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Time to stop eBay selling stolen bikes



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 30th 10, 12:46 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Mike Jacoubowsky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,972
Default Time to stop eBay selling stolen bikes

(Something I posted on our website today, hoping that one of my customers
might have connections at eBay)

01/29/10- TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT STOLEN BIKES SOLD ON EBAY! In the last
few months, we've helped recover two of our customer's bikes that were
stolen from them and sold on eBay. One of them, a pretty expensive Trek
Project One, was spotted by Becky (my daughter and our Project One "Queen")
in a search through eBay after the customer had reported it stolen. Great
that we're able to reunite our customers with their bikes once in a while,
but... you really have to wonder what percentage of product people buy on
eBay is, in fact, stolen. The bike Becky located was from a
supposedly-reputable seller, so positive feedback isn't a good indication
that all is right with the sale.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? I have an idea, one that could dramatically cut
down on eBay being used to fence stolen goods. For items that have serial
numbers, require that they're disclosed by the seller. That way, it's easy
for someone to do a search and find something. You could argue that the
seller could report an incorrect serial number, but that would come back to
them through the feedback mechanism (somebody buying a product and having it
arrive with a different serial number would report it).

WHY WON'T THIS EASILY HAPPEN? Because eBay makes a ton of money selling
stolen merchandise. We're talking many hundreds of millions of dollars over
the years. Enough that they'd rather turn a blind eye towards most of it
while insisting that they do everything they can to cooperate with law
enforcement agencies.

IF YOU GOT CAUGHT HELPING SOMEONE FENCE STOLEN MERCHANDISE, you could go to
jail. As far as I know, nobody from eBay has ever gone to jail for doing so.
I'm not suggesting the should; I'm just saying that this one simple thing
I've proposed, posting serial numbers of bicycles (and other serialized
items), would dramatically cut down on the use of eBay to sell them. And if
the single biggest market for stolen bicycles dried up, there would be a lot
less incentive to steal them.

If anyone reading this has connections to someone who could do something
about it, please send me an email. I would gladly devote a fair amount of
effort trying to reduce the number of bicycles stolen from my customers.
Thanks- --Mike--


--Mike Jacoubowsky
Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReaction.com
Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA

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  #2  
Old January 30th 10, 11:42 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 320
Default Time to stop eBay selling stolen bikes

On Jan 29, 6:46*pm, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
wrote:
(Something I posted on our website today, hoping that one of my customers
might have connections at eBay)

01/29/10- TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT STOLEN BIKES SOLD ON EBAY! In the last
few months, we've helped recover two of our customer's bikes that were
stolen from them and sold on eBay. One of them, a pretty expensive Trek
Project One, was spotted by Becky (my daughter and our Project One "Queen")
in a search through eBay after the customer had reported it stolen. Great
that we're able to reunite our customers with their bikes once in a while,
but... you really have to wonder what percentage of product people buy on
eBay is, in fact, stolen. The bike Becky located was from a
supposedly-reputable seller, so positive feedback isn't a good indication
that all is right with the sale.

WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? I have an idea, one that could dramatically cut
down on eBay being used to fence stolen goods. For items that have serial
numbers, require that they're disclosed by the seller. That way, it's easy
for someone to do a search and find something. You could argue that the
seller could report an incorrect serial number, but that would come back to
them through the feedback mechanism (somebody buying a product and having it
arrive with a different serial number would report it).

WHY WON'T THIS EASILY HAPPEN? Because eBay makes a ton of money selling
stolen merchandise. We're talking many hundreds of millions of dollars over
the years. Enough that they'd rather turn a blind eye towards most of it
while insisting that they do everything they can to cooperate with law
enforcement agencies.

IF YOU GOT CAUGHT HELPING SOMEONE FENCE STOLEN MERCHANDISE, you could go to
jail. As far as I know, nobody from eBay has ever gone to jail for doing so.
I'm not suggesting the should; I'm just saying that this one simple thing
I've proposed, posting serial numbers of bicycles (and other serialized
items), would dramatically cut down on the use of eBay to sell them. And if
the single biggest market for stolen bicycles dried up, there would be a lot
less incentive to steal them.

If anyone reading this has connections to someone who could do something
about it, please send me an email. I would gladly devote a fair amount of
effort trying to reduce the number of bicycles stolen from my customers.
Thanks- *--Mike--

--Mike Jacoubowsky
Chain Reaction Bicycleswww.ChainReaction.com
Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA


This sounds like a great idea, Mike.

