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Can I buy a secondhand vBulletin license?

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  • 121
    New Member
    • May 2005
    • 14

    Can I buy a secondhand vBulletin license?

    Hi all,

    I'm new to this and I'm thinking about buying VB to start my own chat forum.

    I'm low on cash atm and noticed some members on another site selling their VB Owned licenses that they bought from someone else. I think they have something like 4 months of updates left on them.

    If I bought this license can I use it the same as if I bought it directly from VB?
  • Floris
    Senior Member
    • Dec 2001
    • 37767

    We strongly recommend against buying secondhand because of the risks involved.

    You buy it from someone you don't know, who has no trust with you, and who can tell you any story you want to hear to make the sale. Even when a license gets transferred to you - the user of the credit card for example who made a purchase, could charge it back. You end up giving money to a stranger who suddenly becomes hard to contact, and you end up with Jelsoft revoking the license because we did not receive the money for it, and a DMCA notification from us to stop using the live instance (or to buy a new license).

    There are various risks involved, something you should be very aware of.

    Also note, we have a policy. Our EULA stipulates that someone can not transfer a license to another party (sell it) without the written permission from Jelsoft. This means: The owner of the license has to contact us, then we review if the license is eligible (see more info about this below) and then we have to verify the owner is who he says it is. Then we contact the new party - inform them of the risk and ask them to respond they wish to continue - after which we transfer the license.


    A license has to be eligible.

    If the license is transferred in the last 12 months, it can't be transferred. There has to be a window of 12 months in between. You mentioned the user got a license from someone, and now wants to resell it to another party. You would have to check somehow if the license got transferred to this party 12 or more months ago basically.

    The license has to be an owned license. A leased license is not eligible.

    The owned license has to be active. If the expiry date has been met, the license won't be transferred. The owner has to renew it first.

    There must be no issue with the license. Meaning. If the current owner runs multiple instances, or otherwise breaks the EULA the license transfer request will be declined.

    I think users who buy secondhand also have to be aware that if they buy a license, and everything appears ok. But the old owner keeps running, or even runs more instances on his old license (which is no longer his). The new owner is now responsible. If the EULA is broken, such as multiple instances running, we have the right to revoke the license, send a DMCA notice to all sites involved and request the hosting provider to enforce their ToS which usually stipulates no running of copyrighted material without permission of copyright holder.

    If you are going to continue with the secondhand purchase, feel free to review our EULA (end user license agreement) and discuss it with the old owner. And please request the owner of his Full Name, the Email address linked to the customer Account, the License number he is requesting to transfer, and the URL it should be running on. You can then contact us to confirm this information is accurate. Which helps you lower the risk a little bit.

    But again, we of course recommend to get an official and new license that has all the months of support on it, and no risk of breaking the EULA, etc. From us.

    Here you can order a vBulletin license:

    Here you can review the Jelsoft License Agreement:

    Here you can contact us with a private sales ticket:

    Thank you for your interest in the vBulletin forum software and we are looking forward having you as a customer.


    • Andy Huang
      Senior Member
      • Feb 2004
      • 4602

      Short Answer: Maybe, depending on when the license was last transferred.
      Long Answer: Read this thread, you'll find a lot more information on this issue, and it can help you make a better decision:
      Best Regards,
      Andy Huang


      • ComputerVitals
        Senior Member
        • Oct 2005
        • 541
        • 3.8.x

        You can do this.. It's what I did.

        Start your site with a free software.. SMF, PhpBB. something like that.
        Get a user base then set up a donation with paypal. Once you get most of the funds. Jump into vBulletin.


        • James-A
          • Oct 2007
          • 97
          • 3.6.x

          Originally posted by ComputerVitals
          You can do this.. It's what I did.

          Start your site with a free software.. SMF, PhpBB. something like that.
          Get a user base then set up a donation with paypal. Once you get most of the funds. Jump into vBulletin.
          Yeah that's perfect.


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