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Thread: Ever bought something advertised as "broken", and it wound up working?

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    Reticulating Splines BetaWolf47's Avatar
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    Default Ever bought something advertised as "broken", and it wound up working?

    I love it when this happens. You see something for dirt cheap, and then are told that it is broken. But then you take it home, then clean it or use a different cable, and it works just fine.

    My favorite was a model 2 SNES (SNES Jr.) that was sitting in a box in a pawn shop and said "Not Working." It didn't have any cables with it, but it was listed at a measly $3 or $5, so I decided to risk it. Took it home, and it worked better than my primary SNES.
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    Key (Level 9) Jimmy Yakapucci's Avatar
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    I friend of mine gave me a couple of Japanese Saturns that he had picked up for next to nothing while he was in Korea. He said that he couldn't get either of them to work. I opened them up and one of them had some version of mod chip in it that I have never seen anywhere else. Once I pulled that out, it worked fine. I then swapped part of the case with the other broken one and wound up with a nice working unit out of the deal. No more using an Action Replay for me!!

    JY

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    Pretzel (Level 4) substantial_snake's Avatar
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    I was looking on craigslist for some Sega Genesis games and ran across a seller selling a lot of classic common Genesis basics like all the GOOD Sonic titles, MK3 ultimate, Jungle & Desert Strike, Street Fighter 2, etc. along with several 32x titles. All of these games were apparently boxed with manuals in really good shape with I think about 20 titles in all, he only problem was that he lived in a local city that was about a hour's drive away so we picked a date a few days later to make the exchange.

    I called the guy along the way telling him I would be there in bit and he let me know that he had the console as well but it hadn't worked for years and if I wanted it I could take it as well for no extra charge. So when I got there he hands me two separate boxes. The first one was filled with the games in really good shape and the second had a dusty looking model 1 genesis, 32x, a ton wires, and a complete official sega IR controller set.

    When I came back to the house I discovered that I actually had every wire I needed to connect everything to run properly. I even had that damn genesis model 1 to 32x adaptor so I connected everything and it booted up with no problems. I'm guessing the old guy either had a cable loose somewhere, a dead wall socket or just wanted to get rid of all the sega stuff he had. Regardless I was ecstatic because I had been looking for any model system, I just wanted to jump on the deal before someone else beat me to the punch.

    So in the end I picked up 25ish immaculate games, a "broken" genesis model 1, 32x, IR controllers, AC adaptors, and that hard to find genesis 1-32x splitter cable for 25 bucks.

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    Key (Level 9) Jimmy Yakapucci's Avatar
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    One other deal that I picked up was from a guy on Craigslist who was advertising a non-working Jaguar. He said that the screen would just turn red. I picked up the system, complete and boxed, as well as 10 games, complete and boxed, for $10. He also threw in a pair of non-working Genesis model 2 systems and some games for another $10. It took me all of 5 minutes to clean the Jaguar's cart slot to fix the red screen and the Genesis systems just had the wonky power connector.

    JY
    Last edited by Jimmy Yakapucci; 06-25-2011 at 11:30 AM.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Xtincthed's Avatar
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    i buy NES's all the time that "have a problem starting up", i just clean them and they work brand spanking new!

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Emperor Megas's Avatar
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    This probably happens with Jaguars more than any other system because the system doesn't power on without a cartridge in it. The led doesn't come on or anything. I thought that my first one broken myself because of this.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    I recently picked up 2 "non working" Atari 2600's. One 6 switch tele games and one 4 switch woody for $5 each. Cleaned both and replace the rf cable on one and now both work.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) theredlineboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Megas View Post
    This probably happens with Jaguars more than any other system because the system doesn't power on without a cartridge in it. The led doesn't come on or anything. I thought that my first one broken myself because of this.
    That's how I got my Jaguar- sold as is / broken/ won't power on. In the auction, the seller mentioned that he didn't have any games for it. Took a chance, and it works great.

    My SNES was also said to be broken. I got it for free at a garage sale & hooked it up at home and found that it worked great. It was ugly, but there were no other issues. Not sure what happened, but I'm not complaining.

    -Rob
    Console Collection:
    TeleGames Super Pong, 2600, 5200, 7800, Jaguar, Intellivision, ColecoVision, TurboGrafx, 3DO, Master System, Genesis/ CD/ 32x, Saturn, Dreamcast, NES, SNES, 64, Gamecube, Wii, PS1, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Game Gear, Lynx, GB, GBP, GBC, GBA, GBA SP, GBM, DS, 3DS, NGP, NGPC, WonderSwan & PSP

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    I bought a "broken" 1 slot Neo Geo MVS off ebay. All that was wrong was the dip switches were set to pause mode.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) CapnCrunch53's Avatar
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    Yeah this has happened to me a few times.

    When I bought my complete boxed Odyssey 2 from a thrift store, the lady marked it down because she said the person who dropped it off told her there was a frayed wire that kept it from working. Got it home, no frayed wires and it works fine... sweet!

    When I started out in high school I went on a kick of being really into the TI graphing calculators, since there are a lot of cool programs available for them and whatnot. I got an ebay lot of 4 calculators that were "broken": a TI-81, 2 83s, and an 86, for about $20. They all just needed new batteries, although I did later fry the 86 when I shocked the battery terminal by accident It lived a good life though, I overclocked that sucker

    Third example is recently one of my friends gave me his Sony Blu-Ray player because he said it wouldn't load discs. Several months of use later and it's always read discs for me
    My Systems
    Nintendo: NES, SNES, N64, GC, Wii, GBC, GBA, GBA-SP, GBP, DS Lite, 3DS
    Sony: PS1, PS2
    Microsoft: Softmodded Xbox, Xbox 360
    Sega: Master System, Genesis, Sega CD, 32x, Dreamcast, GameGear
    Other: Atari Super Pong, Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Odyssey 2, Turbografx-16, NeoGeo Pocket Color

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) synbiosfan's Avatar
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    It's happened a few times with Saturns I've bought. Twice the culprit was a faulty modchip. Once the Saturn didn't work, I went through it, noticed nothing wrong, put it back together and it worked. Probably a loose plug in.

