Purchasing police equipment on eBay can be daunting. However, a savvy buyer can avoid some of the common pitfalls by keeping some good sense guidelines in mind and sticking to a knowledgeable and trusted supplier. This guide intends to outline some dangers signs when shopping on eBay for police equipment as well as outline the benefits of sticking to a specialized police supply store, which will hopefully make your next buying experience a better one.
Be Familiar with eBay's Prohibited and Restricted Item List
Have you ever searched on eBay for a commonly used police item only to find that it is not offered (Example: Police Batons). It may be that the item you are searching for is a prohibited or restricted weapon or police-related item. Although it may be perfectly legal to possess the item in your area or you may even be an active duty police officer, it is in violation to offer to sell such items on eBay. Buyers and sellers alike should be careful about purchasing questionable police related items on eBay or else risk a violation of eBay's policies. eBay vigorously enforces these polices and so it is recommended that buyers and sellers of police related equipment familiarize themselves with the eBay Prohibited and Restricted Item List. (If you would like to review the lists of prohibited and restricted items, we have included a link at the bottom of this guide.) Also be aware that some of the information contained in these lists is very general. If you have any questions about about listing a police related item, this guide recommends that you contact eBay first before offering the item for sale.
About Local Laws and International Purchases of Police Items
Although some police items listed on eBay are not in violation of an eBay policy (Prohibited and Restricted Items) they may still be a violation of a possession law in your area. As an example in the United States there are some cities in which carrying Tear Gas or Pepper Spray is illegal while it is perfectly legal to carry in another city. This applies to state laws as well and they are just as varied. This guide recommends that you contact your local police department for specifics of any item you may question before purchasing.
For international buyers, be aware that some items listed on eBay are not legal to import into your country although it may be legal to possess in your county. And obviously some police items are not legal to possess at all. As an example, handcuffs may not be imported into the country of Brazil and will more than likely be confiscated as contraband by Brazilian Customs Agents. This guide recommends that international buyers contact their local Post Office or Customs Agency for information concerning restricted or prohibited items. An experienced police supply store that ships internationally should also be able to provide this information.
The eBay Police Item Purchase
Police equipment is a specialized market, i.e. you cannot find most of these type items at your local retail store. As such this guide advocates that you only make your purchases through a trusted and knowledgeable police supply store that SPECIALIZES in Police Gear and this is especially true for eBay purchases. Here are three good reason why your next police equipment purchase should be made through a trusted eBay specialized police supply store:
- Specialized Police Supply Store Personnel Are More Knowledgeable About Products
- Specialized Police Supply Stores Keep The Inventory On Hand
- Specialized Police Supply Stores Retain Customers
There are eBay stores in which police items are offered and the seller is not a specialized police equipment seller. In fact, you may see police equipment sold right next to the glass figurines or camping gear within the same store. A specialized police equipment store deal in just that...police equipment. Police supply stores that are specialized will tend to have employees that are more knowledgeable about the products (sometimes they are active or retired law enforcement officers) and have in depth familiarity with the product line and manufacturer. More than likely a specialized Police Supply Store will also have direct contact with the manufacturer in who they can contact if a question from a customer needs answered. As such, listings from an eBay Police Store will tend to have better items descriptions with good pictures and will also have shipping and store policies clearly defined. Avoid any police equipment sale in which the listing is vague, the picture is non-existent or vague and the selling points and shipping policies are not defined!
Believe it or not, there are a few eBay sellers of police equipment that do not actually have the items they are selling in their possession! These sellers use a middle man company (drop shipper) to supply the customer with the police item once they receive the payment for the purchase. As such the seller is not intimately familiar with the item and does not have a direct contact with the manufacturer. This guide recommends that you avoid such sellers and stick to a specialized police supply store with realistic inventories and a wide and varied product line from several police equipment manufactures. The stock offered by sellers using a police equipment drop shipper are never guarenteed (several sellers are sharing the same source inventory) and the overall end buyers cost is generally higher as there are expensive middleman markups to pay. Beware! You could be waiting for months for an item with no forthcoming information from the seller about the in stock time frame!
We all know that the best way to check the reliability of a seller is to review the feedback rating. However, a high positive feedback score is not telling the whole story of a seller. This guide recommends that the next time you review the sellers Feedback Rating, you also take the time to read through some of the Positive Feedback comments. If the majority of the positive feedback comments are vague or are general in nature it could be the seller is actually mediocre but not bad enough for the good hearted buyer to leave a neutral or negative feedback. Look for statements which indicate repeat buyers. Also look for out of the ordinary positive statements from past customer called the "WOW" statements. Statements like "Arrived the next day!" , "Better than expected and was quick to respond to email", or "My new favorite Seller", would fit the "WOW" statement bill.
We hope that this guide has been useful and wish that your next eBay police equipment buy is an enjoyable and pleasant experience!