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There’s A Store In Alabama That Sells Your Lost Airplane Luggage To Strangers

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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“You never know what you’ll find” is the motto at Unclaimed Baggage, a 40,000-square foot warehouse in Scottsboro, Alabama filled with items from lost luggage found around the country.

The warehouse gets stocked with around 7,000 new products daily and is currently home to over one million items. Dubbed “The Lost Luggage Capital of the World,” the UBC attracts around one million visitors a year from all over the country

Photo via unclaimedbaggage.com

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According to msn.com, “The store got its start in 1970, when an entrepreneurial-minded part-time insurance salesman had the idea of selling luggage that was left behind at a bus station in DC. He started buying bags from the station and selling their contents on tables outside a few days a week. He then expanded the practice to airlines, moved back to his hometown, and thus the UBC was born.”

It should be said that lost luggage is fairly rare these days. Airlines do everything they can to find your missing baggage, but after 90 days of searching, your bag legally belongs to the airline. It’s after this 90-day window, that UBC purchases the bags from the airline. It also buys bags from train stations and car rentals, as well as the occasional surplus cargo.

Photo via unclaimedbaggage.com

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There is a caveat that explains how the UBC stays in businesses. Airlines aren’t liable for your carry-ons, so if you leave that behind, chances are it will end up in Alabama.  

And some of the goods are quite impressive. According to its website, some of the more outrageous jewelry items found by the UBC includes a 5.8-carat diamond, a 40.95-carat emerald, and a platinum Rolex valued at over $60,000.  Items are cleaned and sold at 20 – 50% of the original retail value. Thrift shoppers may have found their version of paradise in Scottsboro, Alabama.

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