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My 15" MacBook Pro 5.1 (late 2008) battery is inflating to the point of nearly breaking the unibody battery cover, so I'm really into replacing it as soon as possible. There are loads of these batteries on eBay (mostly UK sellers with high reputation) that cost less than half of the price I'd have to pay for a battery on a local Apple reseller store.

My question is: is it safe to purchase batteries for MacBook Pros on eBay? Are there any known issues or ripoffs that I should know of?

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If your battery is inflating like that, more than likely, you shouldn't be buying a new battery but going to an Apple Store or calling AppleCare to get it replaced. They should have no problem replacing it for you - batteries aren't supposed to do that. =) –  Kevin Z Jan 11 '12 at 15:45

5 Answers 5

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That depends on the product. I have gotten both good and bad batteries on eBay.

If it comes from China, Japan, Korea, or any other Asian country, it may very well be a fake. I have ordered several from those countries, and most of them ended up not even being detected by my MacBook.

Filter the listing so it only shows auctions within your own country. Check the seller's ratings and their reviews from previous sales of the same product. Finally, make sure they have a good return policy in case your battery doesn't work.

As for the name-brand vs. off-brand question, you can get good off-brand batteries, and bad name-brand batteries. It's like gambling, but the chances are closer to 50/50.

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As I said above, the batteries I'm interested in on eBay are from UK sellers with high ratings. Do you know anything about buying these batteries from the UK? –  João Ramos Jan 11 '12 at 16:31
    
The nature of eBay means that "batteries from the UK" doesn't necessarily mean anything. Because the seller can have the battery either because they own a single one, or because they sell a bunch of them and fulfill their orders from some other source. –  Jason Salaz Jan 11 '12 at 17:48

Another option for longer term (after you have determined why the battery is expanding like it is) may be to see about getting one of the Newer Tech (or other known manufacturer) batteries for your MBP, as they have longer life ratings for the charge. Newer Tech is available from Other World Computing (www.macsales.com), and I've seen it from a few other online sites as well. (I do not work for OWC, but have been very pleased with their products and service) The NewerTech ones I've checked on are rated at higher mA ratings than the original Apple batteries.

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I've purchased new Macbook Pro batteries twice from Ebay Powersellers. Both had the same capacity or slightly higher. My MBP is has the model identifier 3,1.

  • The transaction went fine both times.

  • After a few weeks of usage I gave good feedback as there were not problems with the battery..... that was two early:

    • The first battery expanded too much. It would still fit into the MBP, but the dent affects my MBP in a way that I cannot click with the touchpad when using this battery.

    • The second battery dropped it's capacity to 67% after only 20 cycles.

I ended up purchasing an original battery. The end.

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I would go to your local Apple Store right away as a past Apple Genius that would be replaced in most cases your battery should never do that.'

You can also call 1-800-MY-APPLE and talk to Apple Care reps tell them you are afraid it's dangerous, It will get taken care of.

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There are no Apple Stores in my country (Portugal) and all local Apple resellers told me to forget about having it replaced (I bought my Mac in 2008). –  João Ramos Jan 11 '12 at 16:28

Actually, that's pretty normal for an old battery or a battery that's been used heavily. AppleCare may replaced your battery under a Customer Satisfaction Code, but that depends on the mood of the AppleCare representative that you talk to at the time.

If your MacBook Pro is still in warranty and you take it to an Apple Store with a third-party battery I highly doubt they'll do any repairs under warranty - Apple is pretty tight regarding third-party components.

I'd avoid getting a third-party battery and just stick with one you buy from an Apple Store or an Apple Authorised Reseller.

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