Here’s what happens to packages when they get lost or go unclaimed

Have you ever wondered what happens to packages and pieces of mail that can’t be delivered?

Well, believe it or not, a lot of that unclaimed mail actually gets auctioned off to the highest bidder. And apparently, small business and vendors will buy some of those unclaimed packages and sell them as mystery boxes.

In a video that now has 7.7 million likes, TikTok user Stephanie, who goes by @caloriequeen14, explained how she came across a vendor at her local swap meet in Las Vegas who was selling lost packages for just $1 each.

Though Stephanie had no way of knowing what was in the packages, she decided to buy 100 of them “just for fun,” and is now opening all of them for her TikTok followers.


Does anyone know how this is even a thing? Mystery box unopening. Opening lost mail packages. Part 1.

♬ Creative – SmiLE

Stephanie’s decision has already paid off. Many of her packages have contained gift cards to retailers like Starbucks, Sephora and Applebee’s. Others, though, have contained slightly less useful items like a cheap phone speaker and a vape pen charger.

Naturally, TikTokers can’t get enough of Stephanie’s unboxing videos.

“The only thing I look forward [to] every day,” one person said.

“I’m addicted to watching this series,” another added.

“That’s awesome,” a third wrote.

Stephanie’s series has inspired some other creators to start buying unclaimed packages as well. On Feb. 18, the “Sleepwalking Lady” @Celinaspookyboo started her own series opening “undeliverable, missing mail” and revealed that she bought 239 lost packages from an auction site. So far, she’s gotten a snowboarding jacket, an extension chord, a personal reading light and some other goodies.

How to buy lost, undeliverable and unclaimed packages from Amazon, Target and other retailers

Though the swap meet that Stephanie went to sadly doesn’t sell the $1 mystery packages online, many retailers and auction sites sell unclaimed mail.

So where can you buy unclaimed and undeliverable Amazon packages and Target packages? According to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), valuable mail that cannot be delivered is auctioned via GovDeals. Another website called WiBargain also sells mystery boxes of liquidated goods from big box retailers like Target and Amazon.

Websites and Direct Liquidation are also some of the largest liquidation marketplaces in America and sell surplus from big box retailers online. If you live near one, Crazy Cazboy’s even offers returned goods and surplus inventory from retailers like Target, Amazon and Best Buy.

Happy hunting!

If you enjoyed this story, check out this online shopping hack that will score you free shipping on every order.

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