would this Deter you from buying used gear????

Remember the shooter(shooters) who terrorized the Washington DC area? Two of those shootings took place
within 3 miles of my home. As a result, I've become
involved with assembling a neighborhood watch group.
My question is, as part of this home safety program, it
will be a requirement to engrave my driver's license #
on posessions i.e. cameras, tv's, (and yes, audio gear.)
Would this process have any bearing on you buying quality
used gear from me????
Give it some thought, I foresee this scenario spreading
throughout our country.
It would sure reduce the resale value of your gear, no doubt about it. Whatever happened to writing down the serial numbers in a secure place? Are the crooks really going to go to the trouble of removing the serial numbers?
You raise a very interesting point. In the past, I have usually engraved my Washington state driver's license number on all of my valuable equipment, be it audio or other stuff. However, since the last major upgrade of my audio/HT system, I have NOT engraved anything, precisely because I'm concerned about decreasing the potential value of the gear if I sell it. I have, however, subscribed to a good national home security service which should prevent/deter theft.

In response to Karls question, there are two main reasons that people are encouraged to engrave their driver's license number on expensive equipment:
1. to make the items harder to fence;
2. to make it easier for the police to recover stolen belongings.

I'll be interested to read the comments of others on this topic.
All I have to say..... What does engraving personal information on possessions have ANYTHING to do with SNIPERS????

Us citizens of the USA have been living under Paranoia since this country was founded. This Paranoia has made this country may ultimately destroy us.

If you doubt me, watch the Michael Moore movie: Bowling for Columbine. Moore may go a bit over the enge in the movie, but he raises some very serious points.

Anyway, I refuse to give into fear. I will never engrave my gear or anything else I own per se. If someone really has the will to remove my 150 lb speakers (each) from my house and steal them... well they better not try it when I am home or they better not let me catch them... heh heh. All I can say is that the market market on really high end gear is so small, it would be very difficult to unload anything I have (cept maybe cables) without arousing some sort of suspision (where is that spell checker when I need it). Even then... would the criminals know what the gear was worth? heh heh.

Virtually any alteration of a piece of gear will decrease the value. I personally would never buy any gear that was engraved with any info unless it was a fire sale price.
If everybody did this then at least you would have a readily available record of the item's ownership. With electronics you could apply the ID info out view by engraving the interior top panel of the equipment.
Yes, especially if the words "Bunker Down" were engraved along with the ID #.
My thought is I wouldn't want to get any gear that was stolen from me back since it was probably abused. That's why we have insurance.
What a silly question. Of course it would deter me from buying your equipment!

That's why I've engraved all of my equipment with the next owner's initials. They keep saying that we in the MidWest are more intelligent than those on either coast. I'm starting to believe it. :)
Tok20000, this is not just paranoia,it is also collective dementia.I would never buy this gear because would not think highly of the seller.
I would still buy from you, with a price adjustment for the 'de-facement' of the item, but as KF pointed out, it's a sad world if we all go to this extreme. I think rather than take the time and money to engrave our posessions we take the time and expense to write our congressmen and DEMAND reform in our criminal/judicial system. This should apply to all thieves, those from Enron as well as those who live in 'the hood.' It's pretty sad how money can truely buy anything, including 'justice.'

Sorry for the rant, but at the age of 29 and being fortunate enough to have traveled around the world, its a sad path I see this country heading down.
Is the DL so much better than giving the serial number when reporting it stolen? I don't think I'd like to deal with anyone who puts their DL# on their stuff.
Putting your driver's license # or SS# on something only gives the thieves something else to steal- YOUR IDENTITY! If they're polite they will send you a thank you note.
i went as for as putting a tat of my d.l. on my daughters forehead..... as the kinks sang: "paranoia will destroy ya.....and it goes like this"....sheesh, insurance anyone?
You could weld a plate to your equipment and that way everyone who buys the component after you can engrave their ID on it also, thereby having the capability of tracking all the owners.

Keep your head down!!!!
Try it from the other end ... would it deter you from buying? My guess is "yes." You see this often enough with vintage equipment on ebay ... my dad used to do this with the used equipment for sale in his TV repair shop back in the 50's through 70's. It really detracts from the equipment's appearance and value in my mind. Regards, Rich
I remember John Cleese in the Monty Python's Flying Circus tv shows coming out in the middle of a skit saying, "Stop the skit, this is silly". This is one of those moments.

