How to buy second hand gaming tech

So you wanna buy a second-hand console?

Unfortunately, gold coins don’t grow on trees, or rain from the sky, making keeping up with the latest and greatest gaming consoles and video games a pricey endeavour.

The big three – Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft – release a new console about every four years, which is great news if you want to buy second-hand. Why? Because there are stacks of pre-loved models, including popular consoles like Xbox and PS4, available on the market.

I look for two things when choosing an older console. Firstly, does the console have the games I want to play? And secondly, does the console have the games I want to play? Really, this should be your biggest concern.

Purchasing a second-hand console can be a great way to try games that are console-exclusive or were critically acclaimed in yesteryear. You can often pick up a last-gen console and a stack of games and still pay less than buying a next-gen console on its own. Sure, you sacrifice the fancy packaging, but what you gain is hours of gaming and fun at a bargain price.

The price difference between a last-gen console a next-gen version can number in the hundreds of dollars, so if there are games you didn’t get around to playing on an older console, buying second-hand is a cost-effective way of giving them a go.

The most noteworthy difference between an old console and a new one is that old consoles generally aren’t updated with new games. There is an exception to this rule, however – following the release of a next-gen console, there’s often a sweet spot where developers keep releasing games for the last-gen console for a period of time. Take advantage of this window and you can get your hands on brand-new games without having to pay a fortune for a new console.

Another great tip when buying an old console is to check if there are still games on the hard drive. If there are, bonus! But beware that this may also mean you have less space on the hard drive to save your new games.

If you’re purchasing your second-hand console through a retailer, they’ll generally wipe the hard drive before you buy, giving you all available space (generally a few gigs), but always remember to check. Reputable retailers will also test the console before reselling, so you don’t end up with an expensive paper weight.

Finally, to ensure you’re getting the best specs, compare different consoles from the same generation. In my opinion, however, buying a second-hand console means you’re already purchasing tech that’s a generation (or more) behind, so instead of focusing on the specs, zero in on the experience you want to have – the games, the good times, the magic.

And if you can’t decide between two old consoles? It’s probably still cheaper to buy both than a new one.

What about gaming computers?

Playing online games with friends either via your PC, or gaming laptop, is a popular and often cheaper alternative to consoles.

If you’re looking to buy a PC or laptop, aim for a computer that’s three years old or newer. Anything older than this will run the risk of being too slow and worn, making it a bad investment regardless of how much you save.

Steer clear of machines with broken components and that are sold without installation discs, manuals, warranty information and computer ID cards, all important for future upgrades and repairs.

Things to consider is the amount of RAM (memory) you need (around 8GB is fine for most online games); resolution – 1080 pixels is ideal; ad the type of graphic card – integrated cards are built in and can’t be switched while dedicated cards can be removed and upgraded making them a better choice if you’re looking for gaming PC.

Looking to buy quality second-hand gaming consoles? Go to Cash Converters. Every tech item we sell has been tested and comes with a 90-day warranty.


No sources – article written in first person and is the sole opinion and advice of writer.

Carlo Ritchie

Comedian, Linguist, Gamer, New Englander, Carlo is one half of acclaimed Sydney Improv duo "The Bear Pack", considered Australia's leading improvisers. As a stand-up he has sold out shows both at home and abroad and currently is the warm up for the Chaser's "Media Circus". He is host of Big Head Mode's "Bonus Stage" a monthly video game talk show, for which he is also a writer. Founder of Sydney's "Redfern Shaty Club" he has seen it grow to national success and when he's not performing you can find him singing sea shanty's somewhere around the traps. His favourite beer is currently New England Golden Ale.


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