Special thanks to Unclaimed Baggage for providing gift cards to facilitate my adventures searching through the treasures of lost luggage! Don’t miss the SWEET Unclaimed Baggage Center coupon I have for my readers!
When you travel by air, do you ever wonder about where your fellow passengers are going? If you are chatty, like me, you may hear some of the story of your seatmate, but you will likely not hear any others. Are they coming or going? Business or pleasure? Was their trip planned for months on end or did they book their flights last night?
Every passenger has a story, and those stories can often be gleaned by simply seeing what they packed in their suitcases. The vast majority of travelers reach their destinations with their suitcases, but every once in a while, a bag does get mishandled, and eventually, lost from its owner. And it is those bags that head to Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama to be sorted through, so that is contents can find new owners, either through being sold or being donated.
Unclaimed Baggage Center has the look and feel of a large retail store, with everything cleaned, categorized and tagged for sale. In addition to having more clothes than you can imagine, they also have a whole slew of other fun things!
(All jewelry has been appraised and is sold at roughly half its appraised value. There are some GREAT deals in this case!)
Unclaimed Baggage even discovers some real treasures from time to time. Below you will see some antique religious artifacts, various currencies, an animal from a hunting expedition, some unique bicycles, a gorgeous model ship, and a ruby belt buckle worth over $10,000!
During my visit, I was treated to many cool stories, and I soon realized how a trip to Unclaimed Baggage is so much more than a trip to a big store with some good bargains. The store itself tells a story, and so do the people who work there!
As part of my visit, I was treated with some gift cards and sent on my merry way. Since I was without the kids, I was able to shop in peace! But that doesn’t mean I took my time. I had just 2 hours to shop. That might sound like plenty of time until you realize just how big the store is. I was shopping like a mad woman, and honestly, the thrill of it was so much fun. Here’s my buggy about 1 hour into my trip. This is when I realized that I might have a problem…
I made it to the check out line with mere minutes to spare, and then headed straight over to the part of the store where they were hosting something very fun that they do every day: the unpacking of the bag! This is something the center has been doing for a few months now, after hearing feedback from customers who wanted to know what really happens when a piece of luggage reaches their facility. A member of the audience was selected to unpack a bag that had only been viewed by one person at the facility (just to make sure that nothing dangerous or overly embarrassing was inside). We got to help make decisions about what would be cleaned, what would be sold immediately, what would be donated, and what would be trashed. It was so exciting to see this come out of the bag. Treasure hunt, indeed!
Finding the laptop was fun, but what was even more fun was piecing together the story of this bag. Based on the contents, we determined that this was a young adult female who made a trip to Russia. The luggage was lost on the return trip, as she seemed to have her souvenirs (such as nesting dolls) in the bag with her. This was a very cool experience, and one I highly recommend you make the time to see while at the store!
I was so happy to see that Unclaimed Baggage had its own cafe on site, AND that it served Starbucks coffee. I had a delicious sandwich for lunch, a big, fat rice krispie treat, and of course, some iced coffee. This got me refueled and ready for more shopping!
My Personal Treasures
Just before leaving the store, I took one more glance at the jewelry section. And something very special caught my eye. I found a little sterling silver bunny that would look so perfect on short sterling silver chain to give to Darah for Christmas (I found the chain in the case, too!). Darah has had the nickname “bunny” since the day she was born. It wasn’t something I had planned on calling her; it just happened the moment I laid eyes on her! As I was checking out, the person helping me said, “Oh my. This is a John Hardy piece. This is VERY special!” I had no idea who John Hardy was, but evidently he is a famous jewelry designer, and his pieces are highly sought after. All I know is that he made a sweet little bunny charm, and I simply had to have it. This was my favorite find of the day!
My other favorite find was a brand new teal winter coat. It still had its tags! It looked fabulous, if I do say so, myself. The red pea coat I wear most often in winter has been with me since 2000, no joke, so I was definitely due for something new!
Additionally, I found several pieces of clothing for other members of my family, as well as a few Christmas gifts. It was an awesome experience, and since it is only an hour from where I live, you’d better believe that I’ll be back. The merchandise is different every day, so there are always new treasures to find!
Have you ever visited Unclaimed Baggage Center? What did you find? Is this the type of place you’d love to get to visit???