We're all about choices when it comes to shipping and delivery. Got-it Box is a company dedicated to making the shipping/delivery industry more efficient and convenient for EVERYONE involved!
Making this industry more efficient means providing options for receiving deliveries. We are members of a movement trying to turn the shipping/delivery industry on its head...in a good way. Creating more efficient practices for this industry will benefit everyone; we've talked about this before (more than a few times), but why not?!
When it comes to options we're more than happy to provide a few. Aside from the classic and modern Got-it Box models we've unveiled the Got-it Bench! We loved our bench so much that we decided to make a second model!
We now offer four product options in three different sizes. Make your deliveries efficient and keep your items secure. No matter the space, you can find a Got-it Box product to fit!
We can't look at the calendar without thinking about the fast-approaching holiday season. With that, comes online shopping and home deliveries. A quick Google search will show you that online shopping increases over the holidays with a steady incline in sales from year to year.
December has always been the shipping industry's busiest month of the year, even before online shopping started to boom. The advent of shopping online has caused the shipping industry to grow at an exponential rate.
When shopping online, you can choose to have all gifts shipped to your home, or you can have the retailer gift-wrap your purchases and arrange for the items to be shipped directly to the receiver. With different shipping options available, the retailers and shipping companies have to stay on their toes. Holidays are very busy and sometimes stressful; when you add in the potential for these carefully selected gifts to be stolen in the shipping/delivery stage of the process you may have a disappointing situation waiting to happen.
This makes us think about the ever-growing Porch Pirate problem.
Many delivered gifts, left on porches during the holiday season, contributes to very efficient package thefts. You could label the holiday season 'porch pirate season' these days.
News reporters often feature shipping thefts in their broadcasts and then followup with suggested ways to avoid porch pirates at your home. We're always looking for these sources that suggest Got-it Box or a parcel box as a new solution to this inevitable problem. Houzz recently posted an article, Special Delivery: Keeping Your Packages Safe, focusing on parcel boxes to guard your packages rather than other options, like asking a neighbour. This is great stuff! The more people talking about thwarting porch pirates, the better!
This problem is only going to increase, so why not prevent it at your home?
Got-it Box will secure your packages and make deliveries convenient again!
Leaves are falling and the morning air is crisp. October is here and with it comes Halloween!
Since launching Got-it Box six months ago we've been communicating the different ways it can add convenience to your life. Many blog posts and social media updates have been written with this in mind.
Halloween has us thinking: maybe giving out treats is inconvenient for some folks. If you have little ones that you'll be trick-or-treating with then you won't be able to pass out treats at your own home. Some families ask friends and neighbours to help out with the treat-giving on Halloween because they're either out with the kids or their schedules make things difficult. Depending on your neighbourhood, there may be an honour code. Though it's not as common these days, we have been known to see a house or two with a basket of treats on the step, trusting that people will help themselves to just a treat or two.
We had an idea, why not use a Got-it Box to distribute treats to the princesses, zombies and mini NHL players showing up on your step? If you're not going to be home, hang a sign on your Got-it Box with a PIN number. Of course this would fall under the honour code principle mentioned before and we'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not this is something you should do in your neighbourhood. We think the trick-or-treaters would like punching in the number to get their treats! We watch kids open Got-it Boxes at trade shows all the time, they think it's fun and parents love watching them do it.
Don't forget that the Got-it Box lock can be programmed easily so once Halloween is over you can delete the code you were using that night.This way there's no concern with people returning to your Got-it Box the next day (just in case this crossed your mind as a deterrent).
If you're going to be home to meet trick-or-treaters then you won't need to use your Got-it Box for treats.
So, what should you do with your Got-it Box on Halloween night? Dress it up, obviously! Maybe black and orange lights or some type of decoration stuck to the front? We happen to think it's the perfect shape to throw a sheet over and call it a ghost! Got-it Ghost!
One of the scariest things that can happen to you is identity theft. Annoying is another word that comes to mind when thinking about it; besides the potential for people to steal your money, once you're a victim you have to change all of your personal information. It's a reality that more people face now than ever before. We think it can’t happen to us but we really shouldn't be that naive anymore.
According to a Canada Post Security and Investigation Services document, "Two major credit bureaus, Equifax and Trans Union, indicate that they each receive approximately 1,400 to 1,800 Canadian identity theft complaints every month."
Identity theft is the fraudulent acquisition and use of a person’s private identifying information, usually for financial gain. There are different ways your identity can be stolen but mail fraud is becoming a more common way for thieves to do it in Canada. Mail fraud is a crime in which the perpetrator develops a scheme using the mail to defraud another of money or property.
