It is estimated that people in the United States will spend more than $86 billion on online gift purchases during the 2014 holiday season. Delivery to your door is often better than fighting through the crowds.
Accordingly at this time of year, some elements of society spend their days prowling neighborhoods looking for unattended packages.
If you are not home to receive an item and bring it inside, what can you do?
One company in California has been tackling this problem and they believe they have a solution. The startup, called Doorman, allows people to receive packages when they are at work. Normal delivery companies are only able to deliver during regular business hours, so Doorman is able to fill a very special niche especially appreciated during the holidays.
Here’s how Doorman works. Customers will have their items delivered to the company’s package center, and the customers can then let the company know the best time to deliver the package. They can choose any day of the week and the delivery time up until midnight. They use private contractors for the deliveries rather than regular drivers.
Currently, the service is just $4 per package, although they have a $20 a month deal for those who have a large number of packages. This could be a better option for the holidays, as you may be getting a large number of packages. Right now, the service is only available in San Francisco. However, the company does hope to expand.
Amazon knows that people don’t always want to have packages delivered right to the house too. They have a system that allows buyers to send their packages to a local locker, often in a 7-11 or a similar location. The buyer can go to the store and pick it up at their convenience.
A company from Portland, OR has another potential solution. The Landport is a lockbox made to prevent package theft. It is a large, steel box that’s great for businesses, as well as homeowners. Since it is large, it is not the type of item that most thieves will be able to pick up and carry away. Each of the boxes has a unique access code. Buyers simply have to provide this code to their delivery company. They are very easy to use, and durable enough to withstand any type of weather. Currently, they are available in several styles and sizes.
Of course, if you aren’t in San Francisco and you don’t have the money for a Landport, what are you going to do?
Consider talking with a neighbor about picking up the package for you. If they stay at home, they can keep watch for the item and grab it for you when it’s delivered. This ensures that no one else grabs it off your stoop.
You could also have a friend or family member who isn’t working during the delivery time stop by the house and pick it up or bring it inside for you.
Consider buying from companies that are able to offer Saturday delivery. This way, you will be at home when the package is delivered.
Look for some ways that you will be able to deter thieves. Putting up a camera, as well as notices that you have a camera and security system, is a good deterrent. (This is even true if you don’t have a camera system set up.)
On days when you know you have packages being delivered, consider leaving on the television or the radio, and turning it up a bit louder than usual.