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3 Posts

02-08-2011

UK

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Checking authenticity of T410 being sold on Ebay + warranty status

2011-02-08, 14:47 PM

Hi,

 

I'm looking to buy a new/newish thinkpad T410. Because I don't have a huge budget, I'll have to buy it on Ebay. I'm looking for a machine with at least 2 years of (valid) on-site warranty left.

 

I'm a bit worried about the authenticity of the machine and the status of the warranty if I buy one off Ebay. As a result, I have a couple of questions:

 

1/ Assuming the machine is authentic (hasn't been tampered with, parts and motherboard are original), is the standard 3 year on-site warranty 100% transferable? I've heard that it is, but just wondering if there is any chance that Lenovo wouldn't honour the Warranty, given that I won't be able to provide proof of purchase. If you call up Lenovo to get a thinkpad fixed under warranty, what is the process involved? Do you literally just read out the model/type and serial number and they send someone out, or do they require any further information (e.g. proof of purchase, etc.)? Does anyone have some first-hand experience of this?

 

2/ My second concern is that, because I'm buying it on Ebay, there's a chance that someone might have tampered with the machine, swapped the motherboard (which if I understand correctly, completely invalidates the warranty?), or changed some of the components (the hard drive in particular would be a problem). What would be the best way of checking the autenticity of the machine? Is there a standard way of checking the authenticity of the motherboard (either physically, via BIOS or via some other software/utility)? Can this be forged? What other aspects/components should I check? Is there a way that I can check that the Hard Drive is the one that originally came with the machine (and hence under warranty)?

 

Should I also do a physical check? Is there a way of telling whether the machine has been opened up or otherwise tampered with? I'm fairly new to laptops in general and thinkpads in particular, so don't really know what to look out for. Please bear in mind when giving advice that I am not very technical. I understand the basics such as basic component specifications (such as a 7200rpm vs 5400rpm HDD, 4500 vs 5700MHD, etc.) and going into Bios, but not much beyond that.

 

Out of interest, does anyone know what the Lenovo technicians use to check the validity of a machine when they come on-site to repair it (under warranty)?

 

3/ Finally, is there anything else I should beware of when buying a thinkpad with warranty on Ebay? Of course, I'm slightly concerned in case the machine turns out to have been stolen, but there's not much I can do about that, is there? Anything else I should be wary of?

 

Thanks in advance for any help/information.

 

 

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212 Posts

11-08-2010

BC, Canada

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Re: Checking authenticity of T410 being sold on Ebay + warranty status

2011-02-08, 16:37 PM
Alright:

First off, Lenovo should honor the transfer- I'm not sure if the old owner has to sign off on it or not (don't have first-hand experience of this).

Secondly, the serial number contains all you need to know. I believe the easiest way to figure out what kind of machine it is/was is to give Lenovo a call and give them the number. If it was stolen, you can find that out that way as well- though you'd have to get the seller to give his or her name so you can cross-reference it with what they have on file. There isn't a way to check if the hard drive is the same- but it should support the Active Protection System if it's the Lenovo model(s).

If an add-on card was taken out and sold, and the listing claims clearly that it is in the computer, then you have recourse with eBay.

Changing the hard drive doesn't invalidate the warranty, by the way- it's designed to be consumer-replaceable (if it dies they'll send you a new one for you to install- a CRU). Also, hard drives are pretty hardy- they're pretty well protected and cushioned in a T410.

Just out of curiosity, what kind of budget do you have?
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24 Posts

11-27-2007

Germany

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Re: Checking authenticity of T410 being sold on Ebay + warranty status

2011-02-08, 17:23 PM

1 - Warranties aren't to the user but to the machine, so ANY user with the machine can service it. You can ask the seller for the SN and check it on the Lenovo site yourself. If the warranty pulls up then it's still valid. If the seller doesn't want to give it to you then move on.

 

2 - Buying it on eBay could mean anything but that's why you check out the seller and see what policies they have as well as their feedback. If they sold 20,000 items and everyone gave them all positive feedback then you can feel somewhat assured your item is as described. It's eBay so anything is possible but people (generally) don't list stuff on eBay and lie about it as it's against eBay's TOS. If you don't get what you paid for then you can talk to the seller to get a refund (this is where checking out the sellers policies come in) or talk to eBay and then paypal and get a refund of your money.

 

If you are that worried about buying anything then probably you should just buy it in a store where you can feel more comfortable even though the same issues could happen in Best Buy. Surely they don't purposely try to do that and you don't get big by ripping off people all the time. Someone would be complaining by now.

 

3 - See above and then relax.

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Lenovo Thinkpad T410s (retired)

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3 Posts

02-08-2011

UK

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Re: Checking authenticity of T410 being sold on Ebay + warranty status

2011-02-08, 21:44 PM

Thanks for those answers. I guess I'm being a bit paranoid :). In answer to Q-Ball, I'm looking to spend about 500-600 GBP for an i5 (hopefully 4gb, 320Gb HD). You can get some decent systems for around 700+ GBP from UK sellers on Ebay (boxed and sealed), but I think I've spotted a couple of potential bargains within my price range. There are some good bargains from the US but I'll have to look into the whole import duty/VAT situation (think it's about 20% for both, but not sure if you always get hit for that or whether it's pot luck).

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