Lesson learned: don't buy a MacBook Pro battery off eBay

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by yousifabdullah, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Good day fellow readers,

    I would like to share my experience of buying a MacBook Pro battery from an eBay seller in China, and how it turned out. To keep it short, the listing was fairly simple, with all necessary information such as battery model and type as well as a list for compatible MacBook Pro models. The listing was accompanied with a picture of a MacBook Pro battery that looked genuine, and the words 'original Apple', 'authentic' and 'genuine' all over the listing. It was reasonably priced as well and the seller had top ratings and feedback. So, without any further hesitation I decided to 'Buy it now'.

    Three weeks later the battery arrives from China, but I get this uneasy feeling right when receiving it. A quick look at the battery and my suspicions were correct: this is not a genuine battery. I immediately contacted the seller via eBay, and below is the conversation with all details intact (only names and address information were removed):

    Shortly after the last message I received a notification from PayPal that the seller had refunded me in full. As an honest person I will as per my promise send the battery back to the seller. I have to pay for postage on my own, but that is not the problem. I think the greater issue is that after three weeks, a small headache and several emails back and forth I still do not have a proper battery for my MacBook Pro at my disposal.

    Lesson learned: don't buy a MacBook Pro battery off eBay. Save yourselves from these issues and pay more for a genuine battery directly from Apple. If you didn't already notice, the seller in question is 'laptopbatteryking' and I strongly advise not to buy anything from him. I am thankful that the seller did refund me in the end, however I've had a lot more pleasant experiences in the past with other sellers on eBay in similar cases. Sure, somebody might misuse the system to get free stuff, but asking for evidence from the buyer when your own business is based on lies, I don't know, maybe stop wasting the precious time of other people and say that you're selling fake batteries in the get go :rolleyes:

    A happy ending after all, but if someone here at MacRumors is looking to buy a battery for their MacBook Pro off eBay, I strongly advise not to.

    Comments, thoughts or similar experiences? Let me know how a situation like this turned out for you.

  2. macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Dont make scammers aware of their own faults. Now they will spell California correctly and scam more people with it. Keep the tell tale signs to yourself.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    A fair point, I didn't think of that. Unfortunately, if you look at the seller's current feedback, a lot of people are very happy with their "genuine" batteries. Educated people will likely not fall into the trap, no matter how authentic the batteries look, but not many people fall into that category.

    I'm only wondering how can one stop this nonsense. I'm reporting the seller to eBay, but I have a feeling they won't do much about it :rolleyes:

  4. macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I would buy a battery off ebay all day long; just not from someone in China. With no disrespect to China, ebay purchases out of China for me are synonymous with knock offs. Notwithstanding, I would send this all to Apple and let them pounce on the listings.
  5. macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2011
    Brandon, MS
    I typically don't buy from overseas vendors in eBay for anything, especially China. Sure, they have vendors in the US that sell counterfeit and knock-off products, too, but at least the turn-around time for such issues is much faster.

    If I were to buy a battery for a Mac, I would use a trusted online seller like Amazon.com for a genuine battery or get the slightly higher capacity battery from OWC.
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Contacting Apple about the matter might be a good step. Personally, as I live in Europe, 'overseas' to me is the same when talking about the U.S. or China. The only problem I would face when buying from the U.S. is that I have to pay 23% VAT and possible customs duties upon receiving the item. So neither choice is good for me. I have heard from people using fake or off-brand batteries that they have no problems whatsoever, and I do believe that the battery in question is not necessarily a bad battery, but I was told that it's a genuine battery when in reality it wasn't; it's different if I knowingly wanted to buy an off-brand battery.

  7. macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    If this battery was genuine how much would you have saved over purchasing it from Apple?
  8. macrumors 6502

    Jan 14, 2011
    I follow a simple rule of thumb when purchasing from eBay.

    If it's from China, it's a fake. No exceptions.

    That said, I often buy fakes that cost me 1/4 of the original price. Items like laptop sleeves, screwdrivers, and other minor purchases are fine to buy.
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    $50 before calculating shipping, so likely around $80 after shipping costs.
  10. macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    China is the place where they boldly open fake Apple stores. It should come as no surprise that they would also sell fake batteries. The irony is that China is where most Apple manufacturing takes place.

    That being said, there is a high likelihood that the battery in question would have worked as advertised. Just because they don't know how to spell, doesn't mean they don't know how to manufacture batteries. I'm sure the secret to making batteries is well known in a country that doesn't respect intellectual or copyright laws.
  11. macrumors 68020


    Nov 16, 2006
    Personally I wouldn't buy a battery from anyone but apple or a big, very well known 3rd party company. I prefer my house to not be on fire generally.
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    My thoughts exactly. At the time the eBay offer just seemed better, and I tried hard to avoid the obvious fraudulent seller, but no such luck this time. I'll see if my local Apple Authorized Reseller can bring these batteries in, because those postage fees on the Apple Store are monstrous :mad:
  13. macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2010
    It's good to hear everything was sorted out. This is one of the reasons I NEVER buy items from China. It takes forever to get here and if there is a problem, it takes forever to get it resolved.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2014
    Beware of top power-usa on eBay