Recently, identity theft and mail fraud stories have been making the news in Canada. Since installing community mailboxes in British Columbia, Vancouver has become a hot-spot for both crimes. That’s troubling news considering that Canada Post has just begun rolling out it’s 5-year plan to phase out home delivery and offer only community mailbox delivery to all of Canada.
Community mailboxes are large hubs that collect mail for neighbourhoods in residential locations. Each resident has a key to their section and are then expected to commute to retrieve their mail each day. There are many reasons that Canadians are not happy about Canada Post’s plan to increase community mailboxes to cover 9-million addresses over 5-years but we’ll talk about that in a future blog post. Today, we’ll focus on why community mailboxes are causing stress for residents because they're helping to increase the number of stolen identities reported in Canada.
With community mailboxes popping up in British Columbia the crime rate for mail theft and mailbox destruction has increased. In fact, Langley, B.C. is known as the mail theft capital of Canada. There were more than 250 community mailbox break-ins within 5-months in 2014. One resident has experienced mail-theft three times since Christmas, 2013. When asked about it he had this to say, "The fact it keeps happening means whoever is doing it is doing it quite easily.” He continued with, “I’m frustrated. You can’t trust that your mail is going to be safe. You don’t even know what’s getting stolen. I can’t understand why they would put a mailbox down a dead-end street in the dark."
Some people break into community mailboxes for the thrill of being destructive, not that we think it’s a thrill but it is for some people, apparently. Whereas others do it with a purpose- stealing mail to collect personal information from sensitive documents. These documents can be any type of correspondence from a bank, credit card statements, government issued documents including tax information, social insurance numbers (which are featured on some government material).
Once the thieves get their hands on a few different items with personal and private information they can steal your identity. There are countless horror stories on the internet showcasing identity theft situations. Bank accounts are drained, credit cards are maxed, and expensive items, like vehicles, are financed. In some of these cases the people who had their identities stolen were on the hook for many of the charges because they couldn't prove what had happened. This is a terrifying realty for far-too-many people in Canada. One resident of Langley, B.C. has had a community mailbox for ten years. She's been a victim of mail theft three times and is currently involved in an RCMP investigation because her identity was stolen. There was a credit card account opened in Toronto with her identity, which was then used to the tune of $8,000 in fraudulent charges. When asked about mail theft she said she'd much rather have a mail slot on her door.
Community mailboxes have been called the ‘jackpot’ for mail-thieves. With all the mail for a neighbourhood stored in one area stealing becomes so much easier. It’s not just efficient for mail delivery folks, it’s increasing productivity for the thieves as well. According to victims of mail theft, Canada Post doesn't inform their customers when a community mailbox is broken-into. Instead, it's usually the residents who inform Canada Post.
Canada Post has taken measures to prevent mail theft with their community mailboxes but their efforts seem minimal compared to the theft. Residents are not impressed, "Our feeling is upsetting and unsafe. We feel angered, we don't know what to do," says one Calgary resident who recently found her community mailbox door wide-open twice in one day. Canada Post had said, in this particular situation, that they were not going to notify residents of the incident, "Because all the mail appeared to be intact and there was no apparent vandalism to the box."
A recent poll, in connection with a Global News story, asked, "Are you worried about security at community mailboxes? The results:
We've been thinking about mail security since we came up with the idea for Got-it Box. It’s important for people to feel safe. When people feel violated because their mail delivery system isn’t protecting their personal information it becomes a concern for many citizens. With door-to-door mail delivery it's the responsibility of the citizens to provide a mailbox and then retrieve their mail in a timely fashion. It's less likely for thieves to travel door-to-door to steal mail for fear of being caught by many stay-at-home residents. Community mailboxes are remotely located so as not to disturb properties therefore they’re easy targets for theft in dimly-lit areas with minimal security. A thief’s dream scenario!
A group of postal workers got together and created a pamphlet outlining why they think community mailboxes (referred to as CBMs) are not going to benefit residents. This is just one of the points they outline, but we thought it was an important one to mention:
"CMBs are not as secure as claimed. CMBs are easy to break into, and provide a great "one-stop" location for criminals engaging in mail theft. There have been instances of entire CMB units being stolen. Because of the inconvenience of CMBs, mail is left in CMBs longer than home mailboxes, also providing greater opportunity for theft."
Once a community mailbox is tampered with the mail can be stolen, damaged, or subject to any type of weather. One resident reported that after she notified Canada Post that a community mailbox was hanging open she was told it would be fixed in 2-hours. She then said that just 6-hours after the community mailbox was fixed it was hanging open again.
