FOR YEARS we have heard scattered complaints about misrepresentation of used and so-called rebuilt plant equipment. For a business which lends itself so readily to falsification regarding the condition of a machine, we have found these abuses relatively few and far between. After all, the smart dealer in used equipment knows that it’s good business to be honest.
However, the only “club” which we have at hand to curb flagrant cases of misrepresentation is the refusal of the advertising of known crooks and chiselers. Some years ago, one of our good friends said we had undertaken a large order in trying to eliminate misrepresentation, particularly in view of the fact that any-one, even if he had an office only in his hat, could operate as a “dealer.” Nevertheless, we feel that long before the present stringent governmental regulations this Industry—made up principally of soundly established firms—had emerge from the “horse-trading” class and had resolved into a group which up to the present has contributed more in service per capita than any other industry in the war production front.—By that we mean the job these dealers have done in making available to war contractors the thousands of machine tools which might never have seen the light of day.
OPA has the task of policing prices, but we regret to say, has only done a half-way job in checking the price-ceiling chiselers in the Used Machinery Industry. Unknowingly, Price Regulation No. 1 was so drawn that it gave a decided loop-hole to the cheat and profiteer. OPA has the power to put these crooks out of business, but whether they have the personnel to rout out these abuses or whether the legal entanglements are too involved, we do not know.
It is our duty as a publication to keep a vigilant eye open for such abuses and to do what we can to check them.