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. I bought applecare for my imac 27″ from ebay and since I had problem apple replaces me on site 2 logic ,power supply and ram with no charge, only 2 days after my call to support, great!
    But some days ago I purchased another applecare from USA from ebay and apple refuses to register it asking me the proof of purchase, as I ask it to the seller he refunded me immediately without other communication…perhaps a fake?

  2. We are Ebay suppliers of AppleCare Protection Plans.

    I’ll be frank. We buy our AppleCare’s at auction in the UK. Some open, some not. Naturally, we take a flyer on the opened ones but check with Apple to see if they have previously been registered and, by and large, they haven’t.

    I am searching for information on counterfeit AppleCare plans because I am sick to death of sellers located in Japan and USA who are screwing down our profits.

    We sell them cheap and feel we have to compete with all these illegal sellers but we send the box out and can provide a valid UK VAT receipt also if requested.

    Interestingly, we wasn’t aware of this until only the other week when a German customer told us that he had bought an AppleCare on Ebay which worked for 2 months then he received a phone call from Apple saying that his plan was no longer valid unless he could produce the retail box and registration number to them.

    I’m quite sure he won’t be the only one.

    I am trying to build up some evidence to force Ebay to remove these sellers of counterfeit products as it only serves to tarnish what would otherwise be a great marketplace.

    I am a big Ebay fan as we have a good business going now but we remain wary. It irks me that counterfeiters and other forms of low life can so easily exist with their illegal activities.

    The old adage, “You can’t make an honest living!” rings true.

    I knew I was doing something wrong! Only joking. That’s why we struggle sometimes – we’re too straight and honest.

  3. mac4mAC

    macseller I can tell you this apple only cares about themselves-nice they make a watch list for machines stolen from them but when my daughter had hers stolen and made a report to the police apple said they could do nothing. They said they would know if it were turned on for upgrade and all but they did not want to be involved because it could be a divorce or something even though this was a college student with receipt making out a police report. They have great products no doubt but when it comes to help with anything it’s always the same you have to buy another one! So the only time they would have some type of watch list is if it directly making corporate lose money.

  4. My14 months old Mac Pro died last week. Apple have denied my protection plan claim because the seller on Ebay have refunded the warranty in US.

    In here, i can confirmed that Apple do ask for “proof of purchase” of the APP. Apple have no hestitation in shutting the door at you.

    My question is, if Ebay has a dedicated page about APP scam., wouldn’t Apple have a duty of care to inform us? In my opinion, Apple had failed to do anything, despite knowing such a loophole exist.

    The bottom end is, I have no more confident in Apple quality.

    • Macseller

      Idolx. Let me get this straight. You bought a Mac Pro. You then went and bought a digital downloaded registration code for AppleCare from eBay. No receipt. No Box, No serial number, No proof of purchase. You forgot to take note of the old saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is”. So despite the risk, you did it anyway. You now think Apple should compensate you for your stupidity. You got scammed because you tried to save a few dollars. You should admit you did something stupid and take it on the chin. I hope your misfortune serves as a warning to others.

      Next time, buy your AppleCare from an Authorised Apple Reseller.

      Apple quality is fine. You screwed up.

    • Macseller, yes, I got scammed because I don’t know such loopholes exist. That’s why, I am here to tell other people don’t do stupid thing like me. Why are you so upset? You should be happy about it because more people will buy APP from you.

      Apple should not compensate for my action but at least they have a duty of care to close this loopholes but did they? Ebay had a dedicated warning page but have Apple got one?

      As an owner of 5 MBP and 2 Mac Pro. I have my right to voice my opinion about Apple’s quality issue.

  5. Macseller

    maclover, let’s focus on this point: “Sometimes they randomly ask for receipts/serial numbers to verify a purchase, but it doesn’t happen every time……” . Ummm, why do they ask? Here is a fact. If you buy an AppleCare and the code has already been registered by someone who bought it off eBay, Apple WILL ask you for a proof of purchase. If you can supply a genuine invoice, you will have no issue. It is likely the code you tried to register will be voided and you will be supplied with a new code. The person who purchases the eBay AppleCare code will have their plan cancelled. They will then try to claim and complain when Apple shows their AppleCare as void. FACT.

    Another fact: you sound like a scammer.

  6. applelover

    I tried to stop those illegal Applecare Warranty protection Plan codes. Basically you have to buy code and register through Apple web site, but the code is easy to crack down because it goes by pattern like 12345.
    This might be the watch those eBay sellers get Applecare codes.

    1. Go to Link to get in the register page and because the code is random by a certain pattern. So, the eBay sellers can use the codes with unfinished register process to provide them to eBay customers. Moreover, the site lets people try to put the codes as many time as they like. As a result, you will get one that it will be recognized by code available sign.

    2. After registering the code, anyways Apple website automatically send the confirm e-mail to customers who registered the codes without checking code valid.

    3. Applecare coverage can be checked by the month of expiration date warranty ( Link ) which is very weired.

    To find a serial Apple computer serial hardware, those sellers just go to the Apple store and flip Apple computers to get serials, then they have serials for Macbook Pro 15/17, Mac book Air 13, Apple Imac. The serials Apple computer serials use for matching with certain types of Applecare Warranty code.

    Since the eBay sellers get Applecare warranty codes for free, they just give money back whenever buyers use invalid codes or question about the boxes and serials. If my scenario is right, those eBay Applecare Warranty sellers get millions in profit without investing a cent.

    I’m pretty sure for those eBay sellers who sell Applecare warranty codes without boxes will use this method to get Applecare Warranty codes for all Apple products.

    I’m just thinking how much money do, isellimac, macman812, geng7892001, coastal_computing, and more and other eBay Applecare Warranty sellers make if they get it for free?

