The store enjoys great interest from the Brussels public, Source: Pile ou Face / Facebook

Head or Tails: Brussels shop sells lost Amazon parcels

Head or Tails: Brussels shop sells lost Amazon parcels

A unique concept for dealing with waste generated by excessive consumption

Would you be interested in buying a box without knowing what its contents are? Whichever way you feel about the proposition, apparently there is a large enough market for this, spurring the idea of opening an entire shop dedicated to selling misplaced Amazon parcels in Brussels.

The shop is called Pile ou Face (Heads or Tails in French), which playfully alludes to the idea that your purchase is basically a gamble. The Userstam family, who founded the store, got the idea after realizing that, while uncommon, a certain number of parcel deliveries never make it to their intended destination and instead end up piling up in the hands of the courier companies.

How much would you pay to buy a lost parcel?

There are a variety of reasons why some packages never arrive at the e-shoppers who ordered them. These include mistakes made during delivery, wrong addresses and unclaimed deliveries.

The founder of the shop decided to do something about these unclaimed parcels, which ended up clogging the warehouses, creating excessive waste that no one knew what to do with. According to The Brussels Times, it took lengthy negotiations to convince the e-commerce giant Amazon to greenlight the idea but finally a contract was drawn up and this allowed the creation of the store.

"85% of the parcels on sale come from Amazon," Arnaud Userstam told The Brussels Times. With stocks selling like hotcakes, Pile ou Face recently placed a new order for "at least 100,000 parcels”. That alone shows that the supply of undelivered parcels in the system is rather reliable and so is the interest in people purchasing one.

But how do you put a price on the mysterious contents of a box? The shop owners decided to use the pricing method implemented by some second-hand clothing stores – pay per kilo.

Customers can look at the boxes and even shake them in order to try to determine what might be inside them and if they decide to purchase a box, they have to fork out 16 euros per kilo.

That way people have come into the possession of smartwatches, electronic gadgets, and even smartphones for less than what the product’s market value was. Apparently, the most expensive item unpacked was a Moncler jacket worth 1,500 euros.



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