Help Lost Gadgets Find Their Way Home

Not long ago, someone I know left her Kindle on an airplane--and never saw it again. Perhaps the person who eventually picked it up wanted to return it, but didn't know how because the gadget had no identification attached.

Enter SendMeHome, a free service that helps reunite people and their stuff. All you do is register an item--any item, really, from electronics to sports equipment to luggage--then print a specially coded label and tape or glue it on.

If someone finds your item, they just visit the SendMeHome site (the URL appears on the label, natch), enter the code, and send you a message. From there it's up to you to arrange the item's return.

That makes SendMeHome a bit different from StuffBak, a similar service that offers a toll-free phone number finders can call, covers their shipping costs, provides a reward (in the form of StuffBak labels), and so on.

Of course, you pay a few bucks (upwards of $30) for all those services, and you have to buy StuffBak's labels. SendMeHome costs nothing to use, though you can order a sheet of eight weather-proof vinyl labels, in varying sizes, for $3.99. Mine took about two weeks to arrive.

Obviously there are no guarantees that these labels will help you recover lost items--but I feel a lot more comfortable knowing that an honest person can easily return my iPhone, digital camera, and other gadgets.

How about you? Have you ever lost something valuable and kicked yourself for not putting some kind of ID on it? Or has a service like SendMeHome or StuffBak ever helped you recover something? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments.

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