Finding A Good Deal On eBay No Longer A Crime In Germany

from the phew dept

A German court has thankfully overturned an earlier ruling where a man was found guilty of buying stolen goods on eBay after he bought a GPS navigation system cheaply via auction. The guy had no clue it was stolen, but a lower court said he should have known since it was so cheap. That seems like an odd ruling, since eBay, as an auction site, has a huge range of prices — and sometimes you really can find quite cheap items. Luckily, the higher court has overturned the ruling, finding that the man couldn’t have known the GPS device was stolen. If the ruling had been upheld, just imagine the liability for finding a good deal on eBay?

Filed Under: ,
Companies: ebay

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Finding A Good Deal On eBay No Longer A Crime In Germany”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Danny says:

Heart in the right place?

I get the feeling that the lower court’s decision was based on the desire to combat ebay fraud (and if you think everyone on ebay is honest I want to know what you’re smoking and how much for a gram of it). Obviously the price of an item is no sure fire way to spot fraud and stolen goods but it is nice to see that someone is thinking.

Poomer says:

Re: Heart in the right place?

Genralizing low price as a “flag” in a fraud monitoring system: beliving too much in a detection/monitoring systems can be very dangerous. Even a 99.99%-accuracy-proven system always has false positives and false negatives and actually legislatively acting upon these “flags” can lead to chaos…

nipseyrussell says:

Re: Heart in the right place?

“Heart in the right place? by Danny: I get the feeling that the lower court’s decision was based on the desire to combat ebay fraud… it is nice to see that someone is thinking.”
wow! its amazing to see that someone can read the same thing and come away with a totally different (and wrong) opinion. the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and its this same “well something must be done, so we’ll do something, no matter how useless and damaging” attitude that gets terrible laws passed. Do you think this poor german schmuck who was convicted for getting a good deal on e-bay thinks this is “nice”???

Danny says:

Re: Re: Heart in the right place?

No the notion of “I want to do good,” is not the same as “I want to look good.” Just as there are politicians that push for laws just so they can get a few extra votes and have a nice sound byte to add to their campaign there are a some out there that do want to do good but don’t understand what they are getting into.

I’m sure the guy that was convicted did not think it was nice but at the same time expecting courts to put down a perfect ruling each and evertime is a pipe dream, for now.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions but that does not mean that every good intention will take you to hell.

Overcast says:

Is buying stolen goods as bad as actually stealing? Should the answer change if the goods were bought knowlingly or not knowling?

Certainly… at least from a Moral standpoint… If you don’t know the goods are stolen, what can you do? If you do know they are stolen, then yeah – it’s the same as stealing, IMO.

But heck – anyone who has bought good from E-bay, Pawn Shop, Flea Market… you just never know, could have been stolen goods.

TheDock22 says:

Not a moral issue

This isn’t a moral issue since the guy probably did not know the goods were stolen. It would be wrong if the guy kept the stolen goods rather than giving them back to the rightful owner, but he does not deserve jail time over this.

This is another one of those assume the person is guilty sort of things. If he was given the option to buy a legit GPS, buy a stolen GPS for an extremely low price, or steal one himself I bet he would buy a legit one. One the other hand, the lower court probably had a pretty good reason to convict him in the first place other than he might have known this GPS was stolen.

All in all, he who stole the item in the first place should be punished, not the victims of fraud afterwards.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...