Experience of shopping for a mac on ebay

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Hi all.
This is a bit of a gripe, but also a search for some help/advice/a digital hug.

My loved and trusted 2008 Unibody MBP died in Oct right in the middle of a big project.
I went on Ebay to try to find something as quickly as possible and finally bought a Mid 2010 MBP that was sold to me as in very good condition.
Upon arrival I ran a S.M.A.R.T test and found the hard drive was failing, so I got a partial refund from the seller for the cost of a new HD. So far, so good.
I also noted that the headphone jack didn't work. An inconvenience, but I let it slide as I was busy, and the mac seemed to work. It would crash/black screen and reboot, about once a week, but I didn't worry.
About a month ago, it started to get worse, and now, it happens every day, and sometimes multiple times an hour.
I stopped by the apple store and sure enough, the graphics chip is failing and the Logic board needs replacing.

I paid £406 for the Mac, and cost of replacing the LB is £418, which turns an ok priced purchase into a ridiculous one.

I bought the Mac on Oct 24th, so it's a bit over 2 months ago. Ebay say they won't do anything, as it's past their 30 guarantee.
Am I wrong to expect this to work as advertised?


I feel like i've been had here.
I've contacted the seller but I have little leverage. I can't even change the feedback I gave.

I wish I'd done a full systems check on arrival but I also was over a barrel as I needed a mac, and sending it back would have cost me lots of lost time.

I think I'm probably screwed and will have to sell it on spares and repair only and try to get something for it.

Any thoughts? Any suggestions on shopping on ebay?

I'd appreciate anyone's experiences on this, and perhaps an idea on what to do.

The LB replacement is from Apple. I could do it myself, so perhaps I can find a cheaper part somewhere, but I also know this release of mac had graphics chip issues and so it will probably fail as well.

Thanks in advance.
 

Raz0rEdge

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This is very unfortunate and happens frequently enough for me to avoid buying pricey electronics from eBay. For every legitimate seller out there, there are just too many bad apples and its near impossible to distinguish the good from the bad.

When I need $2 batteries, I go to eBay, when I need something a lot more valuable, I go an entirely different route..

In this case, since you are past whatever protection date eBay provides, you have little recourse left as far as they are concerned. The seller is surely not obligated to help in any way since you've now been the owner of the Mac for 2 months and as far as they are concerned, you were fine with it all this time and perhaps even broke it (even if that isn't really the case)..

I've had the greatest amount of success buying Refurbished Macs from the Apple Refurb store. This gets you the 1 year AppleCare which can be extended to 2 more years just like a brand new Mac.

Since you've purchased a 2010 model, any AppleCare that was possibly available is already expired, so you are left with either fixing this Mac up or putting that money against a Refurb from a reputable place..
 
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Thanks for your response. You are right on all counts of course. I posted here more to help with accepting my lot than necessarily be able to change it. Unfortunately, I'm so broke, I can't afford an official refurb.

I'll see what I can do going forward. For now, it works, unless I stress the graphics.

Thanks again.
 

pigoo3

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I went on Ebay to try to find something as quickly as possible and finally bought a Mid 2010 MBP that was sold to me as in very good condition.

It would crash/black screen and reboot, about once a week, but I didn't worry.
About a month ago, it started to get worse, and now, it happens every day, and sometimes multiple times an hour.

Am I wrong to expect this to work as advertised?


I feel like i've been had here.

I wish I'd done a full systems check on arrival but I also was over a barrel as I needed a mac, and sending it back would have cost me lots of lost time.

I think I'm probably screwed and will have to sell it on spares and repair only and try to get something for it.

Any thoughts? Any suggestions on shopping on ebay?

First let me say that it is unfortunate that the computer is starting to fail. But…it is a used device…and like any used device…something can go wrong any time.

Thoughts:

1. One constant theme you mentioned was you were in a hurry. When you buy something used…you NEED to check it out thoroughly & completely…ASAP!!! Maybe the logic board issue could have been spotted early on…maybe not. But because it wasn't done initially…there is no way of knowing.

2. Sounds like you used it a while before is started to fail (logic board). If this computer performed as advertised for a while…then there is no fault on the sellers behalf. In fact…the seller did work with you on the hard drive issue (gave you some sort of refund).

I've purchased so many used computers via eBay and Craig's List that I've lost count. But it's safe to say that this number exceeds 50. EVERY time I purchase a used computer…I test it out throughly RIGHT AWAY. I'm not saying that I never had an issue…and the issues I've had I (for the most part) was able to rectify.

From what I'm reading. It sounds like this computer performed as advertised by the seller. The seller worked with you regarding the hard drive issue. And you did not do the right thing by throughly checking out & testing the computer as soon as you got it.

Now like I said…the logic board problem may or may not have shown up initially. But we will never know now (computer wasn't testing initially).

