Buying games consoles/games
Please note that these guides do not constitute legal advice and any information provided in the guides should not be construed as legal advice or legal interpretation. We do not accept any liability for any loss caused by your reliance on this guide.
The DoneDeal guide to buying games consoles and games
Do your research
- If you’re game for anything, from Xbox to Wii, Playstation to Sony PSP, there’s sure to be a seller on DoneDeal who has the console or games you need for great home entertainment.
- Before you start, it’s a good idea to research the console online so that you’re buying the right machine for you or your kids.
- Ensure it's the right make and model with all the functions, so there are no disappointed faces.
Examine the console
- When you meet the buyer in person, look at the console you are purchasing and make sure it comes with everything listed in the DoneDeal ad.
- Make sure it’s in full working order and comes with all necessary cords and controllers.
- Check that the cords plug in where they’re supposed to.
- Ask if the original box and/or manuals are available.
- Check for sticking keys on the console itself, or on the remote control.
- Clear screens enhance the gaming experience, so look out for any major scratches on the screen.
- Sound is part and parcel of gaming fun – always make sure the sound works, with and without headphones plugged in.
Registering your console
- With some game consoles it’s necessary to register the equipment with the manufacturer, in order to download future updates or patches.
- Ask if the seller has registered the console with the manufacturer – you may need details of the codes and registration for updates.
- Alternatively, see if the machine can be ‘reset’ to wipe the previous owner’s information.
Red circle issues
- Ask the seller if the game has had any ‘red circle’ incidents – red circles on consoles are like the ‘blue screen of death’ on computers.
- However, occasional red circle alerts happen on a lot of consoles.
How to test a console
- Run a game, preferably two, on a games console before buying – just to ensure that everything works.
- When running the game, listen and pay attention to how the drive works.
- Does everything sound like it’s running smoothly? Any rattles or scratching noises should sound alarm bells in your head.
Advice for buying games
Before you visit the game seller
- The most important thing to ensure is that the game is compatible with the console you own (or intend to buy). A Playstation 3 game will not play on a Playstation 4, for instance. So make sure that the game is right for the console.
- controllers As well as an appropriate console, make sure you have the right controllers too. The you have with your console will be compatible with most games, but some games benefit from multiple controllers, and some only work with hands-free or movement-based controls, such as the Xbox Kinect or Playstation Move.
Examine and test the game
- Make sure the game is in good condition – that the disk (or cartridge) isn’t scratched or damaged. Try to test the game, if possible, to ensure that it runs properly.
- A game without the right packaging can offer good value, but the better condition the packaging is, the better the resell value.
- Some games are sold with elaborate instructions and maps.
- Collectors seeking a specific game can always request one through a DoneDeal ad in the wanted section.
- Set up an email alert for items you really want.
- Games can be expensive, but great thing about them is that prices can drop quite a bit shortly after release. So be sure to shop around and compare prices before you buy.
- Popular series such as Call of Duty and FIFA maintain their prices for longer, but they’re also more widely available second-hand, so you should be able to find a bargain.
Research online and subscription gaming
- Many games are now only playable online, so check if that’s the case beforehand. If a game is online only, make sure you’re registered to play online (on Xbox Live, for example, or Playstation Network).
- When buying an online game, make sure your internet connection is sufficiently powerful to handle online gaming. All online games will have the requirements on the box, and if that information is not in the ad, you can ask the seller or check online.
- Some other games, such as World of Warcraft, are subscription-based. This means that you’ll be required to pay a monthly subscription to play.
Check the age certification
- Just like film, games have age certifications, but the range of ages is slightly broader.
- These ages are 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18.
- The reasoning for the age ratings are represented by symbols on the packaging and game’s website, including; violence, sexual content, discrimination, gambling, online gaming, drugs references, bad language and/or scary content.
- Information for the certification on every game released can be found on the PEGI website here.