Buying an Apple MacBook on eBay is quite safe so long as you take care. Scammers often use laptops as bait for unsuspecting buyers because they’re a high-priced item. Happily, 99.98% of sellers are honest but there’s always the rogue element you need to watch out for. Here are six tips to make your MacBook buying experience a happy one.
1 : Does it look like an amazing bargain?
They do exists but be wary of really cheap offers. Check out the seller. If they have a good history but have only sold low-price items in the past and this is their first MacBook sale, double check. Many eBay accounts get hijacked every year and you might be dealing with a ‘phisher’ (someone who steals account usernames and passwords by trickery). If in doubt, use the ‘Ask seller a question’ link – your message will go through to the real seller. Sadly, if it seems too good to be true, chances are it probably is.
2 : Does the seller have good feedback?
Check the seller’s feedback rating. Be wary of sellers with zero or low feedback and check to see how they got it. If it’s only for $1 items they may be suspect. If they’ve sold big ticket items before then they’re much more credible.
3 : Is the seller genuine?
Avoid auctions where the seller asks you to use a freebie email address because they’re “having problems with their email”. Lots of eBay accounts get hijacked by phishers who con people out of their account details and then use them to list dud deals. Payment is usually required through a non-eBay-approved channel. When in doubt, contact them through eBay’s ‘Ask seller a question’ facility – your message will go through to the real account owner
4 : Is the photo of the actual item, or generic?
Generic photos are another scam give-away. Most genuine sellers provide pictures of the actual item for sale.
5 : Is the original receipt available?
Genuine sellers will be able to provide the original receipt. This is useful to prove ownership and also in case of hardware issues if the MacBook is still in warranty.
6 : How is payment to be made?
Stay away from deals that have non-standard payment requirements. Pay by credit card or use PayPal as they provide another layer of protection in the event of a deal going wrong.
To sum up:
Don’t bid on impulse or be tempted by an amazing deal. When in doubt, use the ‘Ask seller a question’ link. Do your homework before you bid and you won’t be tricked.