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Receiving stolen property-Ebay

Old 02-07-06, 08:32 PM
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Receiving stolen property-Ebay

I have said before that if you see a crazy deal on Ebay for a new bike part it is probably stolen. Well...

A performance employee just got caught with 70 stolen Chris King headsets. They caught him after King questioned why they needed so many so soon after a previous order. A search of Ebay showed them up for sale. A search of prior sales showed he had sold more than $40,000 dollars worth of stolen Performance inventory. Thru Ebays records, the seller was found out.
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Old 02-07-06, 08:36 PM
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And Ebay, the theft enabler, walks away clean.
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Old 02-07-06, 08:45 PM
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And Ebay, the theft enabler, walks away clean.
Most car companies should be bankrupt if they are prosecuted everytime there's a bank robbery in town....
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Old 02-07-06, 08:54 PM
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Ebay is just the action house, no different than the three antique auction places within a short drive of my home. It is not really their obligation or responsibility to ask me where or how I obtained what I might wish to sell thru them.
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Old 02-07-06, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by chicbicyclist
Most car companies should be bankrupt if they are prosecuted everytime there's a bank robbery in town....

Sure. But most fences go to prison when caught.
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Old 02-07-06, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Fibber
Ebay is just the action house, no different than the three antique auction places within a short drive of my home. It is not really their obligation or responsibility to ask me where or how I obtained what I might wish to sell thru them.

You sure? Call one of them up, tell them you'd like to sell them some rare, hard-to-find antiques with no provenance, and see how well they react.
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Old 02-07-06, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by chicbicyclist
Most car companies should be bankrupt if they are prosecuted everytime there's a bank robbery in town....
Well, if the local car dealer knew that somebody was buying cars from him in order to rob banks, and he sold the cars to the bank robber anyway, he would be considered an accomplice. So he could bury his head in the sand and say he doesn't want to know what the cars are being used for.

Still an accomplice.

But hey-- why should Ebay deny access to bike thieves, when there's a percentage to be made?
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Old 02-07-06, 09:07 PM
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What about the person that buys a NIB Fox RLT100 for $250? Not even Fox employees get them that cheap. It is stolen. If the populace could resist the impossible deal, there would be no theft, or grifting for that matter.
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Old 02-07-06, 09:17 PM
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Having worked several sordid years in two different pawnshops, I'm familiar with stolen goods.

Sometimes, its as if the stuff is virtually falling off the trucks and into the hands of people bringing the stuff in through the door in caseloads.

many times its a lot tougher to detect hot goods, and ebay makes it virtually impossible to tell if somethings stolen.

low prices mean nothing on ebay, its what the site is built on. Asking a consumer to not go for the low price is disavowing capitalism. Ebay has been slow to act, or fails to act and remove sellers of fraudlent or counterfeit goods off the site, however.

Last edited by Bekologist; 02-07-06 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 02-07-06, 09:28 PM
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True but there is difference between a fair auction with a low final price and some of the "buy it now" pricing. There is a price below which the item can only be for sale if it is stolen. We have a guy with ten years managing pawn shops before he reached his B.S. limit. He knows the mind of the the thief. I have a brother who is a habitual offender, i know the mind of a thief. No one sells something for nothing unless they have nothing in it.
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Old 02-07-06, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
I have said before that if you see a crazy deal on Ebay for a new bike part it is probably stolen. Well...

A performance employee just got caught with 70 stolen Chris King headsets. They caught him after King questioned why they needed so many so soon after a previous order. A search of Ebay showed them up for sale. A search of prior sales showed he had sold more than $40,000 dollars worth of stolen Performance inventory. Thru Ebays records, the seller was found out.
Thanks for keeping us up to date Rev.Chuck. I wonder what is going to happen to those who received the stolen goods. In some states, that merchandise would be recovered and returned and the buyer is out of their money. This could get interesting!
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Old 02-07-06, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
...i know the mind of a thief. No one sells something for nothing unless they have nothing in it.
True, but with some exceptions. I've reached a point in my life where possessions that I don't use are actually burdens. Things that you own have to be taken care of. If you don't use something, it doesn't matter what it's worth (or what you paid for it), it is just a burden. I've currently got a pair of wheels listed on e-Bay that are worth $100. But since I no longer have a bike that they fit (and don't intend to ever again own such a bike), I've listed the wheels at 0.99 with no reserve. I'm less interested in maximizing profit than in minimizing my possessions.

The wheels aren't stolen, I just don't need them any more. If they sell for the $100 that they're worth, fine. If they don't then some happy bidder (who wants and needs the wheels) will have gotten a bargain, and I'll have one less useless item to store in my (already overcrowded) home.

This is a perspective that comes with both time and financial stability. If you don't understand what I'm talking about, one day you will...
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Old 02-07-06, 10:14 PM
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Ah, yes. But your wheels are used. The stuff I often see is NIB(new in box) I sell old stuff with little or no initial bid as well. Because it often does better than if I start with a realistic initial offer and I just want to get it out of my shop.
However, the guy with the brand new fork, in the box, uncut steerer, selling it for a third of retail. Now that fork is stolen or its seller is very, very stupid. I know wholesale pricing, so I know when something is up for less than it cost to buy. The only way new items are sold for less than their wholesale cost, except for dire financial reversal, are when the seller has no money in them to begin with.
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Old 02-07-06, 10:16 PM
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I sell stuff for what the market will bear, and sometimes at a great deal! just to give someone something cool at a fair price.

