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I need advice.

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I'm trying to somehow get myself a Gameboy Advance [SP] and, potentially, Emerald. The problem is, I don't know which is the best way to get them. Right now my options seem to be:

* Purchase from Amazon. The problem with this is that I don't know if there are fake Gameboys for sale from certain sellers, or if I don't need to worry about it. It's not like they have pirated systems, like they do games. Do they?
* Purchase locally. This scares me mainly because I don't know how to tell the quality of a system, and I'm not good at seeing the differences with a pirated game. I've even sold, without knowing, pirated games myself. I don't know how much I can trust when it comes to this.
* Find some way to get it from GameStop. Apparently they have "Recharged Refurbished" systems ($30 for SP, $20 for normal GBA), but is there really a possibility that the system will just be a fluke? As again, with pirated games, I'm not sure how the pirating goes to an extent with systems. The games as well ($25~$40) have a "Pickup at Store" option, though none of the stores in 100 miles carry it. I'm not sure if this cancels out this option, or if there's some way I can get GameStop to ship from a warehouse to my local store, or something like that.

I know it's my dumb problems/concerns/worries, but if anyone knows the best option, please, help me.

Thanks.
 
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Look for an Ebayer with a high feedback rating.
 
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The problem is, I accidentally got pirated games from one of them. So I don't quite know what to do right now.
 
Total Melon
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I would advise purchasing a DS lite instead of GBA. They're really cheap now (and widely available) yet have a lot of life in them, and the screen is clearer and easier to see then the GBA. I have both and only use the GBA for trading from Ruby-Colosseum, playing GB games, or for when i'm travelling and don't like to risk the DS getting damaged since it's more delicate than the GBA.
 
Minion of the Damned
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I bought my DS Lite refurbished from GameStop and from my experience, it was great. Never had a problem with it. But if you're looking for GBA SP, best would be to go to a local video game store dealer in your place. If you live in a city or close to a big city, try searching in google for some video game stores that specializes on retro in your area. If you can't find one, Ebay is the best place. Buy from a seller with a high feedback. The advantage of ebay over amazon is mainly ebay has cheaper price. Also it's easier to communicate with the seller in ebay than in amazon. Good luck!
 
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I'm hoping to get something closer to an SP, for the advantage that I can play all games from Gens I-III. I can't find any possible option to purchase through GameStop, so I'm either hoping to find something cheap through Amazon or resort to buying locally. My real concern is with games, and whether I'll probably need to get a save battery along with R/B/Y/G/S/C or verify the authenticity of a GBA game. Is there any way to guarantee anything now?
 
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If you're afraid of buying a bootleg cartridge, this might be a helpful guide:

How To Spot A Fake Pokemon GBA Game - CAGGames

As for batteries, unless you're sure that the battery has been replaced, count on getting one for any GSC carts. Their batteries powered their clocks as well as their saves, so most of them ran out within 5-7 years. As for RBY carts, it mostly depends on how old the cart is and how much it has been played.

Hope this helps! :)
 
Ey b0ss
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I would suggest Amazon. You can see the seller's ratings, price and condition of the game and of course you can get refunds.
I did get my FRLG and Emerald from a second-hand shop before I knew how to spot a fake and they were legit and worked perfectly and their batteries are still fine. Like what BettyN has suggested, if you know how to spot a fake it makes it easier.

Second-hand shops usually sell GB and such for a cheap price but I don't know what second-hand shops are like over in the US.
 
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I think I'll trust Amazon for the system, and hopefully get a game at a local store. Really, it seems like Pokemon is now one of the riskiest things to buy.
 
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