Roanoke, VA (December 11, 2013) Move over Black Friday, Americans have a new favorite way to shop: online. According to IBM, online sales on Cyber Monday increased 20.6% over 2012. With $2.29 billion spent on Cyber Monday alone, it is clear that consumers are switching from shopping carts to shipping costs.
With all those packages hitting consumers’ doorsteps, it is essential to protect your merchandise from theft. Packages left outside of homes are stolen every year, especially at the holidays.
“With more and more folks turning to the internet to make their holiday purchases, it is essential to be proactive and take steps to help ensure that you actually get your delivered packages.” said Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB Serving Western VA. “It’s easy to assume your neighborhood is safe from this kind of crime, but history has shown that this kind of theft can happen in anywhere. Delivery trucks are easy to identify, and thieves have been known to follow the trucks right to the delivery point, helping themselves to packages delivered at the homes of others.”
BBB offers the following tips to help protect your purchases:
• Be sure you know which company is delivering your package.
• Know the tracking number: Most delivery services offer text, email or web based notifications that allow you to track your package’s delivery status. Track your purchases often until you receive the merchandise. Contact the store immediately if your package is not received when indicated.
• Always request a signature confirmation upon delivery. This will prevent the delivery person from leaving the package unattended.
• Request a delivery time when you know you will be home.
• If you know you will not be at home when your delivery is scheduled, consider having your items shipped to a trusted neighbor or friend who you know will be at home. Ask them to be on the lookout for the delivery in case the delivery person doesn’t ring the doorbell.
• Have the package shipped to your place of employment if permissible.
• Give special instructions for delivery if needed – Ask the package delivery company to leave your purchases somewhere they cannot be seen from the street, e.g. back porch, behind the back door, etc.
• Request that the package be held at the delivery company’s local delivery center and pick it up there.
• Have the item shipped to the retailer’s nearest store for “in-store pick-up.”
• When you do receive your merchandise examine it immediately. If you believe it’s been tampered with, contact the store immediately.
For more advice on fighting theft, please visit www.bbb.org or contact the BBB Serving Western VA at (540) 342-3455 or (800) 533-5501.