1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

The Unclaimed Baggage Center

Unclaimed Baggage - Bargain or Bust?

By

Couple waiting for luggage at baggage claim
Thomas Barwick/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Many of us have experienced that sick feeling of waiting by the luggage carousels at airports in hopes that somehow our lost luggage might miraculously appear. Sometimes it does, but many times it ends up in another airport and is classified as unclaimed.

The airlines try very hard to find the lost luggage for its customers, but when all efforts have failed the passenger will make their claim and the airlines will pay. But what about the luggage? It probably did not fall out of the plane, so it has to be somewhere, right?

Chances are the contents of lost luggage will end up at Unclaimed Baggage Center, a company that has set up a retail store to sell anything deemed sellable from all the suitcases that never made it back to the owners. And the merchandise comes by the truck loads. On an annual basis, Unclaimed Baggage deals with around one million items a year, and it ranges from normal "stuff" to being rather different, to say the least.

Company spokesman, Brenda Cantrell was reported by Denver Chronicle as saying, "We've seen some very unique items over the years, including a mummified falcon, some jewelry, a 19th-century full suit of armor has passed through our doors." She also mentioned items like; a camera from one of NASA's space shuttles (returned to NASA), a 40-caret emerald ring, and a live rattlesnake.

The company purchases all items sight unseen. The merchandise is trucked in, sorted, and priced at a much lower amount than its original price and then placed on the sales floor.

Quality of Goods and Prices - Worth the Trip?

The Unclaimed Baggage Center received publicity in recent years and as a result there is a lot of feedback from shoppers regarding their shopping experience. For bargain hunters that enjoy digging through a lot of merchandise in hopes of finding a great deal, UBC fits the bill. However, the quality of the merchandise and the merchandise levels can be unpredictable. Shoppers should be prepared to leave empty handed.

Prices are not dirt cheap. Designer clothing and accessories run an average of 50 percent off retail. That's not bad if the merchandise is in good shape, but since most of it is used it needs to be carefully inspected before buying.

Google reviewer Tisha Young gave UBC three stars and said, "If you have the time to spend going through all the racks of over-priced stuff in order to find the few deals hiding there then you'll like this place. Tons of stuff available but much is pricey due to excellent condition and designer brands. You might luck up on something or you might not. If nothing else, it's a way to pass the time."

The store is located in Scottsboro, Alabama. For more details, visit the Unclaimed Baggage website.

More: Where You Shop Can Save You Money

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.