Buying software on eBay

As I mentioned in IMHO yesterday, I am trying to overhaul my computer, and I am looking into buying a copy of Norton Systemworks.

The package is usually around $60. However, there were several people selling the program on eBay for around $20. Most of them claim that their product is a new CD, from Symantek, shrink-wrapped but without the box or manual.

This seems to violate the time-tested “if it’s too good to be true…” rule, and I have been burned on eBay before. Then again, they are claiming to be selling a legitimate product. Then again, they could be lying.

So what’s the deal with these? Are they pre-used CD’s that someone has re-wrapped? Is this a good way to save a sizable chunk of change, or a good way to buy some bogus software?

Dr. J

My opinion? Skip it. I’ve bought 3 different software packages on Ebay, and all specified new, in box, sealed, with manuals, and that was what they turned out to be.

If they specifically say “no manual” it might be pirated.

Alternatively, check the seller’s past feedback and auctions and see what they’ve sold in the past. If it’s 20 of the same thing, it ain’t legit.


tygre, excellent advice.

Also, check the seller’s return policy before buying. Legit ones won’t be afraid to accept returns.

The ones that are most likely to be legit are the ones who are e-businesses and the “I bought it but I realized I didn’t need it…” etc. Or so it’s been in my experience.

And if it does turn out to be pirated, be sure you let eBay know about it. They can have the seller banned.