Help - Has My New MacBook Pro Been Used?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by novaf4, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. novaf4 macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    Hello everyone. I received a brand new MacBook Pro from an insurance company as part of a claim. By the time it arrived I had bought another one, so I put the Macbook provided by the insurance company on eBay to sell. A buyer from London won the auction and I sent it to him. For reasons I won't go into he changed his mind and sent it back for a refund. He told me that he had opened just the box to check the spec. On receiving the Macbook back I opened the brown packaging box to find that he had indeed removed the clear sellophane from around the Macbook white box. When I opened the white Apple box I could also see that he had taken the Macbook out of it's clear 'envelope' style wrapping because he had put it back upside down and the wrapping looked like it had been tampered with. I also noticed that the sticker/label attached to the clear wrappers' lift up tab had torn a little.

    What I don't know is if he went any firther and turned on the Macbook and even started or completed the registration process.

    I have sold the Macbook (again) to a friend of mine who is picking it up tomorrow. He knows that it is brand new and has been partly opened but he is not expecting it to have been turned on.

    I want this sale to go through smoothly and for my friend to not discover any suprises. I will have to take the Macbook out of it's clear envelope wrapping and turn it around and stick the wrapping down again so that it is back to how Apple originally packaged it but I want to know if there is a 'safe' way that I can check to see if the previous buyer turned it on and possibly went through the registration process without me actually effecting the process myself! Obviously I'm praying that he hasn't. I want to be able to check this but for me to not effect anything.

    Ultimately I need the new buyer to turn it on and it be as Apple intended with the start of the registration process taking place, without my friend thinking "Hang on a second... has this been used?".

    Thanks for any help. It would be MUCH appreciated before the end of today.
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013

    there ius no way to tell without turning
    there is no way to tell without turning it on. So if I was you and they really are a friend just be honest with them and tell tehm what has happened turn it on together and see what comes up. If it has been registered then wipe it and start again and give him a few dollars off... A friend would be understanding and appreciate the honesty...
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The only way for you to find out, is to turn it on.

    I don't believe you can sell it a NIB any longer, since the plastic wrap has been removed.
  4. novaf4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    Could I not turn it on and if (hopefully) the very first step of the registration is displayed, then I can just hold down the power button to turn it off. Then I'd know that when turned on again it would be fine and do the same thing?

    If (hopefully not) it was obvious that the previous buyer had in fact tampered with it then I can find out at that point how to get it back to manufacturers state.
  5. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Sure. You could do that. If it has an account already set up, then the safest way to reset it is to boot to the recovery partition, erase the hard drive, and reinstall the OS.
  6. novaf4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    Thanks for the help. Can anyone confirm - what should the first thing that I should see onthe screen when I turn it on, provided it hasn't been tampered with? Thanks.
  7. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2015
    Seems to me you have a MUCH bigger problem. How do you know the ebay buyer wasnt a scammer who switched your new mbp with a different one, or even opened it up and swiched or took the insides. That kind of stuff happens all the time. You were dumb or naive to even take it back, what was his reason for returning it which you didnt say. You mught have a case with ebay/paypal.
  8. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    If the machine is fresh, you will see the welcome screen. Just press and hold the power button to turn it off. If you see a login screen, then go with the reset procedure.


    If you are really worried about that it wouldn't be hard to boot up the recovery partition and compare the serial number displayed in software to the serial number shown on the box.
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Seems like a lot of work, just to scam him. Why not just take the machine and not return it. The results are the same, the OP files a dispute with PayPal.
  10. TOMIMOT macrumors 6502


    Jul 16, 2011
    I totally agree, you won't know until you turn it on and check the specs in "about my mac" window. There is a lot of shady people out on eBay that are capable of doing stuff like this, hence why I don't accept refunds after making sales of such expensive products. If it was something cheap ya sure why not, but not a MBP.
  11. Shadowbech macrumors 601

    Oct 18, 2011
    Planet iPhone
    Since I got a brand new one yesterday, the first thing that popped up was Region selection.
  12. novaf4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    thanks for the help. Just for the record, I did not accept a return but the buyer sent it back anyway having got an eBay return label! I refused it from the post office the first time and it did the rounds within parcel force. I ended up entering a case with eBay which I eventually and miraculously won. The buyer got his money back - paid by eBay - and I ended up with the buyers money and the laptop back. It was a crazy ending to a very stressful sitiuation. It took a big fight. eBay were a total nightmare until they finally saw the wood from the trees. I can totally appreciate why people say eBay favour buyers and not sellers. It's totally true.

    The buyer wanted a refind becaue he assumed it had 16gb compered to 8gb since it had been turbo boosted to i7, compared to i5, but I makde it 100% clear on my listing that it was 8gb.

    I can only hope that the buyer was geniune and saw the laptop cheaper elsewhere and was genuinely being an idiot rather than a scammer.
  13. Gjwilly macrumors 68030

    May 1, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Login to your Apple Support profile and try to register the Mac's serial number to your account.
    That's even more important than whether it's been turned on or not.
    If the first buyer registered it to their account then they could cause trouble for you months or even years down the line.
    If you can successfully register it then just unregister it and give it to your friend.
    If you can't then you've got bigger problems.
  14. novaf4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    All points noted thanks. Here's where I'm at. I've inspected the packaging closely. Here's the wierd thing. The transparent wrapper that surrounds the laptop has not been removed. I know this because as I attempted to peel away one of the glued side panels and it started rucking up, leaving obvious marks. The rest of it and on the other side were smooth. There's no way it could have been taken off. BUT... the laptop is the wrong way round inside the wrapper!!! I've checked YouTube videos and clearly when the lid of the box is opened the MBP should be sitting in it's normal position - apple logo face upwards, with the plastic tab coming from the underside therefore being able to be pulled and bring the laptop with it. Mine was sent back to me with the tab on the underside and yet the laptop inside is upside down - showing it's underside. There was also what looked like a crumb of chocolate on the laptop body as when I tried to shift it carefully by sliding a flat implement between the packaging an the laptop it smeared over the laptop and packaging. Nice brown mark.

