I've created this thread as I searched and could not find a similar thread anywhere. What this thread is for, is a discussion of modified Sega and Nintendo consoles on eBay.

This is not about Playstation or Xbox.

Well, as some of you may know, I sell rather a large amount of gaming stuff on eBay. I have a large stock of games for sale, and an absolutely huge stock of hardware.

I've found that since retrogaming became more mainstream, the amount of consoles on eBay has increased greatly, and consoles are available on the high street at large game shops.

This has led in a decrease in price for the consoles.. in particular Sega Megadrive, Master System etc..

Im a huge gaming fan, and I have modified consoles which I use myself. I have a Master System which runs in 50 and 60hz, 60hz being the setting I usually use so that I can play in full screen and full speed. I also have a Sega Megadrive, which has a 50/60hz switch, language switch and widened cartridge slot. This lets me play all of the Japanese games, in either refresh rate, and all of the "chip locked" games.

I also have modified Nintendo consoles, the SNES with a 50/60hz switch, widened cartridge slot and a lockout switch. So that I can play all games, and also I have no problems with the "lockout" games.

Okay, you might think, great!, well, im trying to make money on ebay, and with the price Megadrives now seem to go for (10 for a full setup) I want to modify my consoles to get the best possible price.

The trouble is :

Yesterday, I had two of my auctions removed.
The first was a Sega Master System, with a 50/60hz switch
The second was a SNES, with a 50/60hz switch and a "lockout" switch.

I had these two auctions removed under eBays "mod chips, boot discs, game enhancers" policy.

I was in contact with eBay via telephone the same day. I spoke to a very helpful guy, and after explaining, he did not personally see why the auctions had been removed.

I explained that neither of the consoles included a "mod chip, boot disc, game enhancer" and that the means to play the games was built into the hardware itself, I was simply putting in a means to access this.

If you read the "mod chips, boot discs, game enhancers" policy, located here:

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/mod-chips.html

None of what that page says, applies to my auctions.

I had the Sega Master System reinstated, but the SNES was not reinstated because I had the text "This console plays UK, USA and JAP games. No game is locked out to this console!"

I was told that it was because I had put "No game is locked out to this console" - this line was apparently encouraging PIRACY"

I explained that SNES piracy is not widespread - how easy is it to get SNES pirates? not easy at all. I explained that I was in NO WAY condoning piracy, and that the wording seeming like that was not my fault.

I had ebay ring back later on today, after investigating again as there was some confusion with regards to my items and the rules.

The guy that rang back quoted another rule, which apparently applied to my items. The Mod Chips, Boot Discs, Game Enhancers rule did not apply.

The rule that applied was the "Sony, Sega and Nintendo" policy.

I asked for directions to this policy. It is located here:

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/policie...unterfeit.html

When I read this policy, I said to the guy on the phone that this looked like a "piracy" policy - and how could this apply? He pointed me towards the second paragraph which states:

"Guideline: If the product you're selling bears the name or logo of a company, but it wasn't made or endorsed by that company, don't list it on eBay."

He said that because the Master System bears the name and logo of SEGA, and I have fitted a switch, that this switch is not endorsed by Sega, so I am not permitted to list the item on ebay.

He said that because the SNES bears the name and logo of Nintendo, and I have fitted a switch, etc that this switch etc, is not endorsed by Nintendo, so I am not permitted to list the item on ebay.

Reading this rule, it sounds to me that this is generally with regards to PIRACY. The consoles, I said, are made by the respective companies, and YES, they do bear the companies names..

BUT, a switch is hardly, a different "product" is it?

I dont see how this ridiculous rule can apply.

I said that these are OLD game consoles, the modification does NOT allow them to play copied/pirate games, the modification makes use of the functionality built into the console motherboard. He was quite in agreement with me, but unfortunately this is ebay policy.

He said that if I had express permission from Sega and Nintendo, which would need to be sent in the form of an email to an ebay email address which he gave me, then I would be able to sell the items.

He said that I could relist the item removing some of the text, and as the items were removed due to some "vigilante" reporting me, there would obviously be a change they may be reported again - im not wanting to get banned off ebay however!!

He said that the only way I could really sell them would be "to remove the switch"

So basically I cant sell these on ebay and he said that if I rang Sega or Nintendo, he could almost guarantee me that their answer to whether I could sell their old consoles on ebay - modified would be "NO"

I got the telephone number for Sega Europe at Gunnersbury Avenue (customer support) and spoke to a rather snooty woman.

I explained how I sold old Sega consoles (Master System, Megadrive, Sega Saturn) on ebay, and that I modified some of them to play in 50/60hz etc, and I explained about ebay needing permission from themselves for me to be able to sell said items.

She said that she could tell me straight away that I would NOT get permission from Sega. Permission would have to come from JAPAN, and that Sega would not endorse a modification on their "IP" (Intellectual Property) so that I could make money, with no money going to Sega. They would not "spend the resources or time" to facilitate this. Furthermore, they would "shut down anyone offering such consoles".

Wow, great. I said how I've been buying Sega products for years.. but she didn't give a shit. The number that I got given originally was 0870, I managed to get the cheap rate landline number off an Internet directory. Very disappointing from Sega.

She said that they could release the games on a modern format etc. Well yeah, but I mean, if someone wants to play some wierd, wacky, Saturn imports on a UK Sega Saturn (modified to play any region games) whats going to make them want to buy on a modern format, plus, games like that which had no release in the West (because they thought sales would be crap, not enough sales etc), why would they re-release these Japanese, strange games on a modern UK console?

I have just realised that these gaming giants which I idolised are nothing more than megalomaniacal faceless companies.. like the huge huge majority of companies these days.

Yes, I want to make money off modifiying consoles. It is satisfying to modify a console, there is a market for it - most people have never used a soldering iron, so im offering a valuable service. There are a number of websites that offer these services e.g. consolepassion.co.uk ? - are these sites going to get "shut down" as the woman from Sega says?

Ive been thinking about making a website where I can offer my modified consoles, but im not very good at web design etc.. is there anyone out there that could help? ( I could pay a modest fee even for simple website )

The thing is, if I had a website, I dont know if people would buy the consoles? I thought I could promote it at the end of my email signature.

At the end of the day, im left with quite a few, modified consoles which I did, that I now cannot shift on ebay for fear of being reported by the vigilantes/someone who has some kind of strange vendetta against me.

What are other peoples views on all of this? Am I the only one who's fallen foul of these "ebay rules" - I cant imagine that I am!

Also, why do ebay crack down on this so much when all you need to do is search for "GBA" and you get loads of hong kong and uk sellers offering "cartridge only" "no box and manual" games which are blatant copies, with the auctions having stock pictures of the UK/USA box art? Also modded xboxes (now illegal) and PS2's... surely they should be removing these Current-Gen consoles rather than an honest bloke selling a fantastic modded SNES from 1993...?