Advice on selling a knife on the forum

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Slaphead

Member
Nov 6, 2020
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Bolton
I would welcome some advice on the legal aspect of selling a knife on here. With all the bad press that knives get I wonder if it is even worth the effort trying to sell one.

When I have bought knives from retailers they have required proof of age and address. I assume the law might expect me to do the same.

Should I request an email from a prospective buyer, with attached copies of passport or driving license for age verification, and a utilities bill with the same address as the buyer gives?

Is it actually legal to post knives? If so which carriers are recommended?
 

C_Claycomb

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You commit an offence by delivering to a private address, but you have a defense if you took all reasonable precautions to ensure the knife is delivered to someone over 18. This is very like the wording for carrying a sheath knife, where you commit an offense, but have a defense if you have good reason.

Same for us as it is for businesses.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2019/17/part/3/enacted
Sections 38 and 40

Worth reading it all yourself. My interpretation is that we now need to think about two different and separate issues.
  1. proof that the buyer is over 18,
  2. having a procedure and taking reasonable steps to ensure that deliver is not made to someone under 18.
The first is where a photo of the buyer, a telephone conversation, picture of driver's license and so forth works. If however your 40 year old buyer has a 14 year old in the house...?
 
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C_Claycomb

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Parcel Force - "Please note that from the 1st November 2019 we will be banning the sending of blades across the UK network, unless the Age Verification service is used."


 
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Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
So not really worth the trouble then?

Not for fifty or sixty quid anyway.
I think it‘s worth it. It’s no hassle to ask for a pic of the persons passport or drivers licence to be sent to you. That’s your bit done.

If it’s a PayPal payment, the PP user agreement states the user must be 18 or over and have full legal rights, so that also verifies the age.

I bought some eliquid the other day and just verified my age at the door, easy enough. Everyone is buying and selling online, it’s the law not to sell to underage people same as it is in shops.
 

C_Claycomb

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Its not that much hassle. Ask the person for proof of age at purchase.
You can add to this by looking at their posts on the forum. We don't have many if any under 18 members who post and it is pretty easy to spot young posters, even if they have not put up an age.

Then ask if they have any under 18s in the house, if they do, you can choose postage that requires a signature and aim for a slot when youngsters are at school, or agree to have it delivered to a post office.

It is in all of our interests for buyers to help ensure that things work. The only time I can see it necessary to be able to offer a defense is if the police launch a sting, as they did on occasions with bricks and mortar stores, or if a young person gets the knife and gets caught with it and it comes out that they either ordered it, or intercepted it.

Given how unpopular forums are with the young today, I think we are less likely to have problems.

One of the defenses is that:
(5)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under section 38 to prove that—​
  • (a)the bladed product was adapted for the buyer before its delivery in accordance with specifications provided by the buyer, and
  • (b)the adaptations were made to enable or facilitate the use of the product by the buyer or its use for a particular purpose.
Sooooo....We all know that for a knife to be useful for bushcraft, it must be sharpened within a certain range of edge angles. If all knives sold start out at a wood-crushingly useless 45deg, and buyers must specify that the edges be re-ground to a lower, specific, angle for the sort of work they want to do....?
 

Slaphead

Member
Nov 6, 2020
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Bolton
C Claycomb kindly wrote: " Please note that from the 1st November 2019 we will be banning the sending of blades across the UK network, unless the Age Verification service is used."

https://www.royalmail.com/sites/def...rms-and-conditions-30-september-version-1.pdf


Does the Royal Mail age verification service mean that I inform the Post Office that it is knife, and they will only deliver to the person addressed in return for a signature, and then only if on receipt the buyer is clearly over 18 or presents proof of age and identity?
 

C_Claycomb

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Sorry Slaphead, the quote was from the Parcel Force page above. Not the Royal Mail link. I have edited the post to make it clearer.

As people have been selling knives on here at a fairly steady rate since November 2019, I don't think that knives are being refused. Perhaps someone who has actually sold or received a knife can speak up and explain to Slaphead what they did and how it worked?
 