Mail thieves steal more than letters; we can't have a blog post about mail theft and not mention porch pirates. The holiday season is just around the corner which means that mail delivery and package delivery will definitely increase. Mail thieves and porch pirates know this to be true as well, so stolen mail and packages will also increase, unfortunately.
To stop mail thieves and porch pirates use a Got-it Box. Residents have the option to keep their mail locked up at home, not in an area chosen by the postal service. According to postal workers, residents who have mailboxes at their homes collect mail on a daily basis and those who use community mailboxes collect less often because they find it inconvenient to make the commute. Got-it Box keeps things secure for not only the residents but also the delivery company. Once items are delivered to a Got-it Box they are locked up, on the property, until they are retrieved.
If you'd like to contact Canada Post to talk about community mailboxes and/or your concerns with identity theft, see their contact us page.
How did Got-it Box come to be?
Many ideas form when someone has a problem, or hears about a common problem. These ideas are often thought about for a long time and then sometimes developed. This was the case with Got-it Box.
We were hearing stories from frustrated friends and family members. They were annoyed with delivery companies for leaving failed delivery notices at their homes when there was no one home to receive packages. When they arrived home to find these notices they’d then have to commute to various depots to pick up their packages. In some cases, depending on the delivery company, they’d have to commute for over an hour.
The first factor: we had to come up with something convenient.
Then we heard stories about stolen packages. This is very frustrating for people who've experienced it. Having a package stolen is unfortunate, unsettling and infuriating. In some cases there are very expensive items being delivered to front porches. The items can sit on a porches for most of the day, depending on when the delivery company drops them off.
The second factor: we had to develop something that was secure.
Both of these factors lend to the reality that the problems will only increase with the growing popularity of online shopping. With this in mind we knew something had to be developed. At first we were thinking about consumers, everyday people who were dealing with frustrating delivery problems. But once we had some research under our belts we realized that many people could benefit from something solving the problems of inconvenience and lack of security, not just consumers. We quickly recognized that delivery companies were also in need of something to make things more convenient and secure, not to mention efficient.
Some delivery companies make one attempt at delivering your package, if you’re not home to receive it they stick one of those failed delivery notices on your door. Other companies say they’ll try three times and only after the third failed attempt will they leave a notice. There are some very skeptical people out there who think delivery companies actually try three times. We trust that they’re trying to get your packages to you and we want to help with this task.
If delivery companies deliver packages to Got-it Boxes then they can guarantee first time deliveries! Who wouldn’t love that? Retailers would love it because they wouldn’t receive emails from customers who were victims of package theft. Delivery companies would love it because they don’t have to make more than one trip to each home expecting a package . Consumers would love it because they wouldn’t have to commute to retrieve packages or worry about their items sitting on their front porches all day.
Win! Win! Win!
And Porch Pirates would hate it, which is completely ok! Another Win!
We've been working on this for a while now and it's proving successful!
If you're shopping a retail website that doesn't have special shipping instructions, add your Got-it Box PIN# to the second address line when placing your order.
It turns out that this isn't a new concept. While attending trade shows and events we heard from Got-it Box admirers that have been adding notes to the second address line for a while. Some said they use a few words to inform the delivery person of the best place to leave a package; "behind the back gate," "under the chair" etc. Others leave complete sentences if they have the room.
We realized we were on to something after these conversations.
To access a Got-it Box you have to push the FACTO button after you enter the PIN# (or code). The FACTO button is needed to lock it up as well. You can see from the image below that we inform users how to use the lock with a handy sticker on every Got-it Box.
Don't forget that if your packages are on the thinner side they can be delivered to your Got-it Box via the mail slot above the door!
Got-it Box provides options, not just for what can be delivered to it but how things can be delivered to it.
If you have any special tips for informing your delivery folks of shipping instructions please let us know!
When shopping online we don't usually worry about shipping and delivery options until after we've chosen the items we're buying. Once we're ready we take a few seconds to review our orders and decide what shipping method best suits our needs. It seems simple enough but what if we need to give the delivery person a special instruction on where to leave the package?
Some retail websites offer this option and some don't. In today's market, with so many shopping options and a very high number of delivery complaints, we're shocked to see how many online retailers don't offer special shipping instructions.
Adding special shipping instructions to websites can make things easier for the customers as well as the delivery folks. Allowing customers to include messages on their packaging to the courier gives them a sense of security. Some consumers only shop from online retailers who offer special shipping instructions because they've had packages stolen in the past. There are negative stories all over the internet about bad shipping/delivery experiences. Customers get upset with the delivery companies while others are frustrated because retailers say they can't do anything to help them if something goes wrong in the final steps of their experience. Adding a special shipping instructions section, special delivery section or a comments section could eliminate potential problems.
