Blog Post

Discount AppleCare On eBay

I’m rarely one to buy into extended warranties. I worked at Best Buy (s bby) (I was young and stupid, cut me some slack) long ago, and swore I would never waste money on those coverage plans. All that being said, I recommend all my friends cover their Mac with AppleCare — it can be expensive (depending on the model you buy) but in my own experience, has almost always paid for itself. But how do you swallow that hefty warranty price tag after dropping some serious coin on a shiny new computer? An interesting post at Wisebread may have the answer.

One of my favorite blogs about being frugal, Wisebread, has taken the dive and purchased AppleCare protection via eBay (s ebay). Doing so saved $158 off the extended warranty for a Mac Pro — not shabby at all! Registering the code online went off without a hitch, so no immediate red flags at least. Writer Torley acknowledges no issues to test the coverage with as of yet, but there have been no communications from Apple (s aapl) to believe otherwise.

Despite some people around the web sounding a battle cry against AppleCare, I’ve yet to have a bad experience. I’ve had screens replaced for bad pixels, multiple logic boards on a single machine replaced, the machine finally replaced, and so on. (The question of Apple’s quality slowly degrading opposite their rise in popularity is probably a different post altogether…) But I do indeed swear by the coverage, not to mention that it can up the resale value if you try to trade up before the 3 years are up. Oh, and if you don’t have the extra cash on hand at the time you purchase your new slice of heaven, you can add AppleCare protection up to 1 year from the original purchase date.

Have you used eBay, or some other discount ‘provider’ of AppleCare for your Mac? If so, please share the good, bad, and ugly experiences you may have had!

56 Responses to “Discount AppleCare On eBay”

  1. The ability to buy AppleCare Warranty protection for your MacPro on ebay for less than half the original price is very appealing. The disheartening ethical implications, or course are potentially buying the product from a thief. However, thievery and piracy always exist on the outskirts of Apple. Specifically, before iTunes became so popular, songs were downloaded for much cheaper (free actually) from Napster.

  2. I just read the applecare terms of service, this is not true, they require receipt for the COMPUTER not for the applecare. Also, they need the computer’s serial number.

    I have been finding this stuff on the internet, so I just called Applecare directly as advised by one site. They told me in absolutely no uncertain terms that if the code works to get the coverage certificate, it is a good code. I specifically asked about fake codes, key gens and the like, he stated unequivocally that these do not exist. He said that “someone would need do get into our system” to be able to get fake codes generated. Now, I do not know that this is absolutely true, but I believe that it is worth a call to Apple before making these unsubstantiated claims. I have yet to hear from ANYONE on one of these forums who actually had a problem with their own coverage. All that is out there is friends of friends who have “heard” about people having problems.

    That said, I don’t know where the codes come from and it is pretty strange that they can be sold at a profit for so little.

  3. ZipZapp

    Anyone that tells you paypal is on your side or that they did not keep the box is a liar.

    You need the box because it have the serial number.

    Apple will register with just the activation code but look at their terms of service. You need the receipt and/or the serial number.

    So by the time you go to use the warranty…you dont have the box, a receipt from a valid reseller, a serial number. You are out the cost of the warranty and the cost of the repair which you now have to pay for. Paypals claim time has past (45 days) and so you are SOL.

    This is why these activation code sellers rarely have negative feedback….by the time you know it bad…its way too late to do anything.

    Do some people get their repairs….yes….but apple is now wise to the situation and I have heard they are demanding the receipt before doing repairs….EVEN IF YOU HAVE A WARRANTY ACTIVATION CONFIRMATION FROM THEM.

  4. MaxMillyon

    Well all i can do is tell you the true! to be perfectly honest i understand that they are a lot of people out there selling bad apple cares! because most of the people that buy from me tell me that they try before with some else and they got nothing. I hope if you buy a apple care that you get what you paid for and no scam like some people of there doing! all i can tell you is im the real think so if you need me just let me know!

  5. MaxMillyon

    because i didn’t save the boxes! i bought a bundle of apple care from liquidation over 500 pies and to save space i had too take them out of the boxes and just save the codes

  6. MaxMillyon

    i will email the code! but i can promise you that you will not have any problem and once its like to your mac not one should be able to claim refunds on it but you! so i dont know why people would do that but i dont do that because its just out right wrong to sell someone apple care and then try to claim refund on it. just keep my contact information and pay with paypal because they would take your money back if i was too do anything like that! and just to make it clear i would not do that too you or any other customer. and if i give you go product and good customer service then you would tell your friends so that would be good for me! and selling you something and them claiming it back would make you tell no one good things about me so that would not be good!

