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Author Topic: Experiences buying software on eBay?  (Read 8868 times)

tranglos

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Experiences buying software on eBay?
« on: January 14, 2008, 08:15:10 PM »
I want to say upfront that I've only had good experience buying stuff on eBay. I don't do so often, but I pick sellers carefully, and have bought things from cheap (DVDs) to fairly expensive (my fine pre-Lenovo ThinkPad :-), without a single problem ever.

But I've never bought software. Specifically (the seller states) a legitimate, shrink-wrapped, never opened, never registered retail copy of Delphi 2007. eBay is about the only way I can buy it, since CodeGear marketing dept lives in a cave and they sell only to US and Canada directly. They have resellers worldwide, and the Polish reseller not only charges an enormous margin above CodeGear's price, but they expect you to order only by printing out an RTF order form and faxing it to them. The order form doesn't even have a line for first name/last name - only for company name. If they don't expect to be selling it to individuals, I am not going to plead with them, and I certainly won't be buying a fax machine to deserve the privilege of odering an expensive product from morons. (Yep, I have some strong feelings about them!)

Assuming the trade goes well, and that the copy is indeed virginal, the net result would be no different than me traveling to the US, buying Delphi retail and bringing it home. Or receiving it as a gift. EU law does not allow manufacturers to limit where or to whom they sell, so this is completely legit on my side. (A second-hand copy would be perfectly EU-legal too, but CodeGear would almost certainly block me from upgrades and patches, so I'm not considering that.)

So the only thing I am left to wonder about is how likely it is that the copy in question is indeed legitimate. The seller has lots of feedback, practically 100% positive, and he seems to be selling shrink-wrapped copies of Delphi and other software almost daily. He has a long string of such transactions, dating back months. So it looks pretty good. Is there anything I'm forgetting about?

Does anyone have any good or bad experience of the sort?



f0dder

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 08:45:00 PM »
Hm, I shop online relatively often and I'm certainly not scared of it in general - but for software shopping, I'm very skeptic, especially if it comes to "secondhand" or non-official resellers. One thing is whether borland/inprise/codegear/fancynameofthemonth and their license feels OK about reselling, another is whether those copies are genuine in the first place. Why would anybody an individual person end up with a large amount of legit, shrinkwrapped copies of development software?

Not saying it's necessarily shady, and I certainly have no experience with that kind of purchase, but it just smells wrong to me.
- carpe noctem

tranglos

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 08:57:48 PM »
One thing is whether borland/inprise/codegear/fancynameofthemonth and their license feels OK about reselling

They don' like it, but thankfully the EU thinks differently, and if the software is really shrink-wrapped straight from a legit distributor, it's not even reselling. It's more like I ask you to buy it for me, and you do, and airmail me the package.

Why would anybody an individual person end up with a large amount of legit, shrinkwrapped copies of development software?

Right, this is what smells somewhat. Then again, people who run their own brick and mortar stores sell their stuff on eBay, too, and offer better prices.

I certainly don't want to end up with a bad copy. I'm only considering this because the idiots at CodeGear won't sell it to me  >:(

f0dder

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2008, 09:04:15 PM »
I certainly don't want to end up with a bad copy. I'm only considering this because the idiots at CodeGear won't sell it to me  >:(
Tell me about it - the hoops I had to jump through to purchase DataRescue IDA... involved a fax machine, passport + visa card, and quite an amount of cash. But I digress.

I'll step into the corner and watch what other people (with experience :)) has to say, and stop offtopicing your thread :)
- carpe noctem

Stoic Joker

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2008, 06:09:20 AM »
Simplest answer might be to post a link to the eBay item, so we can all get a first hand look at how legit it appears to be.

