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Guesstimate my liability on an ebay laptop purchase?

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rated:
I've always gotten some good feedback here and thought I might toss this out since the online auction forum is pretty desolate. Just wanted to see if I am missing any potential angles here.

Looking to buy a laptop and have found an eBay listing for one, listed as new, with a buy-it-now price a bit more than an almost the same spec version refurb. However, I'll have to pay a couple hundred in tax buying directly from Apple, which puts me above the limit I've set for myself. Seller only has a handful of transactions over the last 5 or 6 years (but then so do I), does NOT accept returns (not really shocking if he's just an infrequent/casual seller), accepts PayPal. I'd of course pay by credit card.

Seller doesn't accept messages, however, so I can't ask for the serial number like I ordinarily do. Am I wrong, or correct that my liability _should_ be pretty limited here, between Paypal and my USAA card? I've luckily had great luck with Paypal/eBay over the years and never had to dispute anything, but if it arrives new as listed but the serial isn't eligible for warranty/Applecare for some reason (fell off a truck, etc) is that sufficient to count as SNAD?

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Completely forgot to come back and update this, but I really appreciate everyones feedback on this. Got a great deal on ... (more)

starcastic (Jun. 26, 2017 @ 10:18a) |

That's what everybody says when they see the three year old car on Craigslist for $2,500 with free delivery and a 10 day... (more)

atikovi (Jun. 26, 2017 @ 1:53p) |

Well there was only one and considering it was a hell of a deal I wouldn't put it past (nor would I blame) someone here ... (more)

starcastic (Jun. 26, 2017 @ 7:08p) |

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rated:
Never heard of an eBay seller who doesn't accept messages...

I've purchased laptops on eBay from individual sellers with good luck in the past, but there's clearly a greater risk factor to it.

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If the serial is invalid for Applecare, most likely you file SNAD for stolen item.
Does the listing imply that? (Like buying a Cellphone that isn't 'clean')

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Seller doesn't accept messages? Haven't heard that before, and I buy stuff from eBay all the time... Does he just declare so? I don't suppose you can actually set up your account not to accept messages. But, in any case, "no returns" doesn't mean much on eBay - if you get something faulty/not as described you are still covered.

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You say the seller lists item as "New", so I think you can expect a legit serial number.

Curious, when you say the seller does not accept messages, you mean eBay allowed seller to disable that functionality?

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forbin4040 said:   If the serial is invalid for Applecare, most likely you file SNAD for stolen item.
Does the listing imply that? (Like buying a Cellphone that isn't 'clean')

  
No, it's your average every day basic listing with only the basic info, there's no win/nudge/I-know-a-guy or anything, was just trying to think of all possible angles. (And maybe "it's stolen" is actually one of the listed dispute reasons, like I said I've luckily never had an eBay sale go wrong.)

The price isn't one of those too-good-to-be-true listings, just a few hundred bucks cheaper than elsewhere but hey, this is FWF and those dollars add up!

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megatard said:   You say the seller lists item as "New", so I think you can expect a legit serial number.

Curious, when you say the seller does not accept messages, you mean eBay allowed seller to disable that functionality?

  
I honestly have no idea, I mean it's possible it's an eBay system error but I've tried over the course of a day or two and just get the attached. Sellers name is also a non-pronounceable group of characters, whatever that means (there aren't still listing bots like in the old days I dont think?), but is within the US. 

 

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starcastic said:   
megatard said:   You say the seller lists item as "New", so I think you can expect a legit serial number.

Curious, when you say the seller does not accept messages, you mean eBay allowed seller to disable that functionality?

  
I honestly have no idea, I mean it's possible it's an eBay system error but I've tried over the course of a day or two and just get the attached. Sellers name is also a non-pronounceable group of characters, whatever that means (there aren't still listing bots like in the old days I dont think?), but is within the US. 

 

  
Normally you are fairly safe on eBay, but be aware that if someone is using a jacked account you won't get money back from eBay unless THEY get money back.  Look to see if that "handful of transactions" guy suddenly has a bunch of listings for expensive items.  

