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Why can't we be scalpers for good?


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Yeah and even there (and I'm not being obstructionist here I promise) is even I can think of ways round it.

 

CEX sell the PS5 with a CEX brand HDMI cable "worth £100".

And everyone just bundles a lot of games and accessories "At rrp".

 

Also Nintendo don't do RRPs.

 

It's really difficult.

 

I guess you could have Xbox Live accounts required with a shipping address attached (even if they've never played a game you can enforce 1 per address) but I can even see ways round that and it's a fuck load of admin.

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My gf managed to get me a disc PS5 bundled with Spider-Man, Souls & an extra controller from GameStop for my birthday. It was funny because I had been complaining to her a couple of days prior about scalpers, and how I had resigned myself to getting one in the summer when it had died down, and there were a couple of restock Twitters you could follow but I don’t have the patience etc. She was like “I wish you’d told me about those twitter accounts months ago!” 
 

unbeknownst to me she had already purchased one by following said Twitter accounts, and hitting refresh on the different websites on her iPad, personal laptop, work laptop, and phone all at the same time on a day she had taken off from work  with her card details preloaded :lol:

 

that’s what it takes to get one now I guess, and most people don’t have the time. 
 

still gotta wait until mid-feb for delivery tho

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55 minutes ago, Dudley said:

 

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.


At the moment if you want to switch consoles, you’ve got to pay a scalper for the privilege. At least this way, gamers are buying them. 
 

Phil Spencer has talked about some kind of stock allocation (to the end user) from the factory. 

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2 hours ago, Dudley said:

Yeah and even there (and I'm not being obstructionist here I promise) is even I can think of ways round it.

 

CEX sell the PS5 with a CEX brand HDMI cable "worth £100".

And everyone just bundles a lot of games and accessories "At rrp".

 

Also Nintendo don't do RRPs.

 

It's really difficult.

 

I guess you could have Xbox Live accounts required with a shipping address attached (even if they've never played a game you can enforce 1 per address) but I can even see ways round that and it's a fuck load of admin.


No absolutely. It’s completely unworkable in real life. Particularly when, let’s say MS decide to do it but Sony don’t, then we might see retailers prefer advertising Sony for not stepping on their toes.

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I'm actually tired of all this and it's driving me away from new tech these days.

 

I've been into tech and gaming for well over 30 years now and over that time just seen things get progressively worse in terms of greedy behaviour and it sometimes despairs me.... It's not just with expensive toys ANYTHING in short supply or high demand. And it's only going to get worse as time goes on.

 

Part of me blames people though for buying at these super inflated prices in the first place. People seem to have more money (or credit) than sense these days.

 

So personally having a break from it all. I'm going retro from now on and holding onto things a bit longer. I was extremely lucky to get a Series X this time however any future console releases I'm staying clear off for the first year or so of release. Same with PC GPUs etc. There are rarely any absolutely must have features or games anyway. My PC plays games well enough just have to settle for less shinies or a lower framerate as long as the core gameplay remains intact.

 

The other thing I've actually noticed with gaming in general is that things get shiner but at the same time less engaging. I was playing Little Nightmares recently and it was taking 5 or so seconds to try again after I died and the graphics while pretty I found a bit of a hindrance at times because of their 2.5D nature also the camera was annoying at times too.

 

Anyhow I think absolutely having to have things day one here is the real issue and only mostly leads to disappointment. I think it's mostly fuelled by the pandemic and people sat at home trying to get something new to cheer themselves up which is fine I guess.

 

Anyhow.... Just going to be greatful for what I have going forward and while enjoying reading about the latest tech taking a back seat in actually acquiring it. Interestingly I was having more fun with my old Wii console recently than anything else and keeping at least a bit fitter in lockdown using my WiiFit. I also hacked it and moved my games to solid state storage so loading them I have a next gen feel whilst having my library instantly available to load at the touch of a button. Sure it doesn't have ray traced graphics or whatever but the selection of games I have are awesome and feel really immediate.

 

Realise it's a bit off topic really and I'm waffling on a bit. Just saying perhaps we should all take a deep breath at times and focus on what we have and appreciate it. :) 

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Is the problem of short supply really driven by scalpers? Clearly some people are buying to resell, but surely the vast majority of demand is genuine - people are after one console for themselves and they will keep it. I just think people are rightly annoyed at how hard it is to get one and want to shout at someone. 

 

I think it's particularly bad because the supply has been limited by the pandemic and the demand is through the roof because (rich) people have quite a bit more spare cash at the moment, fancy treating themselves, etc. 