  7. MaxMillyon

    I can tell you if you buy it from me you will have no problem! and when you take your laptop to the apple store for repair you will have no problem at all. I have sold hundreds of apple cares and all my customers had no problems. and my macbook pro and mac pro and imac are all covered and i have been in a few times and never had a problem with my apple care!

  8. John Andrew

    I’m travelling in India on work at the moment, and I just bought a Macbook Pro here. I’d prefer to buy AppleCare from ebay, but will buying from an american seller pose any problem?

    Also, if I take the laptop to Apple for warranty, won’t I need a sales receipt for the AppleCare?


  9. MaxMillyon

    i sell apple care !!!! for macbook macbook pro imac and mac pro so just feel free to email used! [email protected]
    we do really good price ! and your computer will be 100% covered! after paypal payment i will send the apple care activation code!

  10. SareenGT

    Laptops definitely need warranties! I was thinking about covering my Macbook with Applecare too but it’s really expensive! I ended up choosing Squaretrade instead to cover my laptop. It’s a much better deal with even better coverage as it covers accidental spills or drops or water damage..
    here’s a link in case you need it:

  11. I’ve bought three different applecare plans for macs off of ebay. Two just sent codes via email, one sent a retail box. Each of the three computers had to go back to apple at some point for a repair, never had a problem with the applecare plans whatsoever. I was a little skeptical about ebaying it, but it worked fine with Apple. Most computer people agrree, applecare is the *one* extended warranty you actually *should* buy. it has saved me thousands.

    • Hi Mike, could you tell me the ebayer where did you buy Apple Care ? I’ve looked for people having trouble with Apple products and using their AppleCare extension successfully !!
      Many thanks.

  12. I was thinking of buying it off ebay but I see that none of the sellers want to send you the box. After doing a lot of research it would look like some of these sellers are claiming refunds for the Applecare that they have sold. What happens is they sell it to you and you register and all seems fine. You then leave positive feedback for them. Then sometime later they claim a refund as they have the box and proof of purchase. You then are not covered and more than likely won’t ever know! What a scam!

  13. johnny ansari

    i wish i would’ve bout it form eBay, b/c i actually spent 250 for mine (mac pro 2008) and now i looked some up on eBay ant apple care is going for 50-70 bucks. OMG! :- i dont even know what to do. but for future macs i’m going eBay, near future do you think apple will have policies that prevent others from selling apple care?

  14. What I’ve been waiting to see is if there are folks that have been denied repairs by Apple for using numbers obtained from Ebay. So far I haven’t read any, but if you’ve had this kind of experience I (and probably a lot of others) would love to hear it. Vice versa, as well.

  15. I recently bought a Protection Plan for my MacBook. I got it for 126$, payed via PayPal, received the code 30 minutes later and registered online at Apple. The confirmation came shortly after and I have now three years without worries. I checked in forums if anyone had experience with the seller and he came with recommendations. If you succeed in registering the product, the code`s been valid and the warranty in place. If not, PayPal is your friend.

  16. I have one of those protection plans for iPhone saved on my eBay page. I have been waiting for you guys or another apple blog to post some horror story but after this I guess I’ll go ahead and buy it.

    If it works with no issues, I’ll be buying the same thing for my MacBook Pro I just got. $350 for a macbook pro is a steal considering the LED housing is $800 to repair and logic board could be $500 but it’s a lot to spend for a “maybe” it’ll break.

    thanks for the blog post.

  17. Thanks for the many good comments.

    @Scott – It’s like listening to Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 2. All kidding aside, thank you for the detailed explanation that many of us may not have thought of before.

    @Christopher – Your comments obviously come with some great insight that most of us may not be as privy to, so thank you for that peek inside the Apple Retail experience. I’m sure we’re all aware of shrinkage issues (not those of Seinfeld fame) to some extent, but when seizing a fantastic bargain, probably choose to ignore the potentially obvious reality that may be behind the deal.

  18. I never buy insurance unless I legally have to (it’s bitten me in the ass a couple of times, but I’d like to think I’m making an overall profit), but AppleCare is one thing I will always have on my laptops, just because they seem to care more about the fact that the customer’s happy than they do about squeezing every last penny out of you.