Cars have vehicle identification numbers, electronics, cameras and guns have serial numbers. Has this ever stopped theives from stealing these items? NO. So, if the soccer moms and their neutered male counterparts with too much time on their hands add more numbers to these items, this will somehow deter the criminal?

Markeetaux, I'm fairly certain that this post was a fishing expedition for exactly the type of reply you got from me. I'm also fairly certain that I'll get smoked by others for my reply. If this is a serious question then I am really concerned with the overall mental health in our nations beltway.

To answer your question directly: I wouldn't own such a defaced piece at any price.
I would not buy any audio gear (or similar high quality goods) which had been marked. The best thing you can do is get a good insurance company that will cover your gear at replacement cost. Figure if somebody steals your stuff, they're not going to take the time to carefully clean it off & meticulously pack it in the OEM boxes you have stashed in the attic. It's going to get thrown in the trunk with the other stuff they've stolen. By engraving you are pretty much bringing the equipment down to that level of appearance & hurting the resale.

I can understand the heightened tension from the sniper, as I'm down the road a bit here in Richmond & the sniper was confirmed (through video tape) to be as close as 1/3 mile from me at a 7-11. I think what you're getting at is your community is more concerned about potential problems & the neighborhood watch is being formed as a result of the potential close encounter with the sniper. A neighborhood watch in itself is a good idea but I would caution you about going overboard with this. I have a dog, an alarm system & a great neighbor directly across the street but none of that would help if somebody was bound & determined to break into my house. Hopefully, it will act as a deterrent and that's the best anyone can hope for.

Like I learned when I was in the Navy, a lock only keeps an honest man honest.
This is simply an desensitizing excercise to get people used to requiring marks and identifiers. The ultimate result will be you will be required to have marking and identification, on your personal body. After all, how else will they be able to "know for sure" that you are not a terrorist? ID cards can be lost, counterfeited, or misplaced. The only sure way is a permanent mark or chip implant.
If anyone has any discernment at all, they know where this is leading, and why.
Doesn't anyone find it troubling that because there are a couple of "boogiemen" running around, that we all have to conform to tracking systems, and police-state militarization? It is so painfully obvious that the terrorism is being used as a "plausible reason" to implement the control measures that would otherwise never be accepted by the public.
If anyone knows anything about the "Hegelian Dialectic" this activity is a transparent as a plate-glass window.
You also have to consider what it will do to the resale value after the 2nd resale. If you are selling it with your info on it thats one thing but I wouldnt buy it from the person after you because I would be worried its stolen.
Yes, it would deter me from buying used gear. Broubin, brings up a very good point. A drivers license was never meant to be a form of identification. It doesn't presently work well for purposes of identification. As such we should discourage any attempts to use it as a form of identification.
Bravo to those who recognized the identity theft problem. I recently attended a neighborhood crime prevention talk hosted by the local constabulary. Its representative warned us not to use our cars as briefcases for personal documents to prevent identity theft. That driver's license number should make a nice bonus for the box of blank checks that will be stolen with it. Hey, I'm freaked that Paypal knows my credit card and bank account numbers!

So yes, I'd be peeved to get any gear that was non-original, identity-defaced or otherwise.
Want to discover the latest ultimate TWEAK...well then, read on to the bottom! But first....

1. Your average thief is probably not going to give the time of day to some high-end stereo gear since they are looking for things they can easily carry, and turnover quickly. The average person takes one look at my 300B's and says something like: "I didn't know they made tubes anymore" or "Are those things antiques?"

2. OK, lets say you have some fancy looking Plinius amps that are screamnig $ to a thief, do you think they are going to take the time to look it over for the engraved DL or SS #, or do you think they'd really care if they did notice it? My guess is that the average burglar is in a big hurry, desperate, or both! Even if they did notice your hand-scribed artistry on the back of your gear, do you think that they will then leave the house they've broken into to look next door for stuff that isn't marked...and then tell all their criminal friends not to bother with your house...or perhaps it will go onto the Internet Burglars Database under "Don't Bother"

3. So the thief takes your valuable Plinius with engraved ID on it, and then has the cahones to actually sell it to a pawnshop, or off the street to someone else.....how likely do you think it will be that that very Plinius will be coming back to you via your average overworked metro Police department? ..And, at that point, since you really don't know where it's been, or what it's been through, do you really want your Plinius back?! I assume since you can afford a Plinius and associated components in the first place, that you probably have insurance on them!