    I agree that people should be VERY cautious when buying a battery for Mac products on eBay. I purchased a battery for my macbook. The battery worked for about 2 months. Then it just crashed and burned. The supplier on eBay was toppower-usa. I wrote a letter of complaint requesting a replacement battery. No response! This is how they list their product: "NEW Genuine Original Apple Macbook Unibody 13" A1342 A1331 Laptop Battery 63.5Wh." This company lists itself as "Based in the USA." This appears to be coded language that it is not an American company. Evidence suggests it is a Chinese company.
  15. macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2012
    If you were to dispute via paypal, you would have gad to ship on your dime first and provide tracking. After that you would get $ back.
  16. macrumors 68000

    Jan 27, 2007
    If it sounds too good to be true, probably is. Paying about $50 for a $130 battery should be a red flag to anyone.
  17. macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2013
    I'm confused. Why did you not open an item not as described case. Which it was. They would have paid the return shipping and refunded your money.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 16, 2012
    If it's counterfeit you don't have to, ebay/paypal always side with the buyer.

    Also I'd open a dispute on ebay rather than Paypal in future (although probably doesn't matter too much).
  19. macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2015
    Ok, old thread, but...

    Not buy from China? If it's from China, it's fake?

    It might say "Designed in California"... yes... but the actual batteries are obviously not manufactured in California, but most probably in China, Taiwan or any other place where tax-regulations are more lax, where governments (and in extension, Apple and other companies) don't care that much about workers rights etc... So, from the Coltan and all the other minerals in our gadgets that were taken from war-riddled zones in west africa, to the manufactruring in factories in china... They're definitely not MADE in California. California is where they the money is made. So the reason the quality of the battery is not as good as the original, is not because it's from China, since that's probably where the originals are made (or Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, etc..) . They just didn't manage to copy the design accurately.

    I have a chinese (?) copy the company I worked for in Cambodia gave me. It says "check battery" in the status, and it only lasts for about 2 hrs (late macbook 2006). So it's not the best. But the fact that I was working in a hot climate, maybe 95 F in moths isn't optimal for batteries? I dunno.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2015
    If I buy a battery from eBay... how can I check that it is 100% Apple genuine?
  21. macrumors 68020


    Nov 23, 2011
    First and foremost - the seller's rep. When you receive the battery it should have the genuine Apple markings, logo, part number, all that jazz - normally you find that they won't go to those lengths at faking the markings because that opens them up to a massive lawsuit with Apple.
  22. macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2015
  23. macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2011
    2015 Battery problem

    My 2008 Macbook has recently started to display the sentence "replace soon" in the System Prefs on my Macbook and I knew that I would have to buy a battery.

    Im about to blog post what I have found recently and frankly I don't think scammers realise that its more than just poorly spelt places in the U.S to where the batteries are designed.

    The replacement type batteries from Apple should have 55KWH and NOT 59KWH which fake battereries now carry. They no longer carry the Apple sign, nor do they place the font of information in the middle of the battery on the back.

    The side corners are straight edged unlike the corners on Apple genuine batteries and the lock on my Macbook couldn't move properly which makes the fake battery sit out at an edge and proud, not flush like the genuine one.

    Put simply, the fake battery gave me 100% of power but when the MagSafe plug was removed, the battery dropped to 92% in less than 20 minutes to which my Macbook automatically shut off!!

    A call to Apple in the UK turns out the worst fear that I knew would happen - they no longer sell the battery independently unless I book a Genius Bar appointment. Frankly I don't have the time, but I am pleased to find a seller on EBay who has the same battery as a replacement which is NOT a fake, carries the same serial number as my old Macbook and was able to sell me the battery at a price that I knew was justified - three times the price of the single fake batteries that are being sold.

    Photo I have uploaded shows the fake battery versus the Apple genuine product on the base.

    Attached Files:

  24. Bigdrago, Jun 12, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015

    macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2015
    I have received my battery from eBay today.
    Below is a picture showing the two... the bottom the original one and on the top the new one.
    Fake?:) The new one also have a serial number, a way to check if it is genuine be checking serial?

    Battery health app showing:
    Health 106%
    Current max: 7608 mAh
    Original max: 7150 mAh

    Attached Files:

  25. macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2013
    Well, after hesitating for months to purchase a replacement battery for my mid-2009 macbook pro, and after at genius bar i have been told that my mac is now considered as vintage therefore they can't officialy replace the battery. i pulled the trigger and purchased a Floueron-branded replacement battery on Ebay.

    Just after the operation, to my surprise, my mac didn't turn on. Even though i put the original battery back and tried all the solutions possible (trying to turn on without a battery on, smc resets, checking the ram etc.) my mac now doesn't show any sign of life and apparently the logic board is dead.

    i'm suspecting that the new battery caused a short circuit and killed my beloved macbook pro's the logic board.

    even though there is no way to be sure that the replacement battery caused the damage, my advise to anyone looking to replace the battery themselves to be careful with those third party batteries on ebay.

    unfortunately my lesson was rather an expensive one!

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