Beware of porch pirates when making online purchases

‘Tis the season for online shopping and packages a-plenty. Taking advantage of flash sales and the season of giving, shoppers spent $50 billion on online purchases in November of 2019, on track for over $143 billion during the holiday season.

package thieves

Shopping online may seem easier than braving the masses and picking up your purchases, but you may have to contend with package thieves. So to understand who’s at risk, what are often stolen, and what happens after a package is reported missing, Cove surveyed over 990 shoppers.

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The average person had around 76 packages delivered yearly, two of which were stolen. Even though people living in single-family homes made more online purchases, shoppers living in apartments reported having more packages stolen during the year.

Regardless of where you live, you can expect thieves to start eyeing your deliveries around December. In fact, more than 1 in 3 people who experienced package theft reported having their purchases stolen in December.

For nearly half of shoppers, the most stolen items included clothing and accessories. Another 1 in 3 shoppers also reported having their electronics go missing, followed by home goods (27.4%) and appliances (7%). On average, packages swiped off front porches or from apartment mailrooms were valued at $101.22. Unfortunately, almost 1 in 3 shoppers said they had personally identifiable information stolen along with the items they bought.

It’s also possible that not all mail carriers are equal, and roughly 2 in 3 shoppers wished they had the power to pick the carrier delivering their packages. UPS and FedEx were the most trusted mail carriers among shoppers polled.

Beware your Black Friday online purchases

So what can you do to help protect your packages this holiday season? More than 1 in 4 shoppers had home security features installed after having a package stolen, including security cameras and video doorbells. Other popular responses included opting to sign for packages, adding tracking alerts, and having packages delivered at work instead.

online purchases

package thieves

online purchases

online purchases



About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver