A new report revealed that a PS5 scalper group based in the UK managed to acquire just under 3500 PlayStation 5 consoles with the intent of reselling them all for profit during the device's launch period, highlighting the huge issue current-gen consoles are having with resellers. The PS5 is a hot commodity and remains incredibly difficult to acquire, with most online listings selling out in minutes - if not faster - and PlayStation 5 restocks few and far between. Upcoming Black Friday sales appear to be the last chance for many consumers to purchase a PS5 online or in-store before the holidays.
While the launch period has been rocky for both PS5 and Xbox Series X/S across the globe, PS5 sales in the UK were on another level of chaotic. Consumers naturally had a difficult time even managing to get a PS5 pre-order, but when the time came to deliver them, even more issues arose. Video game retailer Game sent out an email blaming essentially every company but itself for PS5 pre-orders not going out or being delivered on time, and several people reported getting the completely wrong product, with confused fans unpacking air fryers instead of the future of gaming.
According to a report from Business Insider, not everyone's PS5 online shopping experience was a negative one - especially if they're a scalper. One UK-based group named CrepChiefNotify managed to snag just under 3500 PS5 units across its members and pre-orders, giving it stock that not even major online retailers can currently compete with in most regions. The report also details how the group was able to acquire so many, using bots to purchase items far faster than a human's reflexes can manage - particularly during the stress of staying up or monitoring a screen for hours to ensure even a chance at a console.
While it's a frustrating thing to read about, particularly for those who haven't managed to order a PS5 online or in-store yet, it speaks to the many flaws that currently exist within the process of pre-ordering or purchasing high demand items online. Dedicated resellers will almost always have more resources - whether it be tips, employees, or bots - than the average consumer, and those resources translate into a much higher chance of success in acquiring an in-demand item like the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X/S.
Right now, though, there's really no signs that suggest the practice of scalping and reselling is going away - in fact, it's an extremely lucrative business. Resale PS5 consoles often fetch markup prices of nearly double what they were purchased for, something that could actually increase depending on where demand sits heading into December. It's a pretty awful practice overall, and keeps consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S out of the hands of fans who want them just to enjoy what they offer, but until people stop working with resellers and giving them money for their products, it's likely going to continue for the foreseeable future.