Work as a second-hand dealer

You must meet your legal obligations as a licensed dealer. Otherwise, you will face penalties.

Display your licence

You must display a sign at your place of business to show that you are licensed.

The sign must:

  • show the name of the licensee in text that’s at least 50mm high
  • include the words ‘licensed dealer in second-hand property’ near your name
  • show the names of an associate in charge of the business in text that’s at least 50 mm high
  • include the word ‘associate’ near their name.

Trade with integrity

You must:

  • trade only from the places listed on your licence
  • only hire employees aged 17 or older to acquire goods
  • tell the police if you acquire goods that you believe may be stolen
  • keep nominated goods for 7 working days after you acquire them.

Nominated goods are:

  • goods which are identifiable (except items of household furniture)
  • electrical goods (except refrigerators, washing machines, clothes dryers, stoves and dishwashers)
  • jewellery
  • precious metals
  • musical instruments
  • photographic equipment
  • natural diamonds and gem stones.

You must not knowingly acquire goods from a person who is (or seems to be):

  • younger than 17 years
  • under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you collect goods from your clients’ homes, you usually can’t do so:

  • during the hours of 6pm–7am
  • on a Sunday
  • on a public holiday.

To collect goods at these times, you must get the owner’s permission. They can only give you permission more than 24 hours before the time.

Keep a transactions register

You must keep a transactions register for each place of business. You must keep a record of anytime you acquire, sell or dispose of second-hand goods that:

  • have a resale value of at least $55
  • are or appear to be jewellery
  • contain precious metals
  • are identifiable by a make, model, serial number or inscription.

Your record can be electronic or in a record book.

Details to record

You must:

  • enter each transaction immediately before or after the transaction
  • correct an entry in the transactions register only by making a new entry
  • give information in your register to the police if they ask.

You must not:

  • make false or misleading entries in the register
  • alter the register by removing an entry or making it illegible
  • separate second-hand goods into parts (this is not the true details of a transaction).

You must record someone’s details if they offer to sell you anything. Make sure you include:

  • their name and address
  • proof of their name and address (you need to view a document that verifies their name and address, such as a drivers licence, but you don’t need to take a photocopy of it)
  • a statement to confirm if they own the goods
  • the owner’s name and address (if the seller isn’t the owner)
  • a statement to confirm how they obtained the goods.

Sample register

As long as you have the necessary information, you can set out your register however you like. The following sample may help you, but you don’t need to follow this format.

Sample transactions register (second-hand dealers) (PDF, 106KB)

Police database

The police keep track of stolen property through the Stolen Property Identification and Recovery System (SPIRS).

To help find stolen property, they compare the data from transaction registers to the SPIRS database. You can forward your data to the police on a regular basis.

This will:

  • reduce how often you need to manually give information to the police
  • lower the amount of police correspondence you need to do
  • identify more stolen property
  • make it easier to find offenders and improve the chances of being reimbursed.

Contact the police for more details about the SPIRS database. You can email them at