How are (new) MacBooks so cheap on eBay (UK), and are these deals legitimate?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Colin8, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Colin8 macrumors member

    May 12, 2014
    I'm interested in a MacBook Pro, and was going to get one in the US, when I realised that they are so much cheaper on eBay.
    2.3GHz 15" rMPB = £2,199 on Apple store. Or, £1,549 on eBay (link: )

    That's a saving of £650 for what looks like just a couple of symbol changes on the keyboard (they're US imports). What I don't understand, is, how are these US imports to the UK cheaper than if I were to go buy the equivalent model in the US? Also, these are 'shipped from UK' so there will be no extra customs tax.

    I'm really interested in this offer but I'm not sure if this is a scam or not - yes, 2 have already been sold and the seller has over 38k 99% reviews, but this deal seems too good to be true.

    Does anyone have experience buying a MacBook new and cheap from eBay?
    Would you recommend me doing it?

    Thanks a lot!
  2. pgiguere1 macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Probably not a scam but grey market. Apple doesn't allow importation of products from a country to then resell them in another country. This must come from a shady distribution channel Apple is not aware of. Maybe hidden over-production in Chinese factories or something like that. I think the product will be as advertised but just don't be surprised if you have trouble with the warranty.
  3. sirees01 macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2007
    I bought a fully specced 15" retina mbp for my son for his birthday from this seller on ebay 4 weeks ago. It is a US model but considering a £700 saving on apple store pricing it's a no brainer to have a US keyboard layout.

    It was a perfect transaction,ordered on Thursday evening, delivered an 9am Monday morning. I have no complaints and my son is well happy.
  4. Xirtamj macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2014
    I noticed the seller as well. Could you tell me whether it is deliverd in the original box? And how about warranty? Were you able to buy ac+ through Apple?

  5. sirees01 macrumors member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Macbook is sealed in original box as you'd get in an apple store. Seller provides a 3pin UK adapter, works perfectly.

    1 year apple warranty supplied, seller also asked if I wanted to buy additional applecare.

    i would'nt hesitate buying from them again.
  6. 5to1, Jun 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2014

    5to1 macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2008
    The linked SKU is $2599 on the US store, which at the current mid market rate (1.7 GBP/USD) is £1528.

    The sellers got it up at £1549, but there's eBay fee's, shipping, etc to come out of that. Plus the GBP/USD rate is currently at a high and the seller will never achieve the mid market rate anyway. So clearly its not a straight US import.

    I doubt they are smuggled from the factory as another user alluded to. IMO these are likely siphoned from another supply channel/corporate/school/etc deal. Or they're going to be staff discount purchases being sold on.

    I've seen it before with other manufacturers, Dell in particular as they have a lot of separate supply channel deals set up with corporates/etc.

    IMO you'll be fine purchasing it, highly unlikely Apple would take out any breach of terms of supply on you the end user. They'll just take it up with whoever their client is, to put a stop to future breaches (if they can be bothered).
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd say most likely grey market, which bypasses all the tariffs and taxes
  8. Crugga macrumors regular

    Nov 25, 2010
    I bought that same machine off the same seller.
    Arrived in 2 days, as expected US spec but works fine over here. Absolutely no issues whatsoever.
    There is clearly some way they are getting around it but as far as i'm concerned the item was shipped from London so there was no danger of customs fees and ive checked the warranty etc and its all totally valid.
    All I will say is be sure to make an offer, he will haggle. Think I got to about £1470 or so.

    Some will be sceptical but tbh its such a good saving and if it means i'm getting one over on hmrc ii some way or another, well great thats a bonus.

Share This Page