Nintendo is now selling refurbished products on the cheap (or at least cheaper than before)


Video game companies often show signs of contempt for the used games industry. It wasn’t too long ago that we were hearing rumors of very strict DRM protection for Microsoft and Sony’s upcoming consoles. One of the biggest rumors was that the new consoles would not support second hand games.

Part of this is due to the incredible profit Gamestop makes when undercutting video game redistributors. Game publishers claim that money spent on used games, does not roll back into the industry, but instead it all goes into the company’s coffers.

As Nintendo is currently proving, there’s one obvious way to combat used sales without destroying the industry. Nintendo is now selling factory-refurbished consoles of its own. Aside from the price, arguably the best thing about Nintendo’s new tactic is that they’re offering a one year warranty with all used-new systems.

Nintendo is currently offering the refurbished 3DS in Aqua Blue or Midnight Purple for $129.99. Gamestop sells them for $30 more ($159.99). Nintendo also offers refurbished DSi XL models for $10 less than Gamestop. All refurbished products can now be purchased via Nintendo’s online store.

It’s a bold move by Nintendo to fight back against Gamestop, a company that makes profit margins of nearly 50 percent just from reselling used game consoles and titles.

Nintendo clearly states that each refurbished console is “cleaned, tested, and inspected to meet Nintendo’s high standards.” Of course, they may have visual damage like cosmetic blemishes and such but that’s to be expected with refurbished electronics.

This product comes with the same one year warranty we offer on our new systems. It is guaranteed to be fully functional, but may have minor cosmetic blemishes. There are no returns or refunds on this product.

I, for one, welcome Nintendo’s new approach. This may be the start of a new market opening up in the game industry. Used game sales and refurbished products have long been around mind you, but such products are usually offered through third party distributors like Gamestop. It’s refreshing to see such a big company like Nintendo trying something new. Not to mention those prices are hard to argue with, they’re more than reasonable- for once. That’s not even taking into consideration the one year warranty offered with all refurbished products purchased directly through Nintendo- that benefit alone is worth the money.

What do you make of all this? Let us know in the comments below!

Nintendo’s online refurbished products store homepage

[via Nintendo, Ars Technica]

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  • Gonzo

    I think it’s a good idea and move by Nintendo. And as a consumer, I rather have the original manufacturer sell me a refurbished with their own warranty, than a 3rd party.

  • Briley Kenney

    [@JT] My thoughts exactly, Gamestop is hardly a smaller business especially when it comes to brick and mortar retail.

    In fact, I would almost argue that Gamestop is responsible for a lot of mom and pop stores that carry used games going out of business.

    Either way, the consumers will benefit. I’m sure Gamestop will have to lower their prices to match Nintendo’s. Gamestop jacks up the price of their resale products anyway.

  • JT

    [@David Roper]
    I don’t see how this will really affect the product flow for places like Gamestop. Nintendo’s refurb’s are from customers returning them to Nintendo themselves. Gamestop’s are from consumers trading them in. Worst case scenario is Game stop has to match the price to compete, and consumers trading their devices in might get $5-15 less for their devices. Gives consumers more options, which to me is a good thing, and I doubt this would hurt gamestop too badly. They’ve got too broad a supply of devices, and games to have this do much damage to them.

  • David Roper

    Yeah, it’s great to see a big company selling their crap after fixing it and driving smaller biz out of earning a living.
    Naaah, I don’t like it at all. Let someone else make the second wave of money. You had your chance, Nintendo, with the original item.