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How to Legally Buy Unclaimed Packages from USPS, Amazon, and Retail Stores

Package thieves aren’t always the ones to blame in this situation. Often, items get lost in transit or simply misplaced in a giant warehouse and sit there for months without an owner. While Amazon typically refunds customers or replaces their missing items, they still end up with piles of mystery items in their warehouses.

Where Can You Find These Unclaimed Packages?

One way to purchase unclaimed packages is at local swap meets, where you often pay extremely low prices for packages but won’t know what’s inside until you get home and unbox them. You might get lucky and end up paying only a few bucks for items that would otherwise be well over $30. Swap Madness is a helpful site for finding a swap meet near you.

If you would like to know what you’re paying for, the safest option is to buy from a trusted online source that auctions off unclaimed items. For example, a US Postal Service package that hasn’t been claimed after 90 days is likely to be auctioned off on GovDeals, a company the USPS is partnered with to sell unclaimed items legally.

On GovDeals, there are different categories you can choose from depending on your interests, including Office Equipment/Supplies, Arts and Crafts, and Clothing/Linens. Many items are sold in bulk, making it a great option if you’re looking to resell or donate.

Amazon Warehouse Boxes and Shipment
Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock

If you would like to make bids on bulk packages from a particular store such as Amazon, Target, or Home Depot, Liquidation is the site for you. For many of the items, you can see exactly what you’re bidding on. However, some only display images of the boxes or pallets, an estimated retail price, and the category.

WiBargain is another site that sells mystery boxes from retailers like Target and Amazon, but what’s inside truly is a mystery.

Beware of Scams

Swap meets are where most scams occur because people can easily fill packages with items that have no value. They could even sell you something like a stool sample, which happened to a TikToker.

It’s best to have at least an idea of what you’re buying by using trusted sites, so you are not at risk of being scammed. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned money only to get nothing in return.

Better Business Bureau’s website is a great place to read customer reviews and make sure the seller is legitimate.

unclaimed packages Credit: Jeramy Lende / Shutterstock

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