How do you tell the difference between BRAND NEW and REFURBISHED?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ScarletRed, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. ScarletRed macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    Location:
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    #1
    Consider the following scenario:

    You are shopping for a brand new and fully upgraded MacBook Pro 15.4" laptop which has the following specs:
    ----------------------------------------------
    2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo
    2GB 667 DDR2 - 2x1GB SO-DIMMs
    100 GB Serial ATA drive @ 7200 rpm
    iWork'06 preinstalled (full version)
    Apple USB Modem
    AirPort Express
    ----------------------------------------------

    You happen to find such unit for sale on ebay for $2599.00. Free shipping and no tax (out of state). The ebay item description says the laptop is Sealed, New in Box. You check out the seller's feedbacks (who happens to be a powerseller) and they're very positive.

    You make the purchase and pay via Paypal. You receive the merchandise two days later only to find that the factory seal is broken. Upon further inspection, you determine that there are no signs of wear and you find nothing really wrong with the laptop except for numerous fingerprints on the battery and missing iWork'06 installation disc. You contact the seller to inquire about the broken factory seal and the seller replies it was necessary to install the software extras.

    Now here's a pop quiz:

    1. Since the merchandise was delivered with the seal broken, you are uncertain as to whether the product (which the seller claims is brand new) you just purchased is really truly 'brand new' or 'refurbished'. How do you tell the difference?

    2. Now that you think about it, total cost of $2599.00 (this includes tax & shipping & handling) seems suspiciously low. What is the MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) for the 'brand new' MacBook Pro described above?
     
  2. wako macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    #2
    You be the super anal buyer and tell the seller that he either do something about it, or demand your money back, through paypal, because it was NOT described as in the listing. This will force him to give you the money back or he can either send you a replacement that is brand spanking new... or even better he can give you some of your money back. :)
     
  3. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #3
    I have a better idea. How about the buyer provide the serial number on the newly purchased laptop to Apple and find out whether that is a refurbished unit or really 'brand new'?

    I presume Apple has a data base of serial numbers for all units they refurbish, no?
     
  4. wako macrumors 65816

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    Jun 6, 2005
    #4
    you can goto their support website, type in the serial number and see if it has been already been registered.
     
  5. pmackin macrumors member

    pmackin

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    #5
    If you could tell me the serial no. i'll let you know if it's a refurb by checkin my gsx.
     
  6. wrc fan macrumors 65816

    wrc fan

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    #6
    It's been my experience that refurbs come in a brown cardboard box and not the spiffy box that new ones come in.
     
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #7
    I would:
    Check the serial number on Apple's site.
    Then, after talking to the seller, possibly leave negative feedback saying the factory seal was broken, even though it was advertised as sealed.
     
  8. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #8
    Did you receive an iWork serial number? The apps themselves are included on the OS X DVDs.

    When you first turned the system on, did it ask you to select your language?
     
  9. coal macrumors regular

    coal

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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    Dishonorable ebay sellers make my skin squirm!

    As previously stated, check Apple's site as soon as possible.

    Also, the physical serial number sticker on the laptop (historically accessible when upgrading the ram) will clearly say "refurbished" if it is not a new item.

    Good luck!
     
  10. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #10
    The laptop is now about to be registered. On step #6, the registration screen says,

    "Please review the list of products that will be registered. An asterisk next to a product indicates that the product will be entered into our records, but its serial number or marketing part number could not be recognized."


    I presume this would mean that the serial number on the laptop has never been entered into Apple's database? Would this be a sufficient proof that the laptop is not refurbished? At this point, I wasn't sure. So I went back to the website, and re-registered with the SAME serial number. Result: same thing. No error nor warning messages or any kind.

    Next, I went back to the registration page and this time entered a bogus serial number. That's when I received an error message in red:

    So I guess this means the laptop I bought from ebay really is brand new. If anyone here believes that I have come to this conclusion prematurely, then please let me know. I've been cheated on ebay before so I am much more cautious when I buy items online.
     
  11. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #11
    I just realized something. When I went back and re-registered with the same serial number I found in the battery compartment, no error message(s) were generated. This would mean that in the event the seller was dishonest and if the laptop I bought was really refurbished, then re-registering with the same serial number wouldn't tell me anything about the true nature of the machine.

    Hmmm...
     
  12. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #12
    If a unit is refurbed it has a refurbished serial label and a unique refurb serial...
     
  13. ScarletRed thread starter macrumors regular

    ScarletRed

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    #13
    iGary,

    So by looking at the serial number, how would I know whether the laptop I have is refurbished or not? Would I have to contact the apple customer service or is there another (and quicker) way?

    By the way, the serial number sticker happens to be yellow and not white. As I recall, brand new electronics products usually come with serial numbers on white...
     
  14. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    VA
    #14
    IIRC, all Apple-refurbished machines have a new serial number which identifies the machine as refurbished, as in "refurbished" is actually printed on the serial number sticker itself. I seem to remember this was the case with my old iMac G3. But I could be mistaken. Perhaps somebody else can confirm or deny.
     
  15. Jakk macrumors newbie

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    May 18, 2006
    #15
    check the charge cycle of the battery at System Profiler> Power
     
  16. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #16
    You are correct.
     
  17. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #17
    It should have a "Y" in front of it...
     
  18. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    UK
    #18
    some do some dont, my refurb ibook came in a proper box but my friends came in a brown box.


    but anyway, i wouldent care, as long as it's not scratched or whatever you have a new MBP, deal with it.
     
  19. lexus macrumors 68000

    lexus

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    #19
    What is your gsx?
     
  20. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    UK
    #20
    it's the apple service network, apple center employees have access to it, you can look up details on any mac from it's serial number see its history and order parts ect.
     
  21. lexus macrumors 68000

    lexus

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    #21
    What does it stand for?
     
  22. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    UK
  23. lexus macrumors 68000

    lexus

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    #23
    Thanks alot.
     
  24. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

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    Georgia
    #24
    First off $2599 is a great price as on apple it is listed for $2927. However I would just do a thorough check of all hardware to check functionality. If everything is flawless just keep it and demand the iWork installation disk. Once you have it leave a Negative feedback because it was opened.
     
  25. sjpetry macrumors 65816

    sjpetry

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    Tamarindo, Costa Rica
    #25
    But, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the computer. Sometimes it takes the bigger man to go what's right. Leave neutral feedback. Remember he could have just opened it to make sure he wasn't sending you a broken item.
     

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