Just a Thought...

tranglos

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2008, 07:37:49 AM »
Yeah, it's here:

Borland CODE GEAR DELPHI 2007 for Win32 ~ NEW

But, having slept on it, I'll pass.


tamasd

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2008, 08:00:46 AM »
Hi Marek. The Delphi item on Ebay has up to $2,000 in buyer protection. If that buyer protection is applicable for us in eastern Europe, that would make it a safe buy (I guess).
The price is luring! In our local distributor shop, the Delphi upgrades seem more pricey than regular full price in US Codegear shop.

tranglos

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2008, 08:34:54 AM »
Hi Marek. The Delphi item on Ebay has up to $2,000 in buyer protection. If that buyer protection is applicable for us in eastern Europe, that would make it a safe buy (I guess).

Does that in any way mean eBay is vouching for the seller? I suppose if he were selling pirated software he'd have been kicked off long ago. He's been at it for months, and has had an account since Oct. 2006.

(I once found a guy who was clearly selling "Nero originals" of various hard-to-find DVDs, claiming they were new and legit. A week later the account was gone.)

The price is luring! In our local distributor shop, the Delphi upgrades seem more pricey than regular full price in US Codegear shop.

That's why I have a special place in my heart for resellers :) People have been badgering CodeGear about this for years, but they refuse to institute a direct sales channel.

tranglos

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2008, 01:08:59 PM »
Hi Marek. The Delphi item on Ebay has up to $2,000 in buyer protection. If that buyer protection is applicable for us in eastern Europe, that would make it a safe buy (I guess).

Does that in any way mean eBay is vouching for the seller?

Okay, found it, and it does not. Eligibility for buyer protection only means that:

Quote
   1.  seller's eBay feedback rating is at least 50;
   2. At least 98% of the seller's eBay feedback is positive;
   3. The seller has a Verified Premier or Verified Business Account in good standing;
   4. The listing was on an eligible eBay site (eBay.com and certain other eBay sites self identified as such)
   5. PayPal is listed as an acceptable payment method; and
   6. The seller is a PayPal User from one of the following countries:

So it has little bearing on the actual merchandise, except to the extent that nobody must have complained about receiving pirated software from the seller. I asked the guy a question and will wait for response.

tamasd

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2008, 01:30:48 PM »
How I understood it, is that the seller of this items meets the terms of the buyer protection, and if you will use Paypal for the payment you are protected for up to 2.000 USD. The only weak point is the lawyer verbiage: they basically don't guarantee much (though I'm far from a lawyer to really understand), and there are many steps to reach the final settlement if any issue.

tranglos

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2008, 03:15:00 PM »
Mystery solved. The description page doesn't say so (that I can see) but I've just heard from the seller. The copy of Delphi comes with an "Education" license. Basically this translates to personal use only, no right to distribute compiled software (whether free or for-profit): section 4.2 in http://dn.codegear.com/article/36957

It appears to be a legitimate copy then, and a legitimate seller, though the license info should really be prominent on the description page.

Since I haven't actually published anything in ages anyway, and would love dearly to play with it, I'm still a little tempted!

tomos

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2008, 03:48:28 PM »
that would have been a bum deal if you hadn't found that out

especially in the light of this

ebay001.png
Tom
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 03:50:17 PM by tomos »

tamasd

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2008, 05:15:04 PM »
Actually I was checking the feedback page and found one complaint about licenses being Educational only, but I thought that Delphi didn't have educational and that it relates to other software seller was offering, silly me.

If that's the case, the seller is probably making big bucks on it.
I checked Hungarian store (don't speak hungarian, but they have educational licenses listed), and while their regular Pro version is way more expensive than in US Codegear shop, the Pro educational is only for about USD 140.

tamasd

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 09:17:23 AM »
Hi Marek, I'm now considering D2009 upgrade from my D6. Local reseller asking for $950 for Pro version upgrade download version, Embarcadero has $355 (after discount) but they won't let me buy (perhaps could be overcome by tunneling through some US IP address, not sure), and on Ebay someone is selling a box for $298.

So wondering if you or someone else have a positive experience with that, in particular whether there were any problems on Embarcadero side (allowing the upgrade to be registered)?

superboyac

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 10:37:57 AM »
I've bought software on ebay before (carefully, though) and it has all been a good experience.  I also had misgivings about it initially, but everything turned out fine.  I figure it's not really my job to do all the detective work about all this, I don't have the time.  Unless it's obvious where I can tell something is shady, I'm ok with it.

