Question about AppleCare on eBay. Anyone have luck? Any scams to watch for?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Scottsdale, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #1
    Okay, a few simple questions. I have had my Mac a few days short of a year, and if it were by choice Apple would have updated it by now (MBA). Anyways, I need to buy AppleCare for it and wanted to buy it on eBay, but I have a few concerns.

    Has anyone been scammed buying AppleCare on eBay lately?
    Will any seller send me a box? Do I need it or do I trust the code?
    Anyone have any sellers to recommend?
    Anyone have any problems with AppleCare registering but then being considered invalid later?
    Anything else I should watch for?

    thanks to everyone in advance for your assistance and recommendations.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
  3. Scottsdale thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #4
    Well, it's not that simple, as in the past there were reports that these were scams. I am looking for some recent purchasers assistance informing me if they had successful purchases of AppleCare on eBay. I want to ensure I don't get scammed. Some have said it's important to get the box, others say no. I want some current and relevant advice from people who have actually bought their AppleCare on eBay. Is that too much to ask? I don't start many threads here, so I don't think this is out of line.
     
  4. caonimadebi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    #6
    I have bought 3 Applecare policies in the past two years, all from eBay. Two sealed-in-box policies were bought for a Macbook Air and a 13" Macbook Pro, for about $99 each. One policy was bought from Macman812 (not sure if he still sells) for a 15" Macbook Pro, without box. I have been able to get service from all three policies, without a question ever raised by Apple. the 15" MBP was especially troublesome, but they never raised a fuss about Applecare's validity.
    I think it's probably very safe to buy applecare from eBay, with or without a box, as long as you use common eBay sense (i.e. buy from a seller with 50+ feedbacks as a seller etc). I don't really see the point of getting the box, because 1. The chance Apple is going to have a problem with it is VERY slim and 2. if Apple decides to have a problem, they'd probably want a receipt from an authorized reseller and not just a box (much like trying to get a refund from an applecare policy, where just having the box is not enough)

    If you still really want the box but don't want to pay more, you may be able to score a deal by searching for "MB587LL/A" or even "MA519LL/A" which are part numbers for the old Applecare (Macbook and iBook) but can still be used for your macbook13/air. I got them at $99 with this method.

    Hope this helps
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    The DEFINITIVE MacRumors thread where the words "AppleCare" and "ebay" come up in one line is here:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=690859&highlight=don+buy+applecare

    Make sure that you read it ALL before making your decision.

    Simply put, buying AppleCare on ebay from seller who send you only the code (and not a sealed box) is a SCAM, plain and simple.

    Of course, others will jump in and say "not so, because I did, and it worked".

    The rebuttals to their claims can be found in the thread posted above.

    Do as you wish, but consider yourself as having been properly warned.
     
  6. Scottsdale thread starter macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

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    #8
    Thank you very much for your assistance. I will check into that.

    Thanks for this information. Now, I am nervous again.
     
  7. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030

    Macky-Mac

    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    #9
    seriously, ask yourself a couple of questions; where do these "code only" ebay applecare products come from and how come you can't buy them from Apple or Apples' authorized resellers?

    obviously there's at least some risk involved .... and that's true no matter how many positive ratings the seller has

    if you're buying for "peace of mind" then maybe you should consider buying from an authorized reseller. If you're willing to take a risk, then go ahead and buy.....or don't bother with applecare at all for that matter.
     
  8. mac&cheesey macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    #10
    on eBay

    For what it's worth, I've also purchased AppleCare from Macman812. Twice I think. Once with the box and once without. No problems either time.

    Good luck but, as with every eBay transaction, research the seller.

    m&c
     
  9. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    #11
    Scottsdale,

    Hope you're well. It's been a while. Have you made a decision on Applecare? I know you do a lot of research and would trust your judgement (no time to ho through the process myself).

    My warranty expires in a week and I need to cover my 17" MBP. Travel way too much to leave it uninsured or ... have it uncovered in case of a scam just to save a hundred bucks.

    I can buy it with a student discount (old id :) ) for 260 at the store but if ebay is legit, why not go that way?

    Let me know what you've found out about the ebay applecare scenario/scam and which way you're leaning.

    Thanks pal - eV
     
  10. appleguy123 macrumors 604

    appleguy123

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    #12
    Do not buy AppleCare on ebay! Many swillers wait until the buyer has left them positive feedback and then sell the AppleCare back to Apple and screw the customer. Use the student discount. It is the best deal. I bought coverage for my 17" for $239 this way.
     
  11. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

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    Jan 7, 2003
    #13
    Better safe that sorry eh? Thing is, if I order online today, I'm not sure it will ship to me in time - 7 days. Also, I live in CA so with tax it's 260. Big hit. But ... I swear by Applecare. This 2009 unibody MBP was a free replacement for my 2006 17" - thx to Applecare. If you keep your machine for a while, there's a good chance something will go wrong to get a replacement at the 3 year point ...

    eV
     
  12. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

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    Jan 7, 2003
    #14
    Crap - I didn't bring my old student ID with me on this trip so I might be out 350. That's a big chuck of unplanned for change :(
     
  13. appleguy123 macrumors 604

    appleguy123

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    #15
    I called Apple on this very matter. As long as yup order online before your warranty expires it will be valid.
    Can you buy AppleCare on a replacement machine? If so that is awesome!
     
  14. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

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    #16
    OK - thanks for that info about ordering online. Yes, you can buy Applecare on a replacement machine. It's just like getting a new one - for free. (not really free, i spent 3 grand on the original, it stopped working) Felt like I won the lotto last year this time when the replacement was approved. Went from a original CD 2.16 to a top of the line June 2010 unibody.
     
