Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

The legal way to buy stolen goods


GERMANY/Don’t let the headline fool you.  It is still illegal to buy stolen goods … unless you’re buying them from the police.

In the same way that eBay is the world’s virtual garage sale, a website called Property Room is trying to become the world’s virtual police auction.

Founded in 1999, the website has partnered with 1,600 law enforcement agencies around the country to sell unwanted or unclaimed recovered property.

Although the latest statistics from the U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation show crime decreasing across the country, property crimes here, in Chicago, apparently rose 4 percent between 2007 and 2008–the latest numbers available.  From a wider view, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that property crimes account for about 75 percent of all personal and property crimes committed in 2006.

It’s open-mike day at eBay!

Wall Street technology investors spent much of Wednesday at eBay‘s San Jose campus listening to the online giant defend its company, especially its slowing marketplaces unit.

And for anyone doubting the relevance of eBay’s site in today’s crowded e-commerce field, Mark Carges, the chief technology officer of marketplaces, set them straight.