Heck, I just bought $90 sneakers for $30.  How do I know they're not "hot"?  I don't know.  I also just bought a Sony mp3 player for less than half price, brand new.  I'll never know.  Then again, I'm about to sell a brand new pair of Birkenstocks for what will end up to be probably 1/2 price, but there's a legitimate story behind it.

My point is, I don't view software any differently than other items.  I can only do so much as far as my own judgment.  After that, well, you're on your own I guess.

mwb1100

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2008, 02:43:52 PM »
The thing you have to be careful of when buying software on the 'gray market' (this could be eBay or software discounters that sell old versions or OEM versions) is that if the license is invalid (or sold too many times) the manufacturer will often blacklist the code.  That means that updates to the software will cause it to stop working, or if the  software requires online activation it may stop working even without updates.





Carol Haynes

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2008, 03:31:53 PM »
After resent experiences I am wary of buying anything that can be counterfeited on eBay.

I posted elsewhere about my experience of a seller with ripped off videos. Despite reporting the issue to eBay they are still trading and I only got my money back after going to the police. Even so they are still trading.

Buyer protection from eBay/Paypal (take your pick they are the same people) is a joke and almost impossible to claim. Even when you report a trading violation they insist you try and sort it out with the seller (even when the seller is unambigously breaking the law). If it can't be resloved with the seller then iIn order to claim on the deal the onus is on you to prove to eBay that the trader was acting illegally. In my case they wanted me to PROVE that the item was counterfeit - I couldn't return it to them for examination and even though I got a letter confirming it is clearly a poor ripoff copy from a local magistrate (judge) eBay still would not accept that as evidence.

Note once you make a claim you only have 7 days to provide the evidence eBay require otherwise you are not covered by the protection scheme. This is not necessarily possible especially when you, as I did, get the email requesting the information on the Friday afternoon of a bank holiday weekend (ie. no one was available to even try to collect evidence for 3 of those days).

By all means buy second hand goods that are easy to verify that they work but avoid anything like Software, DVDs, CDs or Videos unless eBay is a shop front for an independently verifiable reputable shop.

mwb1100

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2008, 06:38:48 PM »
Buyer protection from eBay/Paypal (take your pick they are the same people) is a joke and almost impossible to claim.

Sounds like eBay/Paypal are as deep into scamming as the rest of 'em.

f0dder

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2008, 06:52:50 PM »
I don't see the point of buying software if you're not 100% sure it's legit... I'd never buy that kind of stuff on ebay/whatever.
- carpe noctem

superboyac

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2008, 07:02:27 PM »
Buyer protection from eBay/Paypal (take your pick they are the same people) is a joke and almost impossible to claim.

Sounds like eBay/Paypal are as deep into scamming as the rest of 'em.

I don't know.  I've had one dispute with Paypal and it was settled very easily and satisfactorily.  It probably depends on the nature of the dispute.

tamasd

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Re: Experiences buying software on eBay?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2008, 08:48:14 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.

I didn't buy a software on Ebay yet just because I didn't have a need, but generally I wouldn't have any problem with purchasing software there.

My biggest concern is the way how Codegear/Embarcadero handle licenses. Due to the stupid policies like not allowing non-US customers an access to US online shop. So that they wouldn't freeze my license for example, if I purchased one that was for a US market.

But maybe I'm just paranoid.

It seems another option would be to purchase from one of their resellers in other countries, eg. Russian shop seems not to be blocking IP addresses, and the prices are not much higher than in US shop.

In overall, I have positive experiences with Paypal/Ebay, but negative ones too (like sitting on a phone two hours in total, trying to resolve a trivial case of closing an old abandoned account, so that someone who sent their money accidentally could get their money back, nothing resolved, and not that there was any fault on my side, there seemed to be simply no way to do it for them technically, though they wouldn't tell anything, not even whether it's possible or impossible, just yeah yeah nodding all the time), and I don't put much trust into their "guarantees", just that "usually they might work".