Personally I think bike thieves should be treated like horse theives
were, years ago.

Lewis.

*****
  #3  
Old February 2nd 10, 02:19 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Ron Wallenfang
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 414
Default Time to stop eBay selling stolen bikes

On Jan 30, 5:42*am, " wrote:
On Jan 29, 6:46*pm, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
wrote:





(Something I posted on our website today, hoping that one of my customers
might have connections at eBay)


01/29/10- TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT STOLEN BIKES SOLD ON EBAY! In the last
few months, we've helped recover two of our customer's bikes that were
stolen from them and sold on eBay. One of them, a pretty expensive Trek
Project One, was spotted by Becky (my daughter and our Project One "Queen")
in a search through eBay after the customer had reported it stolen. Great
that we're able to reunite our customers with their bikes once in a while,
but... you really have to wonder what percentage of product people buy on
eBay is, in fact, stolen. The bike Becky located was from a
supposedly-reputable seller, so positive feedback isn't a good indication
that all is right with the sale.


WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? I have an idea, one that could dramatically cut
down on eBay being used to fence stolen goods. For items that have serial
numbers, require that they're disclosed by the seller. That way, it's easy
for someone to do a search and find something. You could argue that the
seller could report an incorrect serial number, but that would come back to
them through the feedback mechanism (somebody buying a product and having it
arrive with a different serial number would report it).


WHY WON'T THIS EASILY HAPPEN? Because eBay makes a ton of money selling
stolen merchandise. We're talking many hundreds of millions of dollars over
the years. Enough that they'd rather turn a blind eye towards most of it
while insisting that they do everything they can to cooperate with law
enforcement agencies.


IF YOU GOT CAUGHT HELPING SOMEONE FENCE STOLEN MERCHANDISE, you could go to
jail. As far as I know, nobody from eBay has ever gone to jail for doing so.
I'm not suggesting the should; I'm just saying that this one simple thing
I've proposed, posting serial numbers of bicycles (and other serialized
items), would dramatically cut down on the use of eBay to sell them. And if
the single biggest market for stolen bicycles dried up, there would be a lot
less incentive to steal them.


If anyone reading this has connections to someone who could do something
about it, please send me an email. I would gladly devote a fair amount of
effort trying to reduce the number of bicycles stolen from my customers..
Thanks- *--Mike--


--Mike Jacoubowsky
Chain Reaction Bicycleswww.ChainReaction.com
Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA


This sounds like a great idea, Mike.

Personally I think bike thieves should be treated like horse theives
were, years ago.

Lewis.

*****- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


Sorry I don't have any e-bay connections, but I also heartliy endorse
the idea. Over the course of 40 years,I've had 3 bicycles stolen and
wondered what became of them. I also had a clarinet stolen many years
ago, when I imprudently left it sitting in a bus station lobby while I
went to the men's room. They also have serial numbers and are even
less likely than bikes to actually be used by the thief. But I never
saw it again; perhaps a pawn shop fenced it; I have no idea. (BTW, I
am still a clarinet player; it's good not to be single-mindedly
obsessed by biking! But I bike to most of the rehearsals and
concerts.)

More recently, I gave one older bicycle to a daughter who in due
course sold it at a yard sale and it was stolen from her buyer. I
happened to have licensed it in the Village of Germantown, and when it
was found abandoned by the police 20 miles away, they called
Germantown and got my name, and the bike made its way back to the
owner. So IDs can make a difference.
  #4  
Old May 24th 10, 12:54 PM
mischastar mischastar is offline
Member
 
First recorded activity by CycleBanter: Feb 2010
Posts: 59
Default

Sounds like an absolutely brilliant idea - in theory!

The problem with ideas like this is that they are exceptionally difficult to regulate and administrate. It would require e-bay re-designing the way in which things are sold on the internet and also extra work on tracking and validating serial numbers in order for it to work.

The seller could make up a serial number and although they would be reported, it would be down to another department to chase all these reports up and ensure the sellers were caught.

Obviously, with the amount of stolen goods being sold, it would be exceptionally difficult to do this. There is also the problem of claiming ownership. If you found you product by typing in the serial number, it may be that the seller has received it from somewhere else or even a shop, then it is a long chain of exchanges before you could find the theif. What would this mean for the seller on e-bay? As far as they are aware, they own a legitimate product.

I am not saying I agree with stolen goods being sold, I just think it is something which may take huge amounts of time and investment in order to solve the issue. I doubt that this time and investment will be made by e-bay in the near future.
 




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