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Thats the primary thing I'm curious about, the possibility of various hijacked account scams, but 80% of the sellers previous transactions are just purchases of random items over the last five or so years and this is the only thing he's selling.

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starcastic said:   However, I'll have to pay a couple hundred in tax buying directly from Apple, which puts me above the limit I've set for myself.  
 

~$200 in tax on a laptop? If you are buying that high end/expensive, I will stay away from eBay and go with a regular retailer with a good CS/return policy.

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Agree. I'd only buy on eBay for a significant discount. Maybe 20-30%, stacking discount eBay GC and ebucks, in addition to a discount on the product itself.

You can get a decent deal on Apple stuff direct or via reputable resellers by stacking various portals and stuff like the first-year Discover card doubling.

Also, if it's trading close to a refurb price, it's probably because it is a refurb or used item that's miscategorized.

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Why risk so much hassle for so little potential return?

The feedback means little.

https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/04/how-cybercrooks-put-the-beat...

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Is the warranty applicable if OP purchases from a non-authorized reseller?

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No, they have to be an AUTHORIZED distributor to get warranty coverage, in almost all cases for electronics. Distributors have a contract with the main manufacturer that sets the bottom dollar price on their products in many cases. Most eBay sellers are NOT bound by those pricing "rules" nor supported by warranties(Newegg would be an exception, and there a few others).

I guess ask yourself this question... Can I risk the loss of the full purchase price? I am guessing no since you want to save money. In that instance I would try to negotiate a discount elsewhere where a warranty would apply (if that is what you need).

You could be just fine, but without any real guarantee I would stay clear

rated:
Well it's not THAT much hassle, assuming there aren't any hidden gotchas on the eBay/paypal protection, which is really my primary question here. As I mentioned, I've never had to make a claim, but if it's as straightforward as "Here's the listing where it was advertised as new and here's a picture showing it obviously isnt" then I'm fine with that.

I've been buying Macbook Pros for myself and others at least once a year since they first came out, so I'm pretty practiced at the usual and unusual deals that can be found and angles to be worked. Generally I swear by refurbs too, but this specific maxxed-out configuration (which was only available as a BTO) is still a few hundred less than the current price on the next-step-down refurb, and then of course I have to pay a couple hundred more in sales tax to Apple so it adds up to be a significant savings.

Apple is also keeping the price of the touch-bar MBP's somewhat steady in the refurb store AND there have been very few 2015 refurbs available, none ever with maxxed out specs, so that also has changed the 'whats considered a deal' landscape a bit.

I definitely agree with ZenNUTS on the feedback, and funny enough if it was a random seller with a ton of feedback, especially recent, I'd completely ignore it.

rated:
If you can't afford the tax ....

Feedback is good I also look at how long seller has been a member.

But for a $2,000 plus purchase I wouldn't buy from this seller.

I'd rather buy from CL & meet in a a--le store if possible.

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feddgee said:   No, they have to be an AUTHORIZED distributor to get warranty coverage, in almost all cases for electronics. Distributors have a contract with the main manufacturer that sets the bottom dollar price on their products in many cases. Most eBay sellers are NOT bound by those pricing "rules" nor supported by warranties(Newegg would be an exception, and there a few others).

I guess ask yourself this question... Can I risk the loss of the full purchase price? I am guessing no since you want to save money. In that instance I would try to negotiate a discount elsewhere where a warranty would apply (if that is what you need).

You could be just fine, but without any real guarantee I would stay clear

  Well, yes and no. This (we'll assume til I have a reason not to) is just a guy selling one new-in-box item, not an Enterprise. If I sell my current MBP on Craigslist to RandomDude#4, the warranty covers it/him for the same balance of it's term as it does for me the original owner. (Plus AppleCare transfers, but that's another subject.) 

However, your point definitely ties back to my original question, namely whether IF worst-case scenario happens and an item listed as new/sealed/factory warranty turns out for whatever reason to not be as advertised and able to be registered....IS that enough to qualify under 'Significantly Not As Described'.

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zapjb said:   If you can't afford the tax ....

Feedback is good I also look at how long seller has been a member.

But for a $2,000 plus purchase I wouldn't buy from this seller.

