Is for real?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by alia, Jun 2, 2003.

  1. alia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    This site called Marbella Group Purchasing Program (read about them at forum) is offering HUGE discounts on Apple products.

    For example, you can get a 15" PB with Superdrive for $1698
    and a 17" PM for $2801.

    Has anyone used this purchasing group before? It sounds too good to be true!

  2. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
    if they can't spell their url right i say scam
  3. NavyIntel007 macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
    Tampa, FL
  4. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    Doesn't Look Safe

    They had this to say, on the site.

    We bring hundreds of users together at the same time to participate in bulk purchasing opportunities from certified hardware resellers.
    Here's how it works...
    You select the new computer you want and pay a one-time reservation fee of $250. Your order will be placed with 99 other orders. We then pit resellers against each other for your business in return for a large discount. The benefit by moving a large volume of inventory and you benefit by saving a ton of money!

    I don't trust them. Too easy to run off with your cash.

  5. alia thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    Sorry about misspelling that URL. :)

    Yeah, I was thinking the same thing about running off with the $250. Also, they don't give you a price until the order is placed and you lose your $250 if the price sucks and you back out.

    I wish we could get someone with firsthand experience to post!


  6. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    This was discussed somewhere else recently, I'll paste some interesting bits...

    "heres the text of the chat I had with their 'customer service' person

    Please wait for a site operator to respond.
    You are now chatting with 'Customer Support'
    Customer Support:Hi there! Welcome to the Apple Purchase Program. How may I help you?
    you:so what's the deal with the program
    you:how long have you been at this
    Customer Support:Honestly what we are doing isn't very complex. We simply bring multiple buyers together and negotiate volume pricing. Resellers benefit by moving large quantities of machines, so they are more than happy to discount the boxes.
    Customer Support:
    Customer Support:Also, remember, resellers aren't allowed to advertise prices lower than Apple. That is why you never see prices change from one reseller to another.
    Customer Support:The Apple Purchase Program is very new (just a few months old), however, our parent copmany has been in business since 1992... about 10 years.
    you:the powerbook i want says 12 units left to order, what happens if 12 people don't sign up?
    Customer Support:That is 12 people TOTAL in the order... PowerBooks, iMacs, and PowerMacs. We have never had a reservation period yet where there were remaining computers.
    Customer Support:In fact, we usually get too many people.
    you:eek:h, I see, so I want an 867 15" powerbook, but the fine print says that I may be automatically upgraded, I don't want the 17" because it won't boot into os9, does the auto upgrade thing happen a lot?
    Customer Support:No, it will never happen for the PowerBooks... not enough demand.
    you:when is the next order reservation period ending?
    Customer Support:Do you mean THIS reservation period?
    Customer Support:The reservation period closes when all reservations are in. So, once the remaining slots are reserved, the reservation period closes so we can head to the reseller.
    you:what resellers do you use?
    Customer Support:There are just over 500 resellers that we can pull from... we use whomever gives us the biggest disounts for that purchase.
    you:thanks for the info, I'll think about it

    got that from the "live person" link on the site

    This is a classic Gypsy Shell Game technique... ever seen it? The people are crowded around the littlep portable card table and the guy is doing the shell game... a couple of people are betting, and WINNING! Wow! Then a third guy sees you watching, and says, hey, those guys are winning... we oughta try it too...

    HE bets and wins once... and then you're in there and... funny... you just lose and lose and lose...


    All the "winners" are part of the team! They're winning all right... at YOUR expense.

    Don't be stupid. Resellers sell their product at very slim margins on hardware already, usually less than 10%... there just isn't the ROOM these people are claiming for those kinds of discounts...

    Be very careful.... their math just doesn't add up (and the inconsistencies alone should have you running for the hills!)

    they've been around for A MONTH... yet the phone person said "a few months"...

    And how much effort would you make to convince people you were for real if it meant you could score $100,000 in a month or two?

    If 400 people send them the "reservation fee" that's how much they'd rake in.

    Do you think it's unlikely that 400 people would "take the risk?" These forums they're "advertising" in are attended by hundreds of thousands of people... if just 1 in 1,000 go for it, they've made a bundle...

    And they're all set up to keep those people waiting ("oh, we haven't gotten 100 reservations yet...") for a good month or more... essentially buying time to rake in more and more suckers... then they disappear.

