eBayer Learns It’s Called ‘A Steal’ For A Reason
A German court decided it couldn’t convict an eBayer because it thought he should have known better, even if buying stolen property is illegal.
A 47-year-old software engineer was convicted for purchasing a stolen car navigation system from eBay, brand new for a third of the price. Originally, a lower court said he the well-below-market price should have been a red flag that the merchandise was stolen.
Ignorance may be no excuse in many courts, but was sufficient enough to get this man off the hook. On appeal, a higher court overturned that conviction.
CSO Online has a lengthy article about how retailers can fight back against thieves who sell stolen merchandise on eBay. Though not hard and fast laws, CSO also issues these warning signs for auction listings as indicators of potentially stolen merchandise:
· Merchandise listed as NWT, or "new with tags"
· Price below wholesale
· Large lots (perhaps 50 or more of one kind of item, in various sizes)
· Multiple items offered by one seller
· Goods from the company’s latest product line
· Items that are not yet available in stores
· Products that match the description of goods recently stolen in quantity
· Sellers whose ZIP codes are in the same area as recent thefts
· Gift cards, especially in large amounts and from various retailers
· Short auctions (because the seller may be trying to evade detection)
· Sellers who require money orders rather than easily traced PayPal