With a release as big as a new console generation, it’s all too obvious that such things are going to attract the absolute worst kind of people: scalpers. According to a report by data engineer Michael Driscoll, Playstation 5 scalpers have been responsible for reselling 10 to 15 percent of all Playstation 5 sales in the US.
Scalpers often buy large amounts of certain hot items and sell them online at a much higher price, and with the coronavirus pandemic making production a very slow process, they’ve managed to rake in over $40 million in profit from people desperate to get the Playstation 5.
While some of these scalpers have been appropriately taken to task (with at least one story floating around of a scalper who flaunted his actions on Twitter, only to then be robbed at gunpoint by someone who had seen the tweet and figured out where he lived), many have been able to successfully sell off their ill-gotten gains for vastly inflated prices.
Playstation 5 scalpers, including both them and various automated bots buying the consoles as soon as they become available, have resulted in a large amount of discontent among fans and have even, in countries like the United Kingdom, faced calls from politicians to make scalping illegal.
The Playstation 5 isn’t the only hot item that has been targeted by scalpers, either. The Xbox Series X, along with new NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards, have also been getting targeted by scalpers hoping to take advantage of low supply and high demand.
The Playstation 5 scalpers will likely continue their work for as long as it’s profitable for them to do so, which likely means that we’ll unfortunately have to deal with more supply shortages and vastly overinflated prices for a long while to come. While some legal way to address them would be nice to see, it’s unlikely something like it will happen in the near future.