    1. They give themselves sweeping rights to terminate the program at any time for any reason and owe you nothing.


    Termination or Cancellation By Company

    The Company may immediately cancel your order and reservation (1) if you breach these Terms, (2) if the Company is unable to verify or authenticate any information you provide to the Company, (3) if such information is inaccurate, (4) if the Company determines, in its sole discretion, that you are using the Service illegally or immorally (5) if the Company decides, in its sole discretion, to discontinue offering the Program, or (6) if the Company determines, in its sole discretion, that such cancellation is appropriate or necessary for any other permissible business or legal reason. The Company shall not be liable to you or any third party for cancellation of Service. In the event Company cancels Customer's order, the reservation fee of $250 is nonrefundable.

    Conclusion: this proposition is clearly for people who are more desperate than they are careful. (Always a warning sign)

    2. They ask for "proof of identification" showing you're over 18. (Is that not weird?)


    Your Obligations

    You must provide Marbella Technologies your name, email address, and all contact information listed on the reservation form as well as valid identification proving that you are over 18 years of age and legally authorized to make this purchase....

    So, even if they don't wind up taking your money, they have your driver's license, which I have never been asked to give in an online purchase before. (Identity theft, anyone?)

    Even if this is technically legally legit (whether or not it's honest or moral), it's at the very least baaaaaad business ethic. A little bit of Enron right here in Mac heaven?[/p]

    Yes, caveat emptor (buyer beware) - but the same it true for our own US government, which pulls this kinda stuff on us every day (social security, medicare and pension funds, and this multi-trillion dollar so-called "defense" budget which is really just a way to dupe taxpayers into gullibly giving their money away to Dubya's puppetmasters in the military industrial complex ...) oh, but I digress!

    You can also see some interesting anomalies at the website of their parent company," Marbella Software The website looks very slick and professional at first glance, but closer examination reveals some curious stuff:

    1. The title of the "company" page is misspelled "copmany," which in and of itself might not be too strange, except that the same misspelling occurred in my dialogue with a "live help" representative at the Apple Purchase Program site... and the transcript of another person's live help session which was posted to this forum also contained the exact same text as my session, showing that some of the answers are cut an pasted from a master document that may well have been typed by the same person who created the text for the website, which is a little odd for a company that says (on its company page) "Marbella Software has been referred to as, "the largest cohesive team of Microsoft developers on the planet."

    2. Also odd that a tech company with such claims would have a website with a domain name that was registered only in august 2002 ( the copyright statement says 2002-2004.

    3. Also in the errata department, the line breaks on their website are all choppy (breaking into a new line in randowm places), suggesting that someone took a slick template and carelessly pasted text into it - not common practice for a company that claims to be "the largest cohesive team of Microsoft developers on the planet."

    4. Strangest is that such a huge organization (which its live help person says has been in business for 10 years) would not only have a 6-month-old domain name, but also have a shared office setup (if what other posters have said is true) - sounds pretty fly by night to me.
  7. tjwett macrumors 68000


    May 6, 2002
    Brooklyn, NYC
    sorry about the above long and dizzying post. if you guys want to read the whole thread head over to:

    and type "scam" in the search field. It's the topic entitled "Apple heads WTF is this for real?!"

  8. alia thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 2, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    Wow guys!

    Thanks for all the great info. Sorry to open an old can of worms. I guess I'll just be waiting for the new 15" powerbooks and use an ADC (MIS Major! Woo!).

  9. rippedoff macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2003

    I'm embarrased to say it but...I was scammed by Sent my money...then just days later all the phones were disconnected and the website is gone. If you check out the Marbella Group on the Better Business Bureau you'd never know that they were a fly by night "company" The BBB says that they have handled all of the complaints filed against them.
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Re: Is for real?

    No you can't.

    That's the price they'd like somebody to give them, since it's unrealistic -- and they use the same reseller you'd buy from -- nobody will ever give it to them.

    So you pay them money to set up a purchase, but it may take them a year to make it -- while they hold your money.

    While the final price may be little more than catalog, and a previous revision by the time they get around to finalizing the deal.

    Give me the $250, and I'll be honest and say, "Fool... Sucker... and Thank You for the gift."
  11. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    As a side note, to become a member of the Better Business Bureau is:
    and cut donation a check. The other stuff is really easy to fake.
    The BBB really dosn't have much power, the it's intent is good.

    Again, don't just file a complaint with the Also contact your local and state DA. Every state DA has an automated system for accepting complaints. The more complaints, the greater the chance of action. Also, it is quite possible that down the line, there could be action taken against them for another crime. If you make a complaint/statement, it may come back to haunt them.

    Sorry Ripped Off
  12. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    The link is down....the website shouldn't have just "gone down" all of a sudden if it was legit.

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