Thousands of items are mislaid each year when people are travelling, from umbrellas left on trains to suitcases left at airports. There is also a collection of stolen goods reclaimed by the police when they are carrying out their duty that need to be dealt with. Whilst many of these items do eventually get united with their owners many are left unclaimed in lost property offices and police stations up and down the country.
To free up space regular auctions are held around the country which can often provide some excellent bargains for those prepared to travel around.
Where are these lost property auctions held?
Most stolen property, where an owner cannot be found, is passed over to Bumblebee Auctions which is an online auction site similar to eBay. Smaller items will be sent to you, if you pay for postage, or larger items will have to be collected from the police station in question.
You can search for items by town so you are only viewing goods you are able to collect and payment is made via Nochex
All lost luggage from British Airways is sold through Greasbys in Tooting, South London. Viewings take place every Monday afternoon with auctions every Tuesday at 10.30am.
You need to be aware that all baggage is sold unseen so you won't know what is in the bags until you have bought them. One thing is for certain there will be nothing expensive in the bags, such as cameras and electronics, as these are all removed prior to the auction.
It may well be worth checking out Wellers Auctioneers based in Guildford who deal with lost luggage from Gatwick Airport.
What to do when attending an auction
- make sure you arrive early to have a good look around
- write down the lot number of any items in which you are interested
- take up your seat early so that you are in view of the auctioneer
- make any bids in a clear manner and make sure that your bids are acknowledged by the auctioneer
- set a figure you are prepared to go to on each item, don't get carried away
- find out the commission you will have to pay on items before the auction begins