A Calgary record collector who spent months pursuing Canada Post for a lost parcel containing 40 records from a French band says he found them himself — on eBay.

Al Cohen, whose family owns a record store in the Inglewood neighbourhood, said the experience left a bad taste in his mouth.

"I don't know what's going on. Something's going wrong," he said. "Do I have to be an investigator for them?"

The ordeal began when Cohen ordered 40 copies of a record from the obscure reggae group Stand High Patrol. The band said it was the only order outside Europe that it had ever received.

The box never arrived, so Cohen said he called Canada Post repeatedly.

Even with the tracking information, they couldn't tell him anything about the parcel.

"For months and months this kind of went on," he said.

Then Cohen received a letter from Canada Post stating the box had been found in a warehouse in Ontario for "undeliverables," even though it had his address on it. But the box was empty.

Cohen found all 40 records on eBay.

Shocked at eBay discovery

"Just for giggles, I was on eBay and ... checked to see if anybody was selling them ... and somebody was selling the exact amount of copies that I had ordered," he said. 

Cohen contacted the Ontario sellers and was told they had bought the records at an auction through the company that buys all of Canada Post's undeliverable items.

A spokesperson for Canada Post says it's not known why the box wasn't delivered or how the parcel got separated from its contents. But since the records were sent from France, this is the responsibility of that country's post office, the spokesperson said.

"Our policy is that we keep things in our system for up to seven months to try and connect with the addressee or the sender," said John Caines.

"In this case that never happened, and then after that they go to public auction like other couriers do."

He said packaging may have played a role, and reminds those sending mail this holiday season to package it properly.

"If you package things properly in a good hard corrugated cardboard — if you wrap it in good strong wrapping paper and put good wrapping tape on it — the chances of it surviving any mishaps through the operation are very good," said Caines.

Canada Post said it does understand Cohen's frustration, but Cohen said it's of little comfort to him as it's too little too late.

However, the band did send him a replacement shipment.