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Buying "hot" stuff

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by digger242j, Jun 26, 2003.


Do you buy "hot" stuff?

  1. No, never under any circumstances

    113 vote(s)
  2. Maybe, if it's something I really need, or can't resist

    24 vote(s)
  3. Yes, at every opportunity

    3 vote(s)
  4. No, I steal it myself and eliminate the middle man

    9 vote(s)
  1. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Just during this past week there have been a number of thefts from the site I'm working on. These weren't break-ins in the middle of the night, but things that disappeared from the back of trucks in broad daylight. From 3 different trucks, belonging to three different employees of three different contractors, 2 cut-off saws, a chain saw, a laser level, and a small generator. The chain saw and the generator were the guys' personal property, not company property.

    What I'm curious about is, do you buy stuff you know is "hot"? We've all had guys come up to us on the job with great deals on tools and equipment, some brand new, and some slightly used. Have you yeilded to temptation?

    I've posted a poll, because that way if you need to answer "yes" you won't have to admit it by name. If you want to post a reply and admit to it by name, that's fine. Be honest in answering the poll though.

    It'd be interesting to hear what stuff you may have lost, and how, over the years too. Personally I've lost a couple of chainsaws, a couple cutoff saws, an 18 inch backhoe bucket, etc. , and came within a couple feet of losing a whole dumptruck, trailer and backhoe once.
  2. A.L. Inc.

    A.L. Inc. Member
    Messages: 97

    I would never consider it. I would never want to support the dirtbags that make a living by stealing from hard working people.
  3. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Besides being morally opposed to stealing, I wouldn't take the chance of it being found in my possession. It could be considered that you should have known or had reason to believe it is stolen and be charged with "receiving stolen property". At best, you just lose it and are out the money.
  4. Rob

    Rob PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 306

    Nope... I don't do it

    Aside from the fact that I hate people taking stuff from the guy that earned it, I'd rather give the business to my local companies that way when I have a problem they may be more likely to help me out.

    Also, you may be on the buying end today, but soon enough you'll be on the supplying end.. know what I mean ?
  5. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I refuse to provide a market for these scumbags!

    Before I went into business for myself, I didn't realize the importance of a man's tools. I knew this black market existed, but never participated in it for fear of being caught like Mick suggests.

    Now, I've seen the light, I wouldn't participate if the tool was given to me, and wouldn't hesitate to turn the scuzball in.

    The only thing I've lost is a 20' extension ladder out of the back of my truck at a shopping plaza.
  6. eatonpaving

    eatonpaving PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    :drinkup: well guys i have taken something that was not mine. it was a plow. i needed one for my case skid steer. an aribic guy cut my price in the middle of winter and took two mobile stations away from me, even thought i had a contract for the stations, the owners were aribic, so the guy plowed the snow twice, and droped his drive shaft one night, he had the truck towed and left the plow next to the building, it sat there till summer, the station called me to patch the lot with asphalt, when i showed up the plow was sitting there, we did the patch work, i asked the owner about the plow and he said the guy had quit the plow biz, and to take the plow if i wanted it, it was in his way. later that day i loaded it in my pickup and drove away, i new from the get it was wrongbut i took it anyways, i mounted it to my case, from that day forward for a year, business sucked and i could not make my payments on the new plow trucks so thay went back to the bank. thay repoed the case with the plow on it, i lost everything i had except my dumptruck and rollar, i had to go to work as a mechanic in a shop till this spring when a buddy wanted a driveway installed, the money from the driveway got me going again, then a guy wanted to trade my race truck for thisa truck i have now with a plow on it(trust me if i find a dollar on the ground it stays on the ground, if it were 10 million it would stay on the ground, the main man tought me a lession.(IF ITS NOT MINE I WILL NOT TOUCH IT) if i ever see the guy who ownes the plow i took he will get a new one. randy. ps dont take anything, what goes around comes around.

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    only thing your doing is helping to supporting some crack head
    i had a plow stolen the night before a storm had it attached to my shop with a chain

    now i plasma cut my name and # on the blade


    sure is hot:yow!:
  8. Workhorse2500

    Workhorse2500 Junior Member
    Messages: 24

    I was a little shocked by this poll. First of all, I would think that the majority of people on this site are honest, hard workers. I have a special kind of hatred for anyone who steals. These scumbags steal from innocent hard working guys trying to make it being honest. These rats truely make me sick, and make my blood boil.

