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 (239)

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

    I keep seeing videos of people buying unclaimed mail and it looks fun! How do l go about doing this?

    Jul 23, 2021
  • anon

    Does the USPS, ACTUALLY sell lost mail? If so how do I find a place near St. Joseph, MO?

    Jul 21, 2021
  • anon

    My priority international mail from USA to India custom has been sent back to the sender on 25.4.2021 but the mail to the sender has not been received till now. The post office people said that the parcel did not come to them .my request is that my parcel should be sent to the sender.

    Jul 15, 2021
  • anon

    I mailed several envelopes with gift cards in them and the recipients never received them. How can I recoup them?

    Jul 12, 2021
  • anon

    I found a small package on the ground not far from my house but about a quarter mile from it's intended address, my local office if currently closed. How do I go about retuning it? It has a tracking number on it as well. P.S. I thank y'all at USPS for keeping the mail coming. Delivering through rain, snow, dark of night, scorching hot days, as well as pandemics. Keep up the good work!

    Jul 07, 2021
  • anon

    How do I claim a missing envelope accidental left in a mailbox in Missoula, Mt

    Jul 02, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy unclaimed mail and unwanted packages

    Jun 19, 2021
  • anon

    How do I go about buying unclaimed mail thanks Melissa hall

    Jun 18, 2021
  • anon

    How do I buy these or what do I do ?

    Jun 18, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to purchase unclaimed mail.

    Jun 17, 2021
  • anon

    How do I purchase unclaimed packages with postal service

    Jun 15, 2021
  • anon

    I’d like to buy unclaimed mail

    Jun 14, 2021
  • anon

    How can I buy unwanted mail and lost and old mail..

    Jun 13, 2021
  • anon

    I am interested in buying unclaimed mail packages.

    Jun 13, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to Buy unclaimed packages

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    How can I buy unwanted mail and lost and old mail..

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    I’d like to buy unclaimed mail

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

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

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy unclaimed mail

    Jun 08, 2021
  • anon

    I’m interested in buying unclaimed mail or unclaimed packages

    Jun 07, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy lost mail.

    Jun 06, 2021
  • anon

    Interested in buying unclaimed package

    Jun 05, 2021
  • anon

    My local post office told me that I could use the usps.com site to report the book that came out of the packaging in which I sent it, and that the message would be sent to the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta in hopes of finding it. I can't find anyplace on any usps.com site that will let me do that, and can find no information on how to contact the Mail Recovery Center directly to file a claim.

    Jun 03, 2021
  • anon

    This happened to me several years ago. The post master told me to write a letter describing my items and mail it to the Atlanta hub, where missing items go. Luckily, I was selling these books. So I even included photos of the books and type of box I sent them in. To this day I've never heard anything back. Not even, "We got your letter. Sorry we couldn't find anything." I suggest you make peace with never seeing that book again.

    Jun 08, 2021
  • anon

    I'm interested in buying lost packages as well.

    Jun 02, 2021
  • anon

    I am interesting in buying unclaimed mail. To do videos to help people with there unclaimed mail orders . Thanks Melissa

    Jun 02, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy unclaimed mail.

    Jun 01, 2021
  • anon

    I would like and love to buy unclaimed package and I would even like to make a video of it

    Jun 01, 2021
  • anon

    I want to buy unclaimed mail

    Jun 01, 2021
  • anon

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

    Jun 10, 2021
  • anon

    I'm interested in buying lost or unclaimed mail

    Jun 01, 2021
  • anon

    I want to buy unclaimed mail

    May 31, 2021
  • anon

    I will like to buy unclaimed me please contact me

    May 30, 2021
  • anon

    I'm interested in buying unclaimed mail

    May 29, 2021
  • anon

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

    Jun 02, 2021
  • anon

    I’m very interested in buying a lot of unclaimed packages! And mail! Thank you

    May 28, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy unclaimed mail packages

    May 28, 2021
  • anon

    May I buy unclaimed mail, please

    May 25, 2021
  • anon

    I’m interested in buying unclaimed pavkages

    May 24, 2021
  • anon

    Am I allowed to buy unclaimed packages? If so how?

    May 23, 2021
  • anon

    I’m interested in buying lost packages. If you can please get back to me that’ll be highly appreciated

    May 20, 2021
  • anon

    I’m interested in buying unclaimed packages

    May 20, 2021
  • anon

    Hi I’m interested but unclaimed mail how can I do that?

    May 18, 2021
  • anon

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

    Jun 02, 2021
  • anon

    How do you buy unclaimed mail and packages?

    May 18, 2021
  • anon

    Hi I'm interested in buying unclaimed mail please :)

    May 18, 2021
  • anon

    I would like to buy unclaimed mail. How do I do it?

    May 16, 2021
  • anon

    How can I buy unclaimed mail? Thanks

    May 13, 2021
  • anon

    Im interested in buying lost things.

    May 13, 2021
  • anon

    I’m interested in buying lost packages. If you can please get back to me that’ll be highly appreciated.

    May 12, 2021

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