Although the Xbox Series and PlayStation 5 consoles have sold extremely well, it seems like scalpers have also made huge profits. Market research shows that scalpers have made millions selling the next-generation consoles.
Immediately after the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 consoles were released, scalpers went after these consoles hoping to sell these to players at inflated prices.
After they succeeded, both Xbox and PS5 consoles were at more than £718 on websites such as eBay. With a £359 retail price for both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 editions, there’s no doubt scalpers are smiling to the bank.
The problem seems to have gotten worse in the last few years because of the development of faster and better scalping software. A few months ago, a scalper bot by the name Carnage announced on Twitter that they had purchased more than 2,000 PlayStation Consoles from one retailer. The tweet prompted outrage from other Twitter users who said the account was adding more fuel to the fire. However, the account was ultimately closed with the retailer promising they would check through each of the orders to make sure a single person can only buy one console.
As scalpers continue buying Xbox Series and PS5 consoles in bulk, players who have waited patiently to buy these newly released platforms will be forced to purchase them at absurdly high prices. Although some gamers have come together to frustrate scalpers, the future for the ordinary player in the war against the scalpers doesn’t look very bright.
Scalpers Getting Smarter Everyday
It’s very difficult for ordinary players to buy PlayStation 5. This popular console seems to be in short supply right now. As a result, a secondary market has evolved to provide PlayStation 5 at ridiculous prices. Some retailers have resulted in doing surprise drops of PS5s to prevent this, whereas other stores have tried to use other tactics to keep scalpers away. However, people looking to make profits from PS5s shortage are not just sitting and waiting, hoping to get a console they can later resell. Scalpers are getting smarter and bolder, clearing out PlayStation 5 even before retailers know what has hit them.
How Scalpers Impact The Gaming Market
As mentioned earlier, Series X and PS5 have quickly become popular technology pieces available in the market. These gadgets have become so popular that new businesses are cropping up by buying these consoles in bulk and then trying to resell them at higher prices. This price hasn’t just cleared inventory at multiple retailers and stores, but it’s also affecting the game sales.
Since PS5 was launched, scalpers were the first ones to get their hands on these consoles, and not as retailers, but as profiteering retailers. The scalpers made millions of pounds in profits in 2002 because of the advent of complex bots and manufacturing shortages. The issue became pretty severe to the extent that the UK government started considering taking some legal actions to make sure the scalping problem will never happen again.
Besides being a problem to ordinary gamers hoping to get their hands on PS5, the scalping problem has also started to affect game developers.
A new report from Bloomberg showed that there are very few people who are actually playing the PS5 as compared to the gadgets purchased. This is because PS5 scalpers use bots to find these scarce consoles. As of today, only about 30% of consoles have been able to sell a game.
This clearly shows that scalpers are now hoarding PS5 consoles. With regards to the digital sales, there are fewer active PlayStation 5 consoles in the market than the sales number indicates. As you can see, this means Sony isn’t making enough profits from the games, which are sold to be played on the hardware the company, creates.
PS5 scalpers have been a nightmare for ordinary customers who want to buy the console at normal retail prices. Unfortunately, it seems like nothing will get in the way of scalpers trying to make some quick money. However, as years pass by and Sony can manufacture and ship more stock, scalping will no longer be an issue.
Gruet, S. (2021, March 31). Scalping: The teens making thousands selling consoles online. BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-56270058
Still looking for a new gaming console? Here’s why. (2021, January 29). https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/business/ps5-xbox-console-shortage.html
Bloomberg. (n.d.). Bloomberg – Are you a robot?. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2021-06-22/one-man-s-futile-quest-for-a-new-xbox-series-x