Auction sites can be fun, exciting sources for unusual and hard-to-find treasures. The vast majority of individuals who use online auctions are honest people conducting legitimate business. However, buying software from auction sites can be an extremely risky proposition. Here are some tips for purchasing from auction sites:
Trust your instincts. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check the price from a reputable retailer. If there is a substantial difference, then there's a good chance the seller is trying to sell pirated or otherwise illegal software.
Do your homework. Check the feedback section on the auction site to find comments about the seller based on their previous transactions. Look for a trust mark from a reputable organization, like BBBOnLine, which signifies the merchant has agreed to a code of business practices. Also, get the seller's address, phone number, or URL so you can check for a Reliability Report with the Better Business Bureau (go to www.bbb.org, look for the Check It Out box, and click Business).
Beware of backups. Take special care to avoid sellers offering "backup copies." This almost always means your're not buying properly licensed software.
Download only from Adobe. Only the Adobe Store is authorized to sell downloads of Adobe software - any other retailer is required to ship you physical media.
Make sure it's authentic. Be suspicious of software products that don't come with some proof of authenticity. Examples of proof include original disks, manuals, license, warranties, and so on. Authentic Adobe software CDs have silk-screened artwork with corresponding trademarks, patent information, and part numbers. Adobe does not ship software on CD-R and never has. If the product has a self-adhesive label on the top face of the CD, it is not authentic. If you receive something that is not authentic, try to get your money back, and be sure to provide negative feedback on the seller.
Make sure it's transferable. If the software has already been registered and the license holder cannot provide you with a transfer of ownership, don't buy it, as you will not be able to legally use or register it. Learn how to legally transfer an Adobe software license. After reading the license transfer information and contacting Adobe customer service, you can enter into a transfer of ownership by submitting this form.
Unfortunately, a pirate will tell you anything it takes to sell their illegal software. The best way to avoid pirated products is to purchase from authorized, reputable resellers. Find a list of Adobe Authorized Resellers.