Warning Signs of Stolen Goods on eBay

These indicators, considered together, may help flag auctions of stolen goods conducted on eBay

Name-brand retailers who trawl eBay for their wares are likely to find thousands of auctions at any given moment. Experts know how to narrow the search to the most suspicious activity. Here are some of the things they look for.

  • Merchandise listed as NWT, or "new with tags"
  • Prices below wholesale
  • Large lots (perhaps 50 or more of one kind of item, in various sizes)
  • Multiple items offered by one seller
  • Goods from the company's latest product line
  • Items that are not yet available in stores
  • Products that match the description of goods recently stolen in quantity
  • Sellers whose ZIP codes are in the same area as recent thefts
  • Gift cards, especially in large amounts and from various retailers
  • Short auctions (because the seller may be trying to evade detection)
  • Sellers who require money orders rather than easily traced PayPal

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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