The Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1996 (SA) regulates the activities of second hand dealers and pawnbrokers. While not requiring that second hand dealers be licensed, anyone setting up business must notify the police. A person will be prohibited from conducting business if convicted of an offence of dishonesty or a prescribed offence, or if the person is an undischarged bankrupt or subject to a composition or deed or scheme of arrangement [Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1996 s 6]. Where a dealer is a company the same restrictions apply to any directors.
The Act contains many restrictions on dealers which if breached incur a fine of up to $2 500. For example dealers are required to keep detailed records of all transactions. Dealers must also retain goods for at least ten days after they are acquired although they may dispose of them after three days if full details of the purchaser are recorded [Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1996 (SA) s 10]. Dealers must notify the police if they suspect that goods are stolen and may be disqualified from business if stolen goods are found on their property on three occasions within the previous 12 months [Second-hand Dealers and Pawnbrokers Act 1996 (SA) s 11].
A person who finds his or her stolen goods on a second-hand dealer's premises may apply to the Magistrates Court for the return of the goods.
The Act also contains new rights for people who pawn their goods. The minimum period a pawnbroker must retain any pawned goods will be one month. At the end of the redemption period the pawnbroker must sell the goods by auction. The person who pawned the goods can inspect the record of the sale and if the goods sold for more than is owing to the pawnbroker, the balance must be paid to the person who pawned them. Unjust transactions and unconscionable charges by pawnbrokers are subject to the Consumer Credit Code, see: Consumer credit.
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