Let me start by saying there are THREE GAME CONSOLES FORMATS, not two that every other guides tells you about. The three formats are: NTSC-J (Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, other south east Asian countries.), NTSC (USA, Middle East, Canada, and the rest of the world.), and PAL (Australia, Europe, New Zealand.)
I cannot stress how important that the buyer read the ebay advertisment over and over again until you have memorized it by heart. 5/10 times the buyer missed the most basic information regarding the item they are purchasing, such as what comes with the item; manuals? original box? if the item is PAL, why does it have a NTSC box in the gallery? (maybe the seller can't find a pal version of the box art as most promotional gear is released with USA in mind). A good seller will list all the faults, and conditions of the item they are selling. For Example look at my advertisement. Again to recap, I will say, read read and read the advertisment some more, just because the picture say it is NTSC, it could be that the seller cannot get a picture of the item with the pal lable on it, the rest of the advertisement will clarify that for you, as in which country is it listed, does the seller mention the item to be pal or NTSC at least in 3 other places. If there are things you still want to verified, then send the seller an email and ask, if a seller does not take the time to answer your email, you should not buy from them, period.
Ok, Lets get to the game console's format part. How do you tell the formats apart from each other? and what happens if you bought something by accident, is there anyway to use it on your machine?
NTSC-J: This is the easiest one to tell apart from the others, NTSC-J means that it is a Japan release of the game, which means the box art of the item is full of japanese wording that you cannot read. NTSC-J are usually sold in ebay USA, and ebay Hong Kong, or Singapore. For example:
This is the NTSC-J release of the Naruto : Ultimate Ninja game. NTSC-J stated on the top right hand corner, no censorship rating on the box, and got a line of japanese wording you cannot understand. The box is made of cardboard instead of plastic.
NTSC: This is USA, Canada, and the rest of the world's release, which means the box art of the item is in english, with a censorship lable on it based on , T, M, E etc etc). NTSC are sold on Ebay USA. For example:
This is the NTSC version of the game. NTSC is stated on the top right hand corner, censorship is stated on the bottom left hand corner, and english is the only language on the box art. The box is made of plastic.
PAL: This is Europe, Australia, and New Zealands release, which means the box art of the item is in english, with a censorship lable on it just like the Australian movies (G, PG, MA, or based on numbers etc etc). Pal are sold on Ebay Australia, New Zealand or Europe. For example:
This is the PAL version of the game. PAL is stated on the top right hand corner, censorship is stated on the bottom left hand corner, and english is the only language on the box art. The box is made of plastic.
WHAT IF EVERYTHING WENT VERY VERY WRONG?
If you bought items like this by mistake, there is three things you can do;
1. Ask the seller nicely for a refund, and explain YOUR mistake.
2. Resell the item on an ebay that have similar items selling on it, NTSC-J usually sell on south east asian ebay, or ebay USA. NTSC usually sell on ebay USA, Pal usually sell on ebay Australia, and New Zealand.
3. Make the game work on your machine with third parties items, like mod chips, and freeloader. (This will cost more, and also voids warranties 6/10 times.) There are number of articles that you can find on the internet that deals with this issue, so I will let you do the research yourself.
For those people who still have questions or still seeking more advice, just message me with the ebay inhouse messaging service, and I will give you an answer asap. Until then, just read every advertisment slowly to avoid mistakes. =)