Ebay iMacs -- keep walking?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by brbeard, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. brbeard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #1
    What's the general consensus regarding buying brand new (in original packaging) macs off of ebay from non-Authorized Apple Dealers? It makes me wary, but I may be being overly cautious. I came across this, which looks pretty good:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-Apple-iMac-...yZ111418QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    His feedback is almost entirely from selling macs and it's all positive (and, in my opinion, too extensive for it to be shill feedback).

    I sent him a message, asking if he was authorized, and how the warranty worked (since it starts at the point of purchase -- his point of purchase) and not when I open the box. I received this response:



    "Hi, no I am not an Apple dealer and I buy the systems for resale from a major Apple reseller. I have sold hundreds of systems and have never encountered warranty issues. See my feedback.

    I have even had one MacBook arrive to the buyer dead and the buyer took it to his local Apple Store and they took care of it with no problems. (He did not want to wait for me to send him another).

    I buy the systems the week I list them and the warranty normally has 1 year and a week when I get them. Some have even had longer."



    The bit about the warranty being a year and a week seems like bs to me, personally. In fact the whole message seems a little contrived...not sure. I don't know how he goes about getting these computers and how he can sell them for $75 below apple prices (and that doesn't factor in the auction fees or paypal fees he's incurring). But the feedback's all good...What do you guys think? I'm going to send him a message requesting the serial number (this is listed on the outside of the box, right?) so I can confirm the warranty info on apple's website.
     
  2. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #2
    It doesn't look to bad to me, he is an EBay powerseller and I agree his feedback is too extensive to be just shills.

    You might also be able to get 20% cash back through Live.com. Go to Live.com and search for something popular like 'Canon digital camera' or 'cheap ipod'. Typically a link will come up offer 20% cashback for Buy-It-Now EBay auctions paid with Paypal (up to $250.) It takes awhile to get the money back, but since it's through MS and EBay I doubt there is anything shady going on.

    So that $1125 iMac might actually only cost you $900.
     
  3. brbeard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    Hi Madmax,
    Yeah, I just found out about the live.com thing last night, which was part of the reason I was looking at Buy-it-nows on ebay. It's really a ridiculous deal, isn't it?! If it weren't through ebay and microsoft I'd think it wass some sort of scam (still, until I see the deposit in my paypal acct I'll be incredulous), but it certainly does seem legit. I think it's the way I'm going to go. The alternative is to buy one with an educational discount, but then I've got to sell that ipod on ebay (for $250 after fees) to get the same sort of deal. Thanks for your reply.
     
  4. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #4
    My vote: KEEP WALKING

    With so many bad things happening on eBay, I would not go there. Be safe. Buy direct from Apple or Club Mac.
     
  5. brbeard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    Done Deal

    Well, I did it! $920 after discount (and after the addition of shipping). Couldn't turn that down -- we'll see how it goes. Thanks for the replies, guys.
     
  6. showtime macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    #6
    The only problem you might run into with the warranty is that it's not exactly one year but it should be close. Usually apple would correct that if it was purchased from an authorized reseller but that's the only difference I can see. You don't need to have proof of purchase for warranty support since it is serialized.
     
  7. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    Congrats! Please update this thread after you receive the Mac, and check out the warranty status at Apple.com.
     
  8. brbeard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    Hi,
    I got the iMac today, registered it, and checked to see what my status was. It expires in exactly one year, so I'm good to go there. One point of some concern -- when I bring up the "About This Mac" window, my memory is listed as "1 GB 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM". The computer was, of course advertised as being the latest iMac, meaning 1066 MHz. So, I was in the midst of writing a terse letter to the seller (which I would follow through by seeking a refund through Paypal, but I happened to click on the "More Info..." button, listing my computer's specifics and, in the hardware overview, the bus speed is listed as 1.07 GHz (which is what it should be). If I click on the memory tab however, it lists the speed as 800 MHz. Anyone know how I can determine which it is for sure?

    Edit 1: Or are these two different things? The 1066 is processor speed and 800 is memory (which just happens to be the same as the old processor speed)?

    Edit 2: Alright, I think that's the situation -- I'm glad I didn't write that nasty letter accusing the seller of trying to pull one over. I just want someone (who knows what they're talking about) to confirm that though. Please forgive my ignorance in these matters.

    Edit 3: One slightly painful thing -- 2 days after I bought the computer, I got a code from ebay for an additional 10% off (this can be used in conjunction with the 20% off from live.com), so I could've gotten this for $830, which REALLY would've been a steal.
     
  9. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #9
    I have to say you are one daring guy to buy from eBay... Wow, an iMac from eBay.. I really don't think i would have the balls to do this myself.. I would always go to an Authorised Apple Retail Store..
     
  10. brbeard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #10
    Yes, it was, perhaps, a bit reckless. I thought it was worth the gamble though -- no tax to pay (I'm in Chicago, where sales tax is 10%), so, with that and the other discounts, I saved about $400, or roughly 30%.

    I proceeded with caution though -- I made sure to buy from a guy who'd done a lot of business with macs (with consistently satisfied customers). I don't know what his situation is -- how he gets these things, but I'd imagine he's in some way (unofficially, for these purposes) associated with an authorized dealer. He's got access to so many on a consistent basis, at discounted prices. He can't be authorized if he sells on ebay (it's against Apple's rules, supposedly), so I think his not being authorized is more a matter of ebay being his chosen venue (a venue which requires relatively low overhead -- no physical store to maintain, and since he buys it as he sells it, his stock doesn't go out of date). I think it's a pretty good business plan. And nothing, likely, nefarious about it. That doesn't apply to everyone selling electronic equipment on ebay, obviously.
     

Share This Page