Fraud and theft: how to keep unwanted paws off your packages

By Oleg Mikhailenko
Published in Solutions
July 06, 2022
3 min read
Fraud and theft: how to keep unwanted paws off your packages

If you had to guess how many packages are stolen in total, how many would you say? A few hundred? A couple of thousand? Maybe even a hundred thousand, on a really bad day? Sure, we all know someone who has had a package ‘liberated’ by someone with a set of sticky fingers, but since getting a replacement is often as simple as filing a complaint on Amazon, most of us don’t think about it very much. Surely it’s not such a huge problem that it’s causing any meaningful dent in the economy, right?

Wrong. The jury is in and the numbers are solid: porch piracy is an epidemic of epic proportions. In the United States, 1.7 million packages go lost every single day. 90,000 in New York City alone. Yearly losses due to package theft climb to 25 million. This is not some petty cash. And in a business environment where the seller is considered responsible up until the moment the customer has their chosen items in hand, in the event that one of your products ends up going missing, you’ll be expected to foot the bill for a new one.

How can you prevent this outcome? Not only can thefts damage your reputation with your buyers (as consumer behavior towards ecommerce theft indicates that many shoppers choose not to purchase from the same seller again, regardless of fault) it can take a meaty bite out of your bottom line. Read on for our list of ecommerce fulfillment services for startups that can help keep theft to an absolute minimum.

Make use of package insurance

Package insurance, simply put, means that in the event of any damage, or if your parcel is lost, the courier service pays you back for the value of whatever you were shipping. Insurance doesn’t cost as much as you might think. USPS’s first class mail has some built in, and all three major couriers offer options to insure packages for only a few dollars on top of the price to ship. Even for packages worth over $300, FedEx offers this level of coverage for only three additional dollars. In this day and age, with so many options, excuses and reasons to not take the extra care are drying up fast.

Make sure your shipping speed notifications are accurate

If you say your package will arrive in two days and it actually takes three, that’s an entire lost day your customer could have spent running errands or spending time with friends and family. Meanwhile if your package only arrives in one, your customer won’t be expecting its arrival, leaving the parcel in question highly vulnerable to porch piracy. It’s also crucial to make sure that your shipping speeds are as quick as possible- it’s easy for your shopper to plan where they might be in a day or two, but much harder to calculate which kinds of obligations may pop up a week out. This makes package tracking one of the best fulfillment services for Shopify, Amazon, or any merchant.

Offer tracked shipments

If you can provide accurate, real-time updates, your customer can make sure to be back home and waiting for the delivery by the time the truck is six stops away. Text notifications work better for this than email- if your customer is in the line at the drive-through or running errands on their lunch break, who’s to say whether or not they’ll be checking for mail? Either way, make sure that these are as accurate as possible to prevent unneeded frustration and delay.

Use unbranded packaging

Which do you think will be more appealing to your average porch pirate- a box with visible branding that can be quickly Googled, immediately revealing its resale value? Or a nondescript plain cardboard box with nothing to distinguish it from the others save for a shipping label that’s too small to see from the side of the road? Plain packaging is one of those warehousing and fulfillment services that can go overlooked, but really makes a huge difference. When it comes to preventing theft, you want to be able to remove any and all temptations from these would-be ne’er-do-wells- or at the very least have them pass up your customer in favor of better pickings elsewhere.

In conclusion

It’s official: when it comes to customer expectations ecommerce theft does not rank highly among experiences your shoppers want to have. It represents an annoying hassle and unnecessary wait for a replacement at best, and serious complications resulting from the delay at worst. By following these simple tips, you can keep shrink to a minimum and leave yourself free to explore other direct to consumer trends that will make a long-lasting difference to customer satisfaction. P2Pseller is happy to help you get there. We offer a number of key software integrations to make sure that you’re able to have real-time updates as to the location of every single order, which can be conveniently checked through either the website or mobile app. No matter whether you’re at the office, on the bus, or sitting on the couch, you always have the option of tracking each and every parcel you send out. Register a free account with us today in order to browse all our offerings and see how we can help you scale infrastructure, sell more, and grow your business. All with zero stress and zero phone calls.


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Oleg Mikhailenko

Co-Founder, CEO P2Pseller

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