It’s always fun to make an unusual discovery while thrifting. Sometimes, this surprise takes the form of an unexpected dollar bill left over in a pre-worn pair of pants. Other times, as in the case of TikTok user Markell (@dogwithhumanhands0), they can find a used piece of technology hidden away in a case.
On a recent thrifting excursion, Markell discovered an Amazon Kindle in a case. After purchasing the Kindle, she brought it home and charged it, then discovered that the device could be powered on. While this news delighted Markell, she soon hit a roadblock.
“I went to register it, and problems,” she explains. “I contacted Amazon support, and they said it’s a ‘lost or stolen device,’ which makes sense. I got it at Goodwill. Someone probably lost it or donated it by accident. So I just asked if there was any way for me to get in contact with the owner who had lost it so I could send it back to them.”
Amazon could not—meaning that Markell was left with a Kindle that she nor anyone else could use.
@dogwithhumanhands0 Am I just crazy here? #greenscreen #thriftfind #theiftscore #amazon ♬ original sound – Markell
Over the course of the video, Markell tries various methods to try to remedy the situation. She offers to send the Kindle back to Amazon, to send it to recycling, and more, with Amazon providing no assistance on any front.
“This got my conspiracy brain rolling,” she says. “Because at the end of the day, I understand why you’d want to mark your device as stolen so the person who stole it couldn’t use it…but at the same time, if it makes it unusable forever, that seems like such a waste, right?”
Markell then says that the Kindle could show methods for returning the stolen or lost device on the screen in lieu of completely locking the device.
“But it’s not set up that way, because Jeff Bezos doesn’t want you to get your Kindle back,” Markell details. “He wants me to throw this Kindle away, and the person who lost their Kindle to buy a brand new Kindle.”
In the comments section, many users insisted that there must be a way to use the device or return it to its rightful owner.
“There is 100% a way to get you into the device,” offered a commenter. “You just need to find the right person or instructions!”
“Have you tried ‘forgot password’? to see if you get lucky and the email is a 1st and last name?” suggested another.
“I would take it to a best buy or something and see if they can help. this is just a way to get you to buy another,” stated a third.
That said, several users claimed to have encountered similar issues.
“I have a brand NEW kindle that has a glitch and had the same experience,” alleged a commenter. “There’s no support and I just wanted my kindle to work!”
“We had a similar situation,” shared a second. “we bought my son a Mac at the thrift store and the old owner was still logged in. Wound up bringing it back.”
“U have to pay full price to activate it. My sister bought a stolen kindle and they were no help reactivating it,” recalled an additional TikToker.
The Daily Dot reached out to Amazon via email and Markell via TikTok comment.