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Lost & Found Loot: Score Big on Unclaimed Packages for Sale

Buying unclaimed goods can be a lucrative opportunity for those that put in the work. Learn all you need to know about finding packages - and ideas for maximizing profits from them!

Jill Caren
By Jill Caren
Updated March 8th, 2024

When packages sent through courier services like Amazon or the United States Postal Service (USPS) become unclaimed, they enter a unique marketplace of their own.

These unclaimed packages are often sold off in bulk through auctions. Then they enter a secondary market where they are resold to bargain hunters like you.

You might wonder what happens to these packages, and the answer lies in the intriguing world of liquidation sales and mystery boxes. These sales are hosted on various websites where individuals have the opportunity to bid on or purchase these parcels.

It’s akin to buying a surprise gift for yourself, as buyers generally don’t know the exact contents of the packages they’re purchasing. The prospect of securing goods at a fraction of their retail value is a tempting proposition for many.

To participate in such sales, you should be aware of the liquidation websites and auction platforms where unclaimed goods are available for purchase. Places like Liquidation.com, GovDeals.com, and even eBay are some of the platforms where these transactions take place.

While shopping for these mystery boxes, it’s important to consider the sources, be mindful of the risks, and conduct due diligence to avoid scams. With a savvy approach, you can navigate this market and possibly uncover valuable items among these unclaimed goods.

unclaimed packages in a warehouse
Photo credit: Bonanicic / Depositphotos

Places To Buy Unclaimed Packages

When seeking unclaimed packages, you have multiple venues to explore. Each platform offers different experiences, from auctions to fixed prices, allowing you the opportunity to acquire items that range from everyday goods to unexpected treasures. Some buyers aim to save money on quality items, while others purchase bulk packages for resale.

1. Ebay

On eBay, you can find unclaimed Amazon packages and a variety of other lost parcels up for auction. With eBay’s buyer protection and extensive reviews system, you can bid confidently. Remember that products come with no guarantee of their condition, so each bid is somewhat of a gamble.

2. Liquidation.Com

Liquidation.com is a site where you can buy liquidation pallets which may include unclaimed or returned items. This platform allows you to purchase in bulk, sometimes by the truckload. It’s ideal for resellers looking to stock up on inventory from retailers like Target and other brands.

3. Govdeals

GovDeals.com offers an online auction portal where you can buy government surplus and unclaimed property. As these are items from public sources, you’ll find an eclectic assortment. Be sure to review each auction closely, as this platform caters directly to those who are familiar with auction processes.

4. 888Lots

888Lots offers new and returns liquidation lots in smaller quantities than a full truckload. The lots are manifested, which means you get a list of the items included, helping to ensure that you know what you’re purchasing. It’s a good source for resellers looking for quality stock.

5. Bluelots

With Bluelots, you can buy liquidation and wholesale pallets from top retailers. They focus on selling new, overstock products, and quality is often high since they source from reputable brands. Purchasing is straightforward, making it accessible for less experienced buyers.

6. Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace operates as a social media platform for local buying and selling. Here, you can find unclaimed packages sold by local individuals, sometimes even from local swap meets or flea markets. While there’s no formal buyer protection, the proximity can allow for in-person inspections before purchase.

How To Make The Most From Purchased Unclaimed Packages

When you purchase unclaimed packages, maximizing profit is likely a key goal. Here’s how you can turn these mystery boxes into revenue:

Research and Resell: Before buying, research what types of items are commonly found in unclaimed packages. Once you have your packages, identify any valuable items. Platforms like eBay or Facebook Marketplace are ideal for reselling individual items. Remember to consider shipping costs when pricing your goods.

  • List of common platforms for resale:
    • eBay
    • Facebook Marketplace
    • Craigslist

Flipping: Flipping involves buying goods at a lower price and selling them at a higher price. For unclaimed packages, focus on items that are in demand. Recognize trends and seasons, and flip your items accordingly.

Content Creation: Unboxing videos have gained popularity. Create content by recording your unboxing process and share it on platforms like YouTube or TikTok. Engaged viewership can translate into an additional revenue stream via monetization.

  • Content creation tips:
    • Use high-quality video and editing.
    • Be genuine and interactive in your commentary.
    • Engage with your audience through comments.
    • Optimize video titles and descriptions for search engines.

Inventory Management: Keep track of what you purchase and sell. Good record-keeping helps you understand your profit margins and manage your inventory more efficiently.

  • Essential details to track:
    • Cost of the purchased package
    • Individual item value
    • Resale price
    • Expenses incurred (like shipping and platform fees)

By being strategic with your approach to making a profit from unclaimed packages, you can successfully leverage these items for financial gain.

