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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:29 am 
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I'd like to buy an NES console in good working condition.

What are good ways to do that?

I see a number of choices on eBay but I don't know if there might be a better resource than just buying one that looks good from a random seller there.

I'd be shipping to the US and while lower price is always good it doesn't have to be the cheapest if it's good in other ways.

Let me know if there's additional information I can provide that helps in answering the question. Thanks friends.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:49 am 
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I'd go with ebay. Specialized shops promise you that they have looked the unit over, but they'll jack up the price. On a personal preference, i'd avoid units that have had their cartridge connector replaced. The tighter grip of those is unpleasant and might wear down the contacts on your cartridges eventually.

If you're in the US and getting an US-sold unit, i think there's nothing in particular to look out for. By comparison, in europe; different countries had differently sized barrel plugs on their power inlets (german and french units have bigger inlets than uk and scandinavian ones, at least), and french units were additionally altered to work with SECAM tellies.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:02 am 
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That’s super helpful. Thanks very much!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:17 am 
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Just remember, if you buy something from someone who isn't a collector, disregard whatever they say about condition.

Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Perfect, Good, Flawless actually mean Poor or Fair.

Look at the pictures, see what you're getting, and realize then that it's probably worse than the pictures show anyway.

And you might want to give them some advice on how to package them. I've bought plenty of games and consoles that have arrived with no packing, poor packing, tape on game labels, literal dog poop.

Most transactions are fine but the issues do happen so it's important to try to mitigate them as best you can.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:55 am 
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The problem with eBay is that you're always paying the highest price the market will bear.

If you're in the U.S. and are patient, you may have better luck watching Craigslist and visiting garage sales. You'll always get the best deal from a local person who just wants to get rid of their junk.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:15 pm 
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Try to get one with the original power cable and 2 controllers.

You can pick up loose controllers from used stores. It's harder to find original power supply (very heavy), which is superior to the cheap Chinese, light as a feather, ones.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:21 pm 
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gauauu wrote:
visiting garage sales
I'm a little envious of this option

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:33 pm 
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FrankenGraphics wrote:
gauauu wrote:
visiting garage sales
I'm a little envious of this option


They're harder to find than they were 10 years ago. But you can still find them occasionally. I picked one up for $20 last fall.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:40 pm 
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I found craigslist to have worse prices than ebay.

You might try https://www.shopgoodwill.com/


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:17 pm 
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gauauu wrote:
The problem with eBay is that you're always paying the highest price the market will bear.


I never see any places selling video games stuff cheaper than eBay. On eBay sellers are competing with everyone, and when they eventually manage to drive prices up, it reflects on every other store.
Buying an NES console locally will often cost at least twice as much as the typical cheapest going price on eBay.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 6:33 pm 
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I'm of the same experience, though i think i'm comparing to the rare occasions where you still might find a unit or some cartridges at a country fair (i think country fair culture is more equally present here compared to n. american backyard sales or east european flea markets.. googling the english term for country fair doesn't quite look like the institution i'm thinking of here). Anyway, these vendors are expecting to turn a profit, so it's always higher than someone just selling on ebay (or tradera, the local filial) to get rid of old stuff. It used to be a lot easier finding interesting stuff at a decent price at these fairs.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:45 pm 
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It sounds weird and I haven't tried myself, but I've often heard of people getting good results from simply boiling the OEM connector in water (use distilled if you have hard water though). That would probably be better than using one of the replacement connectors. Probably 99% of the time, if a front-loading NES isn't working it's just the connector.

If it comes with controllers, you'll also want to be sure they're legit ones and not some $1.50 knockoffs. I haven't used any of the NES clone controllers, but the SNES ones I've tried are awful.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 8:45 pm 
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Memblers wrote:
If it comes with controllers, you'll also want to be sure they're legit ones and not some $1.50 knockoffs. I haven't used any of the NES clone controllers, but the SNES ones I've tried are awful.


I made the mistake of buying a clone controller for my backup NES. It's terrible.

Pubby wrote:
I found craigslist to have worse prices than ebay.


Craigslist is weird because half the people are there to try to make money, and a few are there just to dump their stuff. To get a good deal, you have to keep an eye on it, and jump on the good deals as soon as they show up. It also helps if you're willing to drive 40 minutes out to the small town in the middle of nowhere.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:29 pm 
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I have an NES I'll sell you. Shoot me a PM if your are interested.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:56 pm 
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Another buy-used-stuff website I've used (within the US) with excellent success is Swappa. Not sure if they'd have classic consoles, but anything is possible.


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