How to Buy Unclaimed Packages (Amazon or USPS)

Sometimes packages just don’t make it to their destination. If you’re looking for an innovative way to purchase odds and ends on the cheap, check out this article.

Most, if not all shipping companies provide tracking for packages shipped through their facilities. At the same time, the distance between the point of departure and the corresponding destination can provide plenty of opportunities for things to go wrong. Packages go unclaimed almost every day. However, there’s a kernel of opportunity there that you can take advantage of, as long as you know where and how to look. 

Shipping facilities work with several retailers to offload merchandise that’s gone unclaimed. Whether it’s due to error or forgetfulness on either end, these packages are up for grabs to those willing to take the time. In some cases, you may have to travel directly to a warehouse to claim your purchased lot, but many online shippers also offer to ship directly to you as well. 

If you own an Amazon, Etsy, or eBay store, you may be able to source products from these unclaimed package lots to sell. In the best cases, you can use the products you purchase in bulk for your own personal needs, saving money along the way. No matter what you do with the lots you purchase, you can be sure there’s some benefit to be had. 

Are you ready to see how you can buy unclaimed packages? Let’s get started! 

Why Do Amazon and Postal Service Packages Go Unclaimed?

There are many reasons why Amazon and postal service packages go unclaimed. Here are just a few:

  • Non-deliverable 
  • Incorrect mailing address
  • Unable to return to sender
  • Packages were lost and subsequently found after the fact
  • Excess merchandise
  • Customer returns
  • Damaged shipments
  • The recipient didn’t pick up the item from the post office within 30 days 
  • The third-party seller won’t take delivery of the goods  

Though the reason why a shipping facility auctions off unclaimed packages may not be immediately clear, it is possible to profit from these circumstances.

Where to Buy Unclaimed Packages

Interested in seeing what unclaimed packages may be up for grabs? Check out the following retailers who may offer items you could use. 

888 Lots

Sometimes taking the first step in purchasing unclaimed packages begins with buying a single item. It’s often the most useful way to see how a platform works. With 888 Lots, you can purchase individual items as well as pallets. Plus, the platform categorizes these pallets for quick and simple navigation. 

In addition, 888 Lots offers shipping as low as $1. There’s also a special deals section for the best deals. If you like to negotiate, you can also use the tab within each listing to potentially get a lower price. Within the listing, you’ll also find the current Amazon listing price. This is especially useful if you plan on re-selling the item(s) you purchased on a separate platform. 

BlueLots

Sometimes it can be difficult to find shipping partners who sell unclaimed packages if you live in a rural area. That’s where BlueLots comes in. This website even lets you subscribe to learn about new inventory when it arrives. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about what you’re buying because it’s listed and pictured right there for you. 

Many of the items listed on this site are shelf pulls of brand-new products. Shelf pulls are excess products large retailers can’t or no longer want to stock on their shelves for sale. Because of this, they’re willing to take a lower price for the entire lot as long as they can get rid of it. This allows you access to bulk liquidation as well as individual products in some cases. 

Facebook Marketplace

Facebook itself doesn’t offer unclaimed packages for sale, but you can find these opportunities with a quick search. Simply type in “unclaimed packages” to see what pops up around you. 

When purchasing items like this off Facebook Marketplace, it’s important to do your homework before you complete the deal. Ensure that the individual you’re dealing with is a legitimate person and they’re offering actual products for sale. Don’t assume what’s pictured is what you’ll get either. Be sure to check the description and validate that the items listed are in fact what is for sale. 

You can also check customer reviews to see how the seller operates. These often provide the information you’re looking for without having to do much legwork. It might take a bit longer to weed out the good from the bad opportunities, but it only takes one scam to realize this effort is definitely worth it. 

Liquidation.com

This website is another great source of shelf pulls and other merchandise large retailers like Amazon and Home Depot don’t want to deal with. You can also find unclaimed package lots here, in addition to individual sellers who you can work with. Liquidation.com also works with GovDeals.com, so you might want to check them out as well. 

Liquidation.com will likely have the largest concentration of items to choose from. In fact, the company owns warehouses in Arizona, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Any Amazon auctions ship directly from an Amazon warehouse. Plus, you can see shipping quotes before you bid to give you a better estimate of final pricing. 

Pallet Liquidation Sales Near You

As much as nationwide retailers can provide widespread access to unclaimed packages, local pallet liquidation companies are nimble enough to take advantage of local opportunities. These stores do cater mostly to residents within a short radius, but can be lucrative ways to find deals nearby without having to pay for additional shipping. 

Pallet liquidation companies typically sell both unboxed items and mystery boxes as well. This means you can purchase known items if they fit in with your plans, or you can take a chance and bid on a mystery pallet. In the best cases, these mystery pallets are like storage lockers that hold untold riches. In the worst cases, you purchase worthless junk. 