Stay Safe By Avoiding Scams

When exploring the market for unclaimed packages, you must be wary of scams. Scams can manifest in various ways, and your best defense is being informed and cautious.

Scam Prevention:

  • Verify Authenticity: Before proceeding with any purchase of unclaimed merchandise, ensure the website or seller is legitimate. Check for contact information and a physical address.
  • Read Reviews: Look up the seller on trusted review platforms, such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), to check their credibility and customer feedback.

Trusted Websites:

  • Use known retail or auction websites that have established processes for handling unclaimed goods.
  • Investigate the domain’s history and avoid websites with numerous negative reviews or those recently set up.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Carefully read the terms and conditions to understand your rights as a buyer.
  • Reputable sellers provide clear information about the items being sold and the process for purchase and delivery.
Precautionary MeasuresWhy It Matters
Verify seller’s infoConfirms legitimacy
Check for reviewsGauges previous buyer trust
Review terms & conditionsClarifies purchase details

Recognize Scams:

  • Be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true—deeply discounted packages could be a lure.
  • Avoid sellers requiring off-platform payment or upfront fees that are not consistent with the standard practice.

Remember that while there are opportunities to buy unclaimed Amazon or USPS packages, the risk of scams is real. Equip yourself with knowledge, and proceed with caution to ensure a safe transaction.

Unclaimed Packages Logistics

When a package becomes unclaimed, it generally means that it has not reached its intended recipient due to various reasons, such as incorrect address information or the recipient not claiming the item within a stipulated timeframe. USPS packages, along with those from other carriers, end up in this category. Here is how the process typically unfolds:

  1. Attempted Delivery: Carriers like USPS make multiple attempts to deliver the package.
  2. Holding Period: Undelivered items are held at the local post office or carrier location for a pickup period.
  3. Unclaimed Status: If you do not claim the mail within this period, it is then deemed “unclaimed.”

The fate of these undelivered items can vary:

  • Mail Recovery Center: USPS sends unclaimed mail to the Mail Recovery Center (MRC), which is essentially a lost and found facility.
  • Auctions: After a certain period, items that are deemed valuable are often auctioned off.
  • Warehouse Storage: Some unclaimed packages are kept at warehouses while they await their next step.

The handling of unclaimed packages implies additional shipping costs and warehouse storage expenses, which are often not recuperated. The process aims to mitigate these costs and the environmental impact by eventually reallocating these items through sales or auctions.

Please Note: If you think your package has landed in this limbo, quick action and communication with the carrier can sometimes recover the item before it enters the unclaimed status.

Reselling for Maximum Profits

When dealing with unclaimed packages, the number one goal is to get the most profit you can. Below are some strategies to earn big!

Identify Resale Channels: You have multiple platforms to resell products. List items on eBay for auction or use buy-it-now. Poshmark is great for clothing and accessories. Local opportunities are great as well like flea markets and swap meets.

Event Locations

  • Swap Meets: Ideal for bulk sales and instant transactions.
  • Flea Markets: Great for unique finds and usually attracts collectors.
  • eBay/Poshmark: Reach a broader online audience interested in specific categories.

Understand Your Audience: On platforms like TikTok, you can leverage trends and create engaging content around your items for sale. Use short videos to showcase the products’ appeal and condition to entice potential buyers.

Product Showcase Tips

  • Condition: Clearly display the item’s state.
  • Appeal: Highlight features that resonate with viewers.
  • Trends: Tie your products to current fads for relevancy.

Set Your Prices Wisely: Pricing impacts your profit margins significantly. It’s common to aim for approximately 40% of the retail price, but adjusting based on condition and demand is necessary.

Pricing Strategy

  • Start high to allow room for negotiation.
  • Offer bundles to move more items.
  • Consider the platform’s fees when setting prices.

Inspect and Repair: Even with unclaimed packages, ensure items are in sellable condition. Quick fixes can improve value, but be transparent about an item’s status.

Effective Marketing: A clear, concise description with quality images can increase saleability. Use keywords that buyers might search for, and be honest to build trust with your customer base.

Remember, reselling is part science, part art. Your attention to detail and willingness to adapt will significantly influence your success in this endeavor.


Jill Caren is an international SEO consultant and founder of 2Dogs Media. She is also a trainer, journalist, and speaker who helps brands increase their organic search visibility, traffic, and conversions. She is also the co-founder of Blue Collar Brain, a resource for those looking to enter a trade career.

She has been featured on MSN, Wealth of Geeks, Hubspot, SEO Powersuite, and other publications for her work as an SEO and advocate for skilled trades.

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