PS5 Scalpers In A Nutshell

PS5 Scalpers   is something you probably came across if you were in the market for the new Playstation 5 console to help ease your covid induced boredom. Chances are you were beaten by these bots while you were trying to get yourself one of the much sought-after consoles.

It is likely that your story goes something like this. You hear that a retailer, or online store, ecommerce shop, whatever you call them - gets a restock of your much desired console. Which at this moment in time happens to be the PS5. Or the PlayStation 5 if you want the full name. You hear that they are getting as many as 160,000 units! Surely this time one of them will be yours!

You arrive at the retailer’s website and find it a bit laggy. You know like you click and nothing happens for a while and only loads after a few expletive words out of your mouth. But you didn’t think much of it at first. Afterall, the entire net is slow during this never ending covid pandemic.

When the site finally loads. A mere 4 seconds after the announced restock time, you find that the entire stock has been sold out! Not a trace of one left!

Then as if salt was poured on your wound, you see your much desired PS5 listed on eBay and other auction sites at twice the price! Some of them are even going for 5 times that!

So why is this happening? The culprit are scalpers and their dreaded weapons, the retail bots. In fact, the pandemic has created a new furtile hunting ground for these profiteers and business is booming.

So how do these retail bots work? They basically scan websites at rates impossible to humans and see if a PS 5 has been listed. Once found, these bots place an order at the speed of light. Well, close to it. While all the scanning and buying is going on, the retailer’s website gets reloaded over and over again so fast that it often crashes servers. In fact, Netacea recently said that as many as 1 million attempts to buy PS5 were made by 300 machines in just one hour.

While scalping is not new. The pandemic has pushed them to new high, or low, depending on how you look at it, because sales are forced to go online more than ever before. After all, these bots are not very good at camping out in front of physical stores.

But operating online, some scalpers have been posting on twitter bragging that they have netted no less than 2000 PS5s. That would be millions in initial investment but also with profits that are often more than twice the initial amount spent. The bots themselves are also being sold to scraper wannabes and are going for tens of thousands of dollars.

Scalpers are in fact not the enemy of mere mortals trying to buy a PS5 with legitimate reasons. They are also damaging to the retailers themselves and even Sony scorns at the practice.

Unsurprisingly, retailers are coming up with ways to deter scalpers. One novel tactic retailer recently tried is to raise the price unreasonably then hand out discount coupons in hope of confusing the bots.

Governments could also step in but at the moment their response has been moot.

So us mortals will simply have to wait for a solution to present itself.

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