The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint is the Bermuda Triangle of cool souvenirs. All your fruits, aerosols, and replica medieval axes end up in the custody of a TSA agent who tosses away your precious property.
But after confiscation, hope is not necessarily lost. There may be a way of recovering your confiscated souvenirs.
Govdeals.com is a website where state agencies sell surplus or confiscated goods. Combining eBay with a rummage sale, the website allows users to bid for items the agencies are trying to get rid of. In the case of the TSA, this means a lot of pocket knives (available in bulk!) and corkscrews and bottle openers.
It bears noting that no, the TSA is not making any money off your confiscated souvenirs. Instead, the TSA uses a contractor to clear all confiscated items out of the airport. States can then purchase the “contraband” and resell the items on the internet to make a profit.
But even if you aren’t able to relocate your lost items, the website offers a whole list of interesting replacements, like a red leather couch, a microwave, and the irresistible combo offer of an old cellphone and a travel mug.
For those who prefer to do their shopping in real life, confiscated goods can also end up at surplus centers. These giant markets, scattered across the country, resell the items from lost or confiscated luggage for thrift market prices.
Unfortunately, anybody attempting to recover an expensive shampoo or bottle of wine should give up their mission before they start. The TSA automatically throws away any confiscated liquids.