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Why can't we be scalpers for good?


dumpster
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This is a genuine question that I can't find an answer to.  There are many of us on this forum who want a PS5 and/or Xbox Series console but they are virtually impossible to get because scalpers are buying them all and selling them at inflated prices on eBay. 

 

Scalpers are people, just like us.  If we got hold of a next gen console there's nothing to stop us sticking them on eBay or popping it round to CEX for profit.  But we don't do that, because scalpers are scumbags, ruining it for the rest of us.

 

But what I cannot find through googling is how the scalpers are buying them.  Sure, they are organised and quick to respond.  Put a scalper and my mother in the queue and I'm sure the scalper will beat my mum to the front of the queue.  Scalpers  are using bots whatever that means. Scalpers know someone who knows someone. Scalpers get there before us.

 

But this is Rllmuk! A forum of people who know about computers , the internet, games consoles and all that.  Also the kinship on display in this forum sets it apart from others.  We have worked together in the past to pass around Xbox data transfer cables, we've worked together to import Nuon consoles, people have bought stuff and posted it to fellow forumites.  We have the tech knowledge and we are nice people!

 

So what is it that scalpers do that we cannot replicate? They're only human. If they can set up a bot, why can't we? 

 

In summary, what do scalpers do to get themselves first in the queue and why can't we (either individually or collectively) do the same, just without the bit where you sell it on at a massive profit like a dick?  

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Scalpers spend time and money to make money. A bot or other tooling aren’t free to learn or run. The time to maintain and run that stuff takes time (I imagine it’s a constant war against the online shops to keep bots running).

 

So yeah, some here could do it like them to buy this stuff. But then it’s “cost” you more to get hold of. Many couldn’t of course because they’re not sure what a bot is.

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How much is lots of money?

 

I’m sure there’s lots of people using this forum that want one of the new consoles or graphics cards but can’t get one. If they all chucked in a tenner would that be enough for some Rllmuk bots that would get everyone what they wanted?

 

Carnagebot look to charge £250 up front and then £25 a month. What does that get you? 

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That PartAlert guy who got us all (*) Nvidia cards had his own bot that he was working on, although I have no idea if he built that on other work or what. Anyway he was trying to cover hosting it via ko-fi donations from the users, it seemed pretty nice overall. Also it seemed like we mostly lost to the real scalper villains, so maybe it wasn’t enough. 

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2 hours ago, bridger said:

How much is lots of money?

 

I’m sure there’s lots of people using this forum that want one of the new consoles or graphics cards but can’t get one. If they all chucked in a tenner would that be enough for some Rllmuk bots that would get everyone what they wanted?

 

Carnagebot look to charge £250 up front and then £25 a month. What does that get you? 

Isn't it quite a time investment also for whomever runs it?

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8 hours ago, Gabe said:

Isn't it quite a time investment also for whomever runs it?


I’ve got absolutely no idea. For the ones that you rent out like I mentioned above I’d assumed it was just a case of entering the names, addresses and payment details and maybe then pointing it at relevant products at the relevant websites. 
 

If so then for the numbers that we’re talking about here that’s not going to take too long. 
 

Like I say though, that’s based on nothing but assumption and I’d be happy enough to chip in on top to make it worth the while of doing that if it can’t be shared out. 
 

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I would buy a console and sell it on on the forum for someone who wanted it, but it'd be hard to ignore the £450-sized anxiety.

 

What if the forumite ends up not paying me?

 

What if something goes wrong with the console? How does the warranty work under an immediate resale (scalped or not)?

 

What if the console went missing from me to forumite?

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As per the thread in the trading folder I decided I didn’t want the Xbox and either of the PS5s (Disk & Digital) I’d ordered for launch. 
 

I sold them all at RRP to friends and someone from here. The Rllmuk forumite came and collected it from me. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere I’d say there’s a good chance someone from here would do the same. 
 