We've been looking at many websites, determining who has special shipping instructions and who doesn't. Rather than make a list we've decided to contact the companies and ask them about adding this feature to their retail websites. Change takes time though, so the more people who reach out to online companies the better. If online retail stores start to notice that people are asking for this option then they'll make the switch. Let's not forget that it benefits everyone including them. If delivery problems lessen because their customers had the chance to include special instructions then it's a win-win!
Just a tip for anyone wondering- when we order from websites that have special shipping instructions we can expect to see our packages arrive with the instructions on the side of the box.
David'sTea has special shipping instructions and the delivery person put the package in a Got-it Box!
It's pretty simple.
It can also be fun! Check out some funny examples of people who decided to try out the special instructions section for things other than shipping and delivery notes:
And in case you would like to add some special instructions to your pizza order:
We've talked about this in another blog post, We're all working toward the same end goal, but with this post we decided to focus more on the retailers. As consumers we have the power to ask for our favourite retailers to make these simple changes to their websites. Easy!
Reach out to retailers on their websites and through social media. Tag Got-it Box so we know who you've contacted and we'll contact them too!
If you're a retailer and you like this idea, check out our retailer page to see why we think you should embrace special shipping instructions and Got-it Box for your customers!
Post-secondary students are some of the busiest people around. Whether attending school full time or part time, working while studying, living on campus or in a group-situation, every student has a different story.
If attending college or university means that you’re living away from home than receiving care-packages from loved ones can be tricky. Chances are you’re living in residence or with a group of people in off-campus housing. You probably have many people crossing your threshold in the run of a day. If there’s a package sitting outside with your name on it you hope that a kind person will put it somewhere for you to find, but that’s not always the case.
The last thing you want to deal with is a stolen package. Porch Pirates! You especially don’t want to hear that a package from home was stolen. They’re the best packages and everyone knows it! Parents have a keen sense for including special things in those deliveries: your favourite baked goods, books, things you forgot during the move, notes from siblings or grandparents. Receiving these packages can be very exciting but securing these deliveries is an important thing to think about as well.
One of the biggest complaints heard when I was in University was from students living in residence who were expecting packages. Even though they lived on campus they would receive missed delivery notices because the mail room wasn’t big enough to store multiple students’ packages. If their packages didn't make the cut they’d have to commute 30-mins to retrieve them. This was not always an easy task if they didn't have a vehicle while living at school. For students dealing with a packed course-load it was even harder to manage their package pick-up. It was common to hear people arranging drives to the post office; it was also common to hear how annoying the whole process was for them.
We've been thinking a lot about this and how Got-it Box can make things easier for students. For those living in group-settings like sororities and fraternities package delivery could be very simple with a Got-it Box. If your house is in a busy area you may feel better about having packages locked up until you (or someone) gets home. If you're ordering a lot of things or you like to do group orders with your house-mates then Got-it Box is great because it can hold many packages in all different sizes!
You probably won't be surprised to read that "Millennials, those consumers aged 18 to 34, remain the key age demographic for online commerce, spending more money online in a given year than any other age group," according to Cooper Smith with Business Insider.
Most post-secondary students would fall between the 18-34 age bracket and especially those living in sororities and fraternities. If the people who are spending the most money online are also the ones most likely to live with a group then having a Got-it Box only makes sense!
If you live on a campus, in a sorority/fraternity, or any type of off-campus group housing and think you could benefit from having a Got-it Box please let us know!
Saving money is a huge variable for many people when shopping. Even those of us that love shopping still have to think about how much we’re spending and whether or not we’re making smart choices. Most people look for sales, special promotions, store memberships (most retailers offer member-cards now, don’t they?) and anything else that will help them to limit their spending. For some it’s necessity and for others it’s simply the thrill of knowing they saved a few dollars.
With online shopping increasing across the board, the internet has become a great place to score some deals! In many situations you can find things cheaper online than in a bricks and mortar locations. For consumers who like to window-shop, it's become common to look at items online with smartphones while browsing in person. Instead of shopping in the physical stores they're just checking things out, like quality and size.
There are things that are always cheaper online (eyeglasses/contact lenses) and others that are sometimes cheaper online (clothes/shoes). But you’ll definitely find deals on things if you keep an eye out. That's the great thing about the internet, there are so many websites to search!
