It may come as something of a surprise to many people, but it’s actually possible to buy lost or misplaced packages from Amazon, FedEx, UPS, and other delivery services. In scenarios where a package doesn’t reach its intended destination — which could be due to an address or shipping issue — these unclaimed packages are sometimes put up for purchase at an auction. It’s an intriguing idea, but don’t get excited just yet.
But first, a quick personal tale: A few months ago, I ordered some sneakers from Nike’s website. When they still didn’t show up a few weeks later, I contacted Nike and was told that there was a shipping mix-up involving FedEx. My sneakers were lost in transit. FedEx, I was told, had the package in a warehouse but was unable to deliver it for some reason that I still don’t fully understand. Nike ultimately sent me a new pair of sneakers. The original package, as I’ve come to find out, may have ultimately been purchased by someone else.
How to purchase unclaimed Amazon packages
Purchasing an unclaimed or undelivered package is a lot like the show Storage Wars. In some instances, you’re not quite sure what you’re buying until you open it up. One website where you can explore various auctions is Liquidation.
Some listings simply show a pallet of boxes and have a simple description that reads “Pallett of Assorted Tools & More.” Naturally, purchasing the item is something of a risk. You might find a treasure trove of tools or you might find out that you overpaid by quite a bit.
The good news is that you can search the available inventory by product type. For instance, you can look for boxes that have consumer electronics or boxes containing clothes.
Recently, a viral TikTok video highlighted an “unclaimed mail” store filled with undelivered packages from big-name brands. When a writer from Insider, however, went to check it out, she found that it was more hype than substance.
How to pick up undelivered USPS items
There’s also a way to acquire undelivered USPS items. The GovDeals website touts itself as a liquidity services marketplace and you can search across a myriad of product categories.
The reality about undelivered packages
Having perused the websites above and a few others, my advice is to steer clear of these so-called amazing deals. While there are undoubtedly some deals out there, the potential to throw money down the drain is very real.
The best bet is to scour more websites and apps with better product selections. A few examples include Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and OfferUp.