    I just don't get it. It looks like someone has gotten into it and put it back the wrong way round but there's no way that the transparent envelop that is wrapping it has been taken off. Further evidence to prove this is the tamper proof label which although slightly torn at the edges has not been torn all the way to enable the laptop to have been taken out.

    Totally bizarre. I feel like I'm going mad.

    The laptop was a i5 and the insurance company got it turbo boosted to i7. Could it be that whoever did this upgrade had to take the packaging off and happened to put it back the wrong way round and used new packaging and dropped a little bit of chocolate in between?!

    Stressfull Sherlock here can't think of any other answer.

    Cheers all.
  15. duervo macrumors 68020


    Feb 5, 2011
    Absolute best advice I can give:

    Stop worrying. It's a complete waste of your time. Handle any issues as they crop up (such as if the system has been registered already.) Worrying about such things in the meantime is just a waste of your time and energy.

    "I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened." - Mark Twain
  16. RUGGLES99 macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2015
    Who ever said scamners are brain surgeons. But if it was a scam he has gotten away with it. The op never did say why it was returned. All very questionable.


    Going mad? Try to grt out and suck in some O2. Wow!


    Why was it returned by the ebay purchaser since it was sealed and brabd new? Why did you accept the return since you didnt have to. Somethings misding here. It all sounds very fishy to me,

  17. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    If you're selling it to a friend, surely it's just easier to let him/her know what's happened? I'd think he/she'd understand...?

    Sounds like you're going to way too much trouble.
  18. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Ohh, common sense in the MR forums! A rare occasion! ;-)
  19. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    So you ended up with both the cash and the laptop? So you essentially got a free laptop out of the deal. Take the wrap off, power it up, check it out fully, erase it if you want, sell it as "used like new" for $100 less. Seems like you come out way ahead regardless.
  20. poiihy macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2014
    Turn it on. If you see the registration screen, you are ok. Press Command+Q to quit it without doing anything. Next time the machine is turned on it will load the registration screen again.

    If it has been set up already, create an OS X install USB stick. Boot from it, erase the drive, install the OS, then when it restarts to the setup screen, press Command+Q to close it. Now pack it up and sell it. When the buyer opens it and turns it on, they'd see the registration screen as if it was a new Mac.
  21. novaf4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2015
    Firstly I wanted to say thanks for all the messages I received about my post. Some were very helpful and some were more stress inducing! I liked the theraputic one about calming down. I can't tell you how stressful the whole eBay saga was.

    Anyway, to end the saga my friend came round and picked up the laptop. I explained about it being upside down in the packaging and he thought that the insurance company must have done that when carrying out the processor upgrade (from i5 to i7). I went along with that! I asked him to let me know that the registration process went OK and to check the spec of the machine is correct and to let me know if he has any problems. This evening he got back to say that on booting up the screen just showed an icon of a folder with a question mark in the middle. What? :eek: Then he said this:

    I had to boot it up in a safe mode but it's connected now and downloading OSX that I'm assuming the insurance people forgot to install when they put the new processor in... We will see when it completes it all.

    He then sent a screenshot of the machine's spec which is correct and told that everything is fine with it.

    So, the saga is over, but I'll never quite know exactly what happened. Why it was upside down in the unopened packaging and why the initial start sequence wasn't as expected with no operating system. Totally and utterly bizarre. Thank God he got it working (he obviously knows what he's doing) and is now happy. I was so worried that the eBay buyer did something wierd. Maybe he did to some degree which was why it didn't boot up right. Who knows?

    My friend ended up with an amazing deal (about £400 off retail price) and I ended up quids in, but having gone through a nightmare scenario with eBay because of a stupid buyer causing no end of problems.

    That's the last time I sell anything of significant value on eBay. I'm through with it.

    End of. Thanks to those who took the time to help.
  22. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

    Apr 11, 2014
    Congrats. I'm glad you got this computer of your shoulders.

    At a way to play it off smooth and let him do the talking. You don't want to say too much in these situations.

    You just got to play along act like nothing's wrong with it which is what you did.

    Congrats on the sale.
  23. chabig macrumors 601

    Sep 6, 2002
    Sounds fishy to me. MacBook processors can't be upgraded. If it came new in a white Apple box it should have what the label says it has. This story is a bit bizarre.
  24. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The processor is not upgradeable. If you want the i7 processor the laptop has to ordered with it.

    If the plastic was off the white box then someone opened that box.
  25. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 27, 2013
    This happened with me with ebay. It made up for all the crap they had done in the past. A guy bought a monitor off me, returned it because he didn't want it. It was returned damaged. Ebays smart solution was to refund the buyer and let me keep my money. The monitor worked fine still, but had some small damage to the plastic casing. Sold it at a steep discount to my cousin for $200. I didn't try to play off the damage, I think that was wrong on the OP's part. And considering he already had the money. Must have been an enemy it was sold to not a friend.

Share This Page