A guy on eBay seems to has a lot of new-in-box machines for sale for much less than you'd pay at the Apple store. In fact he has one with the specs I want.

(I'll refrain from linking to him as I don't want to seem like I'm advertising for him. But you can turn him up and several similar sellers in a search.)

There must be some downside. What am I missing?

And where do these eBay guys get all these newish Macs?

Also, this particular seller is offering AppleCare warranties at a discount. Is that even possible? Would Apple honor an extended warrantee they didn't sell themselves?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.



This is a question with an impossible answer. Use the age-old adage "if it seems to good to be true, it is."

For the most part, eBay is a mixed bag. It really depends how you shop and what kind of items you are in the market for. Personally, I've been burned far more than I've actually saved and no longer use the service. I will likely give you a biased answer and if pressed, say "no." Unless it's a private seller (which likely won't part with their machine for "substantially" less), I would be wary. Apple maintains strict pricing on their products, which is why only marginal price savings can be found.

As for where do most people get theses Macs; if they are selling them for substantially less, then you likely won't get a genuine product, or they have likely acquired them illegally.

AppleCare must be purchased and registered through Apple. No other company can provide you with that kind of coverage. Period. Discounts on the coverage (as with select Apple devices) can be had using their educational discount, which applies to students. And to qualify, the product and the plan must be purchased through their Education Store.

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  • Thanks. This seller's prices are a little under Apple's, but even he says openly that most of the savings is on tax. So it isn't a "too good to be true" situation. But yeah, his thing of reselling AppleCare warrantees seems pretty weird. The source for these machines puzzles me, though. If you see one N.I.B. computer on Craigslist for $800 less than new price, then OK sure, obviously it "fell off the truck." But this eBay guy has dozens. Maybe he owns a shop and is an authorized reseller and his eBay store is just an extension of that. That would explain how he has warrantees for sale. – Agvorth Sep 25 '11 at 6:40
  • I would still be wary. Savings on "taxes" don't exist because he has to pay taxes on the units when he buys them, not when he sells them. Taxes are always taken off everything; governments always get their money. There is no way around this unless you hire "creative" accountants. As for AppleCare being sold with the machine, I'm fairly certainly that cannot be done. As I said, only Apple can issue AppleCare. I would call Apple and give them the URL of the seller. I'm sure they'll educate you and look into the matter. They do not tolerate illegal activity and are a very reputable company. – user10355 Sep 25 '11 at 10:15

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