Cheap Macs from China?

10 replies [Last post]
unknown1's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 143

I am posting this under Power PC because that is usually where I hang out, but it has Intel-Mac content too.

I got an email from a friend that looked like spam so I checked the headers out and looked for tracking beacons and everything looked OK. It directed me to a Chinese website that has some amazing deals on previous generation Mac products and a lot of other electronics.

http://www.ele-zone.com/nsort_11.htm for Macs

They have 2GHz MacBooks for $470! and a 17" 1.67GHz PowerBook for $680!

Are these guys for real? Has anyone heard of this? I often buy small things like cables direct from Hong Kong on eBay for good prices but have never seen this low of prices on larger items. I'm sure shipping is high but maybe this is where all those 'like new' and 'refurbished' Macs come from on eBay...

If I ever bought something from them I would use my Firefox PayPal plugin, so as not to reveal Credit Card info.

Of course I'm broke too, but that point not withstanding...

Maybe if I sell all fourteen or so of my old Macs off I could buy one 'almost new' one?!? :^)

__________________

Also at info-mac.org, mac-forums.com and amiga.org
Russell - Unknown1 - Idaho USA
"I think I need some alone time with your credit card and ebay"

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
I think Warren Buffet's recen

I think Warren Buffet's recent suggestion that we all start buying locally to help a faster economic recovery is pretty sound advice, and for other reasons as well.

unknown1's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 143
That's true but...

(Uh oh, rant coming)
How many have experienced a wage increase in the last two years? Well, I guess if you are earning minimum wage you got a raise...

Now, how many have experienced an increase in the volatile 'food and energy' sector? It is purposely removed from the economic inflation figures because they are so volatile and usually end up going back to normal levels by the following season (like the $3.00 a dozen eggs and $4.50 a gallon milk last year that have gone down somewhat).

Unfortunately, food and energy prices have not moderated until last month's lowering of fuel prices (due to a faltering economy and decreased demand). My two economic indicators are; the $1.00 McDonalds double cheese burgers (now $1.29)! The good Kirkland dog food from CostCo: Was $18 a bag a year ago, was $24 last month, it is $26 this month!

Warren Buffett is reputed to be a fair guy but I bet he hasn't had to buy any food or personal items of his own or even worried about the cost of them for at least fourty years, that is for his 'staff' to take care of.

I have pretty much ceased buying at retail stores for anything but food and clothing because of crappy service and high prices. We shop for food at the 'canned food stores', the 'day old bread stores' the 'mega-discount stores' (though I refuse to buy at Walmart if at all possible because of treatment of their employees and of companies who refuse to move production overseas to lower prices, but that is another story...) and thrift stores and garage sales for clothing and household items.

Do I support local and employee-owned stores whenever possible? Yes, you bet! And I wouldn't mind paying a little more for a locally produced item, if it were available. (The Farmer's Markets in every little town around here are great!) But things like our local 'White Satin' sugar plants in the area, their products are available but cost literally DOUBLE what the other brands shipped in from Texas cost! Why? I really don't know. Would I like to support them and my many friends who work there? Sure, but we just can't afford to double our grocery bill to do that.

(OK, back on topic, almost). All computers and electronics are made overseas. There is no Apple store in my area save MacLife in Boise who actually charge MORE than list price on new machines unless you pay cash. Don't even ask about used stuff lest they give you that 'give me a break you penniless nobody' smirk. (well, there is also Best Buy but we won't even start on them....)

I buy my electronics online as the prices can't be beat (recently got a 2GB SD card and reader in two days for $7.29 from a Hong Kong company warehoused out of San Francisco which would have cost me at least $30 locally) and the service is great! You don't have to look at or talk to someone who knows less than your grandmother about Macs. And who doesn't love getting packages in the mail?!? Living in the rurals most of my life, we lived on Sears and Montgomery Ward catalogs when we were kids.

Would I like to see an Apple store that sells Apple products made in the USA by great sales people? Absolutely! Can I afford ANY new Mac made in USA or elsewhere? Nope, not yet. That is why I spend time on this forum and buy boxes of old broken Pismos and other first generation, OS X capable machines and fix them up for family and a few to sell once in a while.

As I think I have said before, if I can I would like to sell all my fourteen or so old Macs and buy one 'almost new' one, but that is all I would get: One.

Sorry for the rant, but that's what came spewing forth from my frazzled mind this evening (now morning) when we have to get up at six AM to drive 40 miles to work and make a little more than gas and food expenses for the day but we are thankful to have the work.

__________________

Also at info-mac.org, mac-forums.com and amiga.org
Russell - Unknown1 - Idaho USA
"I think I need some alone time with your credit card and ebay"

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
I hear you loud and clear and

I hear you loud and clear and sympathize wholeheartedly. I just don't know that giving the Chinese our money on larger ticket items is the solution. It seems to be part of what got us into this situation. There's always a trade-off in these exchanges, and usually it doesn't make us richer. And, like I say, there are other reasons as well. If it sounds too good to be true...you know. If it is true, where's the tariffs and what does Apple have to say about it? As I recall, Apple requires all retailers to sell their hardware at the designated retail price.

Jon's picture
Jon
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 2804
Re: That's true but...

unknown1 wrote:

Warren Buffett is reputed to be a fair guy but I bet he hasn't had to buy any food or personal items of his own or even worried about the cost of them for at least fourty years, that is for his 'staff' to take care of.

