A woman has gone viral on TikTok for opening unclaimed parcels and making thousands of dollars re-selling the contents at discounted rates.
Stephanie Grime, 40, a content creator from Las Vegas, US, revealed how to score valuable items, including designer accessories, for just USD$1 (AU$1.33).
So far, she’s found US$50 (AU$66) gift cards, Nespresso coffee pods and a milk frother, as well as high-end make-up, a pair of Dolce and Gabbana designer sunglasses and even a Polaroid camera.
She picked them up after attending a “local swap meet” – which involves different vendors selling unique items to the public – and came across three stalls selling unclaimed mail packages.
Intrigued, she bought 100 of the undeliverable parcels for USD$1 each and decided to open them on camera for her 1.5 million followers on TikTok.
Her favourite find so far has been a three-carat tanzanite stone which was "so beautiful". But there are a few parcels she should have left unopened.
"I have found dead crickets, toenail clippings, a bag of rocks, a potato and even literal bags of air,” Ms Grime said.
"One time I opened a package that had a note inside which read ‘Please enjoy your air guitar!’ — so it’s definitely a gamble."
Woman becomes viral sensation
As soon as Ms Grime picked up her first few parcels, she knew she wanted to make a series of videos showing her opening them.
But she never imagined people would like them so much.
"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," she said.
Her first video racked up 47.1 million views and over eight million likes. She’s since 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.
Ms Grime opens the first parcel and reveals a US$50 Visa gift card.
The social media star estimates she has made thousands of dollars from these parcels, as she resells around 80 per cent of the items on eBay at a discounted price.
'There's no way this is legal'
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.
"It’s all fun and games until you find your lost order from Amazon in there," one said.
"What if the person who was missing that gift card watched this," someone else wrote.
One person added: "There’s no way this is legal? Where’s that lawyer Tiktok guy?”
But Ms Grim swears it's "perfectly legal".
"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," she said.
"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."
Ms Grime said she also buys lost airline luggage and abandoned storage units.
"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," she explained.
"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."
Amy Walters/Jam Press/Australscope
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