Mystery Packages: This Store Sells Unclaimed Parcels

June 27, 2024
2024-06-12 16.57.49

Destock Colis in Champigny-sur-Marne, a mundane suburb of Paris, is a hoarder’s dream. Hundreds of abandoned parcels, most of them, dare we say all of them, filled with junk, are stacked in a nondescript shop on one of the small town’s main avenues. These lost or unclaimed packages are for sale by the kilo. Buying is a bit of a gamble, however, as you are allowed to handle the package, but not open it. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with something worth much more than what you paid. In all other cases, there’s a trash can at the bus stop right outside the store.

So, is Destock Colis worth the trip?

Venturing into the suburbs

Champigny-sur-Marne: A city of 77,000 on the banks of the Marne River behind the Bois de Vincennes, currently rated a mediocre 5.53/10 for overall quality of life by its residents. A nice (if you ignore the odd drug dealer prowling the streets), quiet (ditto), not much to do kind of place. But with the impending arrival of the new metro line 15, local life is bound to flourish. Or at least it will make the escape to Paris easier.

The view on the river Marne in Joinville-sur-Pont on the way to Destock Colis.

For now, the RER A will have to do. We get on at Nation and ten minutes later we’re in Joinville-Le-Pont, the neighboring town, from where you can either take a bus or walk for half an hour. We choose the second option. After a rather uneventful walk, we arrive at number 78, Avenue Roger Salengro.

Abandoned packages sold by the kilo

There are already several people in the Destock Colis boutique, picking up stuffed envelopes, shaking parcels, rummaging for gold. Curiously, most of the parcels come from Germany. We join in, trying to feel if the box in our hands contains something of value. A poster reminds us of the prices the shopkeeper already told us: 2 euros per 100 grams, 17.90 euros per kilo.

A pile of unclaimed packages sold at Destock Colis just outside of Paris.

In the end, we settle on two finds: a rectangular, rather light box and a large Amazon envelope that we hope might contain a book. The total is 10 euros. Surely, our purchases will be worth more than that? We can’t help but open them on the spot.

Treasure or trash?

The first package, the supposed paperback, turns out to be an unwashed pillowcase with a hole in it. Too bad the sender and recipient are scratched out. We would have liked to have this shameless seller banned from Amazon. Purchase number one goes straight into the bin.

The second one isn’t much better. It revealed a crappy travel case made in China for an old Samsung model that neither of us owned, of course. We leave it on the bench at the bus stop, hoping that someone else will be able to use it.

The content of the second mystery package we bought is a smartphone travel case.

Destock Colis: is it worth it?

So let’s come to a conclusion. Are the lost packages worth the money? No. (At least not the ones we bought. You probably have to be very lucky to catch something expensive). Does the thrill of the experience make up for taking the RER to the banlieu? Not really. Unless you love surprises so much that you don’t care about getting on a crowded train and spending money on junk.

For those who still want to give it a try, here’s the shop info:

Destock Colis
78 Boulevard Roger Salengro
94500 Champigny-sur-Marne
Opening hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-7pm
Public transport: Take the RER A to Joinville-le-Pont and from there bus 108 or 110 to the stop Aristide Briand – Le Plant

The blue and white Destock Colis store front.

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