Shipping to Amurrrca. Porch pirates phenomenon.

Jun 13, 2024
Peoples Republic of Vleuten
So I've shipped a number of cable orders from my Etsy platform to the US from NL and haven't had a problem with a lost/stolen package....yet.
A potential customer contacted me via Etsy and wanted to know in great detail about how secure and by what method I ship my orders. I explained that I choose something described by PostNL (national carrier) as 'Track & trace, proof of posting and delivery, insured for loss and damage' and there's a sliding scale of isured-to depending on a supplementary additional cost. They haven't placed an order and I assume the description I gave didn't placate their concerns.

The most important part of that description is '...proof of posting and delivery' and that usually means a signature from 'a' recipient at the shipping address, otherwise the buyer can claim to Etsy that they didn't receive anything and qualify for a refund which is automatically taken from my Etsy account, which sucks bananas, but there it is.

My question is though - why the hell do I see and read about so many instances of theft by 'porch pirates' in the US? It has to be the most unsecure method of delivering things to anyone - just leaving it on a front step for any passer-by to take???
This customer sent me a link from one of those horrible shock video sites that shows two dingleberries seemingly waiting for the Fedex guy to arrive, deliver something, then take a token photo as 'proof of delivery' then just walk away nonchalantly, only for these two miscreants to swoop in and start arguing over who gets to snatch the delivery! It's bizarre! Is that really how it goes there?

Here in NL it wouldn't be allowed just to leave something outside your house in a 'public' place or on show just for someone to steal, unless you expressly asked the courier to do it. Then it's obviously at your own risk if it's stolen.
The first option is that a courier will take is to go to a neighbour to see if they're willing to accept it on behalf of the recipient if they're out/unavailable. The second option is to take it back to a collection centre for the recipient to go and collect it when convenient. Don't they have those options over there?

The only problems I have had to date is with DHL who seem to either lose or steal everything. I've had to re-make and deliver about €2000 worth of orders because of their ineptitude and don't even think about trying to make a claim even when you have chosen 'insured shipping'. It's a joke. They're like insurance companies - they make it as difficult as possible to make a claim and even then it's 50/50 if you get a payout or reimbursment.

I feel like I'm just waiting for my first 'not received' claim at Etsy from a US customer.... :/


Veteran and General Yakker
Dec 24, 2019
Yeah if I worked at Pratt & Whitney that wouldn’t work either. Same issue with an alphabet of buildings with several “wells” (loading docks) per.

400 Main Street
L building
Dock 4

or whatever. No hope.