eBay Used For Shoplifting Pre-Sales Efforts

from the so-there-are-my-stolen-goods... dept

Criminals using eBay as a way to sell what they’ve stolen is nothing new at all. We’ve even had stories (from years ago) about people finding their own stolen goods on eBay. However, it appears that the “professionals” in retailing loss prevention are finally catching on. At a recent conference on retail fraud, there was apparently an entire session devoted to eBay’s role in the loss prevention world. Among the points in the article is that many loss prevention groups know they should be looking on eBay, but claim they don’t have the time to go after obvious thieves they spot there. They also note that the police are usually of little help. Still, perhaps the most fascinating issue in the story is that some are convinced that shoplifters are posting things to eBay before they steal goods. They see people posting clothing in various colors and sizes, and assume that these are “steal to order” deals, where the thief waits for an “order” and then goes into a store and steals the matching item.

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Comments on “eBay Used For Shoplifting Pre-Sales Efforts”

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Exiled From the mainstream says:


And I thought things couldnt get anymore silly. I can see the headlines for the newspapers! And then when the politicans see it they’ll jump on a wagon trying to kill eBay saying it’ll start selling child pornography or something along those lines!

“eBay the worlds new blackmarket! OMFG!!??!”

Yes I can see the headlines now. good grief…

(random disclaimer:my posts are in often in jest and good humor. please dont send hitmen after me congress)

Ben says:

Hearsay, hearsay...

I know a guy who knew a guy who did exactly this. He’d post lots of popular book titles online with lots of “We’ve got all kinds of books! Just ask!” tidbits in the description. Then he’d stroll into Barnes and Nobles and do his customers’ shopping for them.

He made a fortune on it, as I was told.

JerseyRich says:

Years ago I used to work the graveyard shift at a donut shop in a very seedy area (my own neighborhood, lol).

These drug addicts would show up trying to sell us stereos they had stolen out of cars. These guys were so regular, we started placing ORDERS for the kind of stereos we wanted! We would give them a general description and brand and they would come by with it when they “found” it.

I hate to admit, but I got a lot of smoking deals that way.

Now that I’m the one who actually buys my stuff at full price, I would frown on such behavior 😛

SPR (profile) says:

Re: The Police

I know this is off the subject but I could not this go without a response. The police are not only worthless, they are the enemy of the working class. Whenever a burgulary, rape, assult or any other crime in my neighborhood takes place, the police without fail respond by setting up a speed-trap!! They never solve any crime, and don’t even try!!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The Police

Not to say that the police should not try to SOLVE the crimes, however, in their defence it is effective in a heavy crime area to set up intense traffic monitoring.

The way it works is you make it so you get pulled over if you do ANYTHING illegal. Even if it’s driving 5 mph over the speed limit or rolling through a stop sign. This fosters the sense that the police are very active in that area, paying close attention, and just being dicks in general to anyone breaking ANY law and helps cut down on the crime.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The Police

So you’re saying the proper response to a report of a stolen car would be to monitor traffic and hand out $95 tickets to someone going 5mph over the limit? I see your point – potential criminals might be discouraged, but how many potential criminials do they encounter during traffic monitoring? My bet is on not many. They do more to piss off normal hard-working people who have to work a full day to pay off a ticket. Cops just robbed a working man.

I’m sorry my friend, but if I was driving and I got a ticket for not wearing my seatbelt, I’m going to be robbing someone’s house to make my money back.

Anyonymous Non-Coward (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: The Police

That’s it in a nutshell. I’ve had my stuff stolen, what did the cops do? They filed a report. And how many reports does it take to make a single arrest?

Now if the cops had come out, done just a shred of legwork, they’d have something to match the perp from my crime scene to other crime scenes and then they’d be able to nail the SOB for all of them, not just the one shoplifting incident, and the SOB would be in jail longer, off the street longer and stealing less.

But they didn’t. So: #1 I didnt’ get my stuff back. #2: the guy didn’t ‘pay’ for his crime, even if they caught him. #3: an ordinary citizen has less faith in the police because of it.

Oh, an don’t get me started on the SOB in uniform that pulled me over for doing 57 in a 55 and writing me a ticket for 65. (he followed me for over two miles, so there was no mistaking it, and he was right behind me, I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid.)

Adam Brown (user link) says:

How much time?

OK, I fully appreciate that our police are trying to lower crime but how many people are employeed to surf e-bay all day long? Who pays for this? E-Bay fraud is always international. Do small-town police get paid to look at ebay to discover frauds in other cities?

Me thinks that our money could be spent elsewhere more effectibely or that this should fall under the FBI’s jurisdiction since it’s interstate/international commerce.

Unbelievable says:

So what!

It doesn’t matter if the guy leaves his truck running overnight. We are supposed to be a civilized society and stealing is stealing and it’s WRONG. Blaming the guy for leaving his truck running is WRONG. We should be free to do whatever we want on our own property without theives stealing our property. You guys are idiots for blaming the victim and sticking up for the criminal…that shows you what our society has become.

slickriven says:

Re: Re: So what!

