Baggage Heaven

Lost any luggage at the airport lately? It may just wind up at the Unclaimed Baggage Center (UBC) in Alabama, which buys items after an extensive search for their owners. Lost bags are held by airlines for about 100 days before they become available to UBC. (Names of participating airlines are confidential.)

While only about .005% of all airline baggage goes unclaimed, the growing number of passengers each year is resulting in a large volume of unclaimed effects, many of which are new purchases.

Each year, nearly a half million people flock to the store to buy clothing (60% of the items), sporting goods, computers, camera equipment, jewelry and more. Items are sold at 50%-80% off the original retail value. An Hermes scarf that retails for $200$250 recently sold at UBC for $45.

The flagship store is located in Scottsboro, Alabama (509 W. Willow St.; 256-259-1525; 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Thurs.; 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Fri, and Sat.). Get more details on the Web site www.unclaimedbaggage.com.

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