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  #1  
Old 10-16-2020, 12:54 PM
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Default Verifying use of software.

Recently I sold a sealed Microsoft Office on eBay. It was factory sealed. It is getting returned by the buyer stating the code was no good.

To be certain the buyer did not load the software and register it then return it for a refund, thus getting it for free. Is there a way I can verify when it was registered? I have sold a total of three and no complaints from the other two.
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Old 10-16-2020, 1:05 PM
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You'll probably have to contact Microsoft if you have the code.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2020, 1:14 PM
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Definitely contact Microsoft and ask the buyer for the code.

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  #4  
Old 10-16-2020, 1:20 PM
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He is returning it. If I can prove the buyer loaded it I can refuse the refund.
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2020, 2:37 PM
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Such software sales are usually final.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2020, 2:40 PM
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Definitely insist the buyer give you the code, and send you a picture that clearly shows the code comes from the box you sent him.

I've been able to get some information from Microsoft about rejected Windows license keys in the past. Don't know if they will give you enough info to satisfy your eBay dispute, but it's worth a try.

This always seems tricky when selling software keys. One way you see some sellers trying to avoid your problem is to list working items, even new items. as Not Working, For Parts, but describing or implying that the item is working as expected. Not sure how well that would translate to a software listing. While I find eBay to generally be pretty fair about disputes, I have no idea how they treat disputes over such listings. Generally my experience is that you can over-promise for a Condition category, and they will hold you to that promise, but you are pretty constrained from using the description to undercut the chosen Condition category. The classic weasel move is selling something as Used, but claiming you haven't tested it, and thinking that will protect you from a claim when the buyer finds it doesn't work or is broken in some way you didn't disclose. I guess none of that really helps you here.

The only other way to protect yourself, and I've done this, is to open the item and verify the key either before listing or after sale, recording the verification chat or call. If you intend to do it after sale, you should disclose that in the listing terms. A listing that says an item like Office has been opened for verification, but never activated, should be as attractive - maybe more so - as a sealed item (simply because it's sometimes possible to open software and get the key without the opening being obvious). Since this was a mainstream product like Office, I'd hope eBay would take your word for it on the basis alone that it was sealed, if your pictures clearly show zero evidence of tampering, and also zero evidence of it being a counterfeit.

It's too bad you caught a bad break. I've found most selling on eBay to be pretty problem-free, though some categories are worse than others. Another reason to sell locally for cash, though that usually means lower price. I still think eBay can be used without too much risk.

Last edited by freespool; 10-16-2020 at 3:05 PM..
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2020, 3:03 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBronco View Post
He is returning it. If I can prove the buyer loaded it I can refuse the refund.
That's going to be VERY difficult, if not impossible to do.
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Old 10-16-2020, 3:25 PM
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If you think there's a chance you can convince eBay that the buyer is cheating, I'd call them prior to authorizing the return (insist on physical return before refund), register your concern that the buyer is scamming you, and tell them you intend to dispute it, but may need to wait for the item to be returned and have some time for investigation afterwards. They seem to have moved to considering the shipment tracking delivery confirmation to be the triggering event for distributing the refund. In my experience, once the buyer has their money back, eBay won't do anything about your loss. See if you can get them to withhold refunding the buyer until you can respond to your counterclaim that the buyer is scamming you. It's odd that if you owe someone a refund, eBay can reach into your funds (used to be PayPal, now they bill you directly) without notice or approval and refund a buyer, but for the reverse. they will tell you they can't access the buyer's funds.

Last edited by freespool; 10-16-2020 at 3:27 PM..
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2020, 9:07 PM
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You're definitely not going to be able to prove that the buyer activated the product using the license key. Absolutely not. Even if it was theoretically activated, you will not be able to pin it back to the buyer without some serious forensic work. And Microsoft cannot help you in that regard.

Because this is a Microsoft Retail product, even if the buyer states that the product presents him with an error in activation, a phone call from you or the buyer to Microsoft can validate the activation by phone.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2020, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by HecklerNKoch View Post
You're definitely not going to be able to prove that the buyer activated the product using the license key. Absolutely not. Even if it was theoretically activated, you will not be able to pin it back to the buyer without some serious forensic work. And Microsoft cannot help you in that regard.

Because this is a Microsoft Retail product, even if the buyer states that the product presents him with an error in activation, a phone call from you or the buyer to Microsoft can validate the activation by phone.
A date of activation could though circumstantially indicate it was activated during the time frame he was in possession of it.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Dragunov View Post
That's going to be VERY difficult, if not impossible to do.
This ^^^

Also note it is possible that the buyer tried to use the code against a copy of Office he already had installed and it did not work. If the buyer had previously installed a copy of Office from another channel like enterprise volume, OEM, Edu, home use etc - the retail key would not activate those. The buyer would need to uninstall and remove all traces of the previous copy before installing the retail copy and then using the retail key.
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2020, 11:11 AM
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Also, once they have the key and refund, they can activate at that time. If there is an issue with the key, MSFT support will help resolve it for your customer. Just because customer ships install media back doesn’t mean they didn’t copy they key code first.
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  #13  
Old 10-17-2020, 4:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBronco View Post
A date of activation could though circumstantially indicate it was activated during the time frame he was in possession of it.

Say that Office Product Key is "out there" ... every day will timestamp a date of activation.



But it's Retail - in can be re-validated.


Keep pushing your claim to eBay/PayPal that opened software that contains a product key cannot be returned.


Tell the seller you would be happy to point him the way to validate the activation.
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Old 10-17-2020, 4:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBronco View Post
A date of activation could though circumstantially indicate it was activated during the time frame he was in possession of it.



Eh ... I'll be charitable ... benefit of the doubt ... the product key could have been generated unbeknownst to you or the seller.



Here is what Microsoft can do ... depending on the year-product ... they can easily see if an end-user logged-in using their Microsoft account and tied in the Office product as their subscription. It would very easily show that (depending on the year-product). Would they be willing to disclose the email address involved is another story.
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  #15  
Old 10-17-2020, 4:41 PM
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After doing an online chat with Microsoft support. Then uploading a .JPG of the product Key to a link they sent. I was told the Key was unused and valid.

I am good to go unless if as cyphr02 stated ha can install after the refund. However my wife does not have office and we are installing it on our PC's before we refund, thus killing the code.

I have others we were saving for ourselves.

Edit, Oh the MS tech said it would work as a renewal.
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Old 10-17-2020, 4:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBronco View Post
After doing an online chat with Microsoft support. Then uploading a .JPG of the product Key to a link they sent. I was told the Key was unused and valid.

I am good to go unless if as cyphr02 stated ha can install after the refund. However my wife does not have office and we are installing it on our PC's before we refund, thus killing the code.

I have others we were saving for ourselves.

Edit, Oh the MS tech said it would work as a renewal.
Fight the power. I know eBay sides with the customer but before letting it go and moving on, send your investigate efforts.
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Old 10-17-2020, 4:54 PM
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Switch to Linux. Live activation free or die.
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  #18  
Old 10-17-2020, 5:09 PM
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I am not sharp enough for Linux
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Old 10-17-2020, 6:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBronco View Post
After doing an online chat with Microsoft support. Then uploading a .JPG of the product Key to a link they sent. I was told the Key was unused and valid.
Then my guess is perhaps the buyer was being honest, and already had office installed but not an edition that this key could be used against. They may have bought yours just for the key for an already installed copy, but their original install media came from a different channel than retail and they are clueless to the difference.
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Old 10-18-2020, 2:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HecklerNKoch View Post
Eh ... I'll be charitable ... benefit of the doubt ... the product key could have been generated unbeknownst to you or the seller.



Here is what Microsoft can do ... depending on the year-product ... they can easily see if an end-user logged-in using their Microsoft account and tied in the Office product as their subscription. It would very easily show that (depending on the year-product). Would they be willing to disclose the email address involved is another story.
The problem is, there are a hundred ways of circumventing this. There are ways to activate Win10, and no one is none the wiser, and that work around has been there since day one. Not even Microsnot can stop it. Same way with office products.

Win7 is easy peasy to work around. Microsnot makes a better mousetrap, and we build a better mouse. It's the way it's always been. There is NO such thing as software copy protection. There's ALWAYS someone out there who can work around it in less than five minutes, and will make it available for download.
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Old 10-18-2020, 2:50 AM
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Then my guess is perhaps the buyer was being honest, and already had office installed but not an edition that this key could be used against. They may have bought yours just for the key for an already installed copy, but their original install media came from a different channel than retail and they are clueless to the difference.
Either that, or he wrote a code script, or .EXE/.COM, to get around it, or already had a good keycode, and just needed to copy your Windows.
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Old 10-18-2020, 9:48 PM
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The problem is, there are a hundred ways of circumventing this. There are ways to activate Win10, and no one is none the wiser, and that work around has been there since day one. Not even Microsnot can stop it. Same way with office products.

Win7 is easy peasy to work around. Microsnot makes a better mousetrap, and we build a better mouse. It's the way it's always been. There is NO such thing as software copy protection. There's ALWAYS someone out there who can work around it in less than five minutes, and will make it available for download.



I get the jist of what you are trying to express. Really can't go on much further in comments here and will keep it simple.


Your ideology of software is a tad bit outdated for today's world.



Software has moved to a subscription/license/service basis and is further progressing that route more and more each day.



Downloading, even the most expensive software, is commonly granted and desired by the developer.



With the advent of Office 365, Microsoft quietly dropped the year-based version numbers from the Office desktop applications. The "about" box that pops will read “Office 365” rather than the version number (like “2016” or “2019”).

There is now a definite line of demarcation between looking at a perpetual or on-premises versions ... of everything commercial.


Buy software in a box, with a CD and a key ... well, that's almost a relic of times past; not fully done with, but we're getting toward the end.


Truthfully, I didn't quite understand your post, I got the idea and just wanted to put it out there that the days of selling software rather than subscriptions/licenses/service is coming to an end.


https://downloads.quickbooks.com/app/qbdt/products


Here is the Intuit QuickBooks download page.
It'll give you every possible version of QuickBooks from past to present.
If you can get QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (versions 16 through 21) working with anything you find out there ... there will be some big money for you.
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Old 10-19-2020, 7:14 PM
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Switch to Linux. Live activation free or die.
Quote:
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I am not sharp enough for Linux
BigBronco, that's what I used to think, too, until I actually tried using it. I'm using Kubuntu Linux now.

LibreOffice is a truly excellent replacement for Microsoft Office. Years ago, I had a beta version of OpenOffice.org, back when it was still in beta, installed on a Windows 98 machine. My then-girlfriend (now wife) was a certified Microsoft Office User Specialist (MOUS--yes, that was the official name then!) and very good with the MS Office apps. I sat her down in front of this machine. It took even her a minute before she realized it wasn't Microsoft's office suite. It's that good. I was using OpenOffice.org in a dedicated "Microsoft shop", exchanging documents with my colleagues all the time, and none of them knew the difference.

LibreOffice is the de-facto successor to OpenOffice.org, likewise free of Microsoft's licensing junk. It totally rocks. I had my Dad on it for quite some time before his death five years ago. He liked it quite a bit.
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Old 10-19-2020, 7:16 PM
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Can hardly sell anything on Ebay without getting screwed anymore.
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Old 10-22-2020, 3:00 AM
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Originally Posted by HecklerNKoch View Post
I get the jist of what you are trying to express. Really can't go on much further in comments here and will keep it simple.


Your ideology of software is a tad bit outdated for today's world.



Software has moved to a subscription/license/service basis and is further progressing that route more and more each day.



Downloading, even the most expensive software, is commonly granted and desired by the developer.



With the advent of Office 365, Microsoft quietly dropped the year-based version numbers from the Office desktop applications. The "about" box that pops will read “Office 365” rather than the version number (like “2016” or “2019”).

There is now a definite line of demarcation between looking at a perpetual or on-premises versions ... of everything commercial.


Buy software in a box, with a CD and a key ... well, that's almost a relic of times past; not fully done with, but we're getting toward the end.


Truthfully, I didn't quite understand your post, I got the idea and just wanted to put it out there that the days of selling software rather than subscriptions/licenses/service is coming to an end.


https://downloads.quickbooks.com/app/qbdt/products


Here is the Intuit QuickBooks download page.
It'll give you every possible version of QuickBooks from past to present.
If you can get QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (versions 16 through 21) working with anything you find out there ... there will be some big money for you.
Partially true. I don't own any "subscription" software, and there's always Libre Office. Win 10, is STILL stand alone. When it is no longer, I'll switch to Linux, or I'll dig V/II out of the bin, and finish it. Right now, I use Win7Pro, and Win8.1Pro. No worries here. EVERYTHING I have, will run on Win7, and Win8.1. However, I understand what you're saying.

Last edited by Dragunov; 10-22-2020 at 3:05 AM..
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Old 10-22-2020, 9:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HecklerNKoch View Post
I get the jist of what you are trying to express. Really can't go on much further in comments here and will keep it simple.


Your ideology of software is a tad bit outdated for today's world.



Software has moved to a subscription/license/service basis and is further progressing that route more and more each day.



Downloading, even the most expensive software, is commonly granted and desired by the developer.



With the advent of Office 365, Microsoft quietly dropped the year-based version numbers from the Office desktop applications. The "about" box that pops will read “Office 365” rather than the version number (like “2016” or “2019”).

There is now a definite line of demarcation between looking at a perpetual or on-premises versions ... of everything commercial.


Buy software in a box, with a CD and a key ... well, that's almost a relic of times past; not fully done with, but we're getting toward the end.


Truthfully, I didn't quite understand your post, I got the idea and just wanted to put it out there that the days of selling software rather than subscriptions/licenses/service is coming to an end.


https://downloads.quickbooks.com/app/qbdt/products


Here is the Intuit QuickBooks download page.
It'll give you every possible version of QuickBooks from past to present.
If you can get QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (versions 16 through 21) working with anything you find out there ... there will be some big money for you.

Sort of... our company uses O365. The online stuff is branded as O365 but when you download the local installer, which says O365 in the exe, it shows up installed as Office 2016...

Setup.X64.en-us_O365ProPlusRetail.exe downloaded from your cloud app installs Office 2016...

I can say without reserve that the online versions of the office apps suck big ol sweaty poop covered balls...
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:43 AM
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I've had that happen with Microsoft software I purchased from DirectDeals. It would not activate, don't remember the exact error, they tried replacing it, still didn't work, finally refunded me.
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Old 10-22-2020, 10:03 PM
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Sort of... our company uses O365. The online stuff is branded as O365 but when you download the local installer, which says O365 in the exe, it shows up installed as Office 2016...

Setup.X64.en-us_O365ProPlusRetail.exe downloaded from your cloud app installs Office 2016...

I can say without reserve that the online versions of the office apps suck big ol sweaty poop covered balls...




Absolutely, without a doubt the standalone offline installer of [2016/2019] is unquestionably better in every way that the OOBE Office365 version either pre-installed on machines or the online version. I don't even know of an employee that would choose the web version over the desirable desktop installation.


...




The company you work for participates in a HUD program. So they are able to provide their employees with an offline copy of a particular build sponsored through their Microsoft 365 subscription.

HUP is supposed to be a one-time payment and in your case the 2016 ProPlus offline installer was provided. What is determining your slash screen is the Click-to-Run installer that was used that deferred to 'non-subscription Office products perpetual licensing'.

In general, all that really changed is branding. Meaning, that the splash screen would otherwise indicate '365'. The about/account page will indicate the actual version and the build, and Control Panel/wmic will indicate the Click-to-Run Licensing Component (which sets the splash screen).

'365' is just the subscription. There isn't even standalone Office365 installer. And, sadly, 2019 will be the final true installer.

'Office 2019 ProPlus' was rebranded 'Office365 ProPlus' which is now once again rebranded 'Microsoft 365 Apps and Enterprise,' to reflect that Office is now a "service".

What you have, Office (2016) ProPlus, what I have, Office (2019) ProPlus, is a perpetual license and the successor to Office 2016 Professional, but in actuality there really is no true Office 2019. Office 2019 ProPlus is Office 2016 Release Version 1808 deferred to PerpetualVL2019 channel. That's why Office 2019 seems nearly indistinguishable from Office 2016.



I'll stay with the desktop installation for years to come, hoping any future builds will also include a perpetual license but the entire industry is glowing on capitalizing off subscriptions and service now; the idea of industrial appliances has even been directed toward 'Software Defined' era.
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