Why you shouldn’t trade illegally on the Internet

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Once again it’s been demonstrated that selling on the Internet leaves a trail which once found is all too easy for law enforcement officers to follow. This time it’s a wildlife trader in Bedfordshire who has been sentenced to eight months in prison for illegally trading stuffed birds.

I don’t know why people keep getting caught like this – I mean I understand that when there’s money to be made that the temptation is too great for some to resist, but why don’t they realise that trading on the Internet is just stupid because when they’re caught it’s such an easy trail to follow.

I don’t pretend to know the law regarding taxidermy, suffice to say there are many protected species and if you’re going to trade these birds (or animals or flowers) then not only are you going to have to show that they were not deliberately killed in the wild but you’re going to need a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) certificate to prove it.

That doesn’t appear to have been a problem for our trader from Bedfordshire, they had a computer and quite merrily printed off fake certificates for over 100 birds sold on eBay.

The moral of the story is if you’re going to try and do illegal or dodgy deals do it at your car boot and you might get away with it and at least when caught there are no records. Do it on the Internet and the minute the spotlight is cast on you your entire trading history will unravel and you’ll have no where to hide…

…oh and don’t go killing endangered species, they’re having a hard enough time as it is!

3 Responses

  1. The real issue is that anyone illegally trading under the eBay banner is bringing eBay into disrepute, so eBay have a right to clean up their sellers and protect their name. Although saying that I don’t know anything about the case in question.

  2. Illegal or Dodgy deals are not really welcomed at Car Boot Sales. Trading Standards often send officials to such as Car Boot Sales. They are looking for such as fake designer clothes and fake CD’s and DVD’s but they are trained to look out for anything dodgy or illegal.

    Car Boot Sales do not have the same audit trail as selling on the net but if you go to enough Car Boot Sales or Street Markets etc then your path will cross the path of the Trading Standards Officials.

    Basically if you are trading illegally the chances are that eventually you will be caught. It might not be today, or next week but eventually you will be caught.

    So my advice is always try to ensure that you are always the right side of the Law. It is possible that almost every Trader will on occassions be on the wrong side of the Law. After all there are so many Laws, some you have never heard of, so the chances are that some have been broken. But hopefully they are only minor technical ones rather than major ones that the authorities take seriously.

    I can remember years ago I used to sell Videos alongside the Books. I was once threatened by Trading Standards that they were going to sieze all my stock of Videos as they stated that they were fakes. Until I produced the invoices for them from a reputable Warehouse. I think that the reason they thought that they were fakes was that they were cheap but they were from a Bargain Video Range that this particular Warehouse supplied. Anyway they did not sieze my stock of Videos and I continued to stock and sell them until videos went out of fashion.



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