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Buying second hand mobile phone or Laptop or tablet online? Tread with caution.

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With the latest wave of ‘bech de’ campaigns by online classified companies, an interesting aspect of one to one trade has come to light. Apart from enabling thousands of people to sell their old/used items like laptops, mobile phones, tablets, furniture etc conveniently, these sites are becoming an excellent platform for thieves to sell their products. Buying a stolen item like second hand mobile phone or laptop for an example is an offense, even if you were unaware it was stolen, and would get you to make a few visits to your local police station. The product you had bought will have to be returned to the police, without any compensation for the amount you had paid to buy it, and you may also be subjected to harassment by police accusing you of being a regular buyer of stolen goods. (Yes! You will be accused).

So here are a few precautions while purchasing from the classified sites (like OLX, Quikrr) especially while buying second hand mobile phone or laptop, as these are the most commonly traded items:

  1. Ask for the original bill of the item.
  2. Do not agree to complete the transaction at a public place like a mall or metro station etc. Stress on buying from the seller’s house.
  3. Take a signed photo id proof of the seller with the laptop serial number or mobile phone’s IMEI number mentioned on it (depending on case).
  4. Make sure you match the photo on the user id with the seller. Most of the times, thieves use a stolen photo id to complete the trade.

Although there have been cases where the original bill was stolen along with the laptop/mobile, or photo on the stolen id card was changed as well, keeping above pointers in mind would help you avoid getting in trouble.

Views of some people on buying from classified sites: http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20121228115414AA4ZF0l

You can also read a case of cheating here: http://www.grahakseva.com/complaints/123907/cheated-from-olx

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