Jim Edwards has offered tips to “avoid receiving stolen, ‘pirated’, or ‘bootlegged’ merchandise via online auction sites”.

Jim Edwards has offered tips to “avoid receiving stolen, ‘pirated’, or ‘bootlegged’ merchandise via online auction sites”.

The tips include:

– Be skeptical if the product you are buying is not created by the person who is selling it.

– Use search engines like Google to do a research on the product and the person.

– Be wary of expressions such as: “Attention eBay Staff: I have full resell rights to this product”

– Check the sellers feedback.

Read Jim Edward’s blog post here:

Did You Buy Stolen Merchandise?

Did You Buy Stolen Merchandise?

– by Jim Edwards

© 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 become skeptical.

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 support link.

Nobody wins when seller theft on auction sites goes unreported and unchallenged.

Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the
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