Online shopping is one of the best time savers (and also time-wasters) of our lives. With Amazon rolling out one-day or same-day delivery, and services like Blue Apron offering daily delivery of fresh ingredients to make dinner “from scratch” – It’s undeniably more convenient and usually cheaper not to leave your condo at all! With a big IF, namely: IF you are available to receive the package when it arrives.

If you have a concierge or doorman in your building – lucky you – this is not an issue at all. But for the rest of us who don’t have a concierge and work during the day, receiving the packages can be a hassle.

Essentially, you will need to do one of the following:

A) Have everything delivered to your office

This is what I originally did, until my group secretary started complaining. The main advantage here is that It is also not a good option for heavy/bulky items (especially if you take transit..) Also not everyone works in a location that can easily receive deliveries.

B) Make sure you can answer your phone the entire day

Assuming your doorbell calls your phone, if you can be 100% sure that you can answer it at any point the delivery comes, then you can let them in and they can get up to your floor and leave it in front of your unit. This works really well IF you can be sure you will be able to answer your phone – but if you’re in a meeting or your job doesn’t allow you to take calls, then this is not going to work.

C) Have your packages held (somewhere) for pickup

Many Options here: Amazon Locker, PO Box, etc etc.. Note that if you miss the delivery it basically turns into this option – you take the missed delivery slip go pick it up. I ended up doing this (not by choice) many times. It could involve driving & waiting in line… and basically defeats the purpose of shopping online! Pretty frustrating.

D) Use a Doorbell/Buzzer answering service

There are now services that will answer your doorbell for you and let people in automatically if they have an Access Code. (They have other features as well like forwarding your buzzer to multiple phones, etc.. – but for the purpose of getting our deliveries the Access Codes are what matters) You can sign up and get a new phone number for your Doorbell to call. (You will need to tell your building manager to update your the number for your unit’s doorbell) Then you can put an Access Code in your shipping address as “Address Line 2”. (It would look something like “BUZZ 2573 ENTER CODE 7674”) When the delivery comes, they will be able to get into your building and up to your floor. Then they can leave the package right in front of the door to your unit.

amazon package at door
Amazon Package waiting at my Unit’s Door!

I looked at a few options for this and determined that DoorBuzzin ( doorbuzz.in ) had everything I needed ( and at $3/month it was half the price of others such as Ringo – nice! ) They also have a nice explanation of how to use it to receive deliveries.

I’ve been using this for about 4 months now and about 95% of the time the delivery driver will figure it out and leave the package in front of my unit. (When they do, I’ll get a text saying that the Deliveries code was used.) If there is a signature required it may not work (in this case you will be back to Option C… ) but overall it has saved me quite a few trips to the UPS Store or equivalent. Very nice to come home and see the package waiting for me!

Let me know what works best for you!