Applecare Protection Plan

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by badman89, May 30, 2012.

  1. badman89 macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2011
    I wanted to buy an APP for my laptop because the first-year warranty will soon be running out. I checked on Apple's website where it was listed for $250. Then I went to eBay and saw a listing for $186 so I bought the one on eBay. The guy immediately sent me a registration code which I submitted to Apple along with my serial number. Now it says registration in progress; I hope it all works out!

    My main question is this: How the ******* is this guy able to sell this product for less than 75% of the original cost? This almost never happens with Apple products as far as I know (or does it?).
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There have been widespread reports of scams regarding AppleCare on eBay. It's generally safer to buy from Apple or an authorized Apple seller. If you qualify for an education discount, you can get it for around the price you paid.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Many of those auctions are counterfeit. They long ago figured out the algorithm to apple's activation code.

    you'll see that many of those auctions only give you the code and not a box. The issue is if apple requests the serial number on the box because someone else (who bought the product) registered their Mac with the same activation code they'll request proof from you. If you cannot provide the serial number (which is on the box) then they will cancel your extended warranty.

    I recommend buying applecare from amazon or some other retailer that offers it cheaper but has a good reputation.
  4. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    I would try to get my money back from the eBay seller. It's far too risky. It's easy to contest such sales since no physical product was shipped. Just contact Paypal if necessary.

    Here's one authorized reseller and their prices: $180 for MacBook Pro 13" and all Airs.

    B&H is another authorized reseller with similar prices. $190

    You have no worries about buying from either of these companies. You get a retail box with serial number.
  5. badman89 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2011
    Well, the registration went smoothly, I just got confirmation from Apple. And the seller even gave me the serial number that comes on the box.

    What could go wrong?
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Read maflynn's post.
  7. badman89 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2011
    I did read it! In fact, his was the post that I was directly responding to. Sorry if I didn't make this clear. Let me try to recap it up the conversation:

    Badman: I bought an APP on eBay.

    Maflynn: Beware, most eBay sellers don't give you the serial number on the box. Without this serial number, Apple will cancel your warranty.

    Badman: My seller actually gave me this serial number. What could go wrong now?
  8. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    There is some fine print where Apple can ask for a legit box serial number as well as proof of purchase from an authorized Apple reseller.

    So at this point your box serial number could be either fake, or a legitimate number that the seller gives to all (or many) customers. Second, he is probably not an authorized reseller.

    The status of your Applecare will sit like it is now and you won't have 100% certainty that you're actually covered until the point that you need it. I believe that at some point someone figured out how to generate fake codes that would clear the registration stage so Apple has the second layer of checks.

    Note that there's a whole different layer of risk here too. In the past people have had their iTunes accounts closed due to usage of an Ebay purchased iTunes gift card. The original purchaser bought the gift cards with a stolen Paypal account or stolen credit card. Someone down the road uses the iTunes card and is nailed as the thief. Who's to say this can't happen with Applecare too, thus the authorized reseller piece.
  9. badman89 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2011

    Your post was very informative. Thank you.

    But why is this true:

    If I go down to my local Apple service center now (not putting it off until the point when I need it), won't they be able to clarify the status of my APP for me immediately?
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    They can, but they will get the same information you can find by entering the serial number here. The point is, that status may be fine now, but could change in the future, if fraud is discovered.
  11. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I just dug out the Applecare box from my Mac Pro to refresh my memory.

    The code inside the box gets used to activate Applecare for a hardware serial number. Ideally you'd have a receipt and box in hand for the Applecare just to head off any issues down the road.

    The Applecare serial number on the outside of the box is good to have, and it's unique from the registration number mentioned above. In your case, you have a number but not the original box, etc. So today maybe your registration looks fine. A year from now, maybe someone else made a claim against a fabricated registration number from the same vendor. If by chance the vendor gave them the same serial number as yours then you are screwed. I'm sure there are other ways for the fraud to be detected.

    (yes, I now realize there's a more succinct response than this. such is the life of a single post being written between phone calls, etc)

    Good luck!

    Edit: Full disclosure, though I now purchase all of my Applecare boxed and legit.. I did once purchase a few of them from Ebay. I received nothing but a code from the vendor. Everything activated fine and I subsequently used at least one of them for a MBP repair. I didn't get burned but I was nervous, as all these scams came to light in the time between when I purchased and then finally utilized mine.
  12. davidg4781 macrumors 68020

    Oct 28, 2006
    Alice, TX
    I bought one in 2007, but can't remember where. I think it may have been from eBay. Either way, I had them ship me the box (that was one of the options) and everything worked out fine.

    But, if something does come up, without the box you could have it cancelled. Could you maybe ask him to send you the box if there is one?

    How do they get them so cheap? Theft? I'm talking about the ones with sealed boxes. Maybe they purchase the box and never attach it to a Mac. Then if they find out they didn't need it they'll sell it?
  13. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    The OP said he paid $186 on eBay. When authorized resellers, like LA Computer Company and B&H, are selling it for $180 with no tax and free shipping, why take even the slightest risk?

    For that matter, you can get it for $183 (plus tax, free shipping) directly from the Apple Education Store and they don't require any proof that you're a student or educator.

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