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Nice65

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I don’t see there’s any mystery about selling or sending knives online, just ask for proof of age. The seller must make sure the buyer is of legal age to do so, the onus lies with them. I’m sure Procook and Heinnie operate a fairly slick and easy to use process that hasn’t hindered their sales in the same paranoid way I’m reading here. :confused:
 
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C_Claycomb

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Oct 6, 2003
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I don’t see there’s any mystery about selling or sending knives online, just ask for proof of age. The seller must make sure the buyer is of legal age to do so, the onus lies with them. I’m sure Procook and Heinnie operate a fairly slick and easy to use process that hasn’t hindered their sales in the same paranoid way I’m reading here. :confused:
You did see that the law now states it is an offence to deliver a knife to a private home, as a separate offence from selling a knife to an under 18?

I know that businesses are managing, and am unaware of anyone on this forum having a problem. I do not know whether this is the result of correct process, luck, or the system not yet having caught up with the legislation.

I had some knives from Heinnie delivered in December, but I was in, the box would not fit through the letter box in any case, the person delivering knocked on the door. I cannot remember whether I had to sign something, or whether they took a photo of my grey bearded face at the open door.
 

Fadcode

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Feb 13, 2016
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Cornwall
I have both sold, and bought knives on here, and I nor as far as I know anyone who has bought a knife of me, ever been asked for proof of age, etc,
I have sold chisels, scissors, and many other type of sharp instrument, and never had any trouble.
Maybe I am just lucky. and the only thing I have ever been asked at the post Office, was if the parcel contained batteries.
 
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Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
You did see that the law now states it is an offence to deliver a knife to a private home, as a separate offence from selling a knife to an under 18?

I know that businesses are managing, and am unaware of anyone on this forum having a problem. I do not know whether this is the result of correct process, luck, or the system not yet having caught up with the legislation.

It isn’t an offence to deliver a knife to a private home, or has there been a change in the law? Anyone can order a set of kitchen knives or a Swiss Army, or a machete, but the seller must make the necessary age checks. It’s not luck, or the system not having caught up with legislation, it’s the correct process.

For instance, Procook use DPD and perform an age check.
 

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moocher

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I was thinking of parting with my esse 4 but the posting part has stopped me so far as never posted a high value item really .i was lucky an met face to face as it was a local vendor when purchasing it .
 

Fadcode

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C Claycomb kindly wrote: " Please note that from the 1st November 2019 we will be banning the sending of blades across the UK network, unless the Age Verification service is used."

https://www.royalmail.com/sites/def...rms-and-conditions-30-september-version-1.pdf


Does the Royal Mail age verification service mean that I inform the Post Office that it is knife, and they will only deliver to the person addressed in return for a signature, and then only if on receipt the buyer is clearly over 18 or presents proof of age and identity?
It must be remembered here that , Royal Mail and Parcelforce are Private Companies, like all the other Courier firms, obviously they would force you to use the Age Identification Service, as they would charge you for it.

Most of the Couriers Hermes, DPD etc, state in their T&C they will not carry knives, or if you read them correctly, basically they wont carry anything, which gives them carte-blanche to refuse compensation for anything, and its worth keeping that in mind.

In Covid times, most parcels are just left at the door, even when a signature is needed, it is not a requirement to state the contents of a package if it is to be delivered within the UK(unless it is going to N.I), and unless you are asked by the Post Office what the contents are, bearing in mind the Post Office do not deliver mail they just handle it for Royal Mail, and get paid for doing so.

Like most things nowadays, when you post anything you take a chance of losing it, and in my opinion if you state what it is on the package you can basically guarantee it's loss, if it is of value.
 

Laurentius

Native
Aug 13, 2009
1,984
281
Knowhere
My suspicion is that the sender pays extra for Royal Mail/Parcel force to confirm age on delivery. I had a blade delivered not long ago, and there was an extra charge on the invoice for age verification, so presumably the sender had added what they had to pay to the bill. The postie of course did not ask for identity, there is such a thing as the bleeding obvious.
 

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