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I think it's probably both. Demand would be high for all the reasons you say, and they'd likely sell out regardless. But it's also true that scalping is reducing the windows where resupply lets people but them.

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You do wonder how many people are really willing to buy a console at mark up. I don’t know how much that mark up is but do they really sell on in large amounts?

 

We have to remember that the other impact is that the ‘normal’ consumer is also behaving like a scalper in some regards. Discord’s with stock trackers and notifications, posts on here, etc. So we ourselves are creating this environment in which everything disappears immediately when stock is available. Maybe in the old days we’d just check once a week and the demand would fall away a little faster as people cannot be bothered to keep looking.

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17 minutes ago, thesnwmn said:

You do wonder how many people are really willing to buy a console at mark up. I don’t know how much that mark up is but do they really sell on in large amounts?

 

We have to remember that the other impact is that the ‘normal’ consumer is also behaving like a scalper in some regards. Discord’s with stock trackers and notifications, posts on here, etc. So we ourselves are creating this environment in which everything disappears immediately when stock is available. Maybe in the old days we’d just check once a week and the demand would fall away a little faster as people cannot be bothered to keep looking.

It’s an interesting thought. How many people have made multiple orders to give themselves as much chance as possible of getting a PS5? And how many of those who received more than one have been tempted by CEX or eBay prices?

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A few points. 

 

1. Yes these consoles are all eventually making their way to gamers, but many are paying an inflated price, which is money they might otherwise have spent on games or accessories. Microsoft and Sony can’t be happy with the situation even if the retailers couldn’t give a shit.  
 

2. How about Sony says to Mr Amazon, you’ve got 2000 consoles arriving tomorrow. Amazon goes through its list of people who’ve expressed an interest (ordered by date), and says “Do you still want a PS5, you’ve got 24 hours to complete an order”. Any that aren’t sold go down the list. It would be trivial to check for duplicate Amazon accounts (maybe a bit trickier for multiple people at one address but some credit card/ID checks could overcome that). For brick and mortar, a simple pen and paper list would suffice. Ban employees from buying from their own stores. 
 

3. People could put their names on multiple retailers’ lists yes, but it’s more likely that once they knew one was secured genuine buyers would decline offers from the others. There would still be people trying to buy multiples to scalp. 
 

4. If you knew that you were in line for one, you’d be less likely to consider scalper prices. 
 

5. No-one needs to hammer the internet all day long. 
 

6. Sony and Microsoft could disincentivize the retailers by offering preferential terms on things like future digital sales, or withholding stock from those who sell all their stock to bots. 
 

In the current situation neither the platform holder nor the customer are better off. They’d sell out either way,  why are they letting it continue? 

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15 minutes ago, Monkeyspill said:

It’s an interesting thought. How many people have made multiple orders to give themselves as much chance as possible of getting a PS5? And how many of those who received more than one have been tempted by CEX or eBay prices?

Think there is a fair bit of that going on to be fair. Compounding the problem. Suppose they know they can get a quick turnaround on them so why not. Easy to see why there is a shortage really.

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6 minutes ago, Gigawatt said:

A few points. 

 

1. Yes these consoles are all eventually making their way to gamers, but many are paying an inflated price, which is money they might otherwise have spent on games or accessories. Microsoft and Sony can’t be happy with the situation even if the retailers couldn’t give a shit.  
 

2. How about Sony says to Mr Amazon, you’ve got 2000 consoles arriving tomorrow. Amazon goes through its list of people who’ve expressed an interest (ordered by date), and says “Do you still want a PS5, you’ve got 24 hours to complete an order”. Any that aren’t sold go down the list. It would be trivial to check for duplicate Amazon accounts (maybe a bit trickier for multiple people at one address but some credit card/ID checks could overcome that). For brick and mortar, a simple pen and paper list would suffice. Ban employees from buying from their own stores. 
 

3. People could put their names on multiple retailers’ lists yes, but it’s more likely that once they knew one was secured genuine buyers would decline offers from the others. There would still be people trying to buy multiples to scalp. 
 

4. If you knew that you were in line for one, you’d be less likely to consider scalper prices. 
 

5. No-one needs to hammer the internet all day long. 
 

6. Sony and Microsoft could disincentivize the retailers by offering preferential terms on things like future digital sales, or withholding stock from those who sell all their stock to bots. 
 

In the current situation neither the platform holder nor the customer are better off. They’d sell out either way,  why are they letting it continue? 

 

That all sounds like a massive ballache to the retailer, and even the consumer to a lesser extent.

 

And unworkable unless both Sony and MS both agreed to the exact same system. Else as a retailer I might consider just dropping the more onerous system entirely, or at least not promoting it as hard.