    I had a problem with my MBP after about a year, and the geniuses couldn’t find a fix for it so, after swapping out nearly all of the internals, they replaced. Then when the replacement had the yellow screen issue, I had a replacement screen. Can’t argue with that at all, and it encapsulates one of the main reasons I will be an Apple customer for the foreseeable future – their after sales is excellent.

  19. There is no bad or ugly, if you shop smart. We all know that adage, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”. But we all also know about buyer’s remorse. And (stroking our own egos here), we expect that *we* can shop better than the next guy.
    So, let’s put it all together: If someone with 10 or fewer feedbacks is selling something on ebay (regardless of what it is), and has been a member since 2006 – don’t buy from him. If someone has 10,000 sales on ebay, but a feedback of 175…he’s been “buying” his own stuff and giving himself positive feedback…don’t buy from him. Okay I realize ebay has protections in place against that stuff, and those examples are extreme). Basic rule number one: Caveat Emptor (Buyer beware).
    However, coming back to buyer’s remorse… A certain percentage of the people who buy a complete setup from the apple store, buy Applecare without valuing it for what it is, and regret the purchase when they get home. I’ll assert that they buy MobileMe and Applecare for the right reasons while in the store, and then simply choose to forget, or freak out at the credit card bill coming in twenty days.
    So… Applecare and MobileMe (both) are the perfect product to buy on ebay, if you can trust the seller at first glance. I’ve only bought Applecare for my machines directly from Apple twice. Every machine I own (including iPods) always has Applecare on it before the first year is up. I always buy it from ebay at close to fifty percent off…

  20. Christopher

    I have to second what Scott said above–some of these transactions have to be questioned. As a former employee of an Apple Retail store, I can tell you from experience that the boxes of AppleCare, MobileMe/dotMac, and other really small items would walk out of the store in bulk–especially during the busy holiday seasons. These items, along with ipods, all tend to get bulk-stacked for display, so grabbing 5 or ten at a time is pretty easy. They can then end up on auction sites for pennies on the dollar and the seller is still making money.

    I know other small items are just as susceptible…cds, dvds, blue ray…all are painfully simple to smuggle out in bulk and virtually untraceable in the second-hand market (ask anybody who works in a retail location that has a used cd store near by).

    I know it is hard to pass up these incredible bargains but sometimes a deal is too good to be true.

  21. i bought it off ebay for my MBP that was close to a year old at the time. i live in the UK and got it from a US vendor, and subsequently paid around half the local price for it.
    i then travelled to australia late last year, when the MBP was well outside it’s original cover, and had issues reading blank dvd’s, took it into the new Sydney Apple store (very nice by the way) and they swapped the drive over in a matter of hours. the ebay purchased cover was 100% legit, and i had no problems whatsoever.
    i’d take the ebay option again without a doubt.

  22. Yaronovitz

    I bought it for my macbook pro in October 2007.In May 2008 my aluminium casing eroded(!) and was replaced GRATIS! In November 2008 my logic board need replacement. No Problem – replacement GRATIS (!). Subsequently I had a whole bunch of problems. The manager called me and offered me a BRAND new Unibody MacBook Pro GRATIS (!) My applecare was worth every penny.

  23. I bought Apple Care for my Mac Pro for $58 on eBay. It is usually something like $250. I also got Apple Care for my 30″ Cinema Display for about the same. That is usually $99. I think I made out pretty good. They were both unopened retail boxes.

  24. Scott Laird

    Er, so you’re buying a product that’s only made *and sold* by a single company, and rarely, if ever, sells it for more than a 10% discount. So how is it ending up on ebay for well under half of the normal price?

    This sounds a lot like the discounted iTunes, etc. cards that show up on ebay. Some of them are fradulent, but a lot of them are really just credit-card theft money laundering schemes. They use a stolen CC to buy stored-value cards, and then flip them on ebay for a fraction of the face value. The buyer gets a discount, the seller gets relatively untracable money, and the CC owner is left without an easy way to track down who stole their money. Sure, some of the cards for sale are peole who received them as gifts or as part of a promotion or something, but they’re almost certainly a small minority of the total volume on ebay.

    • polarbreeze

      You’re probably OK if it’s in an unopened retail box bought from a reputable seller. But BEWARE if all you’re getting is the registration code. I just bought Applecare and when I tried to register it, Apple required me to provide (a) the serial number on the bottom of the retail box and (b) a proof of purchase in addition to the registration code. Without that information my Applecare would have been worthless. Be warned – Apple does check for legitimate purchases.