What you need to know if you’re holiday shopping online

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 7:11 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - With the threat of COVID-19, holiday shopping looks a little bit different this year. Shoppers may be more apt to shop online instead of in stores. In fact experts tell CBS News that online sales are expected to be 30 percent higher than they were last year and could make up 17 percent of all holiday shopping sales.

This has the United States Postal Service gearing up.

“This is our time to shine; this is our Superbowl,” Mark Inglett with USPS said.

Inglett said every year they have more people shopping online and this year will be no different.

“We’ve hired seasonal workers and we have them trained up ahead of time so we are ready to go,” Inglett said.

Though USPS is ready to get those packages onto porches, the Lincoln Police Department is hoping they’ll stay there and won’t be snatched by porch pirates.

“If it’s just sitting on your porch, it takes less than 30 seconds for a person to run up to your porch grab it and go,” Ofc. Jason Hellmuth with the Lincoln Police Department said.

On average, 44 percent of all package thefts reported in Lincoln happen in November and December.

So far in 2020 there have been 122 thefts reported with eight of those occurring in November.

That number is expected to start rising.

“Black Friday shopping was done mostly online so its safe to assume the number of packages delivered will be going up, increasing the chances for package thefts,” Hellmuth said.

His advice: don’t make it easy for thieves.

LPD’s top tips for preventing package thefts are:

- Get a doorbell surveillance system, this functions as a deterrent and a tool for police to use to solve the case in case a package is stolen.

- Coordinate with neighbors to collect packages for one another and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

- Leave instructions for the delivery worker to leave the package in a lock box or somewhere out of sight, like a back patio instead of the front porch.

- Have packages held at a store or delivered to a workplace, if it’s allowed.

- Pay close attention to package tracking and be aware of when it will be delivered and make arrangements to be home for the delivery.

If you’re going to be shipping holiday packages this year, USPS encourages you to do it as soon as possible.

Here are the holiday shipping deadlines provided by USPS:

To get packages delivered by Dec. 25 to domestic addresses and Air/Army Post Office/Fleet Post Office/Diplomatic Post Office addresses*:

· Nov. 6 — APO/FPO/DPO (all ZIP Codes) USPS Retail Ground service

· Dec. 9 — APO/FPO/DPO (ZIP Code 093 only) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail

· Dec. 11 — APO/FPO/DPO (all other ZIP Codes) Priority Mail and First-Class Mail services

· Dec. 15 — USPS Retail Ground service

· Dec. 18 — APO/FPO/DPO (except ZIP Code 093) USPS Priority Mail Express service

· Dec. 18 — First-Class Mail service (including greeting cards)

· Dec. 18 — First-class packages (up to 15.99 ounces)

· Dec. 19 — Priority Mail service

· Dec. 23 — Priority Mail Express* service

*Not a guarantee, unless otherwise noted. Dates are for estimated delivery before Dec. 25. Actual delivery date may vary depending on origin, destination, Post Office acceptance date and time, and other conditions. Some restrictions apply. For Priority Mail Express shipments mailed Dec. 22 through Dec. 25, the money-back guarantee applies only if the shipment was not delivered, or delivery was not attempted, within two business days.

USPS also wanted to remind users that they can not only shop online, but ship online using their Click ‘N Ship program which allows you to print a shipping label from your home and schedule a time for a carrier to pick it up. Learn more about that here.

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