As far as pawnbroking goes, it was common for people to accept %5 of the new price of an item. Even when its all %100 legit. This is used goods, not brand new in box.

Brand new in box, 25% of new was a lot to offer, and many people would accept less than %20 of retail cost for brand new goods. Brand new in the box, though, I assumed a lot of that was stolen when it came thru. And a lot of pawnshops sell brand new in the box on ebay. Some of them are up front about it, many are more shielded.

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Old 02-07-06, 10:28 PM
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In NC a pawnbroker will not survive long on stolen goods(One in Durham got shut down after buying several stolen new backpack blowers from a shop I worked for around 2001). The record keeping is so tight, many of them no longer deal in guns, a classic staple of the pawn shop.
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Old 02-08-06, 06:11 AM
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Good point, one I have never considered. I buy a lot of bike parts off ebay; buying local in Oz is just too damned expensive compared to US shop prices - I wish we had a Nashbar. Ebay gives relief.

But I don't know the bare minimum prices for parts, so how would I know if it might be stolen? Not knowing is no excuse. The right moral choice now compels me to need to know, so what should I do?
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Old 02-08-06, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Blue Order
And Ebay, the theft enabler, walks away clean.
- yep, and e-ripoff-bay is going to court!

- my guess is that there will be an out-of-court settlement...
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Old 02-08-06, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by brokenrobot
You sure? Call one of them up, tell them you'd like to sell them some rare, hard-to-find antiques with no provenance, and see how well they react.
Remember, when you sell using an auction house, you are not selling it to them, you are selling it thru them. So no, if I wish to sell something from my collection thru a local brick-&-mortor auction house, there is really no reason for them to ask the origin, how long I have owned it, what I paid for it, etc.

A pawn broker is technically different from an auction house. In this case, they are essentially purchasing the item. If you return, they sell it back to you at a profit. If you do not, they sell it for what the market will bear. It this case, they need to protect themselves from being the purveyor of stolen goods.

I agree, however, that when someone has 50 of an item, and it is being sold (new) for pennies on the dollar, it should raise some red flags with both the venue (ebay), and potential buyers. But is it practical to expect ebay to investigate the source of goods for literally millions of auctions taking place each week? Maybe, sellers should have to sign a disclosure statement listing source and references when quantity or price meet some reasonable limit of questionability?
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Old 02-08-06, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
I've currently got a pair of wheels listed on e-Bay that are worth $100. But since I no longer have a bike that they fit (and don't intend to ever again own such a bike), I've listed the wheels at 0.99 with no reserve. I'm less interested in maximizing profit than in minimizing my possessions.
Auction number please
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Old 02-08-06, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Cadd
Auction number please
7217216447
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Old 02-08-06, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
I have said before that if you see a crazy deal on Ebay for a new bike part it is probably stolen. Well...

A performance employee just got caught with 70 stolen Chris King headsets. They caught him after King questioned why they needed so many so soon after a previous order. A search of Ebay showed them up for sale. A search of prior sales showed he had sold more than $40,000 dollars worth of stolen Performance inventory. Thru Ebays records, the seller was found out.
That's one heck of a high volume bike bussiness to have that much be missing.
Maybe Performance will improve inventory contol too. That's a lot to go unoticed.
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Old 02-08-06, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck
Ah, yes. But your wheels are used. The stuff I often see is NIB...The only way new items are sold for less than their wholesale cost, except for dire financial reversal, are when the seller has no money in them to begin with.
Again, you're generally right, but there are exceptions. I used to buy bike stuff in lots off e-Bay, cull out what I wanted to keep, and resell the rest back on e-Bay. Often, the lot I purchased would have a number of NIB items included. When I sold these, I advertised them as NIB, and sold them that way, even though they were not stolen. As a matter of fact, I have a Campy BB on e-Bay right now that is NIB with the $29.99 price tag still on the box from Competitive Cyclist. It is now on e-Bay for $5. I bought this one (brand new from Competitive Cyclist) earlier this year for a bike that I ended up selling before I got around to installing the new BB. Now, I'm stuck with a NIB part that I've no further use for. Obviously, if I was selling 50 identical NIB parts, the question of provenence would arise, but with single items, I believe the majority of auctions are legit.

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Old 02-08-06, 09:31 AM
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Yeah, I would have to say shame on performance bike. They are really lacking some internal controls there. Given the lack of controls, I would expect that there to be a substantial theft scheme going on there and not just by this guy. Given the opportunity, 25% of employees will steal from their employers.
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Old 02-08-06, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by unsuspended
Yeah, I would have to say shame on performance bike. They are really lacking some internal controls there. Given the lack of controls, I would expect that there to be a substantial theft scheme going on there and not just by this guy. Given the opportunity, 25% of employees will steal from their employers.
I'm wondering how many of the 'Performance SUX!!!' threads started on this site actually were because someone had stolen the part they ordered and was selling it on ebay...
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Old 02-08-06, 10:42 AM
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I've sold new stuff on ebay that I bought, never used, and for whatever reason couldn't return. Took a bath on it, too. There's lots of legit reasons to sell new stuff.

I think this particular story illustrates why stuff on ebay is unlikely to be stolen -- there's too much of a paper trail and it's too easy to get caught. It's out there for the world to see. How long do you think it took Performance to find this guy once they realized they had a problem? I can't imagine that a serious thief would take that kind of risk.

I'm still wondering where all the stolen bikes end up -- although I have heard persistent rumors that certain local bike shops don't ask too many questions about where certain things come from...
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