If not then I’d suggest that you get the buyer to arrange the courier and so if it goes missing then it’s for them to sort out. With regard to any faults then they’ll need go through the manufacturer. 
 

If they don’t pay and you can’t find another buyer then a quick trip to CEX will make sure you’re not left out of pocket. 
 

Edit - I’d love a disk PS5 right now and so if you can get one then drop me a PM. 

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1 hour ago, Hitcher said:

What someone should do is make a bot to bid on all ebay listings to stop them actually being sold.

 

I've not used Ebay much.

 

What's stopping two people bidding against each other with fake accounts and doing this?

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12 hours ago, thesnwmn said:


I mean seriously! I’m sure declaring they’re banned or illegal will do loads to cut out the practice. Oh yep, best not use this thing making me money that they are incapable of detecting.

 

Yeah the only people who can stop it are the retailers but they're not interested in doing so because the scalpers pay, and those machines generally don't come back for warranty service because they're not with the original owners.

 

Win win.

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1 hour ago, Timmo said:

 

I've not used Ebay much.

 

What's stopping two people bidding against each other with fake accounts and doing this?

 

I think this is pretty common, but eBay allow you to only allow bids from people with 2 unpaid items in 12 months, I think. But I think it's pretty rife, all the same.

 

 I suspect any of the consoles selling for >£1000 are just people fake bidding.

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1 hour ago, bridger said:

The Rllmuk forumite came and collected it from me. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere I’d say there’s a good chance someone from here would do the same. 

Can confirm this is true. Bought a disc PS5 at cost from the thoroughly nice @unleashedmaniac. Had to drive from Swansea to Oxfordshire one evening, but it was absolutely worth it for my nephew's reaction Christmas day. :)

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I didn’t pre order a PS5 as I wasn’t sure if I could afford it at the time. I tried to get one at launch and just after, which was obviously nigh on impossible. 
 

As much as I think scalpers are scum, they aren’t as bad as CEX. I haven’t been to CEX in decades and definitely won’t ever go again now. Sony (and MS) should be doing something about it  too- or at least commenting on it as right now it looks like they don’t care. I was speaking to my brother and he said all this shit surrounding stock and scalpers has really put him off getting a next gen machine altogether. 
 

I also wouldn’t mind bunging in a little bit of cash to disrupt scalpers but I think the time and effort forum members will have to put in could be the biggest barrier. 

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I'm not sure what Sony and Microsoft CAN do about it other than locking all machines to pre-provided details by the purchaser.

 

And that would start a much, much larger row.

 

Sony and MS are producing as many machines as they can and shipping them to retailers, other than a few from MS at their own store they don't sell direct and don't really have that control.

 

They could I guess refuse to supply GAME for clearly not protecting orders.

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I'm completely clueless with things like this so forgive the ignorant question, but is there anything that can be done with captcha tech (or 2FA/MFA?) to separate bots from buyers, or are the bots all way too advanced these days?

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23 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

I’m sure they could figure out a system where they prioritise people with genuine PSN/Live accounts that haven’t been recently set up dormant for a million years. 

 

Give these people a code they can use to buy from GAME, or something.

 

The problem there is, if I was a PS4 gamer last gen I can't switch to Xbox.  That's not going to get through the marketing department.

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21 minutes ago, Qazimod said:

I'm completely clueless with things like this so forgive the ignorant question, but is there anything that can be done with captcha tech (or 2FA/MFA?) to separate bots from buyers, or are the bots all way too advanced these days?


Things can be done but doing it well requires money and is a constant race. Develop a mechanism and watch it get circumvented pretty sharpish. For example, for captcha tech there are paid services you can use to solve them.

 

And most retail web sites just aren’t worth the investment... the retailers get paid either way. So they don’t care to invest in that war.

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The only approach I can think might work (but not really) would be to somehow limit resale prices on ‘reputable’ sites. Like CEX shouldn’t be able to sell one for more than RRP or eBay has a max price. But particularly for auction sites that sort of undermines the whole concept obviously.

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