More than a million parcels are reported stolen in Australian each year. With Australians increasingly shopping online, that number is likely to rise.
We understand how convenient it is to get something delivered to your door within a few days – or even hours – of ordering it. But if you’re not home to receive it, a package sitting at your front door, in your driveway, in an apartment foyer, or an unsecured mailroom, is an easy target and super tempting to an opportunistic thief.
Only 55% of people have a safe place for their packages to be left.
With a little planning ahead, you can make sure your packages get to you safely.
When you’re ordering
- If you have the option, schedule the delivery to happen when you know you’ll be home.
- Leave a note or delivery request to the seller giving specific details about where to leave the package if you’re not at home. Make sure it’s somewhere out of sight and can’t be seen from the street.
- If you live in an apartment, don’t authorise your packages to be left in the foyer or an unsecured mailroom.
- Ask for tracking with your package. You may need to pay a little extra, but you will receive notifications about when, specifically, the package should arrive.
- Select “click and collect”, if given the option, and have your order delivered to a collection point near you, such as a local branch of the store, a newsagent, petrol station or pharmacy.
- Consider adding signature confirmation to your delivery, so that the package can only be left with someone who signs for it or be taken to the nearest post office or collection point.
- Never instruct delivery drivers and couriers to leave your package “in a safe place”. There is always a risk in leaving a parcel unattended and your definition of a safe place might be a thief’s definition of “help yourself”.
If you’re not going to be at home
- When the delivery company sends you a notification about the expecting delivery date/time, don’t agree for them to “leave it in a safe place” – specify a secure location at your house, that can’t been seen from the street.
- Arrange to have packages delivered to your workplace.
- Have parcels redirected to your local post office for collection.
- Organise with a trusted neighbour to keep a lookout and collect the parcel when it’s delivered.
- Arrange for your packages to be sent to a trusted neighbour, friend or family member who’s usually at home.
- Register for a free Australia Post parcel locker near you and have your orders sent there.
Other safety measures
- If you regularly get packages delivered to your home, invest in a lockable parcel box, which works similar to a public post box. Deliverers open the top door of the box, place parcels on the flap and once the lid is closed, parcels can only be removed through a locked door at the bottom.
- If you’re ordering something valuable, pay a little extra for parcel insurance.
- Set up simple motion sensor security camera at your front entry that will send notifications to your smartphone when the camera is triggered. You can log in from your smartphone to see what’s happening in real time. With some models you can even have a conversation with the person on camera. And if a parcel is stolen from your home, you can provide the footage to police.
- If you live in an apartment, don’t allow people to tailgate you into the lobby or mail room – especially if you don’t know them or are unsure if they live in the building.
- Make sure your letterbox has a high quality, strong letterbox lock and that the mail slot is narrow enough so a hand can’t reach in and remove your mail or small packages.
If you don’t receive a delivery you’re expecting
- Check the tracking status to see if it has been delivered or may have been delayed.
- Contact the seller to check mailing dates, whether tracking was included and if the package has been returned to them. Also ask them to lodge an enquiry with the delivery company from their end.
- Call the delivery company to lodge a missing item report.
- If you live in a apartment complex, notify building management.
- If you think it’s been stolen, report it to the Police Assistance Line by calling 131 444 or you can lodge an online report.