This is sad, we’ve completely missed the point of this news… that Ebay is making it easier for the scum of society to continue being scum and actually turn a profit.

Don’t look at the running truck as the example of this, think how many things regardless of what they are, where they are, or any other circumstances, theft is still theft, it is (should be) illegal and should be punished. I am all for chopping off the hands of theives, genetaila mutelation for sex offenders, and life in prison for murders, but when America has more lawers than school teachers that’s just not going to change… and if you don’t find it discusting and you find Ebay theives to be ‘geniouses’ then this country is really going down the tubes

me says:

Re: Re: Re: So what!

Really, we are going to chop hands off of people now? Are you willing to do it to a 16 year old kid? How about 11? I stole $5.00 from my mom’s purse when I was 5 or 6, hid it under a rock I felt so guilty, and then couldn’t find it again….I stole from my MOTHER!! No reason, wasn’t starving, had a nice house, even got an allowance. Depending on who has been posting what here lately I should be minus a hand, dead or at least in jail.

These are all arbitrary, knee-jerk punishments, none of them really equal the crime because the conditions/circumstances of said ‘crime’ ALWAYS change. Perhaps we ALL need to slow down and look at what we are doing to each other when we insist on categorizing and labeling one another (drug addict, hippie, right wing, etc) to prove some purely subjective “moral” code.

And I don’t think that this was intentional, but look at the decreasing level of punishment vs the increasing level of crime you posted? Chop the hand for stealing, but lock you in a room for murder?

Now my own personal beliefs are colouring my perceptions of what a harsh sentence is….

all I am trying to point out is that the coin doesn’t have two sides, it is infinite in number. Morality isn’t simple either – right and wrong are not the only two sides of that coin.

Bob says:

Im not defending the criminal. Im just sayin there will always be criminals because our country doesnt believe in strong punishments like cutting off hands when you steal ( I would be all for it and it would greatly reduce theft) but since we have such lax laws there will always be criminals and if youre stupid enough to make their job easier its your fault.

Xanthir says:

Re: Re: Re:

God, I hate myself so much for replying to this…

Basically, here’s the thing. Rumsfeld, especially, wanted Moussaoi (sp?) dead, no matter what. This is bad. Why? Not because we’re hippies, but because when you tell someone that they’re going to die no matter what, they have no incentive to help you. There is no possibility of a bargain. They’re dead whether they help you or not, so why not just clam up?

Plus, what’s worse: Lying on a sanitized table for a few minutes and getting a basically painless injection, or living in a small cell for 23 hours out of every day FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?

I’m a Texan, I’m a liberal, and I believe in the death penalty. Kill the murderers, the rapists, and so on. Don’t kill people who know things that may help our nation fight their friends. Or at least, don’t kill them until we’re done with them.

Anonymous Coward says:

I started reading a thread on Ebay thieves and ended on speeding traps. WTF do you all have A.D.D. I doubt many of you have enough knowledge of L.P to even post so its easy to whine about getting pulled over easier then to make a knowledgable post. And no shit thieves use Ebay, for you corperate guys that cant get the pencil out of your hands. I work front line L.P I prosecute the scum thieves, and unless they call me sir they will get a battery charge which puts them in robbery in the second and I hope they go away and there family starves. So sit behind your desk and let me handle this KtHks )

psuri says:

ebay seller sold me a stolen phone-what to do?

I purchased a phone for my son on ebay. When I called sprint to activate the phone they told me it is stolen. I paid $340 now seller wont refund and ebay paypal is not doing anything just reviewing the case for over a month. Seller is in another stae. Can someone suggest what can I do to file a complaint against the seller to get my money back?


curiously amused says:

ebay stealing,chopping off hands and hard-ons

well, this has been very fun to read as a whole. we all know that theives will always be theives and we will always be upgrading ways to fight and battle how they make their money. And we all know that it sucks when we as tax-payers have to buy a murderer 3 meals a day and cable tv for them for 120 years.,we also know if we leave our keys in the car, its not the wisest choice we can make and if you are honest yourself and happen to know any police, they do what they can, are told to do and have the ability to do in their area. Not that I’m backing the cops,but I know one and there is alot she’d like to be able to do but knows she can’t. so., not their fault. not anyone’s fault. why must we always find someone to blame? Facts are this…Someone is always trying to take advantage of you if you give them a chance., you don’t get something for nothing unless you steal it, You don’t get caught unless you get greedy and leave the kids hands alone. We aren’t in Pakistan where they cut your right hand off because you eat with your right hand and wipe your butt with your left and its a humilation to have to eat with your butt wiping hand. Come on people, we are Americans., left wing right wing and the god awful present government. Some of us make alot of money, some of us dont. some say stealing is bad, some love it… America, the melting pot of good and bad. 🙂 love it or leave it, ebay is just ebay. not some evil entity helping out shoplifters. shoplifters will find another avenue if ebay wasnt there. I know I would.

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