Am I out of line?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by KGWVU, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. KGWVU macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2010
    I'm looking to get a good used MBP 2010 model. I've inquired on a few on eBay as well as Craigslist. As soon as I ask for the serial number to cross reference with the Apple Store to verify warranty, specs, etc. I do not hear back from the seller. Is asking for the serial number a no-no? To me, it seems like a good idea but I can understand how somebody could be put off by it. If this is out of line, what questions should I ask to protect myself by confirming the product is not stolen and nothing crazy is going on?

    Ideally, I would like to pick up a 2010 MBP 15" or 17" for around $1,200 and have some extra cash for an SSD and RAM upgrade. Meh, may end up going with a new MBP from Apple Online.
  2. creative78 macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2007
    Your best bet is to avoid Craigslist (like the plague) and if you really want to purchase from Ebay, go with a seller who has high ratings.
  3. KGWVU thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2010
    Craigslist is attractive because I can meet the person and see the actual product and try it out before purchasing it. I understand there is no buyer/seller protection in place with Craigslist but I like the idea of having the product in my hands and looking it over before purchase.

    On eBay, the sellers I have contacted have all had 500+ feedback and all 98% + positive feedback. It's just so weird that communication completely breaks down once I ask for the serial number.

    Thanks for your response!
  4. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    There's no such thing as a "no no" in terms of asking questions but I would steer clear of Craigslist and $1200 for a 2010 MBP is way too low for you to expect someone to be selling their MacBook Pro for. If anyone is selling it for that price it's fraud.
  5. aeboi macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2009
    Bay Area
    best to avoid if they won't give you the serial
  6. MonkeyET macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2009
    Coachella, CA
    If you are trying to save cash, the best suggestion I can make is to either buy a refurb, buy an open box unit at your local Best Buy (if they have an Apple Shop), or see if you have any Apple affiliated resale shops in your area. From what I have seen, the Apple affiliated shops usually offer the same warranty as Apple would, and would be a safe bet.

    In regards to eBay or Craig's list, do you want to trust someone to properly pack up your new computer? All they would have to do is blame the shipping company for issues and you would be involved with a lengthy process to prove that shipping caused your issue. I would rather pay more for a bit of peace of mind, and know that I was protected. Even better you could drive to your point of sale and avoid the worry altogether.

    It has only been two months since the last MBP refresh...
  7. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    I'll add my vote about asking for the serial number-I see no harm in that. I'd lean toward refurb or affiliate store if you are looking at cost. Here's a good site to get an idea what a used mac should cost:

    Here's another site where you might find a computer or go with a trade in. I have never used them, but they advertise on this site:

    Just some other options to think about.
  8. KGWVU thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2010
    Thanks for the info. Does BB offer to match Apple's education discount? I need to unload on some BB gift cards and if they match the discount, that would be great!
  9. TopHatPlus macrumors 6502

    Aug 1, 2010
    Southern Ontario
    i ordered my brand new mbp 15" from the apple online store which was completely against my better judgement because i despise shopping online i hate the lack of personal contact and talking to cute girls, but it i was extremely satisfied, everything was precise and on time just as apple said it would be, i never had to call them or worry about a thing, it all came in, in pristine condition with all the upgrades i made, i am very very happy.

    Are you out of line? NO

    and yes i would most certainly shop again from the online apple store without a second thought!
  10. greenchiliman macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    Your best bet would be to get your post count high enough to get access to the classified section here. Why deal with scumbags on craigslist when you have all the great people here?
  11. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I'm leery of eBay too even though I will sell stuff on there sometimes that is really high dollar (and I have like 3 or 4 feedbacks haha). I always offer MANY pictures and video clips of the product from any angle if the user asks though.

    To the OP. Your not out of line. You are simply protecting yourself.
  12. tcphoto macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    Madison, GA
    It is unrealistic to think that you are going to buy a current model 15" or 17" MBP for $1200. I would look at Apple refurbs and order something within your budget. If you must, eBay would pose the least threat if you find a seller with enough positive feedback.
  13. KGWVU thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2010
    $1,200 would be nice but I am willing to spend more. I thought I would do my homework and save a few bucks for some nice upgrades but it's becoming a PITA! Looks like I'll be ordering from Apple:apple:

    Thank you all for your replies - they're appreciated!
  14. Merkava_4 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2010
    If the seller won't give you the serial number, then the thing is stolen. Simple as that.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Craigslist is actually better then ebay. You get to examine the machine before the sale and you're dealing with cash, no PayPal crap.
  16. bamf macrumors 6502

    Feb 14, 2008
    That is unless you're robbed while buying the machine. Craigslist is somewhere you have to be very careful. At least with Ebay/Paypal you get the option of getting your money back.
  17. CaoCao macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    When buying a used Apple product always get the serial number, very in line
  18. pbacsik macrumors newbie

    Jun 20, 2010

    They do match the discount. I bought one on Tuesday before the free iPod deal ended. I showed them my student ID for the student discount ($100 off of 13" mbp), and they gave me a $200 gift card for the free iPod. I ended up using the gift card on the accidental protection program that they offer just because my last laptop had it and that is what paid for half of my shiny new macbook pro. :)

    Hope this helps!
  19. mark28 macrumors 68000

    Jan 29, 2010
    When people ask me for serials, I don't bother replying.

    Simply because those serials could be exploited somehow in some possible way maybe. I'm not taking the risk.

    There are other buyers who don't ask for serials, so I usually go for them.
  20. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I don't give serials, but I do offer to show pictures, videos, or the actual machine. If you don't trust me enough to believe what I'm saying is true, then I have no reason to trust you either.

    That's what I think.
  21. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Apr 14, 2010
    Washington State
    Well, I would never buy from a seller that had 98% feedback (especially if he has that many responses, it means he had to have that many negatives to get to 98%) unless it was for a real cheap item. Certainly not for a 1000 dollar item.

    My criteria:
    1. Has to have been around ebay a while.
    2. If been around for years, small amount of feedback is not as important as having all good feedback (in fact, these people feedback is much more important to). It prolly just means they don't use ebay that much. On top of that, sometimes you get good deals this way cause less people want to take a chance on them (I got my last macbook for 200 dollars off plus some software plus a converter to from the macbook to my monitor and it was at the time a month old design. The person only had something like 50 feedback but she had been around for years and it appeared she just sold stuff she no longer needed).
    3. If they have a lot of feedback, I want to see 99.6% good. And I will go see what the negatives say (There's a tool to just find the negatives for you so you can read them). You do get idiot buyers. But you can usually tell when the buyers an idiot, and when the seller has issues with stuff (if the negatives are consistant about the same thing, guy doesn't send what is described often or tends to be late on shipping, you can be sure he has a problem with that). Also, check how seller tends to respond to negatives. Is he crass/defensive/angry? Or does he sound professional in his responses?
    4. Posting has to be written intelligently.

    I am more willing to fudge on things for low cost items (shoot, I got a nano for dirt cheap because I broke my rules, I bought from a seller with only 10 feedback that had been around a month but something told me it was a good bet but I checked out what else he was selling and what he had sold plus I used a credit card so I could use its protections), but very picky when it comes to something like a computer.
  22. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009

    You don't meetnthe guy in a alley.....go to a bank or coffee shop

    Use your brain and you won't get robbed...
  23. KGWVU thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2010
    Again, thank you all for your responses and advice. I'm posting this from my new MBP 15". I ended up going to BB - was able to use an edu discount and burn up some BB gift cards. :apple:
  24. emiljan macrumors 6502


    Jan 25, 2010
  25. creative78 macrumors regular


    Nov 8, 2007

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