With Black Friday approaching and Christmas not far behind it, deliveries to homes across the UK are increasing. Our research estimates that around half (45%) of Brits have had a delivery stolen from outside their front door, and this risk will only increase around the festive sale period as thieves will know that parcels are more frequent and of higher value.
So how do you prevent your deliveries being stolen? Read on to find out

Best practice for ordering online

When you’re ordering online your options are often limited by the courier that the company you’re purchasing from has chosen to use. They range wildly in the services that they offer, with some being more helpful than others. So, what can you do at the point of ordering to make sure your delivery stays safe?

The first port of call is to see whether you can specify the day your parcel will get delivered. If you’re lucky enough to get one of the couriers that track your order, and asks whether you’ll be in, then simply try to make sure that you’re able to accept the parcel to prevent it being left outside.

Alternatively, get your parcel delivered to your office or workplace, or to retired relatives who are likely to be in, then you can guarantee that it won’t be stolen from your doorstep.

Don’t tell the courier that they can leave your parcel with a neighbour or in a “safe place”. If it goes missing, you won’t have much of a leg to stand on because you’ve essentially said that you’re happy for it to be left anywhere or with anyone.

Unfortunately, some couriers are rather unhelpful and don’t give you any way to interact with them to ensure your delivery will be handed to you. Some are notorious for leaving parcels in strange places, like bins or on top of sheds. If you’re conscious that you might be relying on couriers like this, then you may have to take matters into your own hands.

How to protect your parcels

It’s not always feasible to be in when a parcel is due to arrive, but luckily, there are a number of extra measures that you can take to help prevent theft from your doorstep. And you wouldn’t be alone if you did, with around 72% of Brits investing in increased home security to combat the problems of stolen parcels.

With the dark nights providing cover for burglars and thieves, security lighting could be one of the biggest factors in deterring them from picking your parcels. Whether it’s a stylish front door lamp or a motion-activated security light, illuminating your outdoor areas will mean that a would-be thief is more likely to be overlooked. Shop outdoor security lights here.

A parcel keeper is a great option if you have the space available. Much like post boxes, parcel keepers allow couriers to deposit parcels in a secure box, so you don’t have to worry about your deliveries being left out in the open. Shop parcel keepers here.

CCTV and video doorbells are an excellent theft deterrent as well, with the added bonus that you can catch thieves red-handed if they do decide to chance it. Shop CCTV and video doorbells here.

What to do if your parcel is lost, stolen or damaged

According to the Consumer Rights Act, when you buy online or through a catalogue, your contract is with the retailer, not the courier. This means that if your parcel has been lost, stolen or damaged, your first port of call is with the company you bought from.

If your delivery is left on your doorstep (without your permission) and it has been stolen, then the retailer is in breach of their contract, and they’ll need to replace or refund your item. If you specified that the courier can leave it in a safe place or left with a neighbour, and the parcel is missing, then you’ll have a harder time arguing your case.

If your delivery has been stolen, make sure you contact the police, as it is a crime. Provide them with any photographic evidence and the correspondence between you and the retailer.

Sending parcels

If you’re the one sending parcels, whether you’re a small business or just sending gifts to loved ones, there are a few things that you can do to prevent the parcel being lost.

  • A clear address

Make sure that the address is clear and legible, and firmly affixed to your parcel.

  • Double check the address

It seems simple, but double checking that you’ve got the address right could make all the difference.

  • Don’t give away the contents of your parcel

Whether it’s through the way it’s packaged or though stickers or labelling, giving away what the box contains will tempt thieves. Make sure that you’ve got a box big enough and sturdy enough to conceal and cushion your items.

  • Add a return address

In case your parcel ends up somewhere it shouldn’t be, a return address will make sure that it can be returned to you and not just lost in the system.

  • Pay for tracking

Tracking will allow you to see if your parcel has been delivered, giving you peace of mind. You can also give the tracking number to the recipient, allowing them to anticipate its arrival. This does come at a cost, but it allows you to see where in the system your package is.

  • Pay for insurance

If your parcel contains something of value, get it insured. This will ensure that you’re reimbursed should it go missing.

  • Tell the recipient to expect your parcel

Whether you’ve paid for tracking or not, telling the recipient to expect a parcel could mean the difference between it sitting on a doorstep unnoticed and potentially getting stolen, or them being on the lookout and happily receiving their parcel.


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