USPS auctions- Everything You Need To Know

The United States Postal Service does a great job in making sure that packages are delivered in a safe, professional and timely manner, but this is not always the case because, like any other human activity, anomalies happen. It is estimated that about some 67 million items are undelivered annually and are estimated to auction around 8 million dollars. This shows how USPS downplays the profitability of auctioning items because it sometimes goes out of its way to cost itself money. In this article, we are going to see more about USPS auctions.

USPS auctions

When such a fateful thing occurs, normally in most cases when a mail address becomes untraceable from either the point of origin or to the destination, then it ends up being auctioned after a period set by the United States law.

What happens if a package is undelivered? 

All unidentifiable packages are sent to the USPS Mail Recovery Center, at this point, they may again make thorough attempts to figure out where the package might belong to either the sender or the recipient. In case they make failed attempts to locate any of these two then it makes its way to the valuation of the package. A package needs to be valued at least at $40 to be able to make its way to an auction.

Missing mails are kept at Mail Recovery Center formerly known as the Dead mail Center for at least 90 days above which is now considered unclaimed by either the sender or the recipient. The mail recovery center is located in Atlanta, GA. The full address is 5345 Fulton Industrial Blvd, SW Atlanta, GA 30378. 

The Missing Mail option: Within those 90 days, people have a chance to file a missing mail claim in a further attempt to recover their mail. If a claimant fails to offer enough information on the lost package such that it becomes futile to identify it within the stipulated period and it’s valued at $25 or over then it proceeds to auction.

 It is then advised that a claimant should fill in as much information as possible about the package’s physical appearance or the content.

Where is the auctioning held?

USPS auctions are held online through This website is an online marketplace that provides services to government, educational, and related entities for the sale of surplus assets to the public, auction rules in this website may vary depending on who is selling.

You would also need to search the location of where you would pick up your items before you close a bid because it is important to select a location convenient for you.

How to bid?

You can sign in to where eligible items are categorized by type and their location, the instructions are quite simple. If you win a bid, you would be required to pay via Paypal or any other credit card recognized by If the bid exceeds a total of $5,000 you would be required to do a wire transfer and the items to be collected normally within 5 days. All extra charges that accrue thereafter such as transportation costs would all be on you. makes it clear that the goods are sold  “as is” which means that there would be no returns or refunds once a bid is closed. It is then advised to do very well research on the items you are bidding on to avoid any unnecessary losses.

Who can bid on USPS mails?

Anyone in the United States who is of legal age of 18 and above and has enough money can bid and make a purchase. You also must create an account with them to be able to make bids as long as you follow their terms and conditions. It is emphasized that employees of USPS and their immediate family members are not allowed to place bids.

Cons of the process

The downside of USPS auctions is that most items are not sold as a single piece but rather sold in lots, so it is a matter of chance that you will find every single one of those items useful, so like stated earlier it is important to dig deep to find more value as much as you can.

It is also worth noting that the Mail Recovery Center is filled with lots of secrecy, the military-style kind of secrecy. It is almost impossible to monitor the kind of activity that goes on in that center so you cannot just walk into the center hoping to locate and collect your lost package and walk out, proper channels have to be followed.


It is evident that USPS does not care much about making a kill out of auctioning undeliverable mails, they aim at improving the deliverability of a mail by making sure delivering system works seamlessly and also seeing to it that undelivered goods are not improperly disposed of or fall into the wrong hands.

USPS auctions- Everything You Need To Know

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