Need HELP! Bought macbook off ebay

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thomascon, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. thomascon macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2007

    I recently purchased a macbook for $900 on ebay. It arrived in the mail with nothing but the actual laptop; no power cable, utility discs, charger, anything. I had to go to the apple store and buy a charger and when I turned on the computer it has the previous owner's login name and it's asking for the password. Since then I've sent numerous e-mails to the seller and have had no response back. Which is leading me to the impression it was either stolen, or just flipped on ebay.
    My question is - how can I reformat the computer myself? Can I just go buy reboot discs? Bring it to the apple store for a tech to fix? And if I bring it to an apple store and it was a stolen macbook will I be reimbursed if confiscated? Any feedback would be helpful, I have absolutely zero knowledge with macs and just about the same with general computer knowledge.
  2. ktbubster macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2007
    check the serial number and see if it was stolen. I forget where to enter it.. but it might be someplace on the site.

    Other than that, I can't help you with the other questions...
  3. apattee macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2006
    well, hopefully you used paypal. if so, file a claim saying that you didn't get what you bought. are you sure the listing listed all that stuff in the first place?
  4. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    You probably bought a stolen macbook, you should call apple and see if they can help you find the owner. I'm not going to give advice on what appears to be an apparent stolen macbook. I believe after you determine if it was stolen then you can do this:

    If it was stolen you return it and file a claim through paypal. File an incident report at your local police station to keep you from ever having the finger pointed at you for buying stolen goods. Also tell ebay about the incident.

    Come back and let people know if it was stolen. If it turns out not to be formatting it to the best of my knowledge may not get rid of the login. I could be wrong though.
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    And be prepared for the eventuality that the seller didn't qualify for PayPal buyer protection, and that you will never get your money back.

    IIRC Neither Apple nor the police will reimburse you for having bought hot goods.

    There is no retail OS that you can buy that will boot the intel Macs, until Leopard comes out.
  6. Quiara macrumors regular


    Sep 17, 2007
    It may be possible to seek recompense via PayPal, I'm not sure, but in general (i.e., non-PayPal situations), it is generally not possible to be reimbursed for purchase of stolen goods, even if you didn't know they were stolen. Caveat emptor and all that.

    Powermax has a database of serial numbers for stolen Macs.
  7. vanmacguy macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2007
    Not where you live.
  8. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Call Apple and ask for the copy of the original DVDs, they do send the out to people for replacement of lost/damaged copies.

    Don't know what the price is now, but they used to be a nominal price plus S&H.
  9. thomascon thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2007
    if it was $200 i wouldnt care, but being a fulltime student $900 doesnt grow on trees. Theres no possible way to get back up discs? If so where and how do i get them?
  10. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000


    Oct 31, 2005
    Twin Cities, MN
    There is, contact Apple. Often times, I've been in the Apple Store where people have lost/misplaced their install disks, and simply asked for new ones. The Genius just asked for what type of computer they had, and brought out the disks for them.

    The new Intel Macs need their specific installation disk or else they won't install (ie you need a Macbook Core 2 Duo disk to install on a C2D machine, a Core Duo Macbook install disk won't work).
  11. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Call Apple, last time I got them for a machine they were asking $19.95 -- don't know what it is now.

    I didn't pay that, because I was pissed that the discs that came with the machine looked like they lost an Apple employee office hockey match.

    And as the machine only had a wiped drive at the time, it definitely came under warranty as the machine didn't work. ;)
  12. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    Once you get the appropriate discs from Apple you shall be able to reformat the HDD and start a fresh, however I'd suggest resetting the password for the current user account first and seeing if you can contact the owner that way, whether it be the actual seller, or someone that got their laptop nicked.

    It's the right thing to do.
  13. dordal macrumors member

    Jun 26, 2007
    You may also consider that contacting the original owner may lead to a reward.... perhaps they'd even reimburse you the price you paid, so they get thier data back. Not to mention that its the right thing to do... imagine if it was your machine that was stolen!
  14. alljunks macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2007
    #14 paypal....
  15. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
    Here's a question, why didnt you just buy a new one??? After student discount the price is only like 950 isn't it ?
  16. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    I would agree with this post. Take it to an Apple Store, inform them you need the restore disks AND that you need to reset the users password.

    Then if there's a bunch of personal information in there, contact the person and ensure this was a proper transaction.

    Or just do the common thing, reformat and move on. Sometimes you'll never what will happen if you do the 'right' thing.
  17. klymr macrumors 65816

    May 16, 2007
    I guy I work with had his White MacBook stolen about two weeks ago out of this hotel room. They left the power adapter, printer, etc. and only took the MacBook. Was the seller by chance in Utah, lol? Sucks that people would even do that.

    Good luck with everything.

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