4. What any of this has to do with snipers, or violent crime in general is beyond me!?

Oh, one more thing; the previous owners of the LaScala's in my home system had engraved his drivers licence number on the inside of the horn box, quite visible from behind. It did not in any way deter me from buying them from him, nor was I pre-disposed to lowball his more than fair price for them. It does amuse me a bit to think of a burglar trying to move those 130 lb speakers the size of dishwashers out of my house! Granted, I may be an exception where that's concerned. But I have to add, those speakers still sound pretty amazing in spite of his dremel-tool signature!! Come to think of it, the other LaScalas I've listened too don't sound nearly as good. On my internally-engraved LaScalas the soundstage is not only wider and deeper, but goes higher and lower as if the performance broke through my floor and ceiling! Perhaps etching those letters changed the internal resonances of the horn cabinet! The question is, would the improvements be significantly altered if one were to engrave an entirely different ID into the cabinet? Perhaps I'll start an auction here on A'gon with the winning bidder obtaining a stenciled pattern of this guy's engraved signature...maybe it will work on tube amps too!!
My brother-in-law went to the trouble of buying a new Steinway ONLY if he could have the remaining Steinway sign the soundboard. He stupidly bought too large a piano for his square room (oy!). Wonder if his reasoning of increased-resale value will hold here? I was going to scratch my initials on the underside of mine, but its 1200 lb mass may be enough deterrence....
Aren't we talking about small engravings on the back or underside of equipment. Don't really see how it could seriously reduce used value. Maybe the answer is to remove outer casework and add IDs to the INSIDE, where every Susie Creamcheese on the assembly line probably scribbled her QA initials anyway! I dunno. Ern
Marking up our possesions with SS numbers, DL numbers etc.?
Please. Any piece of gear has a serial number. That number is generally written on the bill of sale from the dealer. This, along with a well written rider on your insurance policy is more than enough to ensure payment for a claim of stolen property. Defacing your equipment in this manner will NOT deter anyone determined to steal it, whatever their motivation for doing so might be. If you need to mark your equipment, do what the dogs do: pee on it, to mark it as your territory ;)

Thanks for sticking your neck out. I agree completely and I will not be forced to submit to such behavior. We are becoming like the countries were once called our enemies! It is becoming more and more "risky" to speak out or to object to certain new policies.

The Hegelian Dialectic leads to such absurdities, just as you state. Bravo!

Folks have varying levels of tolerance for blemishes on their audio equipment, and for some an owner's engraved name may be enough to reduce the value significantly (especially since it isn't *their* name). If you're considering what the next buyer will think when you go to sell the equipment, then don't mark the equipment since it isn't going to have any benefit for the new owner. OTH, if security is your primary motivation for tagging your equipment, then accept the reduction in resale value and/or interest in the equipment as a cost of ownership. Whatever you do, if you've marked the equipment and then want to sell it, make sure you're upfront about the alterations you've made so the buyer can make an informed decision.

However, I have to agree with Slipknot1. If a serial number isn't enough to deter theft, why would an engraved name be any different?
I can't believe you all are so unsensitive/desentitized to the menace that now threatens us all over the world! And now, in our homes, while pumping gas. If a man can become a sniper right where my Wendy plays, then I and my brethren must do something about it!

My God man, don't you know there's a war going on out there!! Get with it, be a patriot, engrave everything you own, everyone you know, then finally, finally we'll all be safe.

I've got a better idea. While we're out roving for bad guys like snipers at night around suburbia, lets go a step farther, a step that will really help things. If everyone has a small - and yes, it will be small, no messing up our beautiful faces - mica thin computer disc under the skin of my forehead that can be tracked by satellites, then we'll never have anyone get lost from Alziehmer's Disease, and if I get in a car accident then they'll have my full medical records, and...

You know, I just "feel" better knowing that Poindexter - five time felon who said "the buck stops here" when defending his actions in violating US treaties prohibting weapon sales to Iran and having the CIA run coke to raise money for the "freedom fighters" - is now in charge of the Pentagon program that wants to monitor all internet exchanges and create files on everyone they deem a "threat"...

