"new" MBP with battery cycle count of 7?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jk73, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. jk73 macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    Bought a "new" retina MBP from a major Amazon reseller. Opened shrink-wrapped box and noticed no cellophane on the MBP's screen, as is usually the case. This made me suspect the MBP was, at minimum, open-box or even refurb rather than new. Then checked About This Mac > System Report > Power and saw that the battery's cycle count was already 7. (Everything else is fine; the specs are exactly as ordered and the screen is great.)

    This is clearly a used MBP, right? Thanks for all feedback.
  2. smallcoffee macrumors 68000

    Oct 15, 2014
    North America
    Yes it would appear so. I would never buy a Mac from anybody that isn't Apple.
  3. jk73 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    I didn't like doing it, but I needed an MBP with a Spanish keyboard and ran out of time. Amazon beat Apple's shipping ETA by over a week.

    What's my best play here? Ask the reseller for a used/refurb discount, then escalate to Amazon and/or my credit card company if they don't offer anything?
  4. macs4nw macrumors 601


    If you were told you were getting a new one, there is no ambiguity here. The unit you received was not new. Either open box, demo, or used then returned.

    Contact the reseller. If he values his reputation, he'll have to take it back or make an adjustment to the selling price.
    Escalating to Amazon or CC company are last resorts.
  5. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    It's not unusual for an Apple laptop to have at least several cycle counts on it. Mine came with 6 - it was direct from Apple, a new model, and still in the shrink wrap.

    If the MB you purchased was not in the outer shrink wrap, then it's technically not "brand new", as it has been opened, if nothing else. You can use the Apple Warranty Checker to see how long the warranty is still in effect for. If it is not reflecting a year of coverage from the moment you set it up, then that is a red flag IMO.

    Unfortunately, Amazon electronic scams, even from Amazon-fulfilled sellers, are very common. The severity of the scams range from selling a used product as new to selling a counterfeit product outright (the latter is most common with SSDs, SD cards, and USB drives.) Hopefully it isn't the case here and it's open box but never used. If someone isn't an Apple AD, I'm admittedly suspicious from the start.
  6. jk73 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    Just checked, and Apple's warranty site says the MBP's warranty expires on Aug. 2, 2018. I bought it on Sept. 14, so it appears this MBP had been sold and returned about 6-7 weeks ago.

    What's the usual open-box discount? I saved about $115 off Apple's current price, but that seems a little light, and that's before getting to the blatant error (or lie) about the MBP being "new." Thanks.
  7. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    You are going to have a fight on your hands. Anyone who is clever enough to pack the thing back up and re-shrink wrap the box was intentionally trying to scam you. your best bet is to focus on the Applecare start date, which he clearly forgot about. You purchased a new computer with a year warranty, but you didn't get that. Send the seller a screenshot of your AppleCare date, a screenshot of the about my mac screen with matching serial number, and a copy of your receipt. He won't be able to say you are lying with that evidence. When he ignores you, send a second message threatening to get a lawyer and reporting to Amazon.
  8. jk73 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    Thanks. The weird thing is, it's a reseller with 98% approval and over 4,400 reviews in the past 6 months. But whether it was intentional or just a mislabeled product, it appears not to have been a "new" machine as that word is used in electronics sales.
  9. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    If this was me, personally, I would get out of this as fast as humanly possible while ensuring I did not take a financial hit.

    Was this transaction Fulfilled by Amazon? If so, you can easily return it for a refund and not even have to pay shipping. If no, did you make this purchase on a credit card? (i.e., a payment form with Buyer protection.)

    If this is a 2016 model, $115 off Apple's current price of a 2017 model is an absolute terrible value. The 2017 is significantly faster, has an improved keyboard, and gets better battery life. If it is $115 less than a new 2016 model, that's still not a very good deal because, A) you may be buying someone else's problems (for example, this could be a model with a keyboard issue that the original buyer did not discover until they were out of the 14-day return period), B) that discount is less than the discount you get purchasing a refurbished model, and C) the Seller is either incompetent or dishonest - and either way that's not a good thing in terms of the Buyer-Seller trust one wants to have with such a big investment.

    If the Seller refunds you another $200, give or take, then it might be a better deal worth sticking with.

    The system is still eligible for AppleCare+ for another two weeks, if you plan to keep the machine (and IMO common sense with the 2016 MBPs, and even more so in this situation.)
  10. jk73 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    Thanks for the feedback. Not sure if you had seen post #8 before posting, but this was fulfilled by Amazon and sold by a major reseller.

    CoconutID tells me the machine was manufactured sometime between Jan. and July 2017, which doesn't really narrow it down much, but it does seem to be the Late 2016 model. It looks exactly like the MBP with Touch Bar I got last December, but with no touch bar and a Spanish keyboard.

    I bought the MBP with an American Express card, which adds a year to the existing warranty.
  11. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Its a perfect laptop that has no issues in the box. It has no more cycles than can come from apple direct if your machine happens to be the one used for extended testing before leaving the factory.

    You were happy with the price you are happy with the computer so you have 2 choices.

    1. send it back for a refund and go through all the trouble hassle backwards and forwards fighting your corner have to get a new machine etc etc.


    2. accept you were lied to accept that it makes no real difference and keep the machine that you admit yourself is spot on in every other way.

