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Refurbished Xbox One: Everything you need to know before you buy

Here’s the risk-free way to save big bucks on an Xbox One

Are you in the market for an original Xbox One? Or perhaps you’re looking to upgrade your current console to the latest Xbox One X. Consoles are supposed to be fun, but spending several hundred pounds of your hard earned cash on a gaming system can be a bit guilt-inducing. Buying refurbished hardware is an excellent way to keep the expense to a minimum.

The first step is to decide which version of the Xbox One you’re going for – the standard Xbox One, the smaller and cheaper Xbox One S or the more powerful Xbox One X, designed for 4K and HDR gaming.

There’s also a rare “Project Scorpio” model, which has the same internal hardware as the Xbox One X but comes with a different controller bearing Microsoft’s development codename for the console. If you’re not sure which one to buy, check out our buying guide to Xbox One consoles.

READ NEXT: Best Xbox One X deals

Why should I buy an Xbox One?

Rival consoles certainly have their fans, but for many gamers, the Xbox One is the only gaming platform worth talking about in 2018. Besides a whole host of exclusive franchises such as Halo, Gears of War, and Forza, Xbox gamers get access to the Games with Gold subscription service as well as the ever-growing Games Pass library. And should you fancy a spot of classic gaming, there’s backward compatibility with thousands of Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles too.

Where are the best places to buy a refurbished Xbox One?

1. Amazon Certified Refurbished

Warranty: 1 year

Amazon sells hardware in a variety of conditions, including “pre-owned” and “open box” – but we suggest you look for “certified refurbished”. Any hardware described as such has been repaired and fully tested by the original manufacturer, so it’s as good as brand new, and it comes with a one-year warranty too.

The savings are significant: a refurbished standard Xbox One 500GB costs £185 on Amazon, as opposed to £285 for one that’s brand new. The only catch is that it might not come in an original box, and availability tends to be intermittent, as refurbished units don’t come up in large numbers. At the time of writing, certified refurbished Xbox One X consoles are sold out, and refurbished Xbox One S stock is very low.

If your chosen console is available, though, there’s no better or safer way to pick up a cut-price Xbox.

Buy a refurbished Xbox One now from Amazon

2. Tesco eBay Outlet

Warranty: 1 year

Tesco doesn’t always have refurbished consoles in stock, but when they do come along the prices can be very competitive. For example, we’ve seen a refurbished Xbox One X 1TB plus Far Cry 5 for £384 – a saving of £116 versus buying the same bundle brand new.

Before you snap up what looks like an unbelievable deal, however, check the product description to find out what condition the console is actually in. If it’s described as “Grade A” or “refurbished”, that’s a good assurance that it will work as new, but we suggest you avoid anything with a lower grade. Always read the seller notes, too: a cheap console may be missing a controller or an essential cable.

Buy a refurbished Xbox One now from Tesco eBay Outlet

3. CeX trade-in

Warranty: 2 years

This doesn’t technically qualify as buying refurbished, but hear us out. If you have an old Xbox One 500GB, CeX will buy it for £91 in store credit, as long as it’s in good working order with all the cables and accessories. You can then use this against the purchase of a second-hand Xbox One X 1TB, bringing the cost of the upgrade down to £284.

Of course, this console won’t have been factory refurbished like ones you’d get from Amazon or Tesco, but CeX thoroughly tests all hardware before buying it from the original owner and offers a two-year warranty that covers any faults which occur in normal use – so you can buy with confidence.

Trade-in your Xbox One now at CeX

What about buying a second-hand, non-refurbished Xbox One?

When you’re shopping for pre-owned electronics, it’s best to buy from an established retailer that offers at least a year-long warranty. Otherwise, you may be left with no one to turn to when your console dies on you after a few months of use.

But if you’re prepared to take the risk, you can save even more money by buying second-hand from an individual. Start by checking in with your colleagues, friends, and family to see if they have an Xbox One going spare – it’s possible that someone has one in a corner gathering dust, and buying from someone you know means you’re much less likely to be ripped off.

If that fails, eBay is the next place to look. eBay Stores are generally pretty trustworthy, and you can check their reviews to see how long they’ve been in business and how reliable they are at delivering the goods as promised. Since sales on eBay are processed through PayPal, there’s also a record of the payment and you can get a refund if things go wrong.

Another popular site is Gumtree, but this is much more of a Wild West than eBay, with no way to check someone’s reputation and no easy recourse if you get scammed. Gumtree has published its own guidance to help you avoid becoming a victim; here’s our advice for buying an Xbox One – or any electronic item – from a stranger on the internet.

Buying a second-hand Xbox One: An essential checklist

Ask for an original proof of purchase

A legitimate seller ought to offer up the receipt for their Xbox One without prompting, perhaps including a picture of it in the ad posting. If they bought the console online then they’ll be able to forward you the digital invoice. While such things can be faked, it’s a fair indication that you’re not handling stolen goods, and if the warranty is still valid it’ll help you make a claim.

Check for a returns policy

Not many private sellers want the hassle of dealing with returns, but more established eBay Stores will often provide 30 or even 90-day return policies. That’s clearly not as good as a manufacturer’s one- or two-year warranty, but it’s a lot better than nothing. Check the reviews though, to make sure the seller is as good as their word.

Meet in a public space

If you’re planning to make the purchase in person, go somewhere public and well lit, preferably with CCTV coverage – coffee shops and train stations are ideal. For obvious reasons, don’t agree to meet a stranger in a car park, alleyway, or warehouse.

Alternatively, you may have the option of going to the seller’s house, which gives you a chance to see that the console works before you hand over the cash. It’s a good idea to check that it reads game discs and DVDs, and that all the cables and accessories (including the controller) are present and in full working order. However, we suggest that you bring someone along with you for a bit of added security.

Pay securely

PayPal is your best bet for payments. It means you don’t have to carry around hundreds of pounds in cash, and ensures there’s a proper record of the transaction. The seller’s details are recorded too, so if you later discover there’s something fishy about the sale, they can be tracked down.

Is it worth waiting for the Xbox Two to come out?

At this point, we seem to be at least two years away from the release of Microsoft’s next-generation console, the so-called Xbox Two. That’s a long time to wait; if you don’t already have an Xbox One, we suggest you treat yourself to one now and enjoy all the great games that are currently coming out for it.

If you’re wondering whether or not to upgrade from the standard console to the Xbox One X, that’s a harder call. It’s great to be able to play Xbox One X Enhanced games in glorious 4K and HDR, but the price is pretty steep.

You might prefer to save your money for the console that comes next, which will doubtless have even better graphics, along with a whole new range of games and experiences.

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