How I Got A Brand New Xbox For $100

xbox deals, frugal purchase, purchasing an xbox


“Dad, my Xbox doesn’t read discs anymore, it just says the tray is empty.”

My son had taken his Xbox to a friend’s house the night before. I wasn’t thrilled that he was taking it out of the house, and unfortunately my concerns proved to be valid.

That was earlier this summer, and the game console has sat idle and broken in his room ever since.

I went into his room on Saturday to talk to him and noticed it sitting on his dresser. We started talking about it, and I noted how he had quite a few games as well as an Xbox Live membership that weren’t being used. Nothing had been done about it because he didn’t want to fork over the money to send it into Microsoft to have it repaired. Not liking the situation I offered some financial assistance to help get things working again.

He agreed, of course.

We went to a nearby Game Stop to ask some questions. The diagnosis was the laser in the drive was broken, and it would have to be sent in for repair, as we had feared. The minimum diagnostic charge was about $90 plus shipping to get the console to Microsoft. We were talking over $100 just to have them look at it, probably more to replace the drive.

The employee suggested that maybe we would be better off trading in the broken console:

The price breakdown would look something like this: $149 for a used console – $40 trade credit in for the broken console = $109.

For the same price (maybe cheaper) than sending the console in for repair, we could purchase a used console and get rid of the broken console.

It sounded like a good course of action, but I was concerned for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s a used console, and may also breakdown
  • The used console would only come with a 30 day warranty.

The discussion with the Game Stop employee did spark an idea of my own, however. So I did a little research, made some phone calls, and ended up taking a more creative path:

  1. Purchased a brand new Xbox 360 system with 250MB hard drive from Walmart. It normally sells for $299, but was on sale for $249.
  2. The console also game with a $50 Walmart gift card which I used for my normal Saturday grocery shopping later that day, so really we got the console for $199.
  3. My son already had a 250GB hard drive he had purchased on his own and installed in his current Xbox. We removed the hard drive from the new system, and replaced it with the drive he had previously purchased, and contained all his game information.
  4. We then took his old console, and the hard drive from the new console to Game Stop where they said they would give us $52 cash for the items ($32 for the hard drive + $20 for the broken console).

That would have brought the price of the brand new console to $147, but we didn’t stop there.

Due to some promotions Game Stop was having this weekend regarding trading in pre-owned items, we could either take $52 in cash, or $100 of in-store credit. I talked it over with my son, after which he agreed to the following:

  1. He would give me the $52 in cash that Game Stop would have paid for the items.
  2. He would keep the $100 in credit to buy games
  3. He would give me an additional $48 in cash over the next few weeks from his allowance.

When it was all said and done, here’s the result of our adventure:

  1. Due to the sale at Walmart + the gift card promotion, we got a brand new Xbox for $200.
  2. I pitched in $100 towards getting him a working Xbox
  3. The adventure essentially cost him nothing. While he is giving me $100, he received $100 worth of credit to buy games.

The bottom line then is, we paid $100 for a brand new Xbox, and my son simply has to buy some new games.

Which he wasn’t upset about. Big surprise.

Have you ever had a situation where buying something new was your best option?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • @Daisy – I probably made it sound more complicated than it really was. LOL. It did take some research, but in the end it was clearly worth it – thanks for dropping by!

  • I like your creative solution: $100 for a new Xbox console, plus the need to purchase $100 in games. Knowing myself, I probably would have taken the Xbox apart and replaced the DVD drive. It might have worked, but I would have also taken the chance of bricking the console and owing my son a new Xbox.

  • Cool story and a creative solution.

    I found a friend that was interested in getting an Xbox One. I agreed to list all of his 40+ games, controllers, etc. on ebay and hand over all profits if he would give me his used console, 2 controllers, and 4 games.

    He agreed! It’s a win-win deal. He gets cash for the new system and I get a great xmas present for our 7 year old son for free!

  • @Bryce – I actually looked into replacing the drive. I’m in the IT industry and take computers apart all the time. However, apparently the drive in an Xbox has a proprietary control board that you have to take out of your old one, and put in the new one and requires soldering skills – which I don’t have. Thus I KNOW I would have bricked it. 🙂 thanks for stopping by!

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