    Another thought, if you buy stolen property, without knowing that it is stolen and you are caught with it, it will be returned to the rightful owners by the authorities and you will be out of the money you gave that crackhead dealer.

    Tip-My local police station has engraving tools that any person can use to mark their property in case it is stolen. Just make sure you mark your property carefully to give you the edge in claiming your property back.
  9. eatonpaving

    eatonpaving PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    :realmad: ya know what, yea i took the plow, with the permission of the station owner. ( still was not right). but i guess puting down a ton of salt and telling the customer you put down two, na thats not stealing, thats just fuging a LITTLE.i have read almost all the posts on here and almost all on here agrees you got to lie about the salt cause the price has fallen. no one on here has ever went and plowed snow on a 2 inch trigger when you had a 1.5 snow fall, na you guys would not do that.(BULL**** YOU OWN A BUSINESS AND YOU WILL DO WHAT EVER IT TAKES TO STAY ALIVE). cheating the customer is stealing.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2003
  10. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I would consider that stealing, too. Unless you have a "minimum".

    Like you said, "what goes around comes around". I've found that to be true, over and over.
  11. meyer22288

    meyer22288 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    I would never take someone elses equipment. It makes me sick the fact that a person could steal from the hard working class like us.:realmad: Everyone needs equipment to keep working and the fact that ive had equipment stolen is enough to stop me from taken something that dont belong to me.
  12. eatonpaving

    eatonpaving PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,071

    well guys, i see the poll is 82 persent to the good, boy somebody is not telling the truth.:nono: if you go back and read all the posts on salt and triggers, you will see what i mean. i see alot of guys on here are auto techs, do we fuge in that feild also, like telling the customer the rotors are just under spec, when theres 20 thousands left, or that the rear main is leaking when its just the rear manifold gasket. we dont do that do we.(NEVER) i got some bad feedback from my post on the plow i took. i done that one time, looks like the salters on here have done that a long time. not all but most. lets do a new poll and post are names and lets see what the results are, cause we can go back and read all the old posts and see. bet it wont be 50 persent to the good.
  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    eatonpaving, I hope you didn't consider my post as beating up on you. I didn't intend it that way. I wondered after my second post if maybe you'd gotten some PMs blasting you.

    Basically, eatonpaving simply related an experience in which he learned it is better to stay on the right side. I, for one, commend him for relating the tale. I think he could have made a case that it wasn't stealing if he had reason to believe the garage owner was now the owner of the plow. Most places would have claimed it as abandoned property. For me, any property left by tenants becomes mine after 30 days of moving out unless they make arrangements through me.
  14. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I think when you physically take someone elses property for yourself that is a lot different then loading a yard of salt, spreading 3/4 of it and charging the customer for the yard. Or doing 50 minutes of labor and charging and hour. Those are legitiment, stealing is not.

    It is not a good feeling to walk out to your vehicle, shop, job site, etc and discover something is missing.

    Mick I agree about recovered property. I have cleaned up a lot of properties after people abandoned them or moved on. All this stuff (furniture, tools, yard equipment, etc) gets taken to my shop and held by me for an additional 60 days. If no contact is made then I may sell it or use it. Most of the time it is clear when we clean it out but occassionally someone comes looking for something.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2003
  15. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    eatonpaving, I'd be very careful throwing around the generalized statements you've made. While there might be a few who practice the claims you've made, and I'm not pointing fingers, I'd like to think the numbers who do here are very low. Those who do are the ones that cause legitimate businessmen a lot of grief in government regulations being handed down.

    I've got my business set up with minimum fees which are clearly spelled out before any service begins. This avoids any controversy at billing time about amounts of salt or snow which might be questionable.

    I thought your original post was worthy, and taught a lesson in morals. In that post you speak of learning your lesson and sounded remorseful. Perhaps you should have quit while you were ahead. With all the accusations you've made, I tend to think you're much too familiar with the tactics you describe. If I'm wrong, you have my sincere apology, but this is the air that you give.

