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A message from the owner of Olde Saratoga Coin ... ‘Secondhand dealer’ law could hamper business

Olde Saratoga Coin would like to make a few comments about proposed Local Law Number “F” set forth in 2012, requiring the electronic reporting of transactions by precious metal exchange dealers and secondhand dealers.

The legislation puts us at a competitive disadvantage when “hotel buyers” come to town. Due to the stringent reporting requirements outlined in the proposed law, it will become much more difficult for us to maintain our current level as an industry. With the additional costs associated with this new legislation like the holding period, which are not incurred by the hotel buyers, it may be necessary for us to adjust the price we can pay to the customer so that we can still make enough money to stay in business. Because the hotel buyers do not have this same reporting requirement, they will be able to pay a lower price to the sellers resulting in many local exchange and secondhand dealers going out of business. Additionally, due to their transient nature and the lack of a reporting requirement, it will be easier for those individuals attempting to trade in stolen property to do so without the fear of repercussions. Instead of aiding local law enforcement, this legislation may make their job much more difficult to achieve.

Some have argued that “hotel buyers” will need to leave the property purchased behind for the 10 day holding period like the brick and mortar shops. Who will hold it? Where will it be held? These questions have not been answered.

As a member of the local community, we as businessmen want to work in collaboration with local law enforcement to minimize the dishonesty and fraud that can come so readily to temporary buyers like hotel buyers and home gold buying parties.

In addition to equity in the reporting requirements, we are requesting an exclusion of silver be included in the proposed law. The cost of silver is approximately $26.00 per ounce at this time. With the reporting requirements currently outlined in this bill, it would not be fiscally prudent for us to continue to provide this service. The time and manpower that needs to be devoted to recording all of the pieces traded makes this transaction cost prohibitive. This may sound inconsequential but to the people who need to sell their silver to pay a bill or buy groceries for their families, this change in service may force them visit unscrupulous dealers further putting them in a bind. These underground types of transactions would also further compound the challenges already faced by law enforcement that precipitated this legislation initially.

Without this current legislation, most of the dealers in precious metals do the right thing when receiving stolen property because we want to get the item back to the victim and maintain the integrity of our business. Perhaps the county would be better served more closely scrutinizing the unscrupulous businesses thereby improving our community for everyone who lives and works there.

Olde Saratoga Coin respectively asks for this legislation to be held until all issues are addressed.

This article is solely the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

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