tl;dr: Glowforge will disable a serial number, but still allow you to add it to your account and assume it’s good. DO NOT BUY A GLOWFORGE FROM ANYONE OTHER THAN GLOWFORGE. And consider not buying a Glowforge, signed; the owner of a very expensive paperweight.
Full story: I’ve been hunting craigslist for a good deal on a used Glowforge. One came up about 2 hours away from home for a “New Glowforge PRO” at only $3k. I thought oh my gosh, that’s too good to be true! (Hint: it was.)
So I start looking around, I know Glowforge is a cloud driven thing, and that stolen units are blacklisted, etc. So I read their FAQ about how to validate a unit: Start it up, add it to your account, etc.
I explain to the seller that I’m going to need to plug it in, test it, and they agreed. I emailed support and asked “is there a way to verify for certain?” And they said “reply with the serial number and we’ll look it up.”
So I meet them at a Starbucks, first thing I do is email the serial number to support and then very awkwardly unpack a brand new in box Glowforge Pro. I used my wifi hotspot and laptop to get it online, logged into my account, completed setup of the Glowforge and got my “Congratulations” “Your Glowforge Pro is up and running, and you’re ready for your very first prints.”
So I hand over $3k and very happily head home.
About 15 minutes from home, I get a reply from support: “I’ve been able to track down the unit and look up details. Unfortunately, this unit was reported as lost or stolen to us. The replacement unit we sent out received the software and warranty for this unit. This unit was permanently disabled when it was reported as lost or stolen.”
So, that sucks. I’m the owner of a brand new, completely disabled paperweight. Police report is filed, for whatever fat lot of good that will do.
In case Glowforge is reading: DO NOT ALLOW SOMEONE TO ADD A STOLEN PRINTER TO THEIR ACCOUNT AND PRETEND IT’S OKAY.