Guests ordering Amazon packages delivered

I did a quick search and it looks like the last time this topic was a whole thread was several years back, so dare I revive the conversation on pros/cons for allowing guests to have packages deliverd to your rental?

It’s happened twice in the last month, which is new for me. When guests ask in advance, I refer them to an Amazon drop spot that is in walking distance.

But just now, for the second time, a guest has had a package delivered to our address without any communication in advance. This time it looks like shoes. And I actually think it’s brilliant, since packing shoes is challenging when you are trying to avoid checking a bag. But I also think it’s more than a bit presumptuous. Beyond being annoyed by their assumptions that you are their package service, what do you think are the risks and potential landmines for having mail or packages delivered to your address? Or do you allow it and consider it no big deal?

(Note, in our case, the rental is a self-contained and separate entrance apartment in our family home. There is no separate address or mailbox for the rental. Not sure if that changes your answers and opinions).

It personally wouldn’t be anything I would ever have to deal with, as I don’t get mail or package deliveries where I live.

I do think that hosts are going to see this more and more, though, as online purchasing has gotten so common, which escalated during the pandemic, and is now considered a normal way of making purchases.

A guest should not make assumptions, though, and should ask the host. It would also be a good idea to make mention of in house rules.

I feel it is not necessarily something a host needs to totally forbid, though. It depends on the circumstances. Having a pair of shoes delivered is different from a guest giving your address in order to open a bank account or to give to immigration if they are a foreigner, i.e anything that could allow them to establish residency.

And these days, at least in the US, I would be very cautious about this- you never know if that package contains guns and ammunition, child sexual abuse material, etc.

And there is no reason, other than convenience, as to why a guest can’t pick up their package at the local couriers office or warehouse, or use general delivery.

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It wouldn’t bother me. However, I don’t have that kind of guest often (that is, my place is mostly one night road trippers), so it’s only happened once.

Plenty of people think it’s risky and they are worried about people using your address to establish residence or have illegal things shipped to your house. I think a lot of people are unreasonably paranoid. They have strangers stay in their homes but they are worried about packages. I. Don’t. Get. It.

Only you can decide your risk tolerance.

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I haven’t met the shoe shopping guests yet, but they appear to be an older couple traveling from the deep South to our cold and rainy climate, so I totally get the expedience of ordering new shoes. However, I think it’s odd and uncool that they got them delivered to our house. It is stated in my house rules and the online listing that we can’t accept packages.

One primary concern is around porch pirates. We get a lot of Amazon deliveries and we know when to expect them, so keep an eye out and bring them in promptly. We can’t / don’t want to add watching for guests’ packages to our duties.

Another issue is – what about the guest who has canceled flights or changes in their traveling plans. I do not want to have to deal with returning or forwarding packages.

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It seems clear that you have considered the risks and don’t want to do it. OTOH you already forbid it and they did it anyway. Maybe add a line in your listing about not being responsible if packages are lost, stolen or not delivered in a timely manner.

When you review these guests you can include the information about them having a package delivered as a heads up for other hosts who don’t want this to happen.

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I’ve had several guests shop on Amazon and use my address. All of them have asked permission first so its not an issue with me.

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Do you have Amazon package drop sites near you? I guess I’m curious as to how widely available those are, and maybe our guests are not aware that’s a reasonable option.

I don’t see any real downsides for the host.

The point about residency seems bogus. I know that where I live, there are some mail items that can be used for proof of residency in some circumstances, but they have to be tied to the address. I.e. a water, gas, or electricity bill with a service address that matches the mailing address.

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I have one (Whole Foods store) less than 1/2 mile away, but of course, that only works for Amazon items.

It isn’t. It somewhat depends on where your listing is. Hosts in places where they may get a lot of foreign guests have gotten mail for guests from immigration, or banks, which makes it clear that the guest has used the host’s address to establish residency.

There was a young couple who moved into a little rental casita on the property behind me a couple years ago. The very first night they moved in, they had a screaming, profanity-laced fight at 3 am that woke me up. I waited for them to calm down, but when they were still at it half an hour later, I went out and yelled for them to STFU, which did the trick.

The next day when I saw them outside and said if that was what they were planning on doing all the time, they were going to be very unpopular in this quiet, countryside neighborhood and she apologized. But then she had the gall to ask if they could use my electricity bill to prove an address so they could get an internet hookup.

The residency thing is kind of dependent on area. I don’t think that it would fly in my current city/state, but long long ago I was a librarian for a small city inside of Detroit. The library issued cards to anyone who had their legal name on a piece of mail delivered to an address within that city’s limits – trying to be very accessible to everyone in a population that had a lot of immigrants. It was problematic because the school district would accept a library card as proof of residence, and if one was enrolled in the school system, then you could use the associated paperwork as a springboard to something – details escape me. Maybe it was a driver’s license? Anyhow, there was a lot of pressure on the library to stop being so lax in issuing cards, and the library board was fighting back with “stop accepting library cards as legal documents”. Anyhow, long winded thoughts related to what can be done (or used to be done) with a piece of delivered mail.

