These lockers are great because there is little room for theft. The down side to them is that they are not available in all locations and may require you to go out of your way to pick up your packages.
There are new solutions coming onto the market every day to secure packages. And, in an ideal world, we would have packages delivered to our home and safely secured immediately with a nice notification sent to our device letting us know that our package is waiting safely under lock and key. That future dream might be closer than we think.
About the Author
Ben Dehner is the founder and CEO of the Colorado startup, BenchSentry – the complete package security solution. The BenchSentry is HOA-friendly, includes entry activated cameras, touch screen access, heavy duty construction, and is weather proof/UV resistant. It is a discrete and innocuous bench that lives on your doorstep, eliminating the temptation of package theft. Ben and his team at BenchSentry are making neighborhoods more secure, one porch at a time. In June, they are launching an IndieGoGo campaign and you can expect to see BenchSentry on the market before the upcoming holiday season.