 

Surely everyone would be on most retailer lists. So a drop to multiple retailers gets confusing. What will you do if you get one from Argos but then Amazon (who you prefer offers you one?). Cancel Argos, who are now back to their list running around to sell it again.

 

We have to remember that to retailers the amount made per console must be low. They will not spend minutes trying to sell each individual console.

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3 minutes ago, Gigawatt said:

A few points. 

 

1. Yes these consoles are all eventually making their way to gamers, but many are paying an inflated price, which is money they might otherwise have spent on games or accessories. Microsoft and Sony can’t be happy with the situation even if the retailers couldn’t give a shit.  
 

2. How about Sony says to Mr Amazon, you’ve got 2000 consoles arriving tomorrow. Amazon goes through its list of people who’ve expressed an interest (ordered by date), and says “Do you still want a PS5, you’ve got 24 hours to complete an order”. Any that aren’t sold go down the list. It would be trivial to check for duplicate Amazon accounts (maybe a bit trickier for multiple people at one address but some credit card/ID checks could overcome that). For brick and mortar, a simple pen and paper list would suffice. Ban employees from buying from their own stores. 
 

3. People could put their names on multiple retailers’ lists yes, but it’s more likely that once they knew one was secured genuine buyers would decline offers from the others. There would still be people trying to buy multiples to scalp. 
 

4. If you knew that you were in line for one, you’d be less likely to consider scalper prices. 
 

5. No-one needs to hammer the internet all day long. 
 

6. Sony and Microsoft could disincentivize the retailers by offering preferential terms on things like future digital sales, or withholding stock from those who sell all their stock to bots. 
 

In the current situation neither the platform holder nor the customer are better off. They’d sell out either way,  why are they letting it continue? 

All good points but retailers don't care all they care about is shifting boxes. Why spend extra admin time going down lists etc. They will sell anyway. 

 

Sony/MS don't care they are shifting boxes having your product as a hot product is great for stimulating demand. Drives social media and news stories keeping their products relevant.

 

I wonder how many people after spending over the odds on their new toy are actually disappointed after a few weeks...:). For me £450 on something that just plays games better was a bit of push. It's a great console. More than £450 though no. If it had been released at £600 or £700 I'd have sacked the idea off.

 

Anyway. It will continue until the people get bored and the market for overpriced games machines dries up a bit... Give it a few months I'd say. It will all go nuts again come Christmas time again though so it you are looking for one for this Xmas I'd buy one this summer and put it away.

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You’re both making good points but looking at it from the retailer’s point of view. We know Curry’s and Game don’t care and would probably prefer to sell to the bots, but that doesn’t help the consumers. And Sony and Microsoft must be kicking themselves for not launching $100 higher and they could have had some of that scalper money for themselves. 

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5 minutes ago, Gigawatt said:

You’re both making good points but looking at it from the retailer’s point of view. We know Curry’s and Game don’t care and would probably prefer to sell to the bots, but that doesn’t help the consumers. And Sony and Microsoft must be kicking themselves for not launching $100 higher and they could have had some of that scalper money for themselves. 

Indeed actually surprised me they pushed them out at the prices they did. Think they were worried about sales in the current economic climate... :D And yet we have this situation. 

 

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Just now, MattyP said:

Indeed actually surprised me they pushed them out at the prices they did. Think they were worried about sales in the current economic climate... :D And yet we have this situation. 

 


It must have been a pretty dicey decision to have to make. I’ll admit that I thought any new console would be a tough sell in late 2020. All common sense would say that launching high would be a mistake, but I assume a combination of the demographics of console early adopters plus the fact that other stuff still isn’t open in most major markets has made the console launch pandemic proof. Who could have known that at the time? Microsoft and Sony were also trying to out-psyche each other while trying to judge the market!

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I think releasing at a higher price would have harmed overall sales. Maybe a £600+ console would put people off more than an £800+ console with an RRP of £450 - if that makes sense. There's a psychological price barrier but when scarcity drives demand, lots of people are willing to pay more.

 

The thing that worries me most about new consoles is build quality. I'd actually be willing to pay more for something I felt was a bit more robust (and less noisy).

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16 minutes ago, Monkeyspill said:

The thing that worries me most about new consoles is build quality. I'd actually be willing to pay more for something I felt was a bit more robust (and less noisy).

To be fair not sure about the PS5 but been really impressed with the build quality of the Series X. Quiet, compact and seems to he well designed and modular looking at the teardowns. Lots of heat dissipation in there. Guess with a PC it's easy to fix when and if it goes wrong. Paying almost as much for a console as a PC though is where I would draw the line. £450 is a reasonable price point given the tech I guess. £700 or £800 though. No.

