Just think about it this way: Using eBay to buy a Wii is like having your own personal shopper. For a $150 premium over the purchase price, someone else will get up at 4 a.m., stand in the cold, fight off soccer moms and bring home your Wii, while you sleep in and stay sane. Sounds like a fair trade to us.
But even if you decide to head to eBay, bear these caveats in mind. Most Wii auctions advertise that the system comes with five games. While this is technically true, this likely refers to the five games included on the Wii Sports disc that comes with every system.
And if a Wii does come with legitimate extra games and controllers, don't bother. For some reason, the addition of a $50 game and a $40 controller bumps the price of the average Wii auction from $400 to $600. You should be able to find any game or controller you want on store shelves this holiday -- they're not scarce, only the console is.
"Before bidding, read over the listings several times and always check seller feedback," cautions Abrams.
And if you want to be absolutely sure you're not getting ripped off, check local sites like craigslist for people who will sell you a Wii in person.