There are plenty of ways to snag cheap goods in bulk online, and the best spots tend to be the lesser known ones. One of the rare gems I have come across recently is the unclaimed airport luggage auction. As is probably obvious, these auctions involve airline luggage that has been left for too long and is subject to sale to make sure the airports no longer have to deal with holding it. Due to the pretty niche nature of these auctions, you can usually find better deals than in more general auctions. So, let’s dive into exactly how unclaimed airport luggage auctions work.
How do they choose luggage to auction?
I’m sure you’ve already gathered what the primary criteria for these auctions are: time. As far as how long it takes, timeframes change depending on the airline. Most often, the average sits around 21 days (three weeks) from the point at which it was left. Not much else goes into the consideration for unclaimed airport luggage auctions, as the quality/quantity of items is pretty random. Obviously, illegal items are not in consideration, nor are weapons due to the lack of licensed FFA dealers at airports. Other restrictions like tobacco products or knives vary by location.
How much money would I need?
As I said before, luggage auctions are relatively unknown. as a result, the prices don’t tend to get all that high. Barring unusual circumstances or obviously valuable pieces, prices tend to hang from $25-120 US. This is great news for bargain clothing shoppers, as the high end of that budget would probably land you a pair of jeans and a nice shirt or two from a discount store. Obviously, you’re saving money due to the gamble, but you never know what bonus treasures you will find. With financial risk being so low, it’s a reasonably worthy proposition.
How do I buy from these auctions?
Aside from pretty general auction sites like Public Surplus, auctioned luggage is primarily available in person. Using helpful sites like this one, you can track unclaimed airport luggage auctions and try your hand. You are typically going to the airport in question on a slower travel day, heading to a meeting place especially set up for the auction, and the rest is fairly simple. As with a typical auction, all sales are final and you usually want to have actual cash in hand for anything you want to purchase.
All in all, if you’re looking for something fun to do on a Sunday that involves a little bargain shopping, go for it! The risk here is low, the “lottery effect” is fun, and it gives you a good reason to get out of the house. Plus, most airports are near city centers, so go get yourself a bite to eat and have some fun at a low-cost unclaimed airport luggage auction!