Online shopping has been one of retail’s greatest innovations. With express and one-day shipping, whatever you need can be delivered straight to your home in a timely manner with the click of a button.
Retailers that primarily live online — like Amazon and Everlane — are seeing huge success without brick and mortar shops. But as more people open up to the world of online shopping, more people are taking advantage of its vulnerabilities.
Back in 2014, “showrooming” was a growing shopping trend. The practise, which sees people browse traditional brick and mortar stores, only to later buy online, has been an issue for brick and mortar stores. But the latest shopping trend mainly affects shoppers.
“Porch pirates” are the latest trend on the rise associated with online shopping.
According to CTV News, “porch pirates” are on the rise, and they are stealing packages outside of people’s homes. Canadian online shoppers are being warned by a branch of Crime Stoppers to watch out for them.
But unfortunately, there’s not much an online shopper can do once the theft has been committed.
One Toronto resident we spoke to frequently has packages stolen from her east end home. After she began to notice a pattern of theft, she spoke with a neighbour who, shockingly, had experienced the same thing. The neighbour set up a security system and caught the thief on camera. However, when taken to the police, there was nothing that could be done. “Unless he is caught in the act, there is nothing they can do about it.”
Online shopping delivery thefts are a crime of opportunity.
Amanda Allen from Crime Stoppers Windsor and Essex County told CTV News that shoppers should have a plan in place for deliveries made when they’re not home.
Allen says the best way to avoid “porch pirates” is to put up deterrents like security cameras, which can help police prosecute thieves. Another option is to have a neighbour pick up packages while you’re away.
However, not everyone has the luxury of a friendly neighbour that stays at home during the day.
There are other options for those online shoppers who don’t have someone to vouch for their deliveries.
Free storage services like PenguinPickUp make for excellent options. The growing service has over 70 locations across Canada, and works with companies like Walmart and FedEx to guard packages until they can be picked up.
Amazon, many online shoppers’ favourite place to shop, offers shoppers the option of picking up parcels at Canada Post locations, or having them delivered to lockers in the Toronto and Vancouver areas.
While it takes a bit of convenience out of online shopping, it’s much less exhausting than playing detective — or losing out on your delivery.
And if all else fails, well, you could always try taking matters into your own hands like the YouTuber below.