When looking online, it’s not just the cheaper prices incentivizing you to shop. You can also find websites that offer cheap shipping and sometimes free shipping! It's more common these days to find retailers enticing shoppers to use the internet instead of bricks and mortar locations. If you can find what you’re looking for online at a cheaper price and the shipping is free, why would you waste the time and gas-money going to a store?
Different retailers offer different deals when it comes to shipping. Some will offer cheaper shipping when you increase your order, others offer free shipping no matter what. Either way, online retailers want your business so they’ll offer deals to get it. It’s a win-win for you because you get deals along with the convenience of not having to go to the stores. Awesome!
If you're inclined to shop online for Christmas gifts, or any other gifts for that matter, you're doing it right! There are so many things that go along with shopping in stores: travelling to get there in traffic, jostling for position in crowded parking lots, scouring stores for gifts, waiting in long lineups, and any other added stressors that seem to peak during the holidays. You really don't have to deal with any of this stuff, just shop online from the comfort of your home. Easy!
With Christmas right around the corner you'll want to think of tricks to save money and time when buying gifts. We've got you covered:
Shopping at Christmas can be stressful so having items sent to your home is much easier. We know everyone loves getting packages delivered so it's also more fun this way!
Once you’re finished ordering all those gifts online you’ll obviously be expecting more packages. To keep them secure until you get home from work or any other daily chore, have them shipped to a Got-it Box! It’s easy. When setting up your shipping information on the site you’re ordering from, include some info about your Got-it Box in the special shipping/comment section.
Have a look at the Got-it Box Twitter account to see which companies have delivered to Got-it Boxes so far! Shop from them, they’re great :)
For more info on buying or renting a Got-it Box click here. And remember, Christmas will be here before you know it!
p.s. Shopping online is also a greener way to shop. If this idea makes you happy check out our blog post, Let's all be greener together. Think before you buy.
With the UN Climate Summit currently in the news we can't help but think about the impact regular shopping can have on the environment.
Everything we do impacts the environment some how but what we do to offset our impact has to count for something. So, let's talk about regular shopping versus online shopping.
When we say regular shopping we mean the old fashioned way- physically going to stores to purchase things. There's a good chance you use a vehicle to transport yourself to the various shops, compare items in different stores (which may require a bit more driving), then drive home. If you forget anything you'll find yourself making another trip in your vehicle (very common!).
Some say that regular shopping keeps their costs down because they are frequently aware of their purchases. We'd be surprised to hear if people were factoring in the cost of transportation when thinking about this. Bonus points if you do think about your impact and choose public transit or cycling!
Really, we think the justification is split equally between people who say they're saving money by shopping the regular way and those that save by shopping online. When shopping the regular way transportation is a factor, when shopping online shipping can be a factor. The key word here is 'can'. For many retail websites shipping is discounted or even free (Note: our next blog post will feature tips on how to save money by shopping online). So, shipping charges aren't always a problem.
Getting back to the green conversation- you're definitely right if you're thinking that the packages you order online have to get to you somehow. And that somehow is usually airplanes and trucks. While completing a study at the University of Washington engineers found that, "Delivery service trucks produced 20 to 75 percent less carbon dioxide than the corresponding personal vehicles driven to and from a grocery store."
Similar studies have been conducted all over the world, Per Square Mile (www.persquaremile.com) highlights interesting stats from a comprehensive study organized in the U.K. They say, "If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, their results were unequivocal: Shop online. If you drove to the store, you’d have to buy 24 items to make the trip equal to the carbon footprint of just one item ordered online. If you took the bus, you’d have to buy eight." That puts things into perspective.
Some articles talk about reducing carbon footprint with grocery delivery specifically (Amazon Fresh, Google Shopping Express, Fresh Direct, PeaPod, Spud, etc.). When a fleet of trucks is delivering groceries to many homes, it cuts down on all those people driving to and from grocery stores, much like the online shopping example given above. It adds up when you start to think about it. Delivery companies are very conscious about their environmental impact and costs these days, so they're taking measures to cut back on both. Most delivery companies have sustainability reports on their websites detailing what they've done to contribute to the fight against climate change- UPS, FedEx, Purolator, Canada Post.
Next time you think about buying something, stop and consider whether or not it would be better to purchase it online. Save time, carbon footprint, and even money (think about the gas you're saving and deals you can find online). And when you're considering this also think about the delivery companies that have a mandate to return to your home or office two or three times to avoid missed deliveries. Instead of having them make those extra carbon-emission filled trips, use a Got-it Box so everyone can guarantee a first time delivery!
You, Delivery Companies, and Got-it Box working together to make things greener!