Cashing in on trash: Cosmetics seized from travelers at airport turn up in online sale

Airports of Thailand (AOT) said today it would investigate how an online shop obtained cosmetics bottles, believed to be items confiscated from travelers at airport checkpoints, and sold them at cheap prices.

The move followed a recent Pantip forum discussion as a netizen took a screenshot of the online shop and questioned whether it was fair for someone to start a business from the liquid bottles that travelers are forced to throw out at checkpoints.

“I have been told to throw out my makeup remover… just so airport staff can re-sell them?” wrote the user who started the thread.

“I thought they were gonna throw it away, but I never thought they would resell my cosmetics. Is this right?”

AOT Director Nitinai Sirismatthakarn said the organization will investigate if the airport staff are involved in the matter, claiming the liquid bottles confiscated from travelers are destroyed annually, Morning News reported.

Passengers are only permitted to bring liquids in bottles not exceeding 100ml.

The business of leftover cosmetics is not new in Thailand. Secondhand cosmetics, from brand-name perfumes, lotions, shampoos and even deodorants can often be found at flea markets for very cheap prices.

According to Manager, the merchants buy a bag of confiscated liquid bottles from the airports. Most of the time, the bag will contain different products like water, food and ordinary cosmetics, but if they’re lucky they will get brand-name cosmetics that they can resell.

Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!



Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply

BECOME A COCO+ MEMBER

Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on

MOST POPULAR