Tips for Preventing Porch Pirates From Stealing Your Stuff

posted in: Shopping Tips

Did you have a package stolen over the holidays? According to Finder, around 35.5 million Americans have had a package stolen, adding up to an estimated $5.4 billion in losses, within the last year. In an effort to help you say “never again!” here are my tips.  

Opt for BOPIS

Most major retailers offer Buy Online, Pickup in Store (or curbside pickup) as an alternative to shipping. This is especially handy this late in the season because you are not risking any delivery delays, and many stores are offering extended hours for your convenience. 

Take advantage of package tracking

This is basic, but many of us ignore tracking info. If you pay attention to it, you can make sure you’re home during the delivery window or ask a neighbor to grab a package that has been delivered when you are not home. 

Video doorbells

The doorbell in itself will function as a deterrent – after all, why would a thief rob a porch that has video evidence? However, if they do steal from you, you can use the footage to help the police locate the thief. 

Some doorbells also have 2-way audio so you can instruct the delivery person to place the package elsewhere if you are not home. 

Alternate delivery options

If you are not home during the day, consider having packages delivered to your office – if that’s allowed. If not, there are other options, like Amazon Locker, which are available at various locations, like Whole Foods stores, pharmacies, and apartment buildings. To retrieve your package, use the code that Amazon sends you. Amazon also offers in-home or in-garage delivery via Amazon Key in certain areas. 

Require a signature on delivery

This is a good option if you are home some days, but not every day. Note that if you are rarely home, this is not a good solution because after a certain number of attempts, the package can be returned to the sender. 

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Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who has specialized in smart shopping, personal finance, and retail for more than a decade. She has appeared on TV over 1,000 times; including Today Show, GMA3, NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates nationwide. She has been named a Top Voice in Retail by LinkedIn, and her expert commentary has appeared in Forbes,, Kiplinger, Yahoo Finance, and numerous others.