eBay MacBook sales = piracy galore

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by opti, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. opti macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2007
    It recently occurred to me that it might be a good idea to buy broken Macs on eBay, then either fix them up or sell the parts separately. I did quite a bit of pricing research, and I've just made my first few MacBook purchases.

    One thing that's really getting to me about these auctions is that a LOT of them seem to have pirates software. Models that came with Tiger are often upgraded to Leopard, and MS Office, iWork, etc. are often included as well -- yet rarely are the install discs included.

    Today I came across someone who's buying broken MacBooks, fixing/upgrading them and selling them, just as I plan to. It was nice to peek at his auctions as a proof of concept of sorts, especially since he's getting really high bids on his auctions. But then I noticed the kind of software he's including on these. Even though he doesn't comprehensively list software in the auctions, his photos (example) show that he's installed Leopard, MS Office, iWork '08, iLife '08, Parallels and Windows XP on EVERY ONE. That's a good $600 - $800 worth of software. All without install discs, of course.

    So I'm wondering what I should do now... restore to the software that came with the MacBook and accept lower bids? Or just focus on selling parts, where this won't be an issue? What would you do?
  2. bartzilla macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2008
    I'd take the honest route, but that's just me. You've got to do what feels right to you at the end of the day.

    Of course, if you were honest but sly, you could produce screenshots like his that show the potential of what you're selling, but actually deliver them with the legit options that are actually specified in the sale. Maybe that's what the guy is actually doing (ok, doubt it but..)
  3. FuuFuu macrumors regular


    Jul 8, 2008
    could this person possibly be just imaging/ghosting his laptops?
  4. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    Doesn't matter if he's imaging his laptops, if they don't come with the licenses and they are full versions then he's pirating.

    But the OP is right, he doesn't list the software but it does say "loads of extras" which in todays market is a pretty generic term and debatable at best.

    Now he could be including demo copies if anything, but again, it's not specified so he's off the hook in regards to what is promised during sale. His pictures would be no different as if he used stock images available on Apples site (which do show Windows running on the machine as well).

    Be honest and lets keep our software online registration key/activation code free shall we?
  5. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Sell legit, but make it a point of pride in all of your auctions to note that you do NOT sell your computers with pirated software, that you include all discs, and that you're an honest trader.
  6. opti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2007
    I like that thought :)

    The one thing I think you could legitimately include without discs is the image that the Mac originally included -- Mac OS X, then-current iLife, etc. As I understand it the license for that is bound to the machine itself.
  7. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Could be, but put yourself in the buyer's shoes. I'd prefer the original discs, so that I can wipe, format, and reinstall the OS myself, and therefore not have to worry about the crap left on it by the previous owner(s).
  8. opti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2007
    I found one that's a lot more blatant here. He lists the software included, and this one also included MS Office in the Windows install, and CS3 (higher retail value than everything else put together).
    Curiously, on a Mac Mini sale a month later he doesn't mention software at all, and still manages to sell it for $200 more than the one loaded with software. So maybe it's more the hardware upgrades that people are after?
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I would do this, but put a positive spin on it.

    Instead of

    "I do NOT sell computers with pirated software!"


    "ALL software included in this package includes the ORIGINAL packaging, installation discs and all documentation and serial numbers!"

    If there is in fact no software other than Leopard or Tiger than simply replace the words "All software", e.g. "Mac OS X 10.5.4 Leopard is installed and you will receive the original installation discs and all documentation" etc.

    I have found anecdotally the more detailed a description you can write (without copy/pasting from other auctions or from websites), the more honest and up-front you appear as a seller and the more money people are willing to bid on you.

    Now, if you REALLY wanted to be shrewd, you could do all this while also reporting your "competitor" copyright violations to eBay... all the more potential business for you :D
  10. opti thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2007
    In the case of the aforementioned seller, I think it's pretty clear that he's wiping and either installing an image he's created, or installing all these apps manually. I don't think there would be any crap from the previous owner.

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