The holidays are fast approaching and, with the ease of online shopping, it’ll be prudent to follow some tips to avoid package theft this year. Even with most of us home due to the pandemic, porch pirates are still as brazen as ever, if not more!

We’ve put together several tips and tricks to consider when having packages delivered to your home as a way to prevent porch pirates from making off with them.

Deliver to a Secure Location

  • Amazon Lockers
    When shopping on Amazon, there are a plethora of Amazon lockers surrounding our neighborhood, like Main Place Mall (Reggie) and the 7-Eleven at 17th and Flower (Maizie). In many cases, delivery to these locations can be quicker than to your house, and available for pickup within three days. Amazon also operates a large retail location in Irvine near UCI for pickup and returns.
  • UPS Access Point
    Once you know a package is on the way, log into your UPS My Choice account to divert the package to a UPS Store and other retail stores.
  • FedEx Hold at Location
    Just like UPS, once you have the tracking number, you can route the page to many secure locations such as FedEx Office, Walgreens and other locations.

Deliver to an Alternate Address or Schedule Another Time/Day

  • FedEx provides options, for a free, to allow you to route to another residential address or to select a different time or day that is more convenient.

Provide Delivery Instructions
Another easy (and free) solution is marking your account with the shipping company so the driver has delivery instructions. Depending on the shipper, you can be very specific or there are pre-determined options to select.

While not always seen by delivery persons, you can also use the second street address line to indicate any instructions such as, “Please hide behind planter” but beware because many sites only allow a brief amount of text in this space.

Neighbor Pickup
Our preferred option is asking a neighbor that you trust to pick up the package once it is delivered if you don’t expect to be home. Not only does it keep your delivery safer than being left out in the open, but it reinforces the sense of community and neighbor bonding.

Be Notified!
Every shipper seems to offer methods for tracking and a variety of ways to be notified whether via email or text. Here are some shippers who offer unique assistance:

  • USPS Informed Delivery
    The United Postal Service offers a free digital preview of the exterior of letter-sized mail being delivered today via email, the USPS mobile app or their website by signing up for Informed Delivery. Packages sent via Priority Mail or other trackable parcels are also included.
  • UPS My Choice Delivery Alerts
    While you can manually sign up to receive notifications by tracking number, you can also enter household names, your home address, phone numbers and email addresses to be automatically notified for packages when a match comes into the UPS system; look under the UPS My Choice Preferences page. It’s also free!
  • FedEx Delivery Manager
    You can manually enter tracking numbers for notifications. We’ve also seen automatic notifications when certain information matches but it’s not as overt to configure as with UPS My Choice.

Mail Hold
Many shippers allow you to schedule a hold on your mail or packages in advance at no extra cost, which is especially helpful when planning to be out of town for more than a day.

We are hopeful that you will find these tips and tricks very helpful, not only during the upcoming holiday season but also in general.

If you have any tips or suggestions, let us know in the comments!