When to Buy a Used Xbox

Posted on July 26, 2011 by Jared

used xboxSeveral of the most popular posts on this site deals with correcting various problems gamers encounter with their Xbox. If you’re handy, you may have fixed your Xbox yourself (that’s great!), but many people would rather not deal with the hassle. Of course, that’s not the only reason why you’d be in the market for an Xbox, so let’s take a look at why you may want to consider buying a used Xbox.


Why a Used Xbox

So why all the talk about a used Xbox? I’m a frugal guy. If I’m in the market to buy something that’s morethan $50, I’m going to perform a somewhat obsessive research project on the item (one of the sure signs you’re a geek). Electronics, particularly ones that have been around for a while, tend to drop in price significantly compared to retail. The Xbox is no exception. With a little patience and the right resources you can save $50 – $100 if you buy a used Xbox. Depending on the model, that’s around 33% savings.

Red Ring of Death, Cannot Read Disc

This one has been covered several times before, so I’ll not go into too much detail here. If you’re new to the Xbox scene, there are two problems you may experience with your Xbox. The worse of the two is the Red Ring of Death (RRoD). The RRoD got its name from the green circle you normally see on the front of your Xbox when it’s on. The green light turns into a menacing red when a problem has occurred. RRod is usually caused by a thermal event due to bad contact between the processor and the heatsink. The only way to fix it is the tear apart (void your warranty) the xbox and re-seat the heatsink or buy another Xbox.

Another problem is with reading discs. For some reason, the DVD drives in some Xbox’s malfunction, severely limiting what you can do with your gaming machine… that depends on playing disc-based games. My particular problem was caused by the magnet coming loose, which meant the drive could not hold the disc in place while it was attempting to be read. This accounted for the terrible noise I heard when trying to play games or watch movies.


Those of you with siblings can probably relate to this the most. My brother and I had different tastes when I comes to video games. We would fight over what to play, who got to play first, etc. The same can be true if you’re living in a dorm or apartment with several other guys who also like to play games.

It’s somewhat unreasonable to expect your parents to buy two of everything simply because you and your brother or sister can’t agree on something like video games. You’re on your own now, though, so there’s nothing outside your budget that should keep you from having your own Xbox.


If you’ve played a video game in the last five years, chances are you played them online. One of the best things about modern gaming is that you’re not confined to your room, void of all contact with other humans. When you hop on your Xbox, you’re joining a community of other players who like similar games and genres.

While online multiplayer is fun, some of the best gaming moments I’ve ever had were during LAN (local) games with my friends. We would all meet up a the designated home, hook up three or more Xbox’s and play way into the early morning hours. If you’re living with several other gamers, it really makes sense to pick up an extra used xbox or two for epic multiplayer moments.

Keep the TV Screen All to Yourself

My first split-screen experience was nearly two decades ago with Goldeneye and Mario Kart on the N64. Chopping the screen into four sections left us squinting and sitting too close to the television, but we really didn’t care at the time.

In these days of large, fancy displays, you’re probably not keen on the idea of splitting it up with your best buddy, even if he did totally buy you lunch that one time. Encourage your friend to pick up a used xbox so you both can play in full-screen, high definition bliss.

For more information on buying used items, check out

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2 Responses to “When to Buy a Used Xbox”

  1. John on January 17th, 2012 6:11 am

    Hi Jared,

    Thanks for sharing , you are right if you are patient enough , you will surely can get a good deal online when buying a used XBOX and on average a 33% discount is a always a good deal :D

    keep up the good work :)

  2. Rick on March 19th, 2012 7:45 am

    Thank you for the tear down instructions. Interestingly enough my symptoms were the same as yours however it wasn’t the magnet in the end. I had noticed while this problem was going on that one of my discs had some damage in the very center and there was material missing. When I had everything taken apart I found a small piece of clear plastic from the center of that broken disc sitting right where the magnet presses against to drive the assembly. That was the cause of the grinding noise and the inability of the console to read the disc as well.
    There is nothing quite as satisfying as avoiding customer service is there?

    Thanks again.

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