To find pallet liquidation companies, search “pallet liquidation near me.” You will likely have to pick up your order from these companies directly, so knowing where they are and having a vehicle available for pickup can be great ways to prepare for receipt of your purchased goods. Whether you use them once to find a good deal or multiple times to support your business, pallet liquidation companies provide plenty of opportunities for extra income

Retail Sites Like Amazon

Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and Poshmark all offer unclaimed package sales as well. You can buy products directly from them at a bargain price because they’re listed as “unclaimed.” In fact, if you search the terms “unclaimed packages” on any of these websites, you’re sure to come across marked-down products up for grabs. 

Generally speaking, you’ll probably pay about $25 to $100 for a lot of 10 items. In some cases, this can be a steal. For example, if you were able to find a lot of expensive computer or gaming equipment, you could potentially come out on top. However, in most cases, you won’t know what you purchased until you open it up. 

At the same time, the listing description does state what category the pallet falls into. This can help weed out products you aren’t looking for and allow you to hone in on the ones you do want. Like any other website, you should verify sellers and their reputations before you place an order. Most listings come in somewhere around $10-$40 and may include free shipping as well. 

Swap Meets

Swap meets are another great way to find unclaimed packages. You can find swap meets near you by navigating to Swap Madness. Swap meets and flea markets are also great places to sell any of those unclaimed products you don’t want. You can also test out products before you buy them with in-person shopping.  

Unclaimed Mail Stores Nearby

Some retailers selling unclaimed packages aren’t as easily found. In this case, you’ll need to search for “unclaimed mail stores near me.” These local results typically offer local pickup only, which is easy enough if you’ve got a truck or can rent a moving van. 

U.S. Mail Recovery Center

It makes sense that the U.S. Postal Service would sell unclaimed packages directly to the public. However, these auctions from the U.S. Mail Recovery Center typically don’t happen that often. They consist of packages that were undeliverable or left behind by the recipient. Whether you take that as a good or bad sign, these auctions can provide some great products you can potentially profit from if you resell them. 

To find U.S. Mail Recovery Center auctions in your area, check out GovDeals.com. Just know that you’ll likely have to purchase the entire lot, even if you only want one item on the pallet. This does up the minimum price on these auctions a bit, but you can save shipping costs by picking the pallet up locally. In addition, you may be able to score some great products depending on what’s inside. 

How to Make the Most of Buying Unclaimed Items 

As easy as it might sound to buy unclaimed packages and use/sell them for a profit, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Don’t confuse a good bargain with a requirement to buy. 

  • Purchasing items you’re familiar with can help stock your own shelves. They can also be easier to sell online if you know what market to target. 
  • To that end, you may want to focus on a particular niche only. Within this niche, you can search for corresponding packages that fit your requirements. 
  • While many shippers notate what’s inside the packages listed for sale, this isn’t always the case. If you’ve got an appetite for risk, see what goodies you can buy when purchasing mystery unclaimed packages.
  • Buying in bulk can help you save money, but it can also be a good way to evaluate the price of a lot. If you know one or more of the item’s individual prices, you can purchase lots worth your time and effort. 
  • As much as we like to assume that packages shipped to us will arrive in perfect condition, this isn’t always the case. Be sure to note any damage to products before you make a bid. Shippers may often notate damage in the description, but not always. 
  • Check out whether or not you can ship items directly to you if you’re purchasing from out of state. This may be an extra fee, but it’s easier than driving out to the warehouse yourself in most cases. 
  • At the same time, picking up your purchases locally can help you save on additional shipping costs. You may even avoid losing your purchases again in the mail!

Buying unclaimed packages can be a lucrative way to earn side hustle income. What items will you end up with?

FAQs

Where can I buy unclaimed packages? 

You can purchase unclaimed packages from several sources. These include 888 Lots, Liquidation.com, BlueLots, Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and Poshmark. You can also perform a Google search to find unclaimed packages as well. 

How much does it cost to buy an entire pallet of unclaimed packages? 

Entire pallets of unclaimed packages vary in price. Some may go for $100 while others can go for upwards of $500 or more. It all depends on what’s in the packages and who is selling them. 

Is buying unclaimed packages worth it? 

Purchasing unclaimed packages can be worth it if you have a profit plan. It’s possible to purchase these items and sell them for a profit if you have an Etsy or eBay store. You can also potentially use some of the items you sell for personal use.

Give Unclaimed Packages a New Home

What’s not to love about the mystery of unclaimed packages? It’s possible to purchase these items from several shipping partners, perhaps more than you first thought possible. You just have to know where you look. Once you do connect with a shipping facility, it’s as simple as waiting for the right lot to come along. What will you do with the unclaimed items you buy?

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Brian Meiggs
Brian Meiggs
Brian is the founder of Gigs Done Right and has tried every side hustle under the sun. He teaches people just like you how to make money in the gig economy and has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, NASDAQ, Discover and more. He normally shares the latest news, videos, and topics for gig workers so they can earn more money in the gig economy.
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