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Image of the U.S. Postal Service's LogoU.S. Postal Service

What is sold

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) auctions a wide variety of items that have been lost in the mail, are unclaimed, or on which an insurance claim has been paid. Sales of this merchandise are referred to as mail recovery auctions, although letters are not among the items offered for sale. The merchandise may include clocks, televisions, radios, tape recorders, jewelry, VCRs, and clothing. The USPS also has sales programs that sell excess postal vehicles, computers, workroom and office furniture, and electronic and hardware items for mail handling equipment.

How items are sold

Auctions, sealed bid sales, and fixed price sales

How sales are advertised

Postal vehicle sales are announced in local post offices, newspapers, and television advertisements. Personal property sales of excess goods are advertised in local newspapers and post offices in the geographic areas where sales are held.

Lost, damaged, and unclaimed goods are sold at two sites: St. Paul, MN and Atlanta, GA. To be placed on a mailing list for notices of mail recovery center auctions, write to the appropriate USPS offices listed under "For more information."

Special restrictions/conditions

Terms and conditions of each sale are posted with sales notice information. USPS employees are permitted to buy at personal property sales, except for those employees directly involved in the sales. However, USPS employees are not allowed to buy at mail recovery center auctions. Postal vehicle sales require payments by certified check, money order, cashier's check, or cash. All mail recovery auction sales accept cash, credit cards, and money orders.

For more information

Due to the logistical distance of the Atlanta and St. Paul Mail Recovery Centers, many property sales of excess, lost, damaged, and/or unclaimed goods are sold via auction or sealed bids at the respective local district site. Postal patrons should contact the local postal facility in their area to obtain information on any local or district sales.

For information on surplus postal vehicle sales, contact your local postmaster by looking under U.S. Postal Service in the "U.S. Government" listings of the phone directories of the major cities of your state. Your local postmaster can direct you to the vehicle maintenance facility responsible for conducting sales in your area.

For information on personal property sales, write to one of the following material service centers closest to your mailing address. Material Service Centers (MSCs) work closely with the district/local offices and can be contacted to obtain information on district offices, such as contact names, addresses, phone, fax, etc.

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minneapolis, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are covered by:

San Francisco MSC
395 Oyster Point Blvd., Suite 205
So. San Francisco, CA 94099-6260

Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas are covered by:

Chicago MSC
150 South Wacker Dr., Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60606-4100

Alabama, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, southern New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia are covered by:

Memphis MSC
225 North Humphreys Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38166-6260

The New York City Metropolitan area , Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts , northern New Jersey, New Hampshire , Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, and the Virgin Islands are covered by:

Windsor MSC
8 Griffin Rd. North
Windsor, CT 06095-1572

For information on damaged and unclaimed merchandise mail recovery center auctions held in the following cities, write to the office where you are interested in attending sales:

Atlanta Mail Recovery Center
5345 Fulton Industrial Blvd., SW
Atlanta, GA 30378-2400

St Paul Mail Recovery Center
443 Fillmore Ave.
St Paul, MN 55107-9607

For more information on personal property sales or mail recovery center auctions, you also may write to:

U.S. Postal Service
Consumer Advocate
475 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Rm. 5911
Washington, DC 20260-2202

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