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Feb 20

Lost luggage: How to Make Money Buying Unclaimed Baggage

Reading Time: 4 mins

Did you know you can make cash from lost luggage? Hundreds of thousands of suitcases get lost every year around the world, but they don’t just disappear into a black hole – in fact, they open up an opportunity for you to make money.

Even the ones that never find their owners again end up somewhere. In fact, that somewhere is usually some form of auction house that sells unclaimed baggage to people like you and me. In America, the Unclaimed Baggage Centre in Alabama receives 800,000 visitors per year and is, incredibly, the state’s biggest tourist attraction.

If you can’t get to Alabama then no fear, the British version of lost luggage auctions is also the place to bag a good bargain and even sell it on at a profit.

Step 1: The auction house

When British Airways has a surplus of unclaimed baggage in storage, it sells the cases at auction (of course, BA – and we hope all airlines – do their absolute best to reunite baggage that has gone astray with its owner before attempting to sell it off.)

All those looking to bag a bargain on the lucky dip of lost luggage need to do is head down to the auction house, and bid on cases that go under the hammer.

If you’re lucky, you could pick up items worth hundreds or thousands of pounds, for very little – most suitcases sell for between £10 and £75. The savvy amongst you could sell items on for more than you paid, making a tidy profit.

Sometimes, auction houses will have opened up the suitcases and separated the goods. Other times, there may be a generic description of what’s inside – “men’s clothes”, for example.

There are plenty of bargains up for grabs, and it can be fun – many people describe it as being like a treasure hunt.

Auction houses often hold luggage auctions

Where to look

London’s lost luggage hotspot is Greasby’s in Tooting, south west London. It’s here that British Airways (one of the world’s biggest baggage losers) sells its lost luggage. Greasby’s also deals with the lost luggage from Heathrow Airport.

Auctions take place every Tuesday, with views the Monday before. The most recent Monday viewing took place between 11am and 4.45pm. The viewings give you a chance to suss out which bags you want to buy.

Other notable auction houses that deal in lost luggage include:

 

As most of the above auction houses don’t have allotted airport auctions, it’s probably best to check with their website as to the next scheduled date for baggage bounty. You should sign up to their mailing lists, which will let you know when they’re going to happen, or follow individual houses on social media.

Step 2: Evaluate

After viewing the auction collection, go home and think about the prices of likely individual items to see how much of a profit you can make up to a certain bid. It’s hard to tell if cases are sold closed, but the posher the case, the more likely it is to contain items of value.

A good way to get an idea of how much the cases themselves will sell for is to search for similar items that are already listed on eBay. You can also check out the recommended retail price of the cases by looking online.

Once you know how much the case itself is worth, you can set your bidding limit. The only gamble is on how much over the worth of the case you’re willing to bid. If the case contains lots of goodies then it could be worth exceeding your limit. Of course, it could be full of junk.

If you’ve found an auction house that lets you see into the cases before you bid on them, you’ve got a better chance of grabbing a bargain.The same goes if the auction house gives you a description of what’s inside the case, even if it’s brief.

Step 3: Valuable items or cases?

Make money from lost luggage

There are two paths you can take at the auction. The auctioneers are likely to take very valuable items out of the suitcases first and sell them separately. This might include electronics, shoes and jewellery. You can bid on these and then sell them, ideally for more, elsewhere.

Alternatively, you can bid for suitcases and hope there are some good clothes, shoes, books, etc. in them that you could flog. This is a bit of a lottery. Auctioneers only give the vaguest details about what is in each suitcase, so you won’t know exactly what you are buying.

The auctioneers do tell you whether the clothes are clean or not though. It’s up to you whether or not you’re happy dealing with someone else’s nasty knickers. Of course you can also sell the suitcase itself and make some cash on that too.

 

Step 4: Bag a bargain and sell it on

Once you’ve successfully bid and paid for unclaimed luggage bargains, take them home and begin your online selling to make money. Take some photos, write some good ad copy, and then post it on eBay and wait for the bidding to begin.

How much can I make?

Lots. Valuable items can sell very cheaply at auction. A £500 snowboard recently sold for £75, for example. Suitcases might sell between £5 to £50. Even if the case is just full of clothes you should be able to sell it all for more than the price you paid for it.

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Neilson

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Saddam
Saddam
9 years ago

Il buy all the begs lol Im greedy

Property in India | Real Estate in India | Indian Properties | India Project Reviews | PropertyReview.in
Property in India | Real Estate in India | Indian Properties | India Project Reviews | PropertyReview.in
9 years ago

Nice weblog right here! Also your site rather a lot up fast! What web host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your associate link for your host? I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

John Bentley
John Bentley
9 years ago

BA Lost one case for two months then paid me compensation and found my case too it was around the scottish airport attack so they were fair. They also flew family home buisiness class from London.

Lost luggage worker
Lost luggage worker
9 years ago

I have worked for a lost luggage company delivering luggage right across the uk and europe out of heathrow with a couple of hundred cases coming in a day . If luggage has no tags of address or numbers it will go to auction with the money being split between airline/baggage comapny but this includes all lost luggage including mobile phones laptops wheelchairs ect . Everything is kept hold of for 6 months and can be claimed after that time if not claimed it all goes to auction . It’s up to the customer to chase there lost luggage every… Read more »

Myesha Dargan
Myesha Dargan
9 years ago

Please don’t use any supplements or pills in order to lose weight!!!!Even it said that it’s safe or something like that..Your body can’t digest it completely!

Eva
Eva
9 years ago

My god people are thick as fu**. These people are not to blame they are making money from luggage that years ago would have been put in the incinerator. Luggage that had NO identity on them. The people you need to blame apart for the airlines are yourself, If you had just sharpie markered your telephone number on the suitcase, it would not be at the auctions in first place.

Nick
Nick
9 years ago
Reply to  Eva

sounds more like they just dont check, and sell other people’s property for a profit. and it sounds like you’re a soulless asshole who would buy said property.

Mavin
Mavin
9 years ago
Reply to  Nick

Nick, you are failing to understand what has been said. The fact is people leave their items at airports and it is better for them to be sold for cheap by the airport that just incinerated and wasted. Let’s think about being resourceful here. Yes someone is making a profit from this, potentially adding incentive for the airport to confiscate and find more items to sell but this is most likely minimal and is also the case with every institution that exists in a monetary system that intends to make profit. It is not soulless to buy these items, it… Read more »

molly
molly
9 years ago

I LOST ALL MY IRREPLACEABLE ITEM LAST YEAR… YOU WILL HAVE BAD KARMA RUNNING THROUGH YOUR GREEDY VEINS!

India
India
9 years ago

U don’t care about anyone in the world do u

India
India
9 years ago

I have lost my favourite teddy bear shame on u u just do not care about anyone else in the world

louis aaron
louis aaron
9 years ago

ba do not make any effort to look after peoples bags, their too busy making money,and as for the profits going to charity,if you belive that ,your not in the same world as the real world,if your a large company you profit tax wise if you ,you give cash to so called charity,their was a program on the bbc which purchased bags at auction ,guess what ,they opened them and without much trying identifed the owners,in most cases,and went on to reunite them.

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