Oh my God, maybe someone just heard what I said!

But hey, at least we're all finally, er, safe.

Yea, putting numbers on boxes to deter serial killers is a great idea!
I had to follow up your Hegelian Dialectic comment: Well put! We are halfway there already. A good indicator is to have a look at the text of the "Patriot Act" (quotes intentional), Internet filters in our libraries. One man's income tax is another man's payroll check. Your rising health care costs are someone else's free health care. All the while we run around, looking for spooks under every bed, each day jumping from one "world axis of evil" leader to another in an attemp to divert citizens away from the issue of ever eroding civil liberties. First it was Khomeni, now Khadaffi, Saddam, Noriega, a Somali Warlord, Osama, back to Saddam, Oh oh - now those North Koreans are starting to look evil. We need to erode your privacy and rights to PROTECT you from the boogie man du jour.
Sorry for the rant....
Twl, great post!
Figured I would add my thoughts. Having had my equipment stolen a few years back, the DL number on the item will not make a difference; the serial numbers are the important thing for possible recovery. If you think you still need to put your DL number on your gear, try using a black magic marker on the bottom/ back and tell the police; this will show up with the right light and not detract as much as engraving. Also, the only way you might get your stuff back is if they take it to a pawn shop; a wonferful experience (just kidding)! I also would shy away from engraved gear personally. Best, Charlie
Sorry, twl, didn't read far enough - its your great idea :)
Good Lord, everybody... just engrave the serial number above the metal tag with the factory s/n, or on the bottom chassis if you're concerned about theft. This is proof of ownership without having to put your name, rank, SSN, D/L#, blood type, whatever, without making it unattractive. I would definitely purchase used gear with the S/N etched on the back or bottom of the chassis.
Yes, marking valuables positively improves your chances of getting them back and also makes them literally too hot to handle - easily proves knowledge of possessing stolen property. Black helicopters notwithstanding.
just...just...just don't label the record sleves please:^)

you can also request when buying a new equipment from the manufacturer to place the label with your name as the evidence to the original owner how'bout that?:-)
I'm down with the idea of welding a plate on the back of the unit and declare it mandatory that each owner personally engrave his or her info upon same plate. Some of the items I've seen offered would begin to look like the Stanley Cup.
I prefer to wire all my equipment so its casing is live and then wear thick rubber soled boots when touching it.
Additionally knives come flying out of my living room wall whenever anyone lifts my CD player. And that's if the thieves have even managed to cross my crocodile moat !
You can etch your likeness into the faceplate of your Krell amps with plutonium. Moreover, if somebody wants to steal it, it is not gone a stop them for one moment.

Question-what does DL #'s have to due with snipers?

Question-what about us people that don't drive?

BTW - I worked for a restaurant that had a facsimile of an ancient sword and shield in the lobby that was bolted to the wall. One busy night, someone used a reciprocating saw and cut out the entire wall around it. I mean, there was just a big gaping hole, open to the outside, in the wall were it used to be. And you know what, nobody saw a thing! Just goes to show you, if somebody wants to steal something, they will find a way.
Yea, Seantaylor99, like Indiana Jones, the first movie, running with a gold head (engraved #'s of course), darts flying ever which way as you jump the bottomless pit and run from the HUGE ROLLING BALL!!

4y, also loved the Stanley Cup one, thanks, still laughing.
Engraving will NOT prevent resale to an individual buyer of stolen goods, but it will probably stop the out of town pawnshop routine. It may or may not keep you from being burglerized. The two issues are completely different. A thief may not have the time or the lighting to see the engraving until later. So he may not be able resell, but he's probably not going to return the item either. If caught in the process of escaping, then the engraving may tip the police off to the nature of the crime. Keeping the thief OUT of your property as long as possible is a better investment imho. In summary, engraving does not protect anything. I would not buy an engraved item either. What happens if an overzealous officer of the law draws the wrong conclusion upon close inspection ( that I purchased stolen stuff)?
Yes, imagine what it would look like after the item was sold 5 or 6 times. Why not just create a data base for the neighborhood watch? Regards, Kevin.
Inferior components would end up looking like the Stanley Cup.

