The media has been reporting on the theft of parcels lately so I thought i’d give you a few tips :

1. Signature required. If you’re shipping out gifts you should choose this option, which may cost you about $2 on most shipments. And this option is available from several online retailers, some of which are free.

2. Ring Doorbell Option. Some retailers offer this option or allow people to leave a note to their delivery person to ring the doorbell. Look for this option when placing an order online or consider a small sign instructing the courier to ring the doorbell whenever they deliver a parcel.

3. Delivery Notification. Some online retailers, shippers and courier companies offer this option, which can be sent to you by text and/or email. This will also give you a heads up if you’re at home or on your way home. And if you’re at work, you can always call home to get someone to bring it in after getting one of these notifications.

4. Drop-off / Pickup Points. Many retailers offer the option to pick shipments up at your local store, post office or a dedicated pickup point. In the case of Amazon you can either pick your shipments up at a Canada Post outlet near you or Amazon Locker in Toronto or Vancouver.

5. Security. Security cameras help but unfortunately it’s normal for people to wear balaclavas or other winter face masks during winter in some areas, so some people wouldn’t think twice seeing someone walk off with a parcel or two, even from apartment buildings. It can be a good visual deterrent though.

6. Insurance. Many shippers offer a basic amount of coverage but if you are personally shipping something out, you can always consider insurance on your shipments.

7. Package Guard. This device has been available from Amazon.com for a year or two and sends notifications via an app whenever someone places a parcel on the device. Placing a parcel on the device also arms a loud alarm that cannot be disarmed without the app.

8. Canada Post Options. If you’re going out of town and are expecting parcels via Canada Post, you can always place a hold on your mail, which can be done via this online form. You can also forward your mail and temporarily relocate your mail. And some of these options may be available from other shippers so contact them in regards to their programs.

If I think of any more tips i’ll add them to this blog entry.

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