    Numerous "throw in" non-working carts just needed a good cleaning and they work fine.
    Diabetes Sucks!

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    ServBot (Level 11) exit's Avatar
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    After reading these stories, I really need to start looking on craigslist for these kinds of things.

    Breaking Bad 3x02 - Caballo Sin Nombre

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    Reticulating Splines BetaWolf47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exit View Post
    After reading these stories, I really need to start looking on craigslist for these kinds of things.
    Yeah, definitely stalk the Broward craigslist. That's how I found factory sealed NES games last year. Unfortunately, 95% of the listings are for people wanting $90 for DS flashcards, $300 for a modded Wii, and $30+ for handhelds that are worth $15 at best. You're bound to find something good if you get lucky though.
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    One time I bought a "broken" Canon Powershot 7 megapixel digital camera. The owner said it didn't work because it wouldn't take any images. Turns out the memory card was full

    Not exactly video game related but I thought it was funny.
    Check my auctions here! I am in the business of finding off-beat things, including video game stuff!

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    Strawberry (Level 2) allyourblood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryaan1234 View Post
    One time I bought a "broken" Canon Powershot 7 megapixel digital camera. The owner said it didn't work because it wouldn't take any images. Turns out the memory card was full

    Not exactly video game related but I thought it was funny.
    My brother-in-law was going to throw out his Canon Rebel DSLR after dropping it and having no luck getting the lens off (which took the brunt of the fall and became stuck) and not being able to get it to turn on. He bought a replacement immediately and my wife happened to ask if I could take a look at it before he tossed it. He said yes, and that we could keep it if we somehow got it working.

    After determining that the lens was really stuck on the darn thing, and not repairable, I got out some tin snips and needle nose pliers and began nipping away bits of plastic and peeling it apart until it finally came to pieces and fell away from the camera. We charged the battery and for whatever reason, the camera started up perfectly. Bought a couple CF cards, and we were set. My wife still uses the same camera today.

    As for video game-related stories, yep:

    Back in '99, I bought a CIB 32X with about 5-8 CIB games. Back in those lovely days, the whole thing ran me about $35 shipped. It came in the mail in no time flat, and I set about starting it up. It just plain didn't work. After a day of trying all sorts of quick fixes, like cleaning, air dusting, crossing my fingers and condemning it to hell, I gave up and e-mailed the seller. He refunded my money and said to just throw the whole affair in the trash, as he had no use for it coming back. I threw it in a closet and it sat for probably 3 or 4 months.

    It's common knowledge now, but at the time, most people weren't clued in on the fact that 32X systems are notorious for having easily-fixable problems. After casually reading on ASG, I found a post from someone mentioning loose ribbon cables inside the system that sometimes needed to be re-seated in order to work. I figured "what the heck" and dragged it back out of the closet. About 6 minutes later, I was playing my 32X games! And since I didn't have any of the good ones yet, about 6 minutes after that, I turned it off.

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    Cherry (Level 1) Xtincthed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Megas View Post
    This probably happens with Jaguars more than any other system because the system doesn't power on without a cartridge in it. The led doesn't come on or anything. I thought that my first one broken myself because of this.
    this is the same for the Philips Videopac.. took me quite a while to figure out that it needed a cartridge to power on (and getting a cart to work, so it powers on is tough )

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    Pretzel (Level 4) 8bitgamer's Avatar
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    On the other side of the coin, I sold a Dina ColecoVision clone on eBay as not working, and the seller emailed me back, saying it worked perfectly and was happy to get it. Sigh... I tried that stupid system several times and couldn't get it to do anything. Maybe it got knocked around in the mail and was fixed "Fonzie-like" by a rough postal worker.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Yes, all the time. As others have posted, this is an excellent way to get great deals on systems and games. As long as your initial investment is low enough so that you can resell the items as broken for the amount you paid, there is literally zero risk as well.

    Happy Hunting.

    - Dave

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    A classmate back in grade school was convinced that his Game Boy was wrecked as the screen was perpetually washed out, despite the audio working without error. At the time, I myself wasn't even sure what was wrong with the thing but he was willing to trade the Game Boy off for something if I was interested. Ended up giving him some random action figure in exchange for this Game Boy and, after a bit of fiddling, the obvious became known and the tint wheel had been rolled all the way down. That was a cool score at the time.

    The next is not game related but of the same idea. I recently picked up a vintage Lowrey organ from a local thrift shop that the owner of the place ended up giving me at half off as, when trying to demo the thing in-store, we couldn't get the lower keyboard to work. I bought the thing anyway as it was now quite stupidly cheap ($25) and I suspected there was something really simple here that had gone awry here. I discovered that there was just a single switch among the lower keyboard controls that had to be flipped to turn the lower keyboard on. These sorts of things can definitely be worth the risk if the price is right.

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    Yup. A member of this forum, can't remember who it was, was giving away a non-functioning Dreamcast - all you had to pay was shipping. I contacted him, paid for shipping and waited.

    When it finally arrived, I hooked it up to see what the problem was. It powered up and after a few minutes would reset. Aha! I knew exactly what was wrong with it. I disassembled the Dreamcast, reseated the PSU, and it works like a charm!

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