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After ants found in mystery box we searched on eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Amazon to see what we could buy


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Thousands of us post parcels and expect deliveries everyday but what happens when they don't get to their designated destination?

Last month 250 ants were found in a box by a company that buys undelivered packages - and almost 220,000 of you were fascinated by it, making it August's most read story.

Last month 250 ants were found in a mystery box in Folkestone
Last month 250 ants were found in a mystery box in Folkestone

With many questions unanswered, reporters Megan Carr and Laoise Gallagher were challenged to see whether or not this is a common occurrence and what they could discover themselves.

All we wanted was to get hold of our own mystery box, to see if we could find something just as unusual as live insects, but it wasn't that easy.

Following the discovery of the long lost ants and our own terrible experiences with delivery companies, we couldn't help but wonder what happened to the parcels that never made it to the right addresses.

We thought the answer would be quite simple, seeing as the Folkestone company that found the creepy crawlies buys unclaimed boxes from delivery companies for a living.

But the two of us soon learnt that buying and finding unclaimed parcels online isn't straightforward.

The ants intrigued almost 220,000 of our readers
The ants intrigued almost 220,000 of our readers

We found many YouTube unboxing videos with content creators managing to get a hold of these 'undelivered packages'.

But after looking through comment sections and browsing the internet we concluded the world of unclaimed mail was a little murky to say the least.

It appears that third party companies somehow buy undelivered parcels and then sell them on to auction houses or individuals.

But it didn't matter where we searched we could not find any to purchase ourselves.

There were no auction houses in Kent. There was nothing on Facebook Marketplace, Amazon or even eBay.

But during our hunt, we did discover something else which fulfilled our unknown brief – customer returns.

We entered into a bidding war on eBay in an effort to secure our own box filled with unknown items
We entered into a bidding war on eBay in an effort to secure our own box filled with unknown items

Sellers on eBay, and even some auction sites, had managed to get hold of returns and were selling them to the highest bidder.

Pallets of John Lewis and Argos returns were available... if you had a spare £800.

Our more modest budget ruled those out so we retreated to eBay.

Here there were plenty of sellers offering 'job lot' customer return boxes with bids starting from as little as £10.

Excited at the thought of getting a package with various unknown bits and pieces inside, we decided to go for a box that had a starting bid of £30.

After winning the box, it was finally on the way from Aberdeen
After winning the box, it was finally on the way from Aberdeen

The description enticingly read: "Job lot wholesale of costumer returns, tech, home RRP £283.63."

Thankfully, we won the bid at only £32, but we weren't holding our breath on making a £250 profit as a result.

Overall we spent, £41.99 including delivery and it promised to take a week to get to us.

We are under the impression that some of the contents may be damaged – after all, they are returns.

But we may find some gems – if it ever found itself to us.

The box was finally delivered on the 7th of September
The box was finally delivered on the 7th of September

Ironically, our package was being delivered by UPS and although it was tracked we hit yet another stumbling block – it didn't turn up when it was meant to.

It was due to arrive at our Medway office on Monday, September 6, but the UPS driver who did arrive had nothing for us.

Our undelivered mail was, err, undelivered!

But, to be honest, I think it's quite comforting to know it isn't easy to get hold of packages that never made it to their destination, it means random people aren't likely to be rummaging through your post.

Our parcel finally came on Tuesday, September 7.

The unboxing will be streamed LIVE on our Facebook page
The unboxing will be streamed LIVE on our Facebook page

Tune in tomorrow to see what mysteries our parcel holds. We'll be live streaming the unboxing here on KentOnline.

For more quirky and unusual stories, click here

Read more: All the latest news from Kent

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