Ever wonder where parcels go if the labels fall off? Or what happens if a package is undeliverable?

The U.S. Postal Service’s Mail Recovery Center (MRC) serves as the “lost and found” center for the Postal Service, receiving items determined to be undeliverable for a number of reasons. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, the MRC received 67 million items from post offices and other facilities around the country. While that’s a large number, it’s a small fraction of a percent of the 142 billion mailpieces the Postal Service delivered that same year.

Once items are received, the MRC determines what to do with them. If possible, they are returned to the sender, and if not, they are inventoried, held until claimed, and eventually sold, or otherwise disposed of.

OIG auditors evaluated the effectiveness of MRC operations and identified opportunities for improvement. The report, U.S. Postal Service Mail Recovery Center, found that operations weren’t always efficient, and items weren’t always processed in a timely manner. The report also noted that postal facilities were sending marketing mail and other items that should not be handled by the MRC.

Additionally, the report found that there were problems involving effective disposal of certain items, such as batteries and gift cards. The MRC also must strengthen inventory controls over cash or items being stored.

Have you been waiting for a piece of mail, but believe it might be lost? If so, start off by filing a missing mail search request on the USPS.com Find Missing Mail page.

Have you had items returned from the Mail Recovery Center? Tell us what happened below.

Comments (181)

IMPORTANT – PLEASE NOTE: Complaints about the Postal Service – including lost, stolen, or mishandled mail – that are unrelated to the content on this page will not be posted. Please visit the Contact Us page for information on where to file formal complaints with our agency or the Postal Service.

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  • anon

    How can i try and locate and item at the recovery center? I sent a pair of precription sunglasses from Hockessin De to Peoria Il. The package was open and empty when recd by Maui Jim Inc. It was stamped as empty by the Il post office. The sunglasses were in a red hard case, marked Alexander Julian and the glasses themselves were black. Please advise. I have filed a claim, but would rather have the sunglasses

    Apr 22, 2021
  • anon

    Where can I buy unclaimed mail in Wheaton Maryland??

    Apr 21, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to purchase lost mail/packages if possible...how do you do that and are there auctions for it?

    Apr 21, 2021
  • anon

    Where can I buy unclaimed mail?

    Apr 21, 2021
  • anon

    Info on 1 dollar unclamed packages

    Apr 20, 2021
  • anon

    How i can buy a $1 unclaimed Mail?

    Apr 19, 2021
  • anon

    Information on buying lost and unclaimed mail and packages

    Apr 17, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Celia. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://postalpro.usps.com/ppro-tools/consumer-affairs

    Apr 21, 2021
  • anon

    I sell items on Etsy and a parcel that I sent to a buyer was marked Return to Sender because of the packaging it was sent in. I sent the item in a standard 18 x 12 x 6 box and sealed the box with packaging tape. The box was returned EMPTY and had two cuts down the side. The package was sealed except for where the box was cut and where the tape was clearly pushed back. I would expect that the lost item is either in the Pismo Beach post office or in Goleta, the only two places where the item was checked in. I physically took the item to the post office, so it was ONLY in the hands of USPS. I am so sad. I opened a case with USPS and I hope the item turns up at the MRC. It would be a miracle.

    Apr 14, 2021
  • anon

    I want some mail

    Apr 12, 2021
  • anon

    I want some lost mail

    Apr 12, 2021
  • anon

    i want to buy undelivered mail

    Apr 11, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to have lost mail

    Apr 09, 2021
  • anon

    Bet you would theif

    Apr 19, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to know where i can buy unclaimed packages or mail in Los Angeles California

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    My package was damaged and the contents came out "somewhere" before it was delivered to my local post office for delivery. The post office informed me there is a lost and found with the USPS and I have pictures of my purchased items to validate their recovery and delivery to myself. Somebody please help with this issue. Thank you, Michael

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    How to buy unclaimed mail in the Bronx

    Apr 07, 2021
  • anon

    I would like information on purchasing unclaimed packages.

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    Would like info on to buy lost and unclaimed and undeliverable mail please

    Apr 06, 2021
  • anon

    How do I buy unclaimed mail in Texas?

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Jessicca. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://postalpro.usps.com/ppro-tools/consumer-affairs

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to get/ buy some unclaimed packages. In Tacoma, WA.

    Apr 05, 2021
  • anon

    I would like info on how to buy unclaimed mail

    Apr 02, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to know how I can buy unclaimed packages?? In texas

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    Can you go to your local post office and buy undelivered mail?

    Apr 01, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to know where in South Jersey I can buy these bulk packages please?

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    How could I buy unclaimed mail in my area

    Mar 31, 2021
  • anon

    How can I go about buying these packages?

    Mar 28, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy some unclaimed/lost mail

    Mar 28, 2021
  • anon

    You should be searching for your unclaimed brain.

    Apr 14, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy unclaimed mail

    Mar 26, 2021
  • anon

    How would I go about buying unclaimed mail?

    Mar 25, 2021
  • anon

    I am interested in buying unclaimed packages and undeliverable packages in my area.

    Mar 25, 2021
  • anon

    I am wanting to purchase unclaimed mail in my area 76011 , or 76106. How do i do so?

    Mar 25, 2021
  • anon

    I am very interested in buying unclaimed and undeliverable mail. Thanks so very much. Have a great weekend!

    Mar 25, 2021
  • anon

    Im interested in purchasing mail within in my area

    Mar 25, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to get information on how to purchase unclaimed and undelivered mail and packages in my area.

    Mar 24, 2021
  • anon

    Im interesting to buy some packages

    Mar 22, 2021
  • anon

    Hello Jose. Thank you for your message. Regarding your concern, please contact Postal Service Consumer Affairs Office at https://postalpro.usps.com/ppro-tools/consumer-affairs

    Apr 08, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to purchase some of your unclaimed packages

    Mar 22, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to get information on how to purchase unclaimed and undelivered mail and packages

    Mar 21, 2021
  • anon

    I wanna buy some unclaimed packages

    Mar 19, 2021
  • anon

    I would love to buy some of your unclaimed packages

    Mar 19, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy some of you unclaimed packages

    Mar 18, 2021
  • anon

    Where can I purchase unclaimed packages in the Maryland area?

    Mar 18, 2021
  • anon

    Interested

    Mar 17, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy some of you unclaimed packages please

    Mar 17, 2021
  • anon

    Where can I buy unclaimed mail

    Mar 16, 2021
  • anon

    How do you bye unclaimed mail

    Mar 13, 2021
  • anon

    Where can I buy unclaimed mail legally in Tucson Arizona?

    Mar 12, 2021

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