Merely getting packages or mail at your address will not make your guest a tenant. Getting mail at an address can be one part of proving residency but it doesn’t establish residency, i.e. it takes more than getting packages or mail delivered to an address to establish residency.

In the US, generally, if they are staying less than 30 days and don’t have a lease, there is nothing about getting mail or packages that will magically make them a tenant.

And if they are staying 30+ days then you cannot legally disallow them from getting mail or packages because they are, generally, already a tenant, and in some states and cities, you would even be required to provide them a mailbox and sometimes a locking mailbox.

A lot of my guests have received mail and packages, most have asked ahead of time and I agree with you that is more polite to ask. Some didn’t ask but it didn’t bother me, I’m getting used to people not being polite. At least impolite guests pay me money, lol.

I’ve also mailed stuff to guests and I saw it as one last opportunity to be hospitable. It wasn’t a big deal and doesn’t happen often but of course that’s a personal choice.

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I don’t see a problem in having Amazon packages delivered to the Airbnb home in a short-term rental. To be safe you could require that it be mailed ‘In care of’ [Host’s name].

I offer (and one guest has accepted) that a prospective guest could mail some of their belongings to our Airbnb home, in packages of no more than 25# per package, and IN CARE OF [Host’s name].

If a guest asked for mail to be delivered I would ask that it be sent ‘IN CARE OF’ [Host’s name].

That would seem to discourage attempts to use my address in an attempt to establish residency.

I suppose that permitting this could create a future spam nuisance if somehow you get on a mailing list. Also, I read a thread that says that someone could establish a presence of a Google business at your location, displacing the name of your business at Google. Google would send a letter to the physical address and the guest could send in the verification code. So, complications could occur by allowing mail but I would think that you could avoid this by requiring the ‘in care of’ language.

What I don’t know is what you legally can do if the guest does not ask permission and you receive the mail. Can you legally write ‘Return to Sender’ when the person is there if your rules prohibit mail to be delivered without written permission on the platform.

This link seems to suggest that most mail can be refused. What Are the USPS Rules Regarding Marking Mail "return to Sender"?

Sounds more like an unusually efficient system than a problem :zipper_mouth_face:

But I also wanted to point out that an Amazon package is not USPS so it cannot be used as proof of address or for residency. I really think it’s low risk compared to the other risks involved with guests.

I’m thinking of changing my policy (currently that we can not /will not allow packages and mail), for two reasons a) guests don’t read so they do it anyway and b) I can well imagine how convenient it would be to order vacation shoes to be delivered. In fact I may do it on my next trip (with good communication to host in advance).

So I’m thinking I will change to "We are not responsible for the security of packages. Amazon orders can can be delivered to a locker less than half a mile from us and other packages can be securely delivered to a UPS Mailbox store at this location (also walking distance) for a very minimal fee.

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As long as the guest would not be considered a tenant under local law then you can just write “refused” or “return to sender”. You can do this with any mail that you receive at your address that is not your mail, unless you share that address with others (you can’t refuse their mail if it’s their legal address).

But that has nothing to do with Amazon packages because they are not mail. We have enough Amazon trucks in the neighborhood, I would probably just give it to one of them.

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I have a guest expecting a package right now. We are actually holding a Christmas gift for next year that a frequent flyer guests keeps forgetting to take. With same or next day deliveries it really helps guests. We don’t have so many porch pirates as we do incorrect deliveries. When I call companies and say that I have received something for someone else in town they often tell me to keep it and just send the person another one. They say it is cheaper for them. I’ve not received a few packages that I’ve ordered from companies in the past and they have generally sent them along. I would object if renters didn’t alert me. I don’t think you have any liability if you are not promising safe delivery of mail to renters.

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Downside for the hosts is guest could be ordering goods fraudulently, could be ordering false credit cards, could be using your address to establish residency . Could be using your address for drugs drops.

I live in a city with drop off points for Amazon etc within a few minutes walk…they can use those.

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We have a similar situation. As our rental
Is same address but separate entry.
We have had several packages delivered to our guests. Only one didn’t ask in advance. Most of our Amazon deliveries go to the post office. Maybe because we are rural. So I just let them pick them up. I always let them know they need to watch for notifications. And they should come and pick them up when they arrive. I am a host. But not a delivery service.
I don’t mind at all that they have them delivered to our address though.

True story…rented a place on the beach for two weeks. My brother arrives with his camera gear and I get serious lust for one of the items. Go online and order it from 46th Street Photo store in NYC and have shipped to our vacation rental because I also want to use it on the vacation.

I would definitely allow people to ship items to our place as I would also want that, so I like that you are considering changing your POV.

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