Study: One in Four Americans Have Had Package Stolen By “Porch Pirates”
Nearly half of Americans don’t believe that delivery companies are doing enough to prevent theft, but the survey respondents also aren’t willing to change their online shopping habits.
- By Haley Samsel
- Dec 24, 2019
Package theft and “porch pirates” have become key concerns of American adults both during and outside of the holiday shopping season, with almost one in four adults saying they have had a package stolen in a recent study.
The survey of more than 1,000 online shoppers by Illinois-based Shorr Packaging Corp. found that 24 percent of respondents had a package stolen. Sixty-four percent of people who had a package stolen said they have since decided to mail their packages to a different address to prevent theft, and nearly 80 percent said they have changed their plans to be around to pick up the package right after it’s delivered.
Among all of the respondents, though, Americans were less likely to send a package to a different address. Almost 70 percent said they were not willing to change their holiday shopping practices due to fears of package theft, according to MarketWatch.
But victims of “porch pirates” have taken several steps to improve residential security. One in four people who have had a package stolen said they added a doorbell camera to their front door, and 17 percent said they installed motion lights to sense when someone is at the door.
The study found that 44 percent of all respondents said delivery companies, like Amazon, UPS and FedEx, are not doing enough to prevent package theft. The companies pointed to services that allow customers to track their packages as they are traveling to the delivery point, ostensibly giving consumers the chance to plan their days around package deliveries.
Some package-theft victims reported taking precautions to prevent future porch piracy, shelling out an average of $191 on home security: One in four said they’d added a doorbell camera, 19% said they had added some other camera, 17% employed motion lights, 10% bought a dog, 5% installed a fence or gate, and 4% said they had used Amazon’s AMZN, +0.10% Key and Smart Lock Kit to enable in-home delivery.
UPS suggested to MarketWatch that customers could have shipments sent to where they are during the day or to a trusted friend who is home during the day. Amazon and FedEx have advised worried customers to send their packages to Amazon package lockers at convenience stores or FedEx offices.
Ordering products online and selecting “in-store pickup” is another option to ensure packages are not taken off the porch.
About the Author
Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.