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I want to sell online some of the electronic stuff that I don't need anymore, such as my ASUS Wi-Fi router, and I'm wondering when I upload photos of it should I leave its serial number, MAC address, and pin code written on the back of the device visible or should I photoshop it out. I checked other people's stuff pages and many of them take explicit photos of their devices' serial numbers, MAC addresses, etc. Why?

Furthermore, some potential buyers don't want to buy your product if ID numbers are blurred out. Why so, why do people need to see those numbers of the products they don't own yet and do they actually need to? Is it safe for me to publish such data? Theoretically, someone can go into their ASUS (or another brand) account and register a product with my serial number, if I haven't registered it myself, right?

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Exposing that info is no risk to you, especially since you are selling it ... If a vendor allows you to register a product with only a serial number, that's a separate problem and will be unique to the specific vendor, product, and weakness in processes.

People want the serial number to know that you are being truthful in your description of the product. You could be claiming that an old product is a newer version.

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  • Thanks for the reply. I believe many vendors have similar registration procedure where you enter a device model name, serial number and some additional info like your name, date of purchase, retailer's name and something like that. Model name is obviously known, all info about the owner, retailer and the act of purchase can be faked and as far as I know it's not verified. The only unique and verifiable data is the serial number (and other IDs) and if I publish it, what stops anyone from using it in their accounts?.. And how bad potentially is that for me? Sorry if I'm missing something.
    – Trueman
    Dec 7 '20 at 11:02
  • The primary reason to cover the serial number is if the device is stolen and you don't want to take the risk that the owner will see the serial number. Covering up the serial number makes people think you have some good reason to hide the serial number. The question says the item isn't new, so the new owner isn't going to be the only one who knows the serial number anyway. Dec 7 '20 at 20:21
  • "Exposing that info is no risk to you" - depends on how bad your paranoia is. Of course this does create a data point that links the selling account to communication traces containing the identifiers from the pics. But any actor who would be able to utilise this certainly has simpler means to the same result…
    – Bergi
    Dec 7 '20 at 20:27
  • @Bergi honestly I wasn't worrying much about tracing and stuff like that, one of the potential risks that came into my mind I mentioned in my question - the random person who sees the serial number, may theoretically go to the product registration page and enter my serial there and register, the consequences may vary, from nothing, or just me or real buyer not being able to register it for ourselves, to the fraud gaining something from that for themselves, depends on a product. I can actually tell you a real story from my own experience.
    – Trueman
    Dec 9 '20 at 7:15
  • I had a wireless mouse that I lost the radio receiver for. And that receiver was not universal, it was paired with the mouse and nobody sold them separately, I couldn't just buy another one, the only option I had was buying a new mouse. So I wrote an email to the mouse vendor and said hey I lost my receiver, can I purchase a new one from you? They said, we don't sell them but no problem, give us your mouse ID numbers and your name and address and we'll send you a new one for free and tell you how to pair it. And they actually shipped me a new free receiver. And then I found my old one.
    – Trueman
    Dec 9 '20 at 7:16

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