NES Classic Edition in stock? Not so fast... [WARNING]

Over the past week it's come to our attention that a new scam has come about, targeting those gamers in search of the elusive NES Classic Edition. This gaming console was released late last year by Nintendo and met with ravenous hordes of consumers. This console sold out extremely quickly across the United States, only to be replaced with stock-seekers and flippers – and not the good dolphin kind. The value in the device is in attaining for the original price – anything else is bonkers.

Over the past week, a collection of fake NES Classic consoles have spawned from several sales locations. I'm not going to link to them here because I'd rather avoid giving the sellers any additional views or attention. Their listings look legit, and – on the surface – it does not appear that anything is amiss.

SEE TOO: NES Classic Edition first-impressions

The proof is in the pudding, however, as some of the oldest tricks in the online sales scam book are being employed. One of these is the "box trick", a scam traditionally used on an Xbox. Instead of shipping an Xbox console in a box, they ship a box with a big X on it – or take extra time to turn a box into a giant 3D letter X.

With the Nintendo NES Classic Edition, the wording really has the scam wrapped up nicely. Instead of offering a brand new Nintendo NES Classic Edition gaming console direct from Nintendo, they offer a "Nintendo NES Classic Edition new box". This generally ends up being OK as a title to an eBay auction, but when it appears in the listing as well, there's trouble.

Another scam involves Amazon and their current default listing setup. Scammers use the fact that Amazon lists the cheapest options for any given product first, quite often before those listing at a given retail price. In this case, that means that the Nintendo NES Classic Edition is being listed for less than the standard $59.99 or $60 USD.

Any NES Classic Edition console sold for significantly less than $60 on or in any store, auction site or not, is not to be trusted. The process to refund money to a consumer who is out less than $60 is far simpler and cheaper than going after the seller to get money back without money-back guarantees in place.

Those users that've given up on the NES Classic Edition may want to take a peek at the RetroEngine Sigma. Or, to be especially adventurous, go buy a bunch of retro parts and build one like what's seen below.

Those who still seek the NES Classic, stick to the retailers it's meant to be at – Target is the primary source for surprise stock in NES Classic Edition consoles. They do not sell their consoles on the web – they only sell them in brick and mortar stores.

Potential stock can POSSIBLY – not definitely – be found at retail locations like Meijer and B&H Photo. Users should call ahead to either Meijer or B&H Foto and Electronics Corp to see if stock happens to be available before heading in to either store. The same goes for Walmart – though the last time we saw stock in Walmart was... not for a long time.