The UK press are agog at the idea that undeliverable packages are being sold on eBay. The Daily Mail
said hundreds of parcels that are "lost" by shipping carriers are being auctioned off, leading to fears that the personal details of online shoppers could be stolen.
"Sellers have been making up to £140 per bundle of undelivered items which include electrical items and jewellery," the UK newspaper reported.
But it's not Royal Mail and Hermes who are selling the items in question, according to the Daily Mail; it explains that in such cases, overseas sellers who send the packages provide a return address belonging to a third-party company located in the UK. "The third-party company then resells the item for the original seller on sites such as eBay," the newspaper said.
If that's the case, it's an interesting service to offer online sellers the option to have their undelivered packages sent to a company that turns around and resells them.
If such services compensate the original seller, it could prove profitable for them while eliminating the cost of having to deal with international returns.
It's not clear why such companies don't open the package and sell the items without the packaging, but that might entail too much work - and apparently people are intrigued with buying "mystery mail."
In an eBay auction listing in the US for a lot of 10 unclaimed USPS, UPS, and FedEx small packages, the description included a link to an article about a woman who buys unclaimed packages and unboxes them on social media. ("TikTokers are obsessed with these $1 mystery packages of lost mail,'" Yahoo News
We watched some TikTok videos, and we saw one showing the shipping labels on the small parcels they were "unboxing" in the videos.
People reading the reports about such practices in the UK this week were also upset that packing slips inside the unopened packages might reveal sensitive information about buyers, including their shopping habits.
What aspects of these practices would you embrace, and what disturbs you about them? And, if you've come across companies that offer such services for your international orders, let us know!