    Its just your choice the end of the day, return on a matter of principal or keep your life easy.
  12. macizcool macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Call AppleCare and see if they can adjust your purchase date. Maybe they can tell you if it was previously activated in August by someone else. I'm not sure if they are allowed to disclose that information, but I would suspect that if they deny adjusting your purchase date, than it's a used computer.
  13. Fishrrman, Sep 18, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I agree with Samuelsan above.
    OP needed a MacBook "in a hurry", so went with most convenient source.

    OP wrote in initial post:
    (Everything else is fine; the specs are exactly as ordered and the screen is great.)

    How has it run since you first turned it on?
    No problems?
    Screen still ok?
    External aluminum case is ok? No marks, no dents?
    Keyboard is ok?

    If the only thing "wrong" is the battery had 7 cycle counts on it, I'd "chalk this one up to experience" and let it go. You needed something in a hurry, so you seemed to be willing to take the expedient course. Sometimes "in a hurry" without taking the time to exercise "due diligence" comes with an unintended consequence.

    If the battery count is the only downside, keep it.
    Trying to send it back now is going to be more trouble and cost than it would be to just keep it.
    You'd do better to put that $$$ into a 3-year AppleCare policy.
  14. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    Check AppleCare status. If it's from or close to the day you bought it then I'd say keep it. If not then you have issues.
  15. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    In that case you have a lot of buyer protection and, if it were me, I would return it. If I did keep it, I would take it to an Apple Store or Auth Service Provider and have them run MRI on it and inspect the inner casing for any signs of liquid spill, ensure AppleCare eligibility for the current owner, and probably request a partial refund.

    We do not know the reason the original purchaser/owner/individual opened (and then potentially returned/sold) the computer. While chances are the computer is AOK, to me, that is just still too much of an uncertainty to accept. That's just my personal opinion, so YMMV.
  16. pbasmadj macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Los Angeles
    I'd not be happy with the matter, that is for sure. As others have said, it's probably going to be a huge hassle to return. If completely flawless otherwise, chalk it up as experience. If not completely flawless otherwise, seek return.

    Just go to a retail store next time, so much easier than the hassle of all the aftermarkets.
  17. jk73, Sep 19, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017

    jk73 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    The AppleCare was activated on August 1; purchase date was Sept. 14.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 19, 2017 ---
    Why would anyone "accept being lied to" about a $1,400 purchase?

    Obviously, I know I have the option to return it. I posted here to see how common this was and what an appropriate discount would be for open-box or used vs. the "new" I was promised when I clicked "buy" at Amazon.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 19, 2017 ---
    This is the first time in over a decade that I've ever a computer from anyone but Apple. As mentioned above or in my buying-advice thread, I needed a Spanish ISO keyboard on this one and I ran out of time to order from Apple. Thanks.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 19, 2017 ---
    I was only "in a hurry" in the sense that I didn't realize Apple's lead time was as long as it is for a Spanish ISO keyboard. I did a few hours of research, and bought this one on Amazon from a reseller with 98% positive rating and over 4,400 reviews in the past 6 months. I don't believe anyone would expect an open-box product sold as "new" by a seller that does that type of volume. This wasn't some random seller who bought an MBP but decided he didn't want it, and tried to pull a fast one to recoup his full purchase price. Thanks.
  18. BittenApple macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    return it - why are you thinking so hard about it
  19. adam9c1 macrumors 68000


    May 2, 2012
    I have unboxed a brand new 13" MBP with touchbar.
    It had the clear plastic wrapping around the computer and soft felt between keyboard and glass.
    Coconut tells me 4 charge cycles.
  20. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    I would accept it if the machine was flawless and it was going to be more of a pain to return and buy and reset up a new computer.
    Yes you could maybe save another $100 or $200 buying a used machine or you could get a new one, although that does seem a low price for a new one anyway. However my time and effort I and loss of productivity due to this delay would be worth more to me than a few hundred dollars or the cachet of a “new” computer that will have 7 cycles on it within few days anyway. It just wouldn’t matter to me at all but then I try to use logic over emotion where I can, it makes for a much easier and chilled life and hey i’d Still have an almost new, brilliant MacBook Pro with the configuration and keyboard I wanted when I wanted it.
  21. AFEPPL macrumors 68030


    Sep 30, 2014
    Given its only 7, it's the spec you wanted and in new condition - move on.
  22. jk73 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    You can pat yourself on the back all you want, but there's simply nothing "logical" about letting someone sell you a used $1,400 product as "new" without so much as sending a complaint and requesting a discount.
  23. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    There is nothing logical about worrying about 7 battery counts when they often come out of the factory like that, if you are going to bring logic into it you have no evidence its not new.
  24. ZapNZs macrumors 68020


    Jan 23, 2017
    I disagree with Sam's take on this one, but I do understand his logic completely. I think he's saying that the stress generated by pursuing this is going to be greater than the returns gained. I think that's a fair argument - I just don't personally agree in this instance.
  25. jk73 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    I understand the hassle of returning it and getting another one ultimately might not be worth whatever savings, if any, doing so would generate. It just seems bizarre for this guy to argue that this situation isn't worth an email or phone call to the reseller.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 28, 2017 ---
    "No evidence"? Really?

    The MBP in question had nothing protecting the screen when I opened it, there were a couple visible smudges/fingerprints on the unit, and the AppleCare had started tolling some 6-plus weeks before I bought it. The latter, alone, is strong evidence of a prior purchase and return, before even getting to the battery-cycle issue.

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30 September 16, 2017