Buying a MacBook Pro but the serial number is blanked out. Why is that?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ShoeFreak107, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. ShoeFreak107 macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2016
    Ok I want to purchase a new or used MacBook Pro but I've seen people blacking out the serial number and I don't know why. I called apple but the representative had no clue either. Can someone steal info like this or what? Please explain every little thing. I'm new so sorry. I have a example picture. This isn't the one I'm buying.

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  2. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    Man I have no idea... The pessimist in me says, "Maybe it's stolen." The realist in me disagrees with the pessimist but does not have a better answer.

    Man, I just wasted like 90 seconds of my life responding in a long winded way just to say, "I dunno."
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Why not ask the seller?
    Ask them to provide you the serial number, or you won't purchase without it.
    (Not sure why you would need it, as you can glean something about the Mac from the OTHER information on your example.)
    Some folks might cover the serial number, because the logic board has been replaced without using the serial number tool to burn the serial number to the replacement logic board, or the serial number no longer is the same because the logic board was replaced with a used one.
    Or, there could be other possible reasons why a seller wouldn't want to provide a serial number - not all of them involving bad news.
    I also "dunno" - but the seller knows. Ask him. If they don't have an answer you like, move on.
  4. ShoeFreak107 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2016
    I did ask he said he won't give it to me unless I buy it. 80% of the MacBooks have been covered. The other 20% are ones I don't want. What your saying actually makes sense so I might just buy a new sealed one.
  5. kbfr08 macrumors 6502

    Mar 16, 2007
    Can't you call apple and get the SN from the MAC address? I feel like they would probably have that ability.

    I block out SNs on most of my items on eBay, since certain vendors will scan eBay to see if their product has transferred ownership so they can void the warranty and assess a recertification fee if you try to purchase an extension (*cough* cisco). He might also be worried about having the SN cloned, or something unfounded like that.

    It's probably not stolen but the seller is definitely paranoid.
  6. ShoeFreak107 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2016
    What happens when it's cloned? And how would they transfer ownership? Sorry I'm just curious.
  7. illegaloperation macrumors newbie

    Feb 6, 2016
    No serial number = no purchase

    It's as simple as that.
  8. jsnuff1 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2003
    the owner of the macbook was murdered and it was stolen/pried off his cold dead clutches.
  9. Spudlicious macrumors 6502


    Nov 21, 2015
    Bedfordshire, England
  10. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    The seller is probably afraid of someone who is not the buyer registering it to their Apple ID.
  11. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    (To the OP as well) ... Registration is done during setup of OS X. As far as I know (could be wrong), you cannot register a system in any other fashion (but I think Genius Bar can do it, assuming you bring them the physical system and proof of ownership,) Seller probably doesn't realize that though, which kind of makes this somewhat amusing.

    I think the seller is just being paranoid with no real proof to support it. "Better to be safe than sorry" attitude, that's all. Try to meet them somewhere public if you can so that you can see the system in person to remove all doubt, but I think you'll be fine.
  12. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    You can manually input a serial number on Apple's support site to register a Mac as well. I've done it this way before.
  13. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    That's to register AppleCare, to tie the AppleCare agreement to that particular serial number, or to check the current status of the warranty for that serial number. There is no real need to actually register the system itself. Serial number is only used for AppleCare and for things like police reports and/or maybe insurance claims.

    There's no legitimate reason for the serial number to be hidden from view in that ad whatsoever.
  14. steve23094, Feb 26, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016

    steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    I would blank out the serial number. You all say it doesn't matter displaying it and I'm sure you're right. But I would blank out anything that's a unique or personal identifier that was posted on the internet (this would apply to absolutely anything, not just computer stuff). It would just make me feel better.

    Maybe the seller feels the same way? Or maybe it's stolen, I dunno?
  15. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    Best guess would be the seller doesn't know that nothing can be done with the serial except maybe get free phone support.
  16. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Yeah, I think that's a pretty good guess.
  17. Fancuku macrumors 65816


    Oct 8, 2015
    PA, USA
    All these people that cover the serial number are paranoid schmucks. All you can do with the serial number is check to see if it still has any Applecare left. If the seller is not willing to disclose the serial number before sale then don't do business with him/her.
  18. Closingracer macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2010
    paranoid? Lol ..Because Sellers don't scam people on Ebay ever?
    --- Post Merged, Feb 27, 2016 ---

    There is.... if you don't feel the need then don't but I'm not going to go into it here...

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