November 23, 2004 An innovative new service from Australian company Postbak offers a convenient way for people to do the right thing and return lost items. Postbak works by labelling your goods with marked security stickers that offer a reward for the return of the lost article and provide a 1-800 freecall number and website where the find can be reported. The item which is then picked up by courier for next-day delivery to its owner.

The entire return process is managed by Postbak and thus reduces security concerns over meeting strangers who may have your goods.

A Postbak Pak comes with 6 security labels that adhere to most surfaces. Each security label contains a unique ID number that identifies the item and protects the owner's privacy. A reward notice on the sticker motivates people to return the found items in exchange for a free gift pak of Postbak labels worth AUD$39.00, and owners can also nominate extra rewards.

There is no service fee once labels have been bought and users have registered with the company but an AUD$25.00 handling fee plus shipping costs applies in the event of a lost item being handed in - which is usually a lot less than replacing the original item.

Lost and Found statistics

• Sydney Ferries collects up to 150 items per day, mostly mobile phones

• Telstra Stadium maintenance workers turn in an average of 70 mobile phones per event • The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association reports that approximately 2,000 mobile phones are lost or stolen each week.

• NRMA responds to 500 calls per day in NSW and ACT to unlock cars where people have lost their keys.