Amazon MacBook Sellers Suspended over Bogus Customer "Counterfeit" Claims

November 06, 2016

I am now aware of a couple different Amazon MacBook sellers who very recently, through no fault of their own, have woken up to find their accounts suspended because an angry customer clicked the "counterfeit" button in one of Amazon's various feedback mechanisms.

Obviously, there is no such thing as a counterfeit MacBook. Likely, the customers just clicked every button possible to get their complaints heard. It's conceivable that a 3rd party power adapter or battery prompted the claim -- with Amazon, you just never know what triggers any action, and unfortunately there is no intelligent entity on the Amazon side willing to look at these cases and realize, "Hey, there's no such thing as a counterfeit MacBook, so this is clearly in error." In the Kafka-esque, algorythmically-determined world of Amazon, you often end up with a suspended account, with no clear idea why, and limited means of recourse.

What is clear here is that the recent hysteria over 3rd party power adapters being called "fake", "counterfeit", and "knockoffs" is now having a negative effect in the refurbishing world, and Amazon is freaking out at even the slightest suggestion that a device is not OEM. As I have stated before: This is why it is so important that we must allow for the differentiation between legitimate 3rd party devices and ones that are actually fraudulently claiming to be OEM. When we paint with too broad a brush and all 3rd party devices and components arbitrarily get labeled "fake" and "counterfeit", this negative backlash on our industry is exactly what we get.

To make matters worse, several manufacturers on Amazon have become "by permission only", meaning that sellers must be approved by Amazon (and likely the OEM) to sell those brands. If Apple goes in that direction, and the hundreds of Amazon MacBook refurbishers are banned, then millions of older MacBooks will have lost their biggest and most legitimate marketplace, and will therefore be doomed to eBay, CraigsList, or even more marginalized arenas.

It's simply impossible for the mid to low-end Apple refurbishing world to exist without the use of 3rd party power adapters and batteries. Five-year-old laptops from recyclers, schools, and corporations do not come with enough good OEM batteries or power adapters to support the industry, and when you're talking about a $100-$400 laptop, the inclusion of a $79 power adapter and/or a $99 battery tanks the very prospect of being a viable product. A quality 3rd party power adapter and/or battery is the only solution.

As crappy as 3rd party replacement components can sometimes be, we need to support their right to exist and do what we can to make them better and identify the good ones -- our repair/reuse/refurbishing world depends on it!

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