Keeping records – second-hand dealer and pawnbroker obligations

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Legal requirement to keep records

All second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers must keep accurate and complete records of every transaction involving the receipt of second-hand goods.

You may be fined for failing to comply. For information about possible fines and penalties, view our Penalties – second-hand dealers and pawnbrokers page.

You must:

  • maintain a computerised record-keeping system or a bound record book for this purpose 
  • record specific information (see below).

If you use a computerised record-keeping system:

  • you no longer need to produce a hard copy of your records on a daily basis 
  • Victoria Police may request hard copies of your records. If this happens, you will also have to give the police a signed Verifying statement (Word, 9KB). This verifies the copies provided are the same as the original records.

What you must record when you buy or sell second-hand goods

When you buy or receive second-hand goods (excluding scrap metal), you must record:

  • an accurate description of the goods, including a description of any identifying mark or label 
  • the identifying mark or number you assigned to the goods by the dealer. This must remain affixed to the goods until they are sold or disposed of
  • the seller's full name and address 
  • details of the identification provided by the seller      
  • the date and time you received the goods
  • the price you paid for the goods (if any)
  • the name of any employee, or person acting on your behalf.

If you buy at auction or import second-hand goods (excluding scrap metal), you must obtain a receipt that has the following information, and reference that receipt in your record-keeping system:

  • an accurate description of the goods, including of any identifying mark or label
  • the identifying mark or number you assigned to the goods. This must remain affixed to the goods until you sell or dispose of them
  • the full name and business address of the auctioneer
  • the date and time you received the goods
  • the price you paid for the goods
  • the name of any employee, or person acting on your behalf.

What you must record when buying or receiving scrap metal

When you buy or receive scrap metal, you must record:

  • an accurate description including its quantity and/or weight, if applicable
  • if it is a motor vehicle, its vehicle identifier
  • the name and address of the seller
  • the identification details of the seller
  • the date and time you received the scrap metal
  • a copy of the cheque or electronic funds transfer, and
  • the name of any employee or other person acting on your behalf.

What you must record when you sell or dispose of scrap metal

When you sell or dispose of scrap metal, you must record:

  • an accurate description, including its quantity and/or weight, if applicable
  • if it is a motor vehicle, its vehicle identifier
  • the name and address of the buyer
  • when, where and how you disposed of it
  • a copy of the cheque or electronic funds transfer
  • the name of any employee or other person acting on your behalf
  • the name of the shipping company, the overseas port destination and the number or identifier displayed on the shipping container (if the scrap metal was removed by this method).

What you must record when you receive pawned goods

When you receive pawned goods, you must record:

  • the transaction number (this is also the transaction number placed on the pawn ticket)
  • an accurate description of the pawned goods, including a description of any identifying mark or label 
  • the customer's full name and address      
  • details of the identification      
  • the date on which the goods were pawned 
  • the loan amount 
  • the charge imposed for the loan transaction 
  • the amount and date of every payment for the loan 
  • the loan period 
  • if the goods are redeemed, the date this occurred      
  • if the goods are not redeemed and are sold, the date you sold them, the price paid and the reasonable costs of sale, or 
  • if the goods are not redeemed and you don't sell them, the manner in which you disposed of them.

Second-hand goods in a lot or parcel

Where you receive second-hand goods (including scrap metal) in a lot or parcel, you do not need to record the details of each item.

If the individual value of each item in the lot or parcel is less than $100, you can make a single entry in the record-keeping system recording the details for the lot or parcel.

If the value of any items in a lot or parcel is $100 or more, you must separately record the details for that item. The details of the remainder of the lot or parcel can be recoded as a single item.

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