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EB Games selling stolen goods


MrJames
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Whenever I go to sell back anything to EB whether it be games or dvd's I always have to fill out paper work by law including all my personal information in case the property is reported stolen. I guess this law is a only a local effort to deter theft.

 

he said that's where they don't do a check and he can sell them without worrying about the police finding out he stole them

 

http://www.abcactionnews.com/stories/2004/...llofshame.shtml

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Depends upon what state you live in.

 

I suspect a few of my regular customers of trading stolen games. There's very little I can do about it. If I refused his business I'd be more likely to get slammed for poor customer service.

Pawn shops have been doing the same thing for years.

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I think this sucks. Basically what they seem to be saying is that even if she can prove she owned all the things she said was stolen and sold to EB, they still will not give them back to her. She has to buy them back.

 

I hope they did violate some law and someone throws the book at them for it. And I would like to see them pay oddles of money for fines. It is things like this that causes businesses to lose customers. IMHO what they should have done is 1) apologise and admit they screwed up. And 2) make sure the woman gets back the stuff she can prove she owns and not pay them for things that are legally her property. I don't want to see them get scammed by someone trying to get back more than they deserve, but if it is hers, then EB should give them back.

 

I don't shop at EB as a general rule. But reading something like this makes me want to stay even further away from them. :x

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I don't know about Florida, but correct procedure here is for the victim to inform the Police, who will seize the goods, and pass them on after deciding whether or not to prosecute the EB staff for handling stolen goods (if, as seems to be the implication, they were negligent in checking the 'owner' they bought them off), and leaving EB to sue the thief for the trade-in money.

 

Its something that happens fairly frequently, and UK shops are normally pretty good at taking all the details to cover themselves. Most US EB shops do this too; I think the real problem here for them is that it was apparently 'known' that this shop was negligent, and so a target for fencing.

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I don't think there's enough information in that ABC story to really accurately judge the situation.

 

Did the woman have proper documentation with her "proving" that EB had her games/machine, or did she just wander in & demand their return? That report sure makes it sound like the latter.

 

Was the EB sales assistante right in how he handled it? Not a chance - making her pay for the games was downright stupid, and I'm sure it's not company policy.

 

Was she stupid for actually /paying/ for them? Damn right.

 

Did EB break state law? Sure sounds like it, but I'm fairly sure a whole bunch of places do that.

 

I've read elsewhere online where EB gets slammed for accepting stolen goods - how the hell are they supposed to automatically know that something has been stolen??

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I used to wonder what all the negative EB fuss was about. The EB at my local mall was staffed by knowledgable gamers (if a little Xbox-centric) who were always helpful, never pushy. I've seen young punks trading-in stolen games, and though the clerks were aware that they were hot, they're was little they could do about it, save for asking embarrasing questions and giving the clear impression they were welcome to take the games elsewhere. The store had a recent upgrade and all the clerks I knew must have been fired. Now the store is staffed by older Type-A managers in matching corporate shirts who flack pre-orders and new releases and don't know what "Carve" is. I don't go in much anymore.

 

This article has sparked a raging debate on many boards. More than a few people seem quite sincere about never shopping at EB again over it (I never make those kinds of resolutions, I'm a slave to a good deal). EB's headquarters needs to set this right by changing their policy to reflect the law of each state. They'd also do well to give the victim replacement items (and more). I'm sure they could use bought-and-paid-for G4 coverage to show them in a good light.

 

Edit: Ooh, just noticed the "1 megabit" title button. Long-winded, ain't I? :P

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As far as the general quality of EB goes, it depends on your local store. My local one is staffed by gamers, not shirts, but they are gamers that are mature enough to not push their own agenda.

 

(The other extreme from the 'shirts' are these kids who bash systems and games that they don't like/understand).

 

As far as stolen goods, if you can prove the goods are yours you have good legal recourse. And I suspect any EB store will cooperate with your efforts to get your games back if you can prove they are yours and were stolen - otherwise this is a lawsuit and PR disaster in the making.

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Originally posted by adamsappel@Mar 8 2004, 09:25 AM

 

This article has sparked a raging debate on many boards. More than a few people seem quite sincere about never shopping at EB again over it (I never make those kinds of resolutions, I'm a slave to a good deal). EB's headquarters needs to set this right by changing their policy to reflect the law of each state. They'd also do well to give the victim replacement items (and more). I'm sure they could use bought-and-paid-for G4 coverage to show them in a good light.

 

I agree with you about being a slave to a good deal.

I can't stand shopping at our local Best Buy for the simple reason that they consistanly seem to hire people who know less about the technology available today than I do. But while they can not tell me what video game they have available, they sure can tell me I had better buy that memory card ASAP and the extra cords and controllers. Oh yeah, don't forget that $100 service/warrenty plan.