    I love Apple!!!!! And hopefully Apple does something to keep this codes safe!!!!

    If anyone used common sense it’s obvious that there is no reason to sell ‘codes only’ for a seller – unless it is fraudulent. Apple is relatively lax when it comes to updating security for itunes and applecare codes – really, really stupid

    Let’s remember who is getting scammed here – the buyers of AC, not Apple. Apple has no financial reason to track down the fraudulent AC sellers – the only thing they have to do is refuse to cover an item and put the proof of purchase on the individual trying to make the claim.

    An individual buying a fraudulent code has only 60 days to make a claim against the code seller (via paypal/ebay). In most cases, the person who was scammed doesn’t discover the scam until long after the claim period.

    There is not real proof for those eBay Applecare sellers. They can say whatever they want to. I am just wondering how they drang down $350+tax products to 150$-eBay 10% fees.Even Amazon, a biggest online store, sells Applecare Warranty with boxes and serial codes. Normally electronic products are very high margin cost. Moreover, people only think it is safe to count on eBay sellers’ feedback.

    Best Regards
    Apple Lover

    • maclover

      Apple Lover, you are just scaremongering. You have spammed this nonsense on other message boards (see here:

      Another user said above that they called Apple, and the Apple representative said that codes cannot be found this way, and that anyone scamming would have to have access to their system.

      Don’t you think Apple would notice someone trying multiple incorrect AppleCare codes at once, enough to gain a list of codes to sell? Don’t you think Apple would take their IP and track them down?

      Apple has confirmed that as long as the code registers, it is fine in their system. Sometimes they randomly ask for receipts/serial numbers to verify a purchase, but it doesn’t happen every time.

      Stop scaring people with your nonsense that you can look at an AppleCare code, recognize a pattern, and crack it. What a joke.

  7. I am pretty sure there is such a thing as cheap AppleCare. Many companies (including my previous employer, HP) get special deals like 6% off at the Apple Store, and 50% off AppleCare, and all we have to do is flash our work badge or business cards!

    I’ll bet people are grabbing AppleCare with their employee discounts and reselling them at a profit.

    • MacSeller

      Pat. Good information. I see no issue with cheap AppleCare from Apple. I see an issue with cheap digital downloads from eBay. I’m aware of the 6% but I’m almost certain that you would only get 50% off AppleCare if you also bought a new Mac.

  8. MacSeller

    It astounds me how people continue to convince themselves that eBay AppleCare is a great deal despite the stories of stolen codes, denied coverage, etc. As an Authorised Apple Reseller, I can assure you that there is no such thing as cheap AppleCare. Cheaper yes, but not like the prices you’re seeing on eBay. I completely understand the temptation to save money on something you may never need. We recently had a number of Macbooks obtained from us with fraudulent credit cards. Like stolen AppleCare, the serial numbers of these machines are on a watch list, the unsuspecting buyers are happily using their shiny new Macbook and the minute they try and register it on Apple or take it in for a repair, the machine will be seized and they risk being charged with accepting stolen goods. Life’s to short to be looking over your shoulder. Buy from an Authorised Reseller, get your box with a serial number, file away your receipt and relax. You’re a Mac user. Act like one.

    • MacSeller

      Apple Authorised Repairers have lists of stolen serial numbers. If a Mac comes in bearing one of these serial numbers, they are legally obliged to report it to police. You sound like a scammer.

  9. Harry Lake

    I’m not going to claim to know a lot about all this, as i’m just considering purchasing the applecare off ebay myself. I’ve been doing lots of research on it, and from what I can gather, receipts are not necessary as warranty details are stored on the serial number of the laptop…

    I’d HIGHLY recommend reading this webpage. Certainly food for thought when contemplating the ebay applecare programs!

  10. William et al

    I bought a very well priced applecare policy for my Macbook pro off ebay today (€70 = approx $100). Seller has been selling for over 6 months and has over 1000 positive feedback. All I received was a product code. It registered fine on the Apple website and I’m now showing 3 years cover.

    After reading some of the scaremongering above I thought I’d phone Apple to check it wasn’t a scam……it isn’t! Product confirmed as valid. The nice lady confirmed that when making a claim or phoning for tech support all you need is the serial number of the machine. They can see the rest.

    My shiny new machine is itself a warranty replacement. When I took the faulty machine to the shop all they did was check the serial number. I was definitely NOT asked for any receipts whatsoever.

    Hope that helps.

    • For those of you who think just by calling Apple to confirm they bought a legitimate Applecare code are covered, think again. Some of the scams involve stealing activation codes, or reselling codes after an initial wait period. When you first activate the code it all checks out with Apple. They don’t care as long as your serial and Applecare numbers matchup after registering. The problems arise much later when someone else tries to register the same number, or the original seller lays claim to the number (so they can resell it again). Then when you go to get Applecare service, you will be required to PROVE that you are the owner of the Applecare warranty. How do you provide proof? By showing the receipt and barcode from the box. If you can’t prove it, your screwed. No box or receipt from an authorized reseller? Uh-oh, good luck making your claim. And to make matters worse, you can’t buy another (legitimate) Applecare because your original warranty has probably expired by then. If you buy a bad warranty that registers okay, you’ll be fine as long as no one lays claim to the number later, or if you wind up not needing service. Buying Applecare without a box off ebay is a time bomb waiting to go off.

  11. you do need to have and keep a receipt for the item covered by the applecare AND THE RECEIPT OF THE APPLECARE itself. Apple TOS states you have to buy FROM AN APPLE AUTHORIZED RESELLER.
    Don’t buy applecares on ebay, or at least ask if they are an authorized apple reseller.
    I did this some time ago, but after realizing these facts I got in touch with paypal, got a refund, and ebay closed the store….