Thinking about buying a used Nintendo Switch? Here’s what you should know about the console before you proceed.
Purchasing a used gaming console can be the best way to get a new gaming experience for many people. But you should be careful about purchasing Nintendo consoles secondhand because of the way Nintendo works. If a console has been found to be committing fraud (credit card chargebacks) or hacking games (Splatoon 3 cheats) then Nintendo can and will ban the console’s serial number. Not just the account tied to the console, but the console’s physical serial number.
If you do decide to go through with the purchase of a used Nintendo Switch, you should insist on seeing the console connect to the eShop. See if it can connect to online servers in games like Splatoon 3 if possible. The most common code associated with a console serial number ban is Error Code 2124-4508. This code is a ban from Nintendo’s online services for breaking its terms of service.
This error code is a permanent ban from online services for fraudulent activity for the console. Even if you can provide proof of purchase showing you’re not the original owner—Nintendo will not lift the ban. Take this example on Reddit as a warning.
“The device was bought from a reputable second hand seller (company, not individual) in the UK in August 2022. Logged into my Switch OLED a few days ago to find error code 2124-4508. After speaking to Nintendo Customer Support, they confirmed the ban. They informed me the fraud took place before I owned the device, however, the ban would not be lifted.”
“I’ve pointed out multiple times I am not the one who caused ‘financial damage’ nor am I at risk to do so in the future, but they still will not lift the ban. I’m now losing years worth of data I transferred from my non-OLED Switch to this one, but Nintendo won’t do anything to help me,” this Reddit user claims.
This user was able to use the Nintendo Switch from August 2022 until March 2023 before the Nintendo ban on the console took place. That means you may be at risk of a console ban even after the Switch has been sold. Be careful when buying used hardware online and make sure you keep a receipt of the transaction. Pay with a credit card if possible to make getting a refund from the seller easier. Never pay with cash unless you 100% trust the person or are willing to gamble.
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