Online Auctions and Patient Thieves

on April 25th, 2005 | Filed under Optoblog

A while ago we had some missing equipment which we believed was taken by patients. At first, I wondered how anyone could pawn it. But with e-bay and now eyecareauctions.com there are ample ways for office thieves to unload stolen optometric equipment.

I think eyecareauctions.com missed an opportunity. If they would only limit their registered users to verified eye care professionals and ophthalmic distributers, then they could market their site as a trusted source for goods. On the same token, one could claim that dealing eye doctor stuff on e-bay could put you at risk for obtaining misbegotten items since anyone can register with e-bay. As it stands today, anyone can register with both.

I would like to ask ophthalmic instrument/equipment manufacturers to put a serial number on their products because this could also provide a way for keeping track of stolen goods. If someone steals my 78D, then I type into a database on the manufacture’s website my information. Now when someone wants to buy an item on an auction site, they simply do a “background check” on the 78D by typing in the advertised serial number. Then once the package arrives, the buyer should verify the actual serial number matches the advertised one.

I know. This seems like a lot of work for a small problem, but have you ever been robbed?

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