The holiday season means lots of shopping—presents for loved ones, ingredients for parties, decor to make your house just a little more festive. And whether it's Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any other day during the season, much of that shopping takes place online, and online shopping doesn’t end when you click "Buy"—it lasts until your purchases are in your hands. That's why, on December 4, Ring is celebrating National Package Protection Day.
USPS estimates that more than 800 million packages will be delivered between this Thanksgiving and New Year's just via the Postal Service alone. That breaks down to an average 20.5 million per day! With all of those packages being delivered, it's more important than ever to take extra steps to make sure all of your orders arrive without a hitch.
Here are 10 easy steps you can take to protect your packages:
#1 Track Your Packages and Use Delivery Alerts
When available, track your packages online or sign up for delivery alerts to know when they're scheduled to arrive so you can make sure someone is home to receive them.
If you order from multiple sites, keep a list of all your tracking numbers so you don’t have to look through countless shipping confirmation emails when you want to track your orders.
#2 Choose Packaging That Conceals What's in the Box, if Available
If you're shopping on Amazon, certain purchases qualify for basic packaging that doesn't give away the contents of the shipment. When you're checking out, choose the option to "ship in Amazon packaging," which doesn't cost extra. You can find more info here.
#3 Get a Video Doorbell
Smart devices, like the Ring Video Doorbell, let you answer your door and protect your packages no matter where you are. The Ring app alerts you when the doorbell’s sensors detect motion, like packages being delivered or when someone presses the call button. And, with two-way talk, you can chat with the delivery person and ask them to place your packages in a more hidden area.
Even after your shipment is successfully delivered, the Ring Video Doorbell helps make sure it stays there until someone gets home. Ariel Tessler experienced this firsthand. He was working when he got an alert on his phone that there was motion at his front porch, and he was able to see that two people were trying to open his package. Using the two-way talk feature on his doorbell, Ariel directed them to stop and leave the package right where it was.
#4 Add Delivery Instructions
When ordering packages online, if possible, add delivery instructions that let the driver know to place the package in a safer spot that's out of view. If that area is on the side or in the back of your house, make sure to add a Ring outdoor Security Camera so you're able to check on the package until you can collect it.
#5 Get to Know Your Delivery Person
Not all security is high-tech. When it comes to making your neighborhood safer, it helps to get to know your local delivery people, who can be extra vigilant when delivering your packages if they think something seems off at your home.
And while you’re at it, take a few moments to extend your gratitude for all their hard work, especially during the holidays. With all of the shopping, they're busier than ever making sure your packages arrive safe and secure. Show them a token of your appreciation when they make a delivery, just like MariaElena Fonseca did in California last year.
#6 Don't Let Your Packages Sit for Too Long
With so much going on during the holidays, it’s sometimes easy to get caught up and let your packages pile up at the front door and attract unnecessary attention. Don’t procrastinate and let them sit for too long. Bring them in as soon as you can, because you never know who might try to snag one of the boxes before you can bring them inside.
If you’re traveling this holiday season, you can contact the delivery service to put all of your deliveries on hold. This ensures that your packages will be kept in a secure place until you return home, giving you peace of mind even while you are away.
#7 Work With Your Neighbors to Make Your Community Safer
During the year, and especially around the holidays, take the time to connect with your neighbors. Let them know when you're planning to be out of town and when visitors are coming, so they'll be more aware of any unusual activity.
Make sure to also download the Neighbors App to get real-time crime and safety alerts from your neighbors and, in some communities, local law enforcement. It will help you work together to make your neighborhood safer, like it helped these residents in Dallas. Using the app and their video doorbells, these Ring neighbors were able to identify a woman who had been taking packages off their front porches.
#8 Make it Clear Your Home is Protected
After you add the extra layers of smart security to your home with the Ring Video Doorbell and cameras, put up the Ring Solar Security Sign and Window Security Stickers around your property to let visitors and your community know that it’s protected.
#9 Add Package Insurance to Your Purchases
Consider adding insurance when possible to your shipments, especially to the more valuable ones. A few extra dollars will give you peace of mind that the value of the gift is protected, even if something happens to the package before it arrives.
#10 Add Key by Amazon to Your Home or Garage
Key by Amazon lets Amazon drivers put your packages directly into your house or garage so you don't have to worry that your purchases are sitting outside if you can't be home. You get updates at every step of the delivery process, and, with your Ring Video Doorbell or cameras, you can even use the Ring app to watch in real-time as the delivery people put the packages securely inside. For more information, click here.
This holiday season, use these tips and Ring devices to help make sure your packages are protected and your home and neighborhood are safe. Check out some of our latest offers here, and download the Neighbors app to stay up to date with everything happening in your community. With Ring, you're always home!