  15. Morod macrumors 68000

    Morod

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    On The Nickel, over there....
  16. jasonYT macrumors newbie

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    Jun 19, 2010
    #18
    Don't buy AppleCare on eBay

    I own an Apple Reseller and Apple has clearly outlined for us how the eBay AppleCare scammers operate, and why you should never buy AppleCare on eBay.

    The retail boxed product of AppleCare includes a long code which you use to activate your extended warranty online. This code follows a particular algorithm, and as long as the code you enter in to Apple's web site conforms to this algorithm, it will be accepted by the system and the extended warranty will be activated on the serial number registered. The eBay scammers always sell only the code via email (not the retail box) as they just send you a code they generate themselves that conforms to Apple's algorithm.

    Apple audits all online warranty registrations, because they are keenly aware that this fraud exists, and they eventually cancel/deactivate all fraudulent codes and also bill back the consumer for any repairs obtained during the extended warranty coverage period. This audit takes at least 2 months or more after the code is registered however, and basically entails asking the consumer for a proof of purchase from an Apple Authorized Dealer.

    The eBay sellers/scammers know this algorithm, and they know how long it takes for Apple to audit transactions. Because it always takes Apple longer than 45 days (the maximum length of time an eBay transaction can be disputed) they are in a perfect position to perpetuate their fraud and maintain perfect positive feedback, because it's too late for eBay to discipline the seller once the buyer discovers the fraud, and too late for the buyer to post negative feedback.

    Now it isn't wholly true that anyone not selling the retail boxed version of AppleCare is a fraudster, as Apple Service dealers also have the ability to sell AppleCare through the repair management system called "GSX", but in that case no codes are generated - the dealer basically types your serial number in to GSX and buys a warranty on your behalf. The SN# will then show up on the public web site as having its warranty extended, and the customer receives TechTool and the warranty agreement in the mail. Only Apple Authorized Service Dealers have this ability though, and they are obviously a more trustworthy source than some guy with an eBay account, since they are affiliated with Apple.

    For those in this thread who blame Apple, that's ridiculous. If you're cheap and greedy, you're going to be taken advantage of, so it's your own fault for not buying from a sanctioned source (i.e. an Apple Authorized Dealer or Apple Store).

    The difference between dealer cost and the retail price on AppleCare is 30%, so if someone is selling AppleCare for more than 30% off, I can almost guarantee you it's a fraudulent sale, as it makes no sense for a sanctioned source to sell below their cost.
     
  17. eVolcre macrumors 68000

    eVolcre

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    Jan 7, 2003
    #19
    I decided to go with Apple.com through a student id. Saving USD 100 didn't seem worth it for the stress and uncertainty. I travel 9 months of the year abroad and the last thing I need is warranty to be refused if I need it. These 17" laptops are too expensive to replace. If it was a 13" MBP I may have taken the risk.

    THanks everyone for the advice.

    eV
     
  18. lgoodlove macrumors member

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    Aug 20, 2008
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    Iowa
    #20
    Let me know if your buying goes well. I am looking to purchase an extended warranty also.
     
  19. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

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    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #21
    Can someone sticky this post please? This answer covers all the bases when people are asking about code only Applecare purchases. Positive ebay feedback means nothing at all.

     
  20. appleguy123 macrumors 604

    appleguy123

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    #22
    It's amazing that eBay would allow these obvious scanners to continue to stay in business.
     
  21. BollywooD macrumors 6502

    BollywooD

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    Location:
    Hamburg
    #23
    I just brought applecare for my almost 1yr old 13" MacBook Pro, last night off of ebay. it cost me $130AUD without the box, although the seller does sell boxed version's apparently. After spending close to 4 hours reading through this thread I found here. I payed for it via PayPal/ebay at around midnight, and had the code in my inbox by the time i woke up this morning. I went straight to Apples site and registered the Apple Care without issue, and received my Proof of Coverage, minutes later.

    My initial year runs out on the 10th of July, so the apple care kicks in about 2 weeks from now. I hadn't bothered getting apple care for my previous 2 laptops, but this unibody has been especially problematic, what with a replaced trackpad, and screen both within the last 3 months, I figured the Apple Care would be a good thing. So i've taken a gamble on the code only warranty, but I feel good about the decision after reading through that thread.

    and $130 compared to the Apple Store boxed version for $579 is pretty dam good value.... I guess ill find out sometime in the next 2 years if this code is legit or not - but to be honest, I don't really have any doubts about it.
    :D
     
  22. appleguy123 macrumors 604

    appleguy123

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    #24
    I don't mean to be a troll and make you question your decision after you have already made it, but how do you think that the reseller can sell the item at 1/3 the cost of Apple? I would file a claim with Paypal as soon as you can. There is a reason that you did not get the serial number of the AppleCare with the purchase. This seller will return the AppleCare as soon as PayPal payment protection runs out and you will be screwed for any warranty service. Also please leave a negative feedback while you can to let buyers know of this terrible and brilliant scam.
    I wish you all the best, but The "Don't Buy AppleCare on eBay" thread has made me come to the realization that there is no way that this will be real.
     
  23. BollywooD macrumors 6502

    BollywooD

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    #25

    Here is a small excerpt of my email from the seller, and I think this sounds completely legitimate:
    "Note that Apple has in some cases invalidated AppleCare registrations after the fact on the basis that they were not purchased from an Apple dealer. This is an illegal practice as it is anti-competitive and against consumer interests, and can thus be challenged"

    I am prepared to take the gamble, and I honestly believe that what I have purchased is in-fact legitimate, after reading through the post I mentioned earlier. I will report back If I find do find out otherwise....
     

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