    If I could not operate my business honestly, I'd sell my equipment in a heartbeat. Perhaps this is why I've been successful thus far. I don't care what people call me, Redneck, Right Wing Nutcase, grumpy, old fashioned or most anything else, but if someone calls me a thief or a liar, they better be prepared to face the consequences.

    I've got a feeling some auto techs will be checking in....

    Geez digger, you've gone an' done it again!

    CARDOCTOR PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,312

    you must take you car to pepboys or sears
    if my techs ever sold something the customer didnt need
    id throw them and their tool box out the door
    you can make more honest money long term than screwing somebody short term


    ase master tech

    L1 cert
  17. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    buying hot

    Buying hot stuff just keeps the cycle going . The problem is the courts don't have stiff penalties when the are caught . They have no reason to stop either the stealer's or the buyers (stealer's).You need to be careful buying used equipment
  18. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672


    Well, it wasn't my intention to incite a riot, although I guess I should know better by now. :)

    I think we're probably all subject to what's called "situation ethics"--we try to hold ourselves to a certain standard of good behavior but do adjust our standards to fit the situation. I'd be willing to bet that there'd be very few of us who could honestly, after deep reflection, answer that we've *never* fallen victim to the tempatation to rationalize the rightousness of our own behavior, when if we were on the other end of the transaction we'd feel cheated.

    I think the way some folks are billed for salting is a good example. The rational reasons it's done the way it's done have been discussed in other threads, and don't need to be rehashed here.

    I think there's a continuum with "saintly honesty" at one end and "murdering someone in the course of a robbery" at the other end. At least in my opinion, shakey business practices fall someplace below saintly honesty, but above outright theft of property. Where "buying stolen property" falls on that scale, relative to how scrupuolusly honestly you treat your customers, is apparently a topic of debate. (But let's keep it a friendly debate.)

    As far as patronizing theives by buying stolen merchandise, I'm not surprised at the replies so far. I'll bet there's a slighly larger fraction of the readership that would have to honestly answer something other than "never", but they've probably chosen not to answer at all, so the poll results are probably skewed a little in favor of honesty. My compliments to those who had the forthrightness to answer "maybe". I hope you never end up owning anything of mine (or anything of our friends' here), but there's something to be said for recognizing, and admitting to, your own faults.

    I once knew a guy who would have bought a stolen stero, or camcorder, etc. , but who drew a very firm line at buying stolen tools. His point of view was that the theif was not only stealing material goods, but stealing a man's way of making a living. Situation ethics, to be sure. I was wondering how he'd have answered when I asked the question to begin with.

    We once worked on a site only a few blocks from a Sears store. Every few days a guy would come by with brand new Craftsman hand tools--hammers, tape measures, etc. A lot of the guys would buy them. Whether they'd have bought a used tool that had obviously come out of somebody's truck, I don't know.

    My personal reply to the question would be that I haven't ever bought anything I "knew" to be hot. (I did once buy a brand new briefcase from a friend who had a dozen or so of them in his trunk, and later on figured out that they might not have come from where he said they had.) I pretty much agree with all the reasons everyone else has given, but my own top reason would be that I simply refuse to support those who steal for a living.
  19. speedracer241

    speedracer241 Senior Member
    Messages: 325

    Hi I'm speedracer241, I'm a thief

    I fix accident damaged vehicles based mainly on Insurance company estimates. All the parts prices and some of the labor times all come out of books or computer estimating guides.
    If I beat the estimated times I put a few extra dollars in my pocket on Friday.

    I don't see this as stealing. I see this as being very efficient. I make my best time straightening(mudding up)panels.:D

    Maybe I am stealing:D
    Mark K:jester:
  20. digger242j

    digger242j Senior Member
    Messages: 672

    Getting off topic in my own thread--There was a news story a while ago around here about Midas Mufflers (I think). It seems it was pretty much company policy to tell the customer they needed stuff that they didn't really need. I posted a reply in the thread about what kind of ethics to expect from your employees where I said I think most employers would demand the same level of ethics they practice--that they'd expect employees to be as totally honest as they were, or at the other extreme they'd expect employees to cheat customers on their behalf.

    I guess Cardoctor's position would be a good example of the former.... :angel: