Magsafe chargers are notoriously expensive, selling at $108 a pop in Singapore. With frequent use and inadequate care of the wires, the charger either spoils from within, or suffers from tears to the wires. Due to the price of a new charger, many people turn to popular online platforms such as Carousell and Q0010.sg are popular platforms for pre-owned or new Magsafe chargers that other people are selling.
We at Mac Plus have done a search for Magsafe chargers at Carousell before and has gotten a good deal for a new Magsafe charger that came with a receipt that was sold to us for $70. However, in our process of searching for a Magsafe charger, we came across some sellers who were definitely selling fake Magsafe chargers but was passing them off as genuine ones. We even encountered one customer who brought her charger to us to test if it was working, only to hear from us that it is a fake. Fake chargers can be bought on Alibaba, Aliexpress and Taobao for $30 or less. Ignore seller ratings. If it touted as brand new but does not come with the packaging or receipt, it is a fake.
There are countless Youtube videos and blogs detailing the differences between a fake Magsafe Charger and a real one, that can be found here and here. You can do a simple Google search to find out more.
Here, instead of teaching you how to spot a fake charger, we will provide some tips on how to buy a new or pre-owned one from sites such as Carousell without being cheated.
- New genuine Apple Magsafe chargers are only sold at Authorised Apple resellers. Apple does not provide any third parties with Magsafe chargers for sale. Their inventory is closely guarded and there is no way any third party can get hold of them. Not anywhere in the world. Not at OWC. Unless you have a friend who has broken into their stores and manages to sell you a stolen one.
- It will always be sold at the same price as what the online Apple store in your country charges. In Singapore, it is $108 for all Magsafe chargers. If a brand new charger is sold to you at a huge discount by some sellers online, it is dubious. The common line goes like, “Oh I accidentally bought one and realised my old charger was working all along”. Carousell sellers typically sell new chargers at around $70 – $90. Those unwrapped, but used once or twice goes for $60.
- Genuine Apple Magsafe chargers are always sold in a retail packaging with a box. This manner of checking is not foolproof, as triple A grade imitations come with boxes as well. But if it does not come with any box, and the seller claims they are sold at a cheaper rate because they are sold direct from the assembly line, the charger is definitely fake. Genuine chargers are never sold in a OEM packaging.
- They come with an extension cable. Knockoffs sometimes do not come with an extension cable. There’s a dubious seller selling brand new Magsafe chargers on Carousell that does not come with any extension cables.
- Always meet up with the buyer instead of choosing mail options. Meet up at a place like Starbucks where you can test the charger. If the seller insists on mailing it, the authenticity is dubious. The authenticity of the charger can be verified by point 5 and 6.
- The LED on the charging connector that connects to your Macbook always pauses monetarily before turning green. The LED of fake Magsafe chargers will power up instantly when you connect it to the Macbook. Checkout the Youtube Video here.
- Knockoffs are always lighter. If you do not wish to bother yourself with meticulously inspecting the charger based on tips other users have given on Youtube, just feel the weight with your hands. This goes the same for iPhone chargers as well. If you are buying a Magsafe charger, you will probably have the old one that is spoilt. Bring it when you meet up the buyer and have a feel of the weight.
- Always ask for the receipt. Ask for the retail packaging box if possible. If the seller claims that the Magsafe does not come with a box because it came as a bundled part of the Macbcook, ask for the receipt of the Macbook.
Here are some links if you wish to know more.