5 mistakes PS5 and Xbox Series X restock seekers keep making – and how to buy it

PS5 restock frustration and mistakes
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Mr.Whiskey)

The PS5 and Xbox Series X restock opportunities this week should bounce back from last week's short week in which we saw only Best Buy have a significant stock in the US and Amazon restock in the UK.

However, people keep making the same mistakes, and it's time that we address that.  Both Sony and Microsoft consoles remain difficult to buy due to chip shortages and analysts don't expect them to be in stores like normal until 2022. 

Here are the mistakes people without a PS5 and Xbox Series X keep making.

1. People don't follow a PS5 / Xbox restock Twitter tracker

You can get a serious edge by receiving alerts from PS5 and Xbox restock Twitter trackers.

As soon as there's a PS5 or Xbox Series X restock available in the US, they will send you a push notification. They'll also tweet out restock news when they have early information from Best Buy, Walmart and Target through exclusive sources.

Following a PS5 and Xbox Series X restock account is only part of what will help you get a next-gen console. There are four other tips that are just as crucial as alerts.

2. They give up when a restock says 'sold out'

This is the biggest mistake everyone who doesn't have a console makes. As soon as trackers tweet a restock alert, eager followers who want a PS5 or Xbox Series X immediately click on the link, see it says 'sold out' or 'unavailable' and reply 'It's sold out.' Then they give up while others get the console a few minutes later.

Most PS5 and Xbox Series X retailers open orders in waves (no matter how many times we say this, people refuse to read it). That add-to-cart button turns on, turns off and turns on again, and sometimes it strips the console from your cart before you're able to check out. Everyone goes through this. Persistence is key.

It's natural to think this is a race. But persistence > speed.

So those people replying 'out of stock' are actually wasting time (in most cases) when they should really be refreshing the page for every retailer (except Best Buy, Sony Direct and any UK retailer that has a virtual queue where you sit and wait for a progress bar to complete).

It's natural to think this is a race – to think that the first to click the restock link will get it over everyone who is late. Speed is important, yes, but persistence is why PS5 and Xbox restocks are more like a marathon. Being quick to click a link is only important in that it'll give you more chances to tap that add-to-cart button for the next 20 to 40 minutes.

3. They fall for PS5 and Xbox restock scams

Every day people contact trackers telling them that they were scammed out of money (usually $550 in the US) when they were convinced by another Twitter user who 'has an extra PS5 to sell' like they're suddenly doing you a favor.

Unfortunately, most of these are overseas PS5 and Xbox scams that use CashApp, Venmo, PayPal Friends and Family, Apple Pay Cash and Zelle. Oftentimes these scam accounts don't have a PS5 console. But they do have fake accounts following them (so it looks convincing) and 'vouching' for them (these replies and photos/videos with the console in hand are also fake).

These overseas scams use CashApp, Venmo, PayPal Friends and Family, Apple Pay Cash and Zelle.

It's easy to fall victim to a PS5 scam. $550 seems like it's $50 over market price but not outrageous. After all, the scammer just has an extra they're looking to offload at a reasonable price. Until you realize that this doesn't account for tax they must have paid or shipping they'll have to pay to get it to you, so they'd probably be losing money.

No one is that nice or so eager that they're going to sell you the world's hottest product for $50 over retail.

Twitter, for its part, does little when reporting these scam accounts. A few have been taken down recently, but thousands remain and target people on all social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram, YouTube and even WhatsApp.

Our advice? Buy PS5 and buy Xbox Series X from a legit store.

4. They wait for the PS5 Digital – seriously

PS5 Digital is a fine disc-less console, but your chances of buying it are roughly 40:1 compared to the PS5 Disc console, according to our sources at retail warehouses in the US. 

We see this every PS5 restock: people purposely skip the PS5 Disc version that's more plentiful to wait for the few PS5 Digital consoles (retailers tend to stagger restocks – when one sells out the other pops up and PS5 Digital is often second in the lineup) that they ultimately don't get. And people do this again and again. That's a lot of hassle just to save $100.

Furthermore, you're bound to save more money by buying the more expensive PS5 Disc version. Disc games become far cheaper far sooner. 

Don't believe us? Resident Evil Village (yes the newly released game) is already $10 off, MLB The Show 21 is already $10 off, and NBA 2K21 (a launch game) is $42 off. The only one of these games the PlayStation Store is discounting right now is NBA 2K21 for PS5 (after months of charging full price), and it's still $5 more.

5. They avoid bundles from legit retailers

This is up to personal preference, but if you really want a PS5 or Xbox Series X right now, gamers have the option to spend a bit more money on a bundle filled with games and accessories. 

A lot of retailers are doing this to make extra money because the profit margins on console sales are slim. That's fair... when the games and accessories are at face value.

This is a brief list of retailers to avoid – they often package cheap accessories on their own with a console and mark up the price by double. For example, the Sears PS5 bundle we wrote about has $35 worth of accessories but displays them in the picture to make it looks like you're getting loads of extras for $1099. 

  • Sears
  • QVC
  • Walmart resellers
  • Amazon resellers
  • Newegg resellers

In the US, GameStop and Antonline do much better bundles, at face value or close to it. This turns off resellers (our favorite part of seeing bundles for PS5 and Xbox in stock), who will have a harder time profiting heavily off of games (it's harder to find someone who wants a PS5 and Returnal, for example, and still make $1,000 off of the transaction).

Do your homework, though. Sometimes the bundle prices – even at legit retailers – will be a little off. In December 2020, I bought a PS5 console that included Spider-Man: Miles Morales and NBA 2K21 from GameStop. By the time I got it in January, I realized NBA 2K21 was already $20 off at Amazon and promptly returned the entire bundle (and regretted it learning how hard finding another PS5 restock would be for the next several weeks).

Matt Swider