Smart Buying

Protect Your Online Purchases

Utilize free ship-to-store services or retail lockers to thwart porch pirates.

Packages are stolen from porches and doorways year-round, but thieves are particularly busy during the holiday season, when there are more items to steal. Take the following steps to protect your purchases:

Ship to a store. Some retailers let you send online purchases to one of their stores for pickup. The service is usually free.

Send to a locker. UPS, FedEx and Amazon all operate locations where packages can be delivered. Amazon provides lockers in Whole Foods Markets and convenience stores. When you place your order, search for your nearest locker, add it to your address book and select it for deliveries.

For items shipped via UPS or FedEx, you’ll need to register for a free UPS MyChoice or FedEx Delivery Manager account. You can ask to have your purchases delivered to one of their participating retailers. UPS doesn’t charge for the service, but FedEx may charge up to $15 to deliver to a different address.

If a package is declared lost or undelivered by any carrier, your best bet is to contact both the carrier and the merchant to figure out who’s responsible for your refund. Some merchants may refund your purchase.

Most Popular

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status
tax refunds

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status

If you're waiting for your tax refund, the IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your payment.
March 2, 2021
Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your stimulus checks.
February 19, 2021
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021

Recommended

What to Do When One Spouse Spends Too Much in Retirement
spending

What to Do When One Spouse Spends Too Much in Retirement

If one partner takes a less conservative approach to money, it can wreak havoc on a marriage. But the problem can be addressed by agreeing on bigger f…
February 10, 2021
10 Places That Will Pay You to Live There
real estate

10 Places That Will Pay You to Live There

Working remotely? You may want to check out these places that'll pay you to move there.
February 9, 2021
6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Second Stimulus Check
Coronavirus and Your Money

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Second Stimulus Check

If you don't have to use your second stimulus check for basic necessities, consider putting the money to work for you. You'll thank yourself later.
December 28, 2020
A Golf Course Community’s Big Variable for Retirees
Smart Buying

A Golf Course Community’s Big Variable for Retirees

Golf club memberships can often be a separate, and hefty, annual fee at golf communities. Here's some guidance before you tee up your retirement move …
December 14, 2020