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Ever bought software off eBay?



10:23 pm on Mar 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm looking for some general feedback here.

For a while now I have been debating about buying the CS3 Design suite. It has all the new versions of what I use now. And yes, I am 3 versions behind. Ouch! But it's $1799 US. I could get a really junky car or an amazing Vespa for that.

So this is an serious investment for me. Then I got a crazy idea. Do they legit copies for sale on eBay. I checked for kicks and giggles and yes it looks like the real deal. But of course, I am very suspicious.

Here are the specs:

Factory sealed windows version
Not Education version or OEM
Not an update
Seller since 1999
1799 transactions
99.9% positive feedback

I am soooooo tempted right now.

Anyone want to share personal experiences or other pearls of wisdom?




4:17 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member rocknbil is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

And yes, I am 3 versions behind. Ouch! But it's $1799 US.

You need to dig a little deeper, I just upgraded from the original studio MX to CS3 standard for $399. It's really difficult to find on their site, go into "Adobe family of products" (or something like that) and pay close attention to the upgrade specs.

Personally I wouldn't do this. Even if they have a reseller account of some sort, there's versioning and registration issues to consider, eBay is not the place to buy high dollar software. I've bought a few small 'wares from eBay but wouldn't do it with a critical tool like this.


4:45 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the advice Rocknbil. I will look into this.

I needed to hear something sensible before my emotions carried me away!


5:09 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

You didn't mention the price.

You won't find legitimate anything on eBay for a fraction of the normal selling price.

This extends to some somewhat-surprising hard goods.

For example, a consumer protection group purchased a quantity of the top-selling Bluetooth headsets from random sellers on eBay.

Half were fakes.

The other half were probably stolen. (My own commentary.)

eBay enables a whole industry in fakes that would not exist without it. Sure, there is a market for fake goods in third-world (and sometimes first-world) flea market, but nothing compared with the world's biggest flea market.

Electronic goods are not handbags. A fake handbag may look good enough to fool others, and last long enough to put in that one special appearance, and thus does the job it was intended to do.

Not so, electronic gear, which may not be a faithful replica inside, and may not perform all the functions of the original, nor as well.

With software, of course, you have the potential loss of registration benefits, which can be significant for a complex product.

I've bought a few inexpensive ($20) software packages on eBay. I'm reasonably convinced that they were legitimate OEM non-U.S. versions, which technically should not be sold in the U.S. but which the manufacturer indulges registration because it would be too much trouble otherwise. (i.e. people buying laptops overseas, etc.)


6:02 pm on Mar 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Check the seller's feedback rating and how long they've been a member.

I would not buy from someone with less than 100% positive, (if they have 99% or so, read the negative feedbacks and see what the issues were). I wouldn't buy from from anyone who is relatively "new" either -- or has only a few feedbacks.

You can get some great deals buying last year's version, or special packaging, (e.g.- when CompUSA went out of business, I got some software from someone who bought out their inventory).

Also, I would only buy from someone who accepts PayPal, then you have both eBay Security and PayPal to complain to if the software is not legit, (I know they are both the same company -- but PayPal will refund the money and eBay will cancel the seller account if there is a problem).

If you do buy software, register it as soon as possible, (or at least attempt to).

The one thing I've seen that you should watch out for is "educator" or "student" version -- these are legitimate, and priced much lower than retail versions -- but you may not qualify to legitimately own it or get upgrades.

As always: Caveat Emptor!


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