Backpage is the second largest classified ad listing service in the United States, falling right behind Craigslist. Many individuals refer to backpage as being more of an online human trafficking ring, however, it does offer more services. In relation to Craigslist, Backpage has places where you can find jobs, real estate, local places, etc. Backpage also offers an area where you can buy, sell, and trade merchandise. And like Craigslist, it’s common to stumble upon stolen merchandise in that location. Here are few tips to help you from purchasing stolen merchandise off Backpage.
When identifying stolen goods make sure to read the description that the buyer wrote for that item. Within this description, the buyer went straight to the point and was very vague about the product. Stating that they don’t want anyone to contact them unless they offer the asking price. Usually, when selling used items the seller puts up a short description describing the item, whether it has any scratches or dents in it, sometimes claiming that it’s “like new,” etc.
Another thing to pay attention to is the asking price of the item. When selling stolen items, the seller wants to get rid of the item as soon as possible giving the item a low enough price so as to attract potential buyers. This MacBook is on the market for $1,999 is being sold on Backpage for $400, which is a great price especially considering that it’s still in the box, unwrapped. You might also see where the seller has listed the same item over and over again, same picture, etc. While you might think it was just a simple re-post, it is often they have multiple qty’s using the same ad to unload them all. One last tip, if the user has an item for sale like a new Ipad and it appears to be in the shrink wrap, look at the shrink wrap edges to see if it appears to be from the manufacturer. A lot of fraudsters, empty the product and re-shrink the product to appear like new. Sometimes you can see rips, burn marks etc from them over heating the shrink wrap during this process.
If you are looking to purchase things online, be sure to review the posting before clicking buy. Checking to see if the seller is trustworthy, so as to not sell you something that is stolen. Do research to figure out the average price for the item. Noticing little things like that when purchasing a new item will help you in the long run and save you from purchasing any stolen goods.