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3 hours ago, Monkeyspill said:

It’s an interesting thought. How many people have made multiple orders to give themselves as much chance as possible of getting a PS5?

I've been boringly saying since the consoles launched (and it applies to PC graphics cards too) that people doing this are part of the problem. Citing @bridger purely because he said it himself upthread, but that's two PS5s taken out of the market because of multiple orders. Now it's all very well saying they were sold to his friends at cost, but from my hypothetical point of view that's still somebody adding to scarcity issue and making harder for me to make a purchase.

 

You're not just competing against the scalpers, basically.

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Given the amount of priority placed on launch price reveals by communities such as this one, it’s easy to imagine how it would have turned out if either manufacturer had increased the RRP to deter scalping. Even if they’d played it straight and said ‘look, we want to deter people buying for profit so expect a price drop in the future...’ it doesn’t really work does it.

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To be honest, whilst it’s definitely not something I’d ever do myself.........if somebody is working in a dead end job, earning minimum wage day in day out, week in week out, year in year out etc and they can make a few bob for their family, selling a few consoles to people daft enough to pay over the odds for them, then good luck to them!
 

The real problem - people that obviously have more money than sense that are buying consoles from scalpers at stupid prices. They’ve created a market for the scalpers to thrive in. 

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Of all the things to price control, new videogames consoles are so far down the list it's ridiculous. If Sony were really upset their consoles weren't being sold to real gamers they could easily sell them on their store, 1 per customer with a queue setup. And thinking that Amazon or Curries ought to care that the person they're selling it to needs to play and give the appropriate amount of respect to the games, rather than just flip it at CEX is preposterous.

 

Interestingly, I was looking at CEX because of this thread, and noticed the digital edition is less than half the price of the disk edition. Now that seems crazy.

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8 hours ago, CrichStand said:

To be honest, whilst it’s definitely not something I’d ever do myself.........if somebody is working in a dead end job, earning minimum wage day in day out, week in week out, year in year out etc and they can make a few bob for their family, selling a few consoles to people daft enough to pay over the odds for them, then good luck to them!
 

The real problem - people that obviously have more money than sense that are buying consoles from scalpers at stupid prices. They’ve created a market for the scalpers to thrive in. 

Indeed. Kind of my thoughts too. Personally wasn't that desperate to get one and would have waited. The opportunity came up to so went with it. However looking at the current economic climate and jobs etc and the devastating impact this pandemic is having sure if people want to make some extra money on a luxury no one really needs then fair enough. Lets face it they will be plenty around at some point as the market will start to get saturated. Also might be a raft of games that use the new features available at that point too. 

 

Guess its the "businesses" that are doing this buying hundreds/thousands of units at a time and trying to get people to subscribe to their businesses etc that grate a bit. Essentially making money for nothing other than spending all day ordering things and putting huge mark ups on things.

 

What scares me a bit if the world changed a bit again what will be next food? Medicines etc? 

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I don’t think there’s any way to effectively combat this stuff - you have an in demand product, there will always be chancers. It happened with the Wii, I think it happened with the PS2 as well. It was slightly easier to control back in the day when you had to physically rock up to a shop to pre order and collect your console but those days are gone. 
 

it’s worse at the minute primarily because of the pandemic- everyone’s stuck at home and people are capitalising on that.
 

It’s not just games, either - the Lego community has been hit too, with many of the more expensive sets sold out everywhere except eBay, especially in the lead up to Christmas. 
 

Ultimately there’ll be a tipping point with the new consoles where there’s wide availability and a load of scalpers will be stuck with stock they have to shift for a loss as no one will buy a PS5 off Facebook for market value when you can buy it from Amazon with a warranty and customer support. 

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I messaged a scalper earlier on on eBay this afternoon after the reality hit that I won’t be getting a series x for my birthday in February, calling him the scum of the earth. His reply was “supply and demand - Google it”.  

 

I bet the cunt was selling toilet roll last year. 
 

I guess it’s not illegal, but it just seems so wrong. I’m just glad I wasn’t in a position around Christmas that my little boy wanted one. I imagine many buyers are desperate parents. :( 

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This feels so obvious it must be a bad idea, but I’m very tired so humour me - why can’t retailers just limit consoles to one or two per person / address / payment details?

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34 minutes ago, K said:

This feels so obvious it must be a bad idea, but I’m very tired so humour me - why can’t retailers just limit consoles to one or two per person / address / payment details?

What is their incentive for putting such measures into place (which will take some level of cost and effort) , I guess is the answer.

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