Question about EBay Auctions of Apple Computers

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by jb60606, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I'm in the market for a MacBook Pro. Before pulling the trigger on one(Model: Z0ED: 2.4Ghz, 2GB RAM, 17" 1920x1200 --- $3150 including tax), I decided to take a glance at Ebay to see what it had to offer...

    I found several auctioneers selling (meaning a no bid auction with only an option to "Buy-it-Now" for the listed price) the same model I was after but for hundreds off of retail.

    Some even had 4GB of ram, a 2.6Ghz CPU or an AppleCare 3yr warranty included.

    As far as condition, they were all often described as the following:

    -sealed, new
    -new
    -new in box
    -factory sealed
    -not refurbished or reconditioned

    Most also had pretty reasonable shipping rates, or they at least were not enough for the seller to recuperate the difference between the retail price and their selling price. They all had decent return policies that gave me at least 7 days to demo the product. All had at least their Apple 1yr base warranty. All sellers had good reputation, exceeding at least 95% approval.

    Now, with myself not being very familiar with Ebay (especially selling merchandise) does anyone here know if there is a reason not to trust these auctions or merchandise? Is there a way to determine if an Apple computer being advertised as "New" is in fact reconditioned/refurbished once received?

    If these are legit, what's the trick to it? How do they get them so cheap? The sellers don't strike me as retailers trying to get rid of old stock because -- based on their ebay "stores" -- computers/electronics don't appear to be their main trade.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #2
    I certainly hope they're not dodgy, as I've just bought a Mac Pro 8-core 2.8GHz base spec from an Ebay trader as £250 off list price in an auction.

    Brand new, factory-sealed and unregistered with Apple.

    All seems legit so far, but your post has made me slightly nervous... lol
     
  3. jb60606 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    I wouldn't be too worried.

    Worst case scenario... at least PC towers are plenty easy to repair yourself and certain variables are taken out of the equation; such as potential heat problems, dead pixels, and other issues that can only be repaired by Apple.
     
  4. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #4
    Stay away....if it's too good to be true, it is. Nigerian scams with Apple computers is quite common on eBay. Chances are, a stolen eBay account was used, which is why you see good feedback. I'd just save up the extra money and buy it from a reputable place like the Apple store just for peace of mind.
     
  5. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #5
    That's another sign the account could be stolen. Like yg17 said, if its too good to be true, it is. Stay away.
     
  6. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #6
    Now I'm really worried :eek: have sent a message to the seller via eBay. If I get no response before the money is due to clear from my PayPal account I'll cancel the purchase.
     
  7. GhostWhoWalks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    #7
    If it does not make sense to you or looks suspicious it will usually be a fraud. Just like the mac auctions that start out with "my friend or boss bought me this mac that I do not need and in the spirit of ebay I am offering it at a very low opening bid..."

    Maiinly look out for:
    User made pics of the same mac in different auctions or the seller cannot produce recent pics on request

    Too good to be true prices and prices that convieniently line up with paypal insurance coverage

    High shipping no matter the destination

    Bidding history that starts very low and gets jacked up by two or three bidders until it is the normal price

    Sellers with low or no history/seller cannot answer questions about the product
     
  8. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Check the seller's store

    Does Store have more than 1?
    Has Store sold more than 10?
    Has Store been a member for over 3 years with over 500 transactions?
    Does Store have at least 99% positive feedback, or Power seller status?
    If you answered yes it's probably legit.
    Pay through Paypal ONLY!
    If they try to have you contact them off list RUN!
    Ebay is pretty secure if Paypal & common sense are used.
    Beware of scammers.

    I am expecting delivery of my MacPro 3.2Ghz Octo, 8gb Ram, 320gb hd, Wifi,
    ATi 256 card, (I'll upgrade to the 8800Gt soon.) 2 Optical Drives.
    Had BIN price of 5999 on it with 2 500 gb drives.
    I negotiated 5550.55. +90 shipping
    He received a same unit with the 320gb drive sooner, & took 400.00 off & next day aired it.
    Found a Seagate 1tb 7200 11 Last night for 260.00 & swiped it up.
    The box is on the truck now.
    I'll let you know how it runs later today.:D
     
  9. ziwi macrumors 65816

    ziwi

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Right back where I started...
    #9
    saw that on ebay as well, but with the Amazon rebate...the difference has vanished...better sometimes to go with who or what you know
     
  10. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #10
    Here's what I won.

    Answers: No, Don't know, Yes, Yes and Yes. All communication has come to my personal e-mail account but I can't see copies of the messages in my eBay control panel. I've agreed to pay by PayPal eCheque... waiting for funds to clear, so I should have time to stop the transaction.

