Way to check history of second hand components?

Thread Starter

Martin_1972

Joined Sep 20, 2023
8
Hi all,

Does anyone have experience of buying surplus/second hand components?

I have found some unused Siemens components, namely Motor Modules, Inputs/Output modules, CPU, Screen.

They are obviously low in price, and they appear to be genuine having scanned the QR codes on the Siemens App.

My question is, is there a way in which I can search into the history/previous ownership of these components? Using the serial numbers for example? I’m unsure if it is possible, but would like to find out if they have been sold on previously, and who the original purchaser was.

Thank you in advance for any information.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,252
Very, very, very unlikely.

Think about it. What if you buy them and then put them up for sale. How could the prospective buyer have any chance of finding out that you had bought them or who you bought them from?

Even if the manufacturer has the information regarding the original purchaser, it's unlikely that they would be willing to give just anyone that information short of a court order.
 

Thread Starter

Martin_1972

Joined Sep 20, 2023
8
Very, very, very unlikely.

Think about it. What if you buy them and then put them up for sale. How could the prospective buyer have any chance of finding out that you had bought them or who you bought them from?

Even if the manufacturer has the information regarding the original purchaser, it's unlikely that they would be willing to give just anyone that information short of a court order.
When you put it like that it makes sense.
But doesn’t the manufacturer have a duty of care to inform? What if the parts had been stolen previously, surely they want to stop this sort of thing happening, assuming there is no database as such to check for missing components?

I just don’t want to have issues reselling if I do purchase second hand equipment and don’t end up using it.

appreciate your time.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,252
When you put it like that it makes sense.
But doesn’t the manufacturer have a duty of care to inform? What if the parts had been stolen previously, surely they want to stop this sort of thing happening, assuming there is no database as such to check for missing components?

I just don’t want to have issues reselling if I do purchase second hand equipment and don’t end up using it.

appreciate your time.
What duty of care to inform?

Don't they also have a responsibility to protect the confidential information of their customers?

Think of all the things that you have purchased over the years. Would you really want the companies that sold them to you to just turn over your information to anyone that asks for it?

If the parts had been stolen, and were of sufficient value, then the entity they were stolen from could file a report with law enforcement including all the necessary identifying information. Depending on where you are in the world, that information may or may not make its way into a database that is searchable by other law enforcement agencies. Unless the parts were stolen directly from the manufacturer, it's unlikely that the manufacturer would ever be aware of the theft. Again, think about it -- if someone stole your bike, are you going to notify the manufacturer that it was stolen and expect them to not only tract that information but to also just give it out to anyone that asks?

If you are concerned that the parts you are thinking of buying are stolen property, then contact law enforcement and explain that you are trying to rule that out and see if they would be willing to do whatever kind of records search that they can. But unless you are talking about parts that have significant value, don't hold out much hope.
 

Ian0

Joined Aug 7, 2020
10,056
I have bought second-hand semiconductors from Chinese suppliers for recreating vintage circuits. My experience has been that those selling second hand components are much more honest that those selling new ones. Everything I bought was what it claimed to be and it worked.
But definitely a case of caveat emptor.
 

Thread Starter

Martin_1972

Joined Sep 20, 2023
8
Would this also be the case for Rockwell/Allen Bradley items? One of the components is made by this manufacturer.

I think I probably already know the answer.

Thank you.
 

Thread Starter

Martin_1972

Joined Sep 20, 2023
8
I appreciate the input so far, does anyone else have any experience with this?

I am thinking however the above comments make complete sense.
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,042
I routinely buy previously owned parts. Some are excess stock, some are removed during equipment modifications, and some are offered as "as-is, believed working". And a few are offered as "no warranty expressed or implied" often at very low prices.
One reputable source classifies items as working, non-checked, and used-repairable not checked. That means physically complete and no physical damage. They also offer "Used and checked and working."

Truthful representation is the way to go. I have sold equipment as "Used, NOT WORKING", with the additional remark, "if it works, you can bring it back for a return refund. Those are items sold for parts recovery.
 

Thread Starter

Martin_1972

Joined Sep 20, 2023
8
I routinely buy previously owned parts. Some are excess stock, some are removed during equipment modifications, and some are offered as "as-is, believed working". And a few are offered as "no warranty expressed or implied" often at very low prices.
One reputable source classifies items as working, non-checked, and used-repairable not checked. That means physically complete and no physical damage. They also offer "Used and checked and working."