 

Hell, you can't even get them to call the next nearest store to find out if the other store has an item in stock that this store is out of. :wtf:

 

Yet, I still go back. Because they seem to always have the best prices on the things we want to buy. And everytime I leave I grind my teeth and say " I want to apply for a job there just so SOMEONE in the freaking store can say that they actually know something about some product they sell in there. "

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I never have to fill out paperwork @ my EB when I sell back used games. I think what this particular EB did in the news story is complete bullshit. They violated the law, and made the vicitm pay twice as much to get her goods back. As much business as EB does, you'd think corporate would have stepped in, given her stuff back free of charge and gave her a PS2, especially with the news coverage they recieved.

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"We were just trying to verify that everything Michelle Doganis said was true."

 

Where does it say that she provided the EB with the police report? Where does it say that she pursued all reasonable avenues of recourse, such as contacting corporate, explaining the situation, and provided them with the same police report. Where does it say how much time she gave them to validate her claim? Where are the dates and times?

 

As far as I know, when they wouldn't immediately give her back her goods (she probably could have gotten a brand new system and games if she played her cards right), she paid to get the same titles back and used her 'plight' to portray herself as a victim and get herself on the cooperative sensationalist local news.

 

My bullshit meter is going off.

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My bullshit meter is going off.

I would have to agree with Michael on this one. Although EB has certainly made poor decisions in this case, I can't halp but feel that this woman isn't exactly clean, for the same reasons Michael already stated above.

BULLSHIT-O-METER.gif

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When the tv camera crew showed up the EB manager could have saved the company a lot of bad PR by simply replacing the items they ILLEGALLY sold. However you feel about the media, EB broke the law in the first place (and were apparently well known for doing so). I don't particularly fault the first instance of the manager refusing to just hand over everything that was left, since he was following the corporate rules and would probably be written up by his supervisor and had his pay docked, but once it gets to a tv station contacting the headquarters, someone should have been smart enough to see the shitstorm brewing and replaced her items.

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Originally posted by Beer Monkey@Mar 8 2004, 12:52 PM

... I'm totally unconvinced by this 'journalism' (quite a stretch to call it that) that the woman ever had much of a case to begin with, but the manager did have a chance to defuse the situation and blew it.

She might not have had a case, but it would seem the state does if it can be shown that EB sold the items before Florida's 15-day waiting period. And who knows, the Florida law might provide for her to receive damages of some kind.

 

There are a number of issues surrounding this incident -- which is hardly unique by the way. I suspect that absent a special law like Florida's or knowledge of criminal origins, most of these resellers would be considered bona fide purchasers for value.

 

I think the reason why is that putting the reseller on the hook makes them the victim. Whether or not it's a good idea to go after whomever we want as long as they have deep pockets, would resellers decide not to deal in used goods? I wouldn't, if I knew that a victim who couldn't be bothered to insure their possessions plans to use me as a free insurance company.

 

That said, I think an approach like Florida's (the waiting period) seems reasonable. Wait a reasonable period of time to see if police drop in with some questions. If not, go sell it. I don't like the idea of asking stores to act as a de facto evidence locker for the police, but if the time period is minimal, and the goods in question do not take up a lot of space or require special maintenance, a week or two might be okay.

 

I also don't like the notion that the EB is bad because they didn't "check" to see if the goods were stolen. Check how? Does Interpol maintain a vast international database of stolen PS2 titles? My local EB would have to call a minimum of three police departments. I have a buddy on the force here, and I can guess what he'd say about every merchant dealing in used goods calling local police departments every so often about the copy of WWE Raw 2 that just came in. Then again, who would steal it? ;)

 

Here's a similar story from three weeks ago in Detroit. From the story:

 

But Lew Silver, a licensed pawnbroker who operates shops in Wayne and Oakland counties, said it would be unfair to require pawnbrokers to forfeit property without reimbursement that they have purchased legally.

 

?How do you know someone isn?t lying?? Silver said. ?How do you know it?s their property? Do they have a receipt? Did they make out a police report? And even if they did, how do you know they didn?t give it to someone to pawn??

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I used to mark my high value items like my TV, stereo, camera and what not. I don't like to sell my games or DVD's, but I don't like defacing them either with my initials, so I only did the ones I really could not bear to lose to a thief. My Playstation had my drivers license number engraved on it in the little space where the game shark would go. It was not obvious to anyone not looking for it. I believe the police departments even suggest doing this as a way of proving the items belong to you.