    What's the consensus - am I about to be fleeced?
     
  11. tMac85 macrumors 65816

    tMac85

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Location:
    in a great place
    #11
    Send them a message. Check the feedback , read ALL the fine print.

    its probably legit.

    ebay will get you your money back if it is fraud. so no worries. the company would bomb if the site was flooded with people buying and never receiving their products.

    its probably fine.

    if he NEVER responds then worry.

    oh and paypal only!
     
  12. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    The guy has sold a massive amount of stuff, that's good
    He's pretty much a power seller & his stat's would lend me to believe that he's legit, Unless he wants to be paid western union or some other sketchy arrangement.
    Paypal is secure & ebay depends on Paypal for that reason.
     
  13. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #13
    First, if the seller has less than 20 feedback, or lower than 97% positive, run forest run!

    Next, if you do buy, buy through paypal and pay paypal with a credit card. That way if the seller screws you, you can go through the paypal refund process, then if paypal won't reslove it your way, then you get your credit card company involved and they'll always back you up.

    Finally, never use an escrow service, they are all BS.
     
  14. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #14
    Well, I've now had confirmation via Ebay from the seller assuring me that the deal is genuine. My Mac Pro is apparently one of four bought for the expansion of a business which are now surplus to requirements due to incompatibility with their EPOS system.

    I'm still not 100% confident but I feel a bit better.
     
  15. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #15
    I dunno, using an 8-core system for a EPOS.

    If EPOS means what I think it is - Electronic Point of Sale, thats way overkill.

    All hes really sold is cheap, cheap stuff.

    Tread carefully.
     
  16. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #16
    Looks legit to me. The seller seems to be more involved with selling posters, but with that many sales etc. doesn't look like a scam at all.
     
  17. jb60606 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    Thank you all for your valuable input. I've decided to wait at least a few weeks more, as I've learned that a new MBP may be on the horizon.

    CortexRock - sorry to freak you out. I hope all ends well for you. Let us know how it works out.

    Thanks again.
     
  18. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #18
    Normally, selling a completely different product than what they normally sell is a huge red flag, and number of previous sales doesn't matter. What scammers do is hijack an eBay account through phishing or some other means, and if they're lucky, that eBay account has good feedback, and lots of it, so people don't think anything's fishy when bidding. But there are other warnings such as inconsistencies between the auction in question and previous ones.....sometimes the grammar is completely different (usually the one in question has crap grammar). The style of the auction (font, images, decorations, etc) is usually different. Policies, payment methods and shipping methods and all that stuff is completely different. I don't see any of that in this auction and I agree, it does look completely legit.

    Plus, this auction uses PayPal as a payment option. A scammer isn't going to accept PayPal, because 99% of the time, PayPal sides with the buyer in a dispute. Scammers like to use things like money orders or services no one's ever heard of for payment. Plus, a scammer wouldn't allow local pickup.

    So yeah, looks legit. But maybe just to cover your arse (and for some instant gratification) if you live anywhere near his location, you may want to pick it up in person.....just to make sure.
     
  19. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #19
    I'd rather be freaked out if it does turn out to be a dodgy deal. But thanks for letting me hijack your thread (very rude of me, really) - hope you get your shiny new MBP soon! :)
     
  20. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #20
    Update to my story:

    Payment cleared through PayPal on Friday 8 February. Got an automated notification from the sellers' eBay account via my Hotmail (but not in my eBay control panel) to confirm receipt of payment.

    Contacted seller via eBay on Saturday 9 February to enquire about which courier company would be used and to request a tracking number for the delivery.

    No response from the seller as yet, although the original auction says 3 working days from cleared payment for dispatch, which would be this Wednesday.

    The positive side of me wants to believe that the seller is just a poor communicator, and that everything will work out.

    The negative side of me is preparing for feeling the sting of a £1,500 loss... less any compensation I might be able to get back via eBay/PayPal.

    I'm not an experienced eBayer, so I hope I haven't got burned!
     
  21. rumbletum macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Wolverhampton, UK
    #21
    I wouldnt worry yet, for the following reasons:

    The seller is a business, so its reasonable to assume they don't work on weekends so can't reply your email.

    They offered the option of collection in the auction, theyre not going to do that if theyre trying to rip you off

    They will only ship to confirmed addresses, again a scammer will 'sell' to anyone
     
  22. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #22
    A lot of sellers take the weekend off (or at least they are unresponsive over the weekend), so give it a day or two.
     
  23. CortexRock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Location:
    Canterbury, England
    #23
    Looks like the deal was genuine... my new Mac Pro just arrived at my office. It's factory-sealed as promised, and was very well packaged by the seller.

    Can't wait to get it home and try it out! :D
     

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