In my mind, I would be able to go to a pawn shop and flip the braclet for a quick profit. As soon I got the braclet, we all left and drove around the area looking for a pawn shop. After finding one nearby we entered and rushed to the clerk's window to find out how much the braclet was worth. To my dismay, the clerk whom tested the braclet looked at me and said very harshly, "We will give you nothing for it, because it is not real". My smile quickly turned into a frown. I felt like the butt of a prank.
I decided to go back to the flea market to try and find the charlattan who sold me the fake braclet. He was going to get a piece of my mind and then some. Of course, he was no where to be found and I was out $40. The entire drive home, my brother made fun of me for being a sucker. When we all arrived back home, my brother snitched on me to our parents. And our parents me made feel further like an idiot and told me, "Well, that's what you get for buying jewelry off the streets." It taught me a valuable lesson and I promised myself that I would never do that again.
To this very day, I stuck to that rule and there are certain things that I will not buy off the streets from complete strangers. This includes jewelry, electronics, DVDs, CDs (especially pirated), and other items that would raise the hairs on the back of my neck. Aside from the fact, that I mistrust complete strangers, there is no way to know where most of that stuff came from.
If some random stranger is selling stuff like this off the streets, there is a good chance that the stuff isn't theirs. There are professional theives called "boosters", who go into stores and shoplift like it's nothing to them. I don't understand how they are able to get away with it, but then again, that's why they are the pros. According to this program that I watched about it on MSNBC, boosting is a multimillion dollar a year business. The boosters most likely get rid of the stolen merchandise through a fence or they load it off on a greedy sucker.
It is a far fetched thing to think about, but someone could have been assaulted or killed for their possession. Some drug addicts have gone as far as removing phones and wallets from dead bodies ( Watch this show called "The First 48" and you'll get an idea of what I am talking about here). They then sell the stolen property, at a rock bottom price (no pun intended) to some unsuspecting fool. Can you imagine purchasing a smartphone that was removed from a dead person and then receiving a call from a homicide detective? It's hard to believe, but it happens to people, more often than we think.
Many are unaware that it is a crime to buy stolen stuff. Even if you didn't know that the merchandise was stolen, you could still be charged with receiving stolen property in some jurisdictions. This applies especially if you should have known or at least have reason to believe that the merchandise is stolen. For example, a person walks up to you and offers to sell 2013 Acura TL, in excellent condition for $1,500 in cash. That's an offer that would raise a red flag for me. So, no matter how tempting it may be, I refrain from buying high risk items on the streets. It's just bad karma.
Another reason why I don't buy stuff off the streets is because there is often no warranty or refunds with electronics bought through strangers. If I purchase an electronic from a retailer, at least I have some sort of assurance that I may return the item in the event that it malfunctions.
There is a prevalent scam with people selling fake electronics, too. The scam artist may have a shell of an HDTV, a tablet computer, or other electronic that is filled with a worthless material, such as plastic or wood. In order to sweeten the "deal" the scam artist may tell the mark the he will sell the item at a super discount. A gullible person won't bother to even test the so-called electronic and easily part with his money. There is an old saying that "If something is too good to be true, then it probably is".
© Copyright 2013 Susan Broadbelt