I'd rather buy from CL & meet in a a--le store if possible.

  
Egh, I don't mind the tax, but if there's a choice between paying it to the State or putting it toward higher-spec hardware then that's my preference. 

I mean, I don't "need" another howevermany-terabyte drive for my Plex server either, but that still doesn't mean I'm above trolling here and Brickseek, then driving across town because MAYBE that one Target or Walmart out in the country still has a couple on the shelf even though it says low/no stock.

I'm all for CL, and have looked, but you just don't generally find people (maybe in other huge cities) selling new-in-box Apple laptops with the kind of specs I'm wanting on our CL or Facebook markets, (except for ACTUAL scammers). 

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starcastic said:   
feddgee said:   No, they have to be an AUTHORIZED distributor to get warranty coverage, in almost all cases for electronics. Distributors have a contract with the main manufacturer that sets the bottom dollar price on their products in many cases. Most eBay sellers are NOT bound by those pricing "rules" nor supported by warranties(Newegg would be an exception, and there a few others).

I guess ask yourself this question... Can I risk the loss of the full purchase price? I am guessing no since you want to save money. In that instance I would try to negotiate a discount elsewhere where a warranty would apply (if that is what you need).

You could be just fine, but without any real guarantee I would stay clear

  Well, yes and no. This (we'll assume til I have a reason not to) is just a guy selling one new-in-box item, not an Enterprise. If I sell my current MBP on Craigslist to RandomDude#4, the warranty covers it/him for the same balance of it's term as it does for me the original owner. (Plus AppleCare transfers, but that's another subject.) 

However, your point definitely ties back to my original question, namely whether IF worst-case scenario happens and an item listed as new/sealed/factory warranty turns out for whatever reason to not be as advertised and able to be registered....IS that enough to qualify under 'Significantly Not As Described'.

   Be concise, unemotional & consistent in reporting a INAD. Problems will arise stretching out the process with fleabay otherwise.

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I'd rather buy on craiglist and meet in person. At least you'll get to inspect and check the serial before forking over cash.

rated:
You can probably still message the seller. Just not from the actual listing page. Try from the seller's about page, and if eBay asks if it's in regards to an item, say it is not... see if that works. I've seen a few sellers that do not allow messaging about specific items for whatever reason, but when I said it was not in regards to an item eBay allowed the usual messaging to proceed.

rated:
Just going to float this out there...

Someone hacks a dormant eBay account...and then:

Buys the laptop new from Apple direct with a stolen cc. Drop ships to the person who wins the eBay auction...cashes out the PayPal money.

A few weeks later apple determines the purchase was fraudulent. They have the sn of your laptop which is stolen goods...they also have your address...

Not saying that's what is going on but you want the worst case scenario.

rated:
I think the answer is clear, isn't it?

MAYBE

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Instead of having everybody here makes guesses about it, why not just post a link to the listing? And why is a low volume seller listing a NEW high dollar laptop? At the very least there won't be any warranty.

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in for 2

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atikovi said:   Instead of having everybody here makes guesses about it, why not just post a link to the listing? And why is a low volume seller listing a NEW high dollar laptop? At the very least there won't be any warranty.
  
Because I didnt want someone else to buy it, of course 

rated:
Completely forgot to come back and update this, but I really appreciate everyones feedback on this. Got a great deal on a new, sealed in the box 15" Touchbar MacBook Pro 2.9Ghz/16GB/1TB SSD/Dual Graphics Card for $600-700 less than the then-retail of $3400 and saved even more by not having to pay sales tax.

Now to replace the screen on my previous one and sell it.

rated:
starcastic said:   
atikovi said:   Instead of having everybody here makes guesses about it, why not just post a link to the listing? And why is a low volume seller listing a NEW high dollar laptop? At the very least there won't be any warranty.
  
Because I didnt want someone else to buy it, of course 

  That's what everybody says when they see the three year old car on Craigslist for $2,500 with free delivery and a 10 day money back guaranty. 

rated:
Well there was only one and considering it was a hell of a deal I wouldn't put it past (nor would I blame) someone here buying it if I'd posted the eBay link...considering this IS a site specifically for people who love a great deal.

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