A woman has gone viral on TikTok after opening unclaimed parcels – and has made thousands of dollars re-selling the contents at discounted rates.
Stephanie Grime, 40, a content creator from Las Vegas, US, has revealed how to score valuable items, including designer accessories, for just $1 (76p).
She attended a “local swap meet” – which involves different vendors selling unique items to the public – and came across three stalls selling unclaimed mail packages.
As she was intrigued, she bought 100 of the undeliverable parcels and decided to open them on camera for her 1.5 million followers on TikTok.
So far, she’s found $50 gift cards, Nespresso coffee pods and milk frother, as well as high-end make-up, a pair of Dolce and Gabbana designer sunglasses and even a Polaroid camera.
But there are a few parcels which she should have left unopened.
“I have found dead crickets, toenail clippings, a bag of rocks, a potato and even literal bags of air,” Stephanie told Jam Press.
“One time I opened a package that had a note inside which read ‘Please enjoy your air guitar!’ so it’s definitely a gamble.
“[My favourite item] so far has been a three-carat tanzanite stone which was so beautiful.
“I knew as soon as I bought my first parcels that I wanted to make a series by opening them online, because I knew it would be something people wanted to see.
“I never imagined people would like it this much though.
“After my videos got popular, it became hard to find [these parcels] as they kept selling out, but I was able to go back and stock up with two pallets full to secure enough for content.”
As her first video was so popular, racking up 47.1 million views and over eight million likes, she’s now opened over 99 packages – and still has 101 more left to go.
In the clip, she begins by showing a box full of packages, which is labelled: ‘Paleta Sorpresa, $1’ which translates to: ‘Surprise lollipop.’
“Don’t ask me how this is legal, but at the swap meet in Las Vegas, you can buy lost mail for one dollar,” she says, showing a clip of her purchasing the goods.
Stephanie opens the first parcel and reveals a $50 Visa gift card.
Her followers seem to love the bizarre past-time and flocked to the comments to share their thoughts.
“Did I watch 97 of these in a row?!” one viewer commented.
Another person added: “It’s all fun and games until you find your lost order from Amazon in there.”
“What if the person who was missing that gift card watched this,” someone else wrote.
One person said: “There’s no way this is legal? Where’s that lawyer tiktok guy?”
“Imma buy a bunch and send em to the real owners,” another viewer shared. [sic]
Stephanie estimates she has made thousands of dollars from these parcels, as she resells around 80% of the items on eBay at a discounted price.
Many of her viewers love the series, but some people don’t agree with her opening other people’s mail and believe the process should be illegal.
She added: “I had lawyers and mailmen duetting my videos, explaining to people that by law, this was perfectly legal once the mail has gone through the process of being dubbed and unclaimed.
“I also stressed the fact that if I didn’t buy these parcels for cheap, make content and resell them at discounted prices, that they would probably just end up in landfill.
“I also buy lost airline luggage and abandoned storage units, which is the same thing.
“Say you send a package to someone and it doesn’t get to them for whatever reason, such as if the address is scratched off, the mailbox is full or no-one is home to sign it, then this goes to the mail recovery centre.
“If they cannot find the rightful recipient or sender, the parcel is either destroyed, donated or sold [to a government dealer] where it is then auctioned off.
“It can be quite the wild goose chase, but I know many who [find these locally] and there are some states which have free standing stores that sell unclaimed mail too.”