This could be the beginning of a new and innovative grading scale. For example:

0 - 1 engravings = Stereophile category A+++.

2 - 3 engravings = Stereophile category A++.

3 - 4 engravings = Stereophile category A+.

5 - 6 engravings = Stereophile category A.

7 + engravings = White elephant. Save it for the next Christmas gift exchange at the office.

To answer the question, yes it would be a negative to me buying it. I am not sure of the value of engraving anything with a serial number. Is the S/N not in itself a unique ID? My brother tells me he video tapes all of his valuables and gets a closeup of the S/N and model numbers. This seems like a good idea. I am not sure why I have not gotten around to it myself. My main concern in buying something engraved is the concern for how difficult it would be to sell it to someone else. When I received my new Oddessy Stratus amp, it had my name on a nameplate on the back. I kinda thought it was a nice personal touch. I had since sold it never even thinking about my name engraved on the back. The new owner never mentioned it. Us audio nuts are kinda freaky about tiny inaudible flaws. I am all for making a thieve's life more difficult, but I am not sure engraving personal info would do so. I much prefer the thought of a short barrel shotgun for uninvited guests.
Engraved info: grab a dremel tool and grind it off after stashing the loot in your hideaway. Ahhh a 2" long 1/4" wide smooth scratch on the back or bottom is not going to stop some dude from buying it out of that infamous 'white van' is it? And with ten minutes work all your dreams of marking your stuff for life fly out the window.
However: the police stopping some dude in a hurry, with a Plinius etc in the trunk: the markings on THAT, at THAT moment, might help get your stuff back. heck, don't you all watch "COPS" on TV?
sorry I couldn't be bothered reading the other posts...

I'm completely bewildered by your post and why its a requirement to write your license # on your gear.
Do you think they won't allow you into the group if you don't do this?
What good is your license # on the gear anyway? Insurance will cover it...

I would take off a percentage of the sale value for this defacement, probably in the 5-15% range depending on where it is done.
Obviously, you engrave it, you've destroyed it, pure and simple.
I am genuinely encouraged by the sensitivities displayed above by twl, asa, slipknot and others. This is seriously Orwellian stuff (more than Hegelian, if you ask me, since I think Hegel was interested in finding truth through dialectics, but I digress), and people need to examine what we are giving up in relation to the perceived threat. To turn a phrase, just because they are out to get us doesn't mean we aren't paranoid. Not only does the Patriot Act have a searingly ironic name, it's actually an acronym. It's the USA PATRIOT Act, meaning the Uniting and Strengthening of America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism. This includes reading your email without a warrant, by the way. Paranoid and arrogant behavior around the world is why they hate us to begin with, and we just keep coming up with more medecines that are worse than the diseases.

Neighborhood watch due to sniper deaths? Phillip Morris (I refuse to say "Altaris") and Ford killed 1,000 people in the time those guys were shooting up your town.

My advice is not to mark up your gear. Don't concede the point to the thieves. Chances are tiny that you'll get ripped off and the markings aren't likely to help much anyway. If you want protection, get a dog. From a shelter. Win/win.

By the way, I would still buy your gear, but I would pay less for it than if it had no markings.
I don't have an opinion regarding engraving audio equipment. I do, however, think that every congressman and senator who have received campaign contributions from the NRA or gun manufacturers should have their foreheads engraved with the same.

That's a cute comment. Would you care to elaborate using constitutional and historical perspectives to support your opinion?
If every honest hard working citizen had a gun the crooks, thieves and murderers might think twice about thier line of work. Then people would not need to engrave their names on audio equipment.
Nrchy, this is a sad commentary on the American state of mind. I believe that in every culture there is a central image in almost every person's mind creating a commonality of perspective and interests. In the case of the USA it appears to be cowboys and Indians and their urban counterparts, cops and robbers. I still can't believe I read pronouncements like yours. I never knew how lucky I was to be a Canadian and I trust that you only represent a segment of your country’s population. Sad indeed.

My favorite river to fish on around my home has a few rattlesnakes. They're small, timid and die easy. Hell, say boo loud enough and they faint. We tell folks about the abundance of snakes. It keeps the crowds down. I really wish the rest of the world would believe as you and be afraid of coming to, obviously, the most dangerous place on the planet. Get real. What threat are hard working, honest folks armed or unarmed?