Buffet didn't get to be who he is by ignoring the details. I'm sure he actually pays attention to stuff like that. Truly rich people who got it by work are a different breed than "old moneyed" people. My uncle used to work at a McDonalds in Arkansas back in the day. Sam Walton would come in the drive through, in his rusty old pickup truck, and buy with coupons. And he was worth millions then. Building wealth, and keeping it, is a lifestyle.

__________________

I am not in this world to live up to other people's expectations, nor do I feel that the world must live up to mine. - Fritz Perls

mmphosis's picture
Offline
Joined: Aug 18 2005
Posts: 314
MacBook (Mid 2007) - Hong Kong

MacBook (Mid 2007) - Technical Specifications

I recently purchased a brand new 6 pin to 6 pin firewire cable from Hong Kong. It didn't work. Only 4 of the pins were connected. Buyer beware.

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
Re:Sam Walton

Well, um, yeah, but Sam Walton leads the charge in our exchange deficit with the Chinese, and his stores have an unfavorable regard for the American worker, so your example is a two-edged sword. It's all a mess and needs to be changed at the micro as well as the macro level. This is probably the most important election in my lifetime so far, but as much work has to be done at the grass roots as well. Basically, we're all in it together, is what Buffet is saying, I believe. Rearranging our priorities and hope the bad guys are brought to atone for their corruptions--but don't hold your breath on that one--but concentrate on reenergizing the local manufacturing sector, not the foreign overseas jobs, which is also a more green perspective as well. But hey, if you're clinging to the edge, your choices are all yours.

eeun's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1891
Derailed!

Derailed Thread

Back on topic:
If you want to take the risk of buying from an overseas seller at a suspicious price, then be prepared for the transaction to have problems.
As has been mentioned already, Apple's really picky about regional pricing, and doesn't allow online retail to sell across regions...so that means this company isn't Apple authorized.

So...they're not getting their Macs from Apple, and there's likely not going to be any support from Apple, or the seller, if you have problems. If you actually get a Mac after sending your money, that is.

__________________

"Give a man a fire, he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life."
(Terry Pratchett)

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
Offline
Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
Yeah, click on "Law Copyright

Yeah, click on "Law Copyright" at the bottom of that seller's page. Here's what you get:

"Law and Copyright

This website is through authorization of website, all items are all protect by law such as discovering in other websites to appear a circumstance of appropriate my website item, pleasing in time with us of on-line staff member contact, if experience certificate belongs to actually, we will with the path of the law to it."

And you can take that to the bank! You think they used the regular Google translator? I wonder what the original meant. I guess it all depends on what the meaning of "is" is, and who will be pleasing in time. "My website" might have been a slip or a possessive mistranslation. Which would you bet on?

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 105
One of the risks with greymar

One of the risks with greymarket goods is that while they may have come from the exact same factory as any normal macbook/imac, there's no telling where in the process it was removed. It's entirely possible (and apparently common) that in the midst of QA processes, when every machine is tested at multiple points along the line, machines destined to be sent back for rework or scrapped outright due to defects end up being taken away and being sold - sometimes by the company contracted to deal with manufacturing or QA.

What that means is that you could have a machine at 1/4 the price of a brand new one, with an unknown defect, that hasn't completed a production run. It may have missed out on further testing, it may not have had final wrap-up performed (boxing with included peripherals and OS CDs), might have no official apple OS install (the most recent one for the hardware itself, newer than retail), and may not have a valid serial number recorded in Apple's system - or worse, may have a serial number that defines it as stock to be reworked - esentially marking it as stolen during manufacturing.

Of course, you could get lucky and have a machine that's been part of an insurance write-off of stock that works perfectly, but writing-off was easier/cheaper than checking all of a potentially damaged lot.

Them's the risks!

unknown1's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 143
Re: Derailed!

eeun wrote:

Derailed Thread
Back on topic:
If you want to take the risk of buying from an overseas seller at a suspicious price, then be prepared for the transaction to have problems.

As has been mentioned already, Apple's really picky about regional pricing, and doesn't allow online retail to sell across regions...so that means this company isn't Apple authorized.

So...they're not getting their Macs from Apple, and there's likely not going to be any support from Apple, or the seller, if you have problems. If you actually get a Mac after sending your money, that is.

First of all: Cool sign!

Next: Remember these are OLDER models, likely used or remanufactured therefore slim chance they are from Apple. I doubt many of the sellers on eBay are 'Apple Authorized' either.

Yes, there is quite a bit of chance here but there are ways to cover yourself:

Communication with the seller before the sale, asking for references.

Buy with credit card via PayPal= double protection. By US law you are not liable for more than $50 of any fraudulent activity on your card. Once reported the transaction is frozen and the credit is usable until the matter is resolved (there are NO such protections on debit cards or checking account drafts, they are an instant cash transfer and once it is gone the bank has no obligation to refund you until they finish their own investigation). PayPal has their own protections in place so at worst you would not get your product and would have to go back and forth with the credit card company and PayPal. I have had my credit cards and keys stolen and they fixed the credit in a week, never got my wedding ring back off my key chain though :^( .

Of course: Shipping insurance with a known company.

And SquareTrade.com offers warranties at great rates. I have heard of very little problem with them. I haven't used them myself, they require you purchase a warranty within 30 days of purchase and I never seem to get to it in time. Of course what you buy has to be in working condition and most of the stuff I buy is 'fix-r-upper's'.

Anyway, like they say 'buyer beware'.

It would probably be some time before I have the chance to try them but it sure sounds interesting...

__________________

Also at info-mac.org, mac-forums.com and amiga.org
Russell - Unknown1 - Idaho USA
"I think I need some alone time with your credit card and ebay"