Every year, airlines around the world check in 4.3 billion pieces of baggage, and about 25 million of them are lost in transit. Owners do not collect 0.03% of the lost within 90 days, then the suitcase is sold “as is”, without opening. Most often, Hugo Owens buys such luggage. In the 70s of the last century, no one saw value in suitcases, but Hugo Owens decided that he could make money on lost unclaimed luggage. He bought the first batch of lost luggage from a small airline and sold it over the weekend. By 1978, Owens was buying 3,000 suitcases a month. We never know what’s inside. Until we open. It’s a pig in a poke and people pay for surprise, Owens told reporters.
Most often, clothes, accessories, headphones, small electronics and pillows are found in suitcases. But there are even more interesting finds: during the work of the company, Hugo has gathered a huge collection of watches and musical instruments.
Sometimes really valuable things come across. Once, Owens bought a duct-taped box, inside of which was found a Gucci suitcase full of ancient Egyptian artifacts from 1500 BC. Owens’ business continues to thrive today. The company earns hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from things abandoned by their owners.