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Their Loss Could Be Your Find

May 26, 1999|BOOTH MOORE

How would you like to get your hands on an ivory bracelet from an exotic destination you have never even visited, or a beer stein from someone else's vacation to Austria? At the Unclaimed Baggage Center, you can buy these and other treasures from around the world without ever leaving your hometown.

The Unclaimed Baggage Center collects unclaimed and lost baggage from airlines, which, after 90 days, give up on trying to track owners. Contents are then refurbished and sold at discount prices at a retail location in Scottsboro, Ala., and on the Internet.

All baggage is taken sight unseen, so suitcases are grab bags filled with contents such as clothing, electronic and sporting goods, computer equipment, accessories, jewelry--even "Star Wars" memorabilia. Among the more unusual items the UBC has found are signed and numbered Salvador Dali prints, and a case of Egyptian artifacts, including a mummified falcon, burial mask and scarabs.

Every year, nearly 1 million items are collected, categorized and displayed on the selling floor of the retail center and on the Web site at http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com.

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