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Alright, everybody loves a great deal right? It not only feels good to score a sweet deal, but it also follows the financial golden rule of saving money.
It may seem like a good idea at the time, but it is possible to go too far in the quest to save money.
If you are described as frugal then you have most likely purchased goods from online sources such as Craigslist or Ebay a questionably low prices on more than one occasion, sometimes maybe even from questionable people. So what if some of the goods purchased "fell off the back of a truck" right? Wrong, this is what is called stolen goods and it is illegal.
In the bottom line, it doesn't matter if you knew items purchased were stolen goods or not. If you are found with stolen goods, you are breaking the law and can be charged with possession of stolen goods. Is it really worth having possession of stolen goods on your permanent record and risk incarceration over saving few hundred dollars?
Run an inquiry on Stolen-Property.com and/or one of the other online stolen property databases to see if an item of interest has been reported as stolen goods. On Stolen-Property.com, as well as other online stolen property databases, a user can list important information such as serial number, a detailed description and even photos of stolen goods. Although there is no guarantee that the owner reported the stolen goods online, it is always a good first step in investigating a "too good to be true" deal.
Avoid purchasing "hot item" stolen goods from strangers. A "hot item" is stolen goods that are sold much more ofter than others. Learn what items these are and avoid buying them online. A few examples of commonly sold stolen goods are high-end liquor, Blu-ray movie discs and Dyson vacuums. The National Retail Federation recommends buying items such as these from authorized and established retailers only.
When in doubt, follow mom's wise advise "if it seems too good to be true, it is," and walk away. Always trust your gut instinct, if you sense red flags, suspicious behavior, questionable stories or just have a bad feeling about a deal, don't take a chance. It's better to spend a extra and get what you paid for.
So you can't quite shake your deep love of a serious discount? Well, there are ways to get great deals on stolen goods legally! There are businesses that specialize in selling or auctioning stolen goods or confiscated goods. One such example is PropertyRoom.com, a police auction website founded in 1999 that specializes in this service.
Always bear in mind that buying stolen goods encourages and increases crime. Buying stolen goods to one day lead to legal problems, your purchases being confiscated or even a karma-matic event of having your things stolen. At the end of the day, being honest and knowing your property is not illegal is a way better feeling than knowing in the back of your mind that some things you have are stolen goods and you are profiting from someone else's sorrow.