The LB replacement is from Apple. I could do it myself, so perhaps I can find a cheaper part somewhere, but I also know this release of mac had graphics chip issues and so it will probably fail as well.

This is probably your best option to get the computer working again.:) A good used logic board should be less expensive than new. And if you install it yourself…you will save the install labor.

Again. I'm sorry to hear this happened. Believe me there is some risk purchasing used. But to minimize the risks…a used computer MUST be thoroughly inspected & tested as soon as possible.

- Nick
 
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Simbad54
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Pigoo3, thanks for taking the time to reply.
Yes, you're right, I was in a hurry. I was up against a big deadline, and with a dead laptop that needing replacing. I did immediately check the HD, which is why I saw it was failing. I didn't think to go to the apple store and check other aspects.

Well, lesson learned. I'm pretty sure the failing graphics chip would have shown up. It crashed very soon after purchase. I just put it down to 'macs crash sometimes'. I didn't want to face the fact it might be faulty as I needed and couldn't easily return it, as I live in Holland and am only back in the UK now and then (where I bought it). It was apparently an issue with this particular Mac, and in fact, there was a free replacement logic board available for 3 years after manufacture to cover the dud chip that apple had installed. It was a well known issue. My feeling is, the seller knew this, and past it on.

As you say though, there is no way to prove this, and he did issue a partial refund. Back then, of course, I could have asked for a full refund, and left bad feedback. It was in his interests to help. Not so now.

Anyway, I have definitely learnt my lesson.
I will be much more careful on ebay in the future.

Thanks agin.
 

pigoo3

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Well, lesson learned. I'm pretty sure the failing graphics chip would have shown up. It crashed very soon after purchase. I just put it down to 'macs crash sometimes'.

If the crashing started very soon after purchase...then I would suspect that the seller did have a pretty good idea that it did this. Then I would agree with you that the computer was misrepresented as "very good condition". Mac's do crash sometimes. But when this happens on a "new to you" computer...you need to be more suspicious & ask yourself...is this "normal crashing"...or "problem crashing"?

What I do when I get a "new to me" (used) computer. I erase & reformat the HD...then install a fresh copy of the Mac OS. This way you know two things:

1. There are no pre-existing issues from the previous owner's OS install, app installs, and computing habits.
2. With a fresh OS install there should be NO software related issues. If the computer does have issues...they would be hardware related. And hardware related issues are what you want to determine ASAP...with a "new to you" computer. If hardware issues exist...HELLO SELLER...I want a refund!!!;)

So I see two things that possibily went wrong with this eBay deal:

1. Sounds like the seller may have misrepresented the computer ("very good condition").
2. Sounds like the buyer could have checked things out a bit more!;)

Just being honest as an objective observer from thousands of miles away. Nothing personal.:)

- Nick
 
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Honestly think about this if you payed any where from 300.00 to 470.00 for a macbook your getting totally ripped off.

Let me explain.

See working MacBooks go for 600.00 to 800.00 to as much as 900.00 for a used one on Ebay.

Now i am not saying buying a broken one is not a option and getting it repaired which is sometimes much cheaper then even apples own refurbished model's

But you need to understand earlier MacBooks especially the aluminum models had a major flaw with the Graphics card the nvidia card in those models mostly the core 2 duo and core duo MacBooks would fail costing the owner 700.00 to replace a logic board from apple.

But the flaw is still even on the replacement board so it basically is placing a band aid on a bad board design.

Make sure before you purchase on ebay you follow these steps.

1. Ask for the MacBooks serial number you can verify the serial number through apple.com and see if the device or devices where reported stolen or damaged or had replacements in the past 6 months.

No serial number or the number they give you fails to check out with apple run or report them to ebay for selling stolen property.


2. Ask them what o.s comes on it.

The reason why is yosemite and maverick need to be legally downloaded so you don't trip off the do not steal mac os x.kext located in the operating system this isn't difficult to fix as long as the computer supports these o.s versions a apple store will kindly format and restart the machine with a fresh installation for your needs and will gladly help you setup your macintosh.


3. Ask them how big of hard drive.

Then go online and see what the stock hard drive size for that model was.

Reason so you can see if someone has tampered with the inside of the machine.

This step although not really that big of deal because people upgrade hard drives all the time it will tell you if you should have someone make sure the drive is assembled correctly so you don't create a short inside the macbook.

If you follow these steps you are way better off.
 

pigoo3

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Honestly think about this if you payed any where from 300.00 to 470.00 for a macbook your getting totally ripped off.

Let me explain.

See working MacBooks go for 600.00 to 800.00 to as much as 900.00 for a used one on Ebay.

I trust that you understand that the OP is not located in the United States...and that the economies in other countries are different than in the US. So what the OP paid for this 2010 MBP may be totally fair in their part of the world.

- Nick
 

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