As Amazon and other online platforms have essentially dominated consumer sales in the United States and other countries, this has unleashed a tremendous amount of blessings for consumers. Seriously, no other word besides ‘blessings’ can do justice to what Amazon has done.
Let’s just break it down. Back in the bad old days, if you want to buy a pair of shoes, for example, you have to get in your car, or get on the subway, or the bus, and get to another part of town. Obviously, this takes quite a bit of time and a lot of hassle.
So you get there, and you talk to people. You check out shoe after shoe, you like a particular design. They ask you for your size, and then they go in the back, maybe it takes a few minutes, and then come back to tell you that they don’t have your size. Believe me, that kind of thing rarely happens online.
If one online store doesn’t have your size, you can quickly switch to another online store. On Amazon, it’s even easier. If you’re buying a shirt and one vendor doesn’t have that size, you can look up another competing vendor on the same Amazon platform that will have that size.
You don’t have that convenience offline. Worse yet, when that store doesn’t have what you want, you have to go to the next store. Who knows how far that other store will be? Also, you have to deal with the jerk customer service. Believe it or not, not all people who work in retail have sunny dispositions.
Many people conduct themselves like you are some sort of intruder, or you’re basically wasting their nap time. Whatever the case may be, you can feel the coldness. When you come in, it’s as if you’re doing them the favor by showing up, and possibly handing money in their hands, because you bought something that they are selling.
These people are inhospitable, they don’t smile, and in many cases, they even flat out insult you. In fact, I went to a shoe seller in the Bay Area in San Francisco, to be exact, and the guy who was helping me out was making all sorts of jokes regarding my feet, and my foot size, as well as my old shoes.
It was an ordeal. I was trying to laugh it off, but it seems that the guy was getting off on making jokes at my expense. I’m sure if I was in a better mood, I probably would have laughed along with him, but who wants to go through that? And that’s exactly the kind of hassle that you have to go through when you deal with people on a face to face basis.
You dispense with all that BS when you shop online. You go straight to the item that you want to shop for, you click on a link, you check out, you fill in your payment information, and you’re done! You just have to wait a few days, and your package will arrive; pretty straight forward.
So given these factors, it’s no surprise that more and more people are buying stuff online, but the problem is this convenience, and this ease has spawned a whole set of problems. I’m not going to go through the whole laundry list of these issues, but I am going to focus on one.
Since you are reliant on the merchant putting your stuff in a box, and making it available for the shipping company to pick up, what happens next? That’s right. When the shipping company takes your package from point A to point B, their responsibility ends.
They did their job. They delivered the package to where it needs to go. Legally speaking, they are off the hook. At that point, once they deliver the package to your porch or to the front area of your home, you are on your own.
Sounds pretty straight forward right? Well, if you live in a neighborhood where everybody knows each other and you know that everybody is a fine, upstanding citizen who wouldn’t harm a fly, if everybody in your neighborhood share the same values as you, there wouldn’t be a problem.
In fact, your neighbor would probably even send you a text message telling you that you have a package. This happens quite a bit in many neighborhoods in the United States. This is a classic case of neighbors helping neighbors.
The problem is, you and I know that we live in mixed neighborhoods. Even if you live in an area where everybody looks the same as you, this doesn’t guarantee that everybody has the same values. There are people who are called “porch pirates.” They are excited about getting a box and opening it and figuring out what’s inside.
They really couldn’t care less about getting your stuff because they are desperately poor. A lot of these people are drug addicts, or they’re basically just doing it for fun. The problem is they may be doing it for giggles and kicks, but you’re the one ending up with a shaft.
You spend your hard-earned money on a merchandise, and the merchandise arrives but was stolen. To add insult to injury, there’s nobody you can turn to. Pretty sad, right? So it’s very important that you wrap your mind around the question of how to protect your delivery packages from thieves. Here are just some of the things that you can do.
Install CCTV cameras all over your home
This goes without saying: Even if you’re not scared about the financial damage porch thieves can inflict on your finances, you should still do this. Because all sorts of things can happen. People might break in. People that you invite to your home might do something that they shouldn’t be doing.
Whatever the case may be, when you have CCTV, you at least make it easier for the cops to get to the bottom of whatever it is that happened in your premises. Since most packages are stolen once nighttime comes it will be wise on your part to install a motion activated flood lights using using the finest LED light bulbs.
Ask the deliver company for a time range for the delivery
If you are expecting a very expensive delivery, and it’s an item that you really cannot afford to lose, ask the delivery company when they expect to show up. Usually, they would give you a time range. Try to make it a point to be at your premises within than time range.
If you’re able to do this, a lot of your headaches would go away. The problem with this solution is that it isn’t much of a solution at all. The main reason why people shop online is because of the convenience. They’re buying stuff after stuff, and item after item because they just can’t help themselves. It’s a lot of fun.
And believe me, online shopping is tremendous. The problem is you can’t ask the shipping company for delivery ranges for all your purchases. You can only do this with items that cost a pretty penny. What do you do with the rest of the time?
So you’re back to square one. Porch thieves will basically steal from you with impunity, because you’re just simply not around.
Get a dog
I know this might sound simplistic, but if you get a nice, big, intimidating dog, people would think twice. Please understand that your dog, legally speaking, must be indoors. So if you have a screen door with a very scary dog on the other side, and it’s barking up a storm the moment somebody tries to get even within 10 feet of your porch, you are good to go.
At the very least, thieves who don’t know what’s going on, or who are essentially kind of weak inside, will get second thoughts. The downside to this is if you think the dog is intimidating to porch thieves, wait until you figure out how much it can intimidate the delivery person.
That’s right, the shipping person might get scared. So do yourself a big favor, get advanced notice, or notify the shipping company that they shouldn’t pay the dog any mind.