Did you know you can buy Windows 10 codes for as little as $30 on Kinguin.net? Your next question probably would be… is Kinguin safe?
First, let’s clarify what the word “legitimate” means in your context.
Kinguin is mostly not legit if you define legit as buying a Windows key or a game key being legal.
It is somewhat legit if Kinguin lets you buy a Windows key or game key and it works when purchased from them.
If most people think Kinguin.net is the original legit version, then you should avoid it and get your games and copies of Windows through the regular channels.
However, for those of you who are not bothered by the risk—or the apparently unethical nature of it all—Kinguin offers an opportunity to play a popular game or install Windows for a fraction of what it would normally cost.
The Workings of Kinguin?
As a marketplace, Kinguin does not sell Windows or game keys. Rather, it is a place to refer customers who want to go and sell their game keys.
Their marketplace offers lots of options, from Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and Xbox One game keys to World of Warcraft time cards and CSGO coins. They also have anti-virus software and Microsoft Home Office.
They have a website that allows you to search for products and click on them. Once there you can browse the marketplace for that product, or rather the key for that product, through the different merchants.
When you make a choice of who to buy from (which is likely to be someone with the greatest number of orders) and highest seller rating, you then click on ‘Buy Now.’
Afterward, you will apply for a credit card to pay for your order.
What if the key doesn’t work after I order through Kinguin?
Kinguin’s biggest problem is that they don’t check their sellers’ keys beforehand to determine if they are authentic or not.
There have been many reports of users buying keys through Kinguin only to find out their keys had already been used.
You can even read about it here on Reddit.
A visitor to Reddit purchased a key for a popular game but found it already in use when they went to activate it.
Even when he used support from Kinguin, he had trouble getting the company to honor the code he purchased.
Nevertheless, the account was refunded, but if that user’s Reddit thread hadn’t exploded, were they more likely to do the right thing?
It is not just this user who had a bad experience dealing with Kinguin. There are many more instances of shady practices and users having bad experiences if you just Google the term ‘kinguin review’.
It’s pretty shady that Kinguin protects against invalid keys
The following information about Kinguin’s Buyers Protection can be found on their website…
This product is fully protected against any faults in quality caused by the seller (invalid keys, duplicate keys, etc.).
The customer will be responsible for any issues caused by disabling it.
Or, in other words, if you do not get Buyer’s Protection from Kinguin, your protection is null. And that is just ridiculous.
Kinguin’s Buyback Protection can range up to $7, depending on the product. Ultimately, that makes things like buying Windows 10 from Amazon or Microsoft $30 into $37, which remains fairly affordable in the grand scheme of things.
(For games, there is less Buyer’s Protection).
Regardless of the fact that consumers have to pay extra to ensure coverage of purchases, it is still a shady business model. One would assume you would be covered regardless…
It serves as a clear message… “Our marketplace is suspect and you might get scammed on it, but if you fork over a few bucks, we’ll safeguard you from the shady dealers we let onto our marketplace.”
However, the Buyer’s Protection is still in place as the Kinguin promo codes must be added to your order in order for you to receive the discount codes. Most products are still quite a bit less expensive even with the Buyer’s Protection cost added in.
Having to pay extra for your purchases to be guaranteed makes it that much more ridiculous.
Kinguin sellers: Where do you get those free keys?
These sellers seem to get all of their game keys from different places.
Some years ago, some hackers used a stolen credit card to buy Ubisoft game codes and then sold them to buyers on Kinguin.
The user who received a fraudulent code initially was denied access to those games. However, Ubisoft changed its mind and allowed the student to keep the code.
In some cases, however, it appears that the seller obtained the keys through sales and promotions and then resold them on the marketplace.
Many sellers buy games on sale and then hoard them until the sale ends, then sell them for a higher price than what they paid on Kinguin.
Another kind of seller is a regular user who receives a free game code from random promotions and doesn’t want the game code, so he decides to sell it.
However, this does pose a problem in cases where your key is nowhere to be found. Fortunately, there are some situations where the keys are more legit (such as when a seller unloads some free keys they picked up during a promotion), but unfortunately, there are times when the seller obtained their key fraudulently.
Should You Purchase From Kinguin?
Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question for you. a seller has provided me with a copy of Windows 10 Pro so that I can test it out.
We were able to use the key just fine.
It did take me a while to get the key to work at first, since I had to chat with support.
In my experience, however, their support has been very helpful and they were able to verify the code with Microsoft, so it has been working ever since.
For the record, I would never buy a Kinguin Windows key to use on a computer I would be building for someone else.
Moreover, I would not want that person to have to deal with a situation where a certain key becomes inactive at a later date.
For my latest build, I have tried Kinguin out and have been satisfied thus far.
It will come down to whether or not you are comfortable buying from Kinguin.net.
- It’s okay for me to consider it at all ethically, and
- In order to be sure that you don’t lose your money,
you should purchase Buyer Protection for your codes.
For me, I doubt that I will buy from them again. When I did purchase my Windows 10 key from them, I didn’t realize I was potentially purchasing stolen codes. If I were permitted to purchase codes from people who were giving away the codes they got on promotion, that could be one thing.
But to potentially be supporting fraudsters and scammers is worrying.
Also, I was unaware at the time that I purchased the Windows 10 key that it was against Microsoft’s terms and conditions to do so from an unauthorized third party seller. It is extremely inexpensive to acquire a copy of Windows 10 from Kinguin, however, it is not something Microsoft supports themselves and the key I purchased has been replaced by one I bought directly from Microsoft.
Kinguin’s bottom line: It’s a “grey” online marketplace where you can get game keys and Windows keys for super cheap. The low prices come with caveats, however. It has the reputation of being big-brother-like and unethical. What kind of codes can you buy with Kinguin when you worry about where the codes come from?
You are welcome to buy from them. However, be aware of the potential pitfalls that could occur if you buy from them.