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How to protect holiday packages from theft and nosy relatives

Jennifer Escage, a mother of two from Palm City, Florida, knows how to hide Christmas presents from her curious family. She makes purchases at Amazon and then leaves the boxes in sight.

Фото: Depositphotos

“They all think it’s for me, and they don’t worry about it,” said Escaig. - It's perfect."

It is not easy to hide gifts from beloved relatives, adults and children who love to find out in advance what they have bought. USA Today... More than 95% of consumers buy half or more of their gifts online this year, according to a recent Leanplum survey. So keeping it all under wraps - from placing an online order to delivering it - is a challenge. In addition, no one canceled the need for protection from thieves who hunt for purchases delivered to the front doors.

“We all know people who are poking their noses everywhere and trying to figure out what gift you bought them, before the holidays,” says Sarah Skirball, retailMeNot shopping and trends expert. "While technology has made it easier to give gifts, it has become easier for seekers to find what they are looking for."

Before placing an order

Here is one of the ways that you can instantly ruin a holiday surprise: some items are not sent in boxes or soft envelopes, but delivered in their original packaging. Please note this when placing an order: as a rule, options are available to hide the packaging, including on Amazon.

In addition, add passwords to your applications and protect your shopping list on your phone and computer with a password.

“That way, if anyone stumbles upon it, either intentionally or accidentally, your list will be hidden,” Skirball said. - If you share an email account with a loved one, send all purchase receipts to a separate email address. As a bonus, it will help you be more organized. "

On the subject: What to do if your package arrived damaged or did not come at all

Notification monitoring

Monitor delivery receipts carefully and quickly. Subscribe to email, text messages and app alerts. In the case of Amazon delivery, you can see when the car is 10 stops from your home - it's so easy to know when it's time to run outside and grab the gift.

Use the “pick up at store” option and Amazon Locker

Katie Morrow Roberson, shipping and delivery expert at Logistics Trends & Insights in Atlanta, says people are worried about theft and prefer to shop in stores, receive purchases from Amazon Locker and other locations.

“These alternative delivery options are a great solution to prevent a thief from picking up your package at the door and family members from tracing their gifts,” said Morrow Roberson. - You have to weigh the options. Do you want to pick up your purchase from the store or use a safer shipping option? "

According to a report by Shorr Packing Corp. for the 2019 year about the theft of parcels, 24% of online shoppers surveyed experienced this, and 78% of victims said they subsequently took preventive actions to protect their purchases.

According to Rod Saydas, a retail leader at Deloitte’s consulting company, an increasing number of sellers are offering store delivery options.

“When you think about how much we all spend on the Internet, whatever you can do to protect your purchase, especially at this time of year, is really important,” he said, noting that this is also about convenience.

Almost all major retailers offer the option of picking up the package in the store, including Target, Walmart, Kohl's, JC Penney, Macy's, Office Depot, Staples and Old Navy. Amazon lockers are available in 900 cities, from 7-Eleven to GNC, and in some apartment lounges.

On the subject: Amazon parcels are set to trap for parcels.

Redirect to alternative locations

Many packages can be redirected to a courier, including FedEx and UPS. Purchases can also be sent to alternative locations such as shops.

FedEx packages can be picked up at FedEx outlets and stores, including Walgreens, Dollar General, and Kroger. UPS packages can be sent to the UPS Store, as well as CVS or Michaels.

Until January 12, UPS offers an incentive to receive packages at your chosen UPS access point and the opportunity to earn, including, a gift card worth 15 dollars and up to 6 free months of UPS My Choice Premium service with updated delivery options. Find out more at

To redirect packages to your selected retail outlets, you need to go to the website or the delivery service application. With the tracking number, you can request a safe redirection of your parcel to a convenient location of your choice.

Sending to a friend, neighbor or office

Louis Patterson, a content editor at, suggests sending packages to the office or asking friends or neighbors about this opportunity. But make sure you don’t fall out of favor: not all jobs allow this.

Signature Requirement

You can configure delivery options using UPS, the US Postal Service, or another carrier so that you are asked for a signature before delivering the package. This option requires that the parcel be given only to you personally.

Delivery schedule

FedEx and UPS websites or applications are needed to schedule delivery times.

“Contact the delivery service and ask them to redirect or reschedule delivery if you are afraid that someone in your family might be at home and receive your gift ahead of time,” Patterson said.

Delivery inside the house or car

Use the Amazon Key or August Access to control access to your doorway, porch, or living space so delivery staff can leave the package where thieves who hunt for packages on the doorstep cannot reach it. On Amazon, you can choose cars that allow you to leave packages in the trunk.

“It's too weird for me, even though everything is being filmed,” said Morrow Roberson. "I just don't want strangers looking at my refrigerator."

Security cameras, video call on the door

Keep tabs on your doorstep with home security cameras or a doorbell with video features. Video intercoms can stream video to your phone and / or automatically record who is at your doorstep using a motion detector.

“These devices can immediately notify you when someone has approached,” said Matt Schultz, chief industry analyst at “So if you're expecting a package on a certain day and are afraid it will go missing, you can either go home and put it indoors shortly after delivery, or call your neighbor and ask him to do it for you.”

Some systems can scare off a potential thief on the porch or garage by illuminating the motion detector. However, the expert said that this is not the best option: "Video surveillance will only record how your package is being carried away, but will not help stop it."

The parcel was delivered. What's next?

Regardless of whether gifts arrived from the store or were purchased online, after delivery it is time to hide them from curious recipients.

“Try to find unique hiding places that kids won't find, such as inside a suitcase, a fridge for drinks or an empty trash can with a lid,” advises Skirball.

Laundry basket and empty boxes are other options. A great way is delivery to a friend's house.

Read also on ForumDaily:

What to do if your package arrived damaged or did not come at all

7 sites that pay for your trash

10 Secret Tricks Every Amazon Buyer Must Know

Future technologies: Amazon introduces biometric payment at Whole Foods

Miscellaneous safety Educational program Parcels

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