Truthful representation is the way to go. I have sold equipment as "Used, NOT WORKING", with the additional remark, "if it works, you can bring it back for a return refund. Those are items sold for parts recovery.
Many thanks for your input.

This is my first time buying second hand unused parts, the reason I’m cautious is because they are in the £1000’s.

Am I overthinking things, when I consider the parts could have been previously stolen? I don’t want to have trouble selling them on if I do not end up using them.

Thanks again
 

MisterBill2

Joined Jan 23, 2018
19,042
Oh Wow! A different price range. I seldom spend more than I could afford to lose..
At that price level it would be more important to be sure as to the integrity of the sellers, and to be sure to get a bill of sale.
 

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
13,435
Oh Wow! A different price range. I seldom spend more than I could afford to lose..
At that price level it would be more important to be sure as to the integrity of the sellers, and to be sure to get a bill of sale.
It's sort of strange but usually the more obscure and expensive (several Kilo bucks) second hand industrial stuff comes in the best shape. Maybe it helps to have it shipped to a well known company.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,252
I might be willing to spend a couple hundred dollars on a piece of equipment without knowing how well I could trust the source (for instance, if the alternative was to spend a thousand to buy it new from a reputable source), but there's pretty much no way I'm going to spend thousands of dollars without some pretty good assurance that the specific items I am buying are good. I'm going to insist that they be checked by a third-party that I agree to and that the terms of sale include a full refund, including shipping both ways, if the equipment fails an acceptance inspection when it arrives. If they are willing to agree to those terms, it's going to make me wonder just how much confidence they have that they aren't selling me crap.
 

Thread Starter

Martin_1972

Joined Sep 20, 2023
8
I’ve no doubt that the items are genuine and work, but still feel I should be able to do some checks to see where the parts came from if that makes sense?

What if I buy them then find out that the person Who sold them to me stole them? It just doesn’t make sense to me that it should be difficult to find that out
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
17,012
But doesn’t the manufacturer have a duty of care to inform?
Nope. I have some parts from Philips that looked like they were counterfeit. The company that bought Philips (NXP?) said that was before our time and wouldn't give me the time of day...

What if I buy them then find out that the person Who sold them to me stole them? It just doesn’t make sense to me that it should be difficult to find that out
Let the buyer beware. I've read about cases where companies hired investigators to find counterfeit parts. He started a company that manufactured crappy counterfeits and claimed the bounty. The article ran in the Portland Oregonian.
 

Thread Starter

Martin_1972

Joined Sep 20, 2023
8
Nope. I have some parts from Philips that looked like they were counterfeit. The company that bought Philips (NXP?) said that was before our time and wouldn't give me the time of day...

Let the buyer beware. I've read about cases where companies hired investigators to find counterfeit parts. He started a company that manufactured crappy counterfeits and claimed the bounty. The article ran in the Portland Oregonian.
Wow. Is counterfeiting parts a big business then? Obviously unsure how to tell the difference myself, but I have scanned the QR barcodes on the parts and all are coming up as legitimate on the Siemens app.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
30,252
Wow. Is counterfeiting parts a big business then? Obviously unsure how to tell the difference myself, but I have scanned the QR barcodes on the parts and all are coming up as legitimate on the Siemens app.
Yes, counterfeiting is a big business.

How does someone copying a legitimate QR code and sticking it on something prove anything about that something?

All you have proven is that the pattern of dots on the sticker encode a valid URL for a Siemens part. It says nothing about what that sticker is glued to. If that's all that you are basing your assertion that these parts are genuine Siemens parts, you need to take a big step back and think about things. They may be genuine. The seller may be completely above board. But you have to consider the possibility that the seller is a complete fraud. How hard is it to duplicate some packaging or some stickers and put them on something that you are going to talk someone into giving you thousands of pounds for?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
17,012
Wow. Is counterfeiting parts a big business then?
It's a big business.

I bought an ignition switch for my BMW on Amazon. It had the BMW logo and the correct part number molded on it. It was for the automatic transmission variant and wouldn't fit on my car. When I complained to the seller, he confided in me that they were supposed to scrape the part number and logo off because they weren't OEM. He shipped the right part and told me to keep the one that didn't fit.
 
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