Bidder is asking for serial #

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by HarryKeogh, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. HarryKeogh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2008
    Hi guys

    I'm selling a Mac on eBay and the current high bidder is asking if I "can provide the serial number of this computer".

    Now I certainly can as I bought the computer last year but why would they ask for it and if I give it to them can they do anything with it that can screw me at all (like use it to register for something)?

    I don't want to offend the guy as he's the high bidder but want to protect myself just the same.
  2. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Do not provide it. Tell them you will be happy to provide the 'winning' bidder your Serial Number after the transaction is complete.

    Protect yourself at all costs. So you lose one bidder ? Big deal. Better than being duped out of a computer. I'd settle for an inconvenience over a theft.
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I don't know what the big deal is in giving him the serial number. He's probably interested in seeing it's warranty status.

    If so, do a screen shot of your about this Mac screen and block out all but the last 3 digits of the serial number. Run serial number at Apple warranty tracker and block out all but last 3 digits of serial number.
  4. HarryKeogh thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2008
    OK, thanks for the quick response. I just sent him a message saying I'll send it to the winning bidder once the item is paid for.
  5. toxictrix macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2009
    I will never buy a computer without knowing the serial number. That's just me though. Every time I have bought a macbook I call Apple and they will tell you if any work has ever been done on it or if it has had any problems. Also lets you know how much warranty is left.
  6. LoganT macrumors 68020

    Jan 9, 2007
    As far as I know the only thing someone can do with your serial number is purchase AppleCare for you. Which would be awesome.
  7. DoghouseMike macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2011
    I've got the serial number out of people a few times when buying stuff on ebay. It's pretty handy to confirm what you're actually buying, as descriptions can be a little vague. Blame apple for making a zillion different "Powermac G4" or "PowerBook G3", or "Macbook" variations. I really wouldn't worry about it.
  8. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    At the very least you should let buyers know how much warranty/AC is left. That requires the serial number. If you do not provide it then expect to sell for less - assuming their is plenty of time.

    This is what they want to check out - insert serial # to find out about warranty

    You might want to consider inserting your serial number into that link and then showing a screen shot of the results showing what is left with the actually serial number blurred
  9. HarryKeogh thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2008
    ok, I wrote back the guy and gave him the serial number.

    Seems like no big deal.

    but thanks all for the input.
  10. Buck987 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 16, 2010

    I think that's not the correct way to go about this. Just my take on it.

    Edit: I wrote to soon. Good luck on the auction.
  11. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Just to play devil's advocate, but it's also possible someone wants the serial number, in order to fake an auction in the future. If they're asked for the serial, they can provide one, and it'll check out. Buyer sends the cash, bidder disappears.
  12. john1620b macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2009
    Good point, that's something I'd never considered -- however, that's really not detrimental to the original owner. Maybe something to be careful of when you're buying, though.
  13. AF08 macrumors member


    Jun 20, 2010
    Huntington Beach
    No Big Deal

    I always ask for the serial number when I purchase I used Mac....

    I like to check warranty status...

    I always provide when I sell something...

    I will not buy from someone who doesn't provide the serial.
  14. Matthew9559 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 7, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    Yeah, it's no big deal that they know your serial # and it's very common to display it so that bidders can bid with confidence knowing you are not cheating them on warranty left, etc.

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