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The cost of waiting

Secondhand dealers law debated as Rotterdam storeowners balk at waiting period and detailed report requirements

Sheryll Hoffman, owner of JM Jewelers on Mariaville Road in Rotterdam, inspects jewelry recently taken in on Tuesday, April 17. Hoffman would fall under a proposed new town law regulating secondhand dealers.

Sheryll Hoffman, owner of JM Jewelers on Mariaville Road in Rotterdam, inspects jewelry recently taken in on Tuesday, April 17. Hoffman would fall under a proposed new town law regulating secondhand dealers. Photo by John Purcell.

— Powell said he typically resells purchased items in one to two days.

Supervisor Harry Buffardi on Tuesday, April 17, said the 10-day rule is the main aspect of the law being discussed for a possible change. He didn’t elaborate on how much the waiting period could be reduced in the final version.

“There has been some discussions about changing and tweaking it but nothing is formulated yet,” Buffardi.

Powell didn’t disagree with sellers taking full identification from buyers and recording a full description of the items to help police recovering stolen property by checking daily reports. He said storeowners should also receive protections under the law, though, requiring the money paid for the stolen goods to be paid back to the buyer from the seller.

“The buyer is just as at risk of loss as the people who have been robbed,” he said. “Both should have equal rights under the law.”

Powell said Jewels has operated since 1996 and typically two to three times a year an issue of stolen property arises. The value of stolen goods at his store ranges from about $2,000 to $3,000 each year, he said. He contended the issue is getting blown out proportion and there isn’t a rise in crimes.

“This proposal seeks out a higher standard of justice for the few at the cost of many,” Powell said.

Sheryll Hoffman, owner of JM Jewelers on Mariaville Road, is supportive of the law but would also like to see some change.

“This is long overdue and it is about time,” Hoffman said. “This is great, however, there is still some fine lines … that need to be clarified.”

Hoffman questioned the amount of detailed information required on every item purchased, a stipulation she said is extensive and unreasonable. She said some people come in with 20 or more pieces of jewelry at once and during busy times it would dramatically slow business and result in losing customers.

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