Did You Buy Stolen Merchandise?
– by Jim Edwards
Â© Jim Edwards – All Rights reserved
In a recent article, I wrote about how owners of ebooks,
software, CDs and other intellectual property can keep from
getting ripped off through online auction sites such as eBay
and Yahoo auctions.
By popular request (a slew of emails), we’ll now discuss how
buyers can avoid receiving stolen, “pirated,” or
“bootlegged” merchandise via online auction sites.
Nobody wants to knowingly receive stolen merchandise and the
following tips should help you avoid trouble.
Digital downloads such as ebooks, MP3 audio files, and
software represent the easiest products to sell illegally on
an auction site.
The seller obtains a copy of the file, puts up an auction
listing, and then delivers the file to the successful
bidder(s) via email or website download.
Because it’s so easy, that’s where many people start their
lives of online crime.
Unfortunately for the buyer, this can lead to hot water with
the rightful product owner.
** Smart Buying Tips for Digital Download Products:
First, if the person you’re buying the product from didn’t
create the product (they aren’t the author), immediately
Do a little research on the author, name of the ebook, and
any other information you can find out (Google.com makes a
great starting point).
See if you can find where the author is actually selling
resell rights to their product and, if in doubt, contact the
author to see if others have permission to sell their
product at online auctions.
Second, when you see an auction with verbiage such as
“Attention eBay Staff: I have full resell rights to this
product” get suspicious.
The only reason someone puts that on their auction is if
they’ve gotten shut down before or they’re worried they will
get shut down if anyone notices them.
A real business person doesn’t need to place such a
disclaimer on a legitimate auction.
Third, check the seller’s feedback. Sometimes, the rightful
owner of the ebook or software will purchase the product
being sold illegally and then leave negative feedback
advising people not to buy from that seller.
** Physical Product Purchase Tips:
Illegal CDs and DVDs represent one of the biggest illegal
sellers at online auctions when it comes to music, software,
movies and educational courses.
An excellent rule of thumb: if they are selling more than
one copy (or have held more than one auction for the same
product) you need to dig a little deeper.
Ask the seller how they came into possession of more than
one copy, especially if it’s an expensive software package
or educational course.
Also, ask if the advertised item is an original. If it’s a
copy, steer clear and do not buy it.
Another warning sign involves a seller with multiple
quantities of never-been-opened merchandise selling for
pennies on the dollar.
For example, someone selling 20 brand-new Dell computers
that regularly go for $1,500 with a “Buy Now” price of only
$200 should raise your suspicions.
If you suspect someone of selling stolen merchandise or
illegally selling downloadable products, report your
suspicions to the auction service immediately via their
Nobody wins when seller theft on auction sites goes
unreported and unchallenged.
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the
creator of an amazing course that will teach you step-by-
step and click-by-click how to finally create your own
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