Reselling Video Game Consoles On Ebay - A Guide
Buying and reselling used video game consoles on eBay may at first glance seem like an easy proposition. You just have to find those auctions that aren't selling well for some reason or another snatch them up and resell them later at a higher price. In reality it's a little trickier than that these days. Sellers are using higher starting prices and BIN listings to protect their investments. This makes it harder to find those great steals to resell later. One thing that can help with this is creating your own personal buying feed. Beyond that though some items appear to be steals but are not really and others can be a good deal but only if you know what to do with them. Let's look at few of the most popular consoles to buy and resell.
Nintendo NES Console
The Nintendo NES Console is one of the most popular classic consoles on eBay and great choice for buying to resell. The most important thing to realize about the NES is that almost all used NES consoles will need to have the 72 Pin Connector replaced. This is a relatively simple procedure you can read about here. This is true whether the item is listed "as is" or not. This is due to design flaw in the NES console that places pressure on the connector and causes it to bend over time. Another factor with the original Nintendo is whether or not to buy consoles by themselves or in lots that include accessories. In my personal experience it is best to buy both and mix and match. Remember that you can always purchase extra AC Adapters easily and inexpensively. What's also great about the NES console is that it compatible with any generic RCA cables which most buyers prefer over RF as it gives a better picture and sound. One thing you want to make sure is original however are the NES Control Pads buyers don't really like the third party NES Controllers out there. Most are cheap and flimsy. Another accessory that adds a good amount of value for resell is the original light gun. Surprisingly I've found that the NES Advantage Controller is not that attractive to buyers. Plus It is heavy and will add a lot it terms of shipping cost. One last thing to look for is the coloring of the NES most buyers want a clean white and grey NES, unfortunately many of them have yellowed or people have written on them with a permanent marker. These ones are prime candidates for a custom paint job. With skill and practice and the right presentation you can get more money for a custom NES than for an original in good condition.
The Original Xbox Console
I also like the original Xbox Console as they are pretty easy to find and repairing them isn't too hard. A method that works well with the Xbox is to buy a few cheap "as is" console lots and use the working parts to create working Xbox consoles. You can also sell the parts themselves on eBay to others looking to fix their Xbox. This works because of the way the Xbox was designed it is basically a computer with four interchangeable parts. It has a DVD drive, Power Supply Unit, Motherboard and Hard Drive. Fixing an Xbox is normally just a matter of replacing the defective part. The only instance when this is not true is when a Xbox has been modded incorrectly or a software mod has been used. There is great website all about fixing and modding Xboxes that can help you with any repairs or error codes that come up.Something to remember about the Xbox is that it is very heavy so even a cheap console will cost you at least $20 in shipping. So you really have to look for bargains or lots that come with accessories and games to make it worth it for resell.
Nintendo N64 Console
The N64 seems to be a favorite as it has become more popular over time. Many of the games still sell very well especially the first party Nintendo games. The secret to getting a good deal here is to realize the value of the N64 accessories. Really an N64 without Expansion Packs, Rumble Packs and at least two controllers is incomplete and not really desired by buyers. I would say to definitely stay away from lots of N64 consoles without hookups. The AV Cord can be easily replaced as it uses the same cord as the Super Nintendo and there are many third market sellers on eBay. However, the N64 uses a fairly odd AC Adapter which is a little more expensive. Most problems with the N64 involve the cartridge not being read by the N64 this can usually be solved by spraying a little audio/video head cleaner into the cartridge slot. This should clean off any dust from the connector. Make sure to let it dry for about an hour before trying to turn the power back on. Otherwise you can damage the system.
Sega Genesis Console
The Sega Genesis is still pretty popular although they normally sell for much less than the NES and some of the others. There are two Genesis models Model 1 which is larger and a the smaller Genesis 2. The Genesis Model 1 is by far more popular as it has volume control and a built in headphone jack. That's not all though the Model 1 is much more durable and seems to experience less problems than the Model 2. Many of the model 2 consoles have an issue with the power cord becoming loose and no longer making a secure connection. I'm told this can be fixed by re-soldering the power connection onto the circuit board. I personally have never tried it though. So I would stay away from large "as is" model 2 lots as most probably have this issue (unless you want to try your hand at soldering of course). Another thing to look for in these lots are popular add-ons like the Sega CD or 32X which add great value over a normal Sega Genesis.
Those are just a few of the consoles that I like to buy and resell of course there are many others as well. Finding a bargain can be tricky and it helps to know how to do some simple repairs at least. The newer the system though the less simple the repairs become that's why I've stayed away from Xbox 360s, and PS3s. However, if you have the know how and desire to try to fix those as well it could very well be successful. In the end making money reselling these items is all about knowing your product and customers.