 

Also, Cal & I keep our reciepts and other papers, and Cal, bless his little pack rat heart, even keeps 95% of the boxes our high value/important things came in. The greater part of them will have something to ID the item, sometimes even the seriel number.

 

I am not saying that EB should have given the woman back anything she said she owned. But if she could prove she owned them in some way, and was backed by the police department, then I feel they should have given them back.

 

If someone steals things from a store, and I bought them, when the police come to me and say, these are stolen property and you have to give them back, should I be able to sell them to the store for what I paid for them ?

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Originally posted by Chatakinns@Mar 8 2004, 01:37 PM

If someone steals things from a store, and I bought them, when the police come to me and say, these are stolen property and you have to give them back, should I be able to sell them to the store for what I paid for them ?

If you knowingly bought stolen goods, then yes, you have to return them. But we don't know that the clerk knew the goods were stolen at the time.

 

-j

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I think it's a fair guess he didn't automatically know they were stolen.

 

There's an interesting statement in that article you linked, Robot Monkey:

 

Some states and cities are more directly addressing the issue of crime victims buying back their own property:

 

* In Florida, victims may petition the court for return of their stolen property.

 

To me, that sounds like if the stolen item has been sold on, and bought in good faith, it's not automatically returned to the original owner.

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Originally posted by dogbert@Mar 8 2004, 02:50 PM

To me, that sounds like if the stolen item has been sold on, and bought in good faith, it's not automatically returned to the original owner.

This is true. The concept of a bona fide purchaser for value is well-established. Where it's applicable, the purchaser is deemed to have good title.

 

-j

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My xbox was stolen about a year a half ago. I gave the police the serial number of the xbox and it turned out the thief pawned it a coulple of days later and I got it back. The pawn shops here are required to enter stuff like serial numbers into a computer system and mine turned up stolen so I got it back. The thief also got arrested. Yay for the justice system!

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It's federal law that an innocent third party purchaser gains legitimate title to purchased stolen goods. Interesting that while EB's actions were illegal due to state law, they would have been perfectly fine in many other states. I still can't get over the fact that the lady actually bought her stuff back from EB. I read this article last week when it hit the news and even reading it now, it's a "WTF?!?!" kind of thing.

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Originally posted by Big Daddy Bling Bling@Mar 8 2004, 02:59 PM

It's federal law that an innocent third party purchaser gains legitimate title to purchased stolen goods ... I still can't get over the fact that the lady actually bought her stuff back from EB.

I'm not of aware of any such federal law (not saying there isn't one, just that I'm not aware of one). The notion of a BPFV is part of the Uniform Commerical Code which has been adopted by all states (except, IIRC, Louisiana) to varying degrees, however.

 

As to the woman buying the stuff back, I actually understand it. I think she saw stuff she thought was her's, EB wouldn't give it to her, so she bought it back believing that it would prevent people from buying her stuff while it was sorted out in her favor. It wasn't the best decision, but I understand it.

 

-j

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Why be surprised? If she hadn't bought her stuff back, she probably wouldn't have been on their news. At a minimum, the story would have been less interesting. Now the news can report exactly how much "profit" the store made on the games. Maybe a reporter asked her to buy the games back to illustrate this point.

 

There are a lot of people who really, really want their 15 minutes.

 

I'm completely unimpressed with her 'plight', and will change my mind when a real journalist writes a story containing the following:

 

1) At what point (date/time) did she notify EB that her games were stolen?

2) What evidence did she provide? Police report?

3) Exactly who did she deal with at EB and what response did they give her?

3) At what point did she decide to buy her games back?

4) Between the time she contacted EB and bought back the games, what communication was exchanged between her and EB? Did she follow up her request? Did EB ask for any additional supporting documentation? If she felt the store was being unresponsive, did she try contacting EB corporate?

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Originally posted by Robot Monkey@Mar 8 2004, 03:08 PM

As to the woman buying the stuff back, I actually understand it. I think she saw stuff she thought was her's, EB wouldn't give it to her, so she bought it back believing that it would prevent people from buying her stuff while it was sorted out in her favor. It wasn't the best decision, but I understand it.

 

Sure it was her stuff, but it isn't as if PS2 games are cherished family heirlooms. They are commodities that are usually the same no matter where you buy them. Personally I would have bought my stuff back elsewhere because EB's used goods prices are highway robbery to begin with, even ignoring the open highway robbery EB engaged in as a result of the specifics of the transaction.

 

As per the UCC, you're right, it's uniform state law. The end result is that it may as well be federal though.

 

Anyways, I wonder what EB's reaction would have been if she ran out of the store with her stuff without paying, then came back 10 minutes later and tried to trade it in.

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