Jack Bayliss, a 24-year-old PS5 and Xbox Series X scalper, has an interesting view on the unsavory practice of hoarding stock and selling it for inflated prices.
Bayliss, the owner of a scalping service called Aftermarket Arbitrage, where members can pay £30 (about $40) a month to get stock updates on desirable items such as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, believes he’s creating “young entrepreneurs” thanks to his business.
Speaking to the UK's Sky News (opens in new tab) (as originally spotted by VGC (opens in new tab)), Bayliss said that he was "very in tune with my moral compass, as a person", and that the thought of families missing out or overpaying for consoles didn’t really bother him.
"To me, owning the PS5 or an Xbox isn't a necessity, it's a luxury, okay?” said Bayliss. “If you can afford to spend £450, spending the extra £100 should be pretty marginal, if you've got cash ready to splash on that.
"Yes, some families are gonna have to pay another £100, but what you don't think about is our members: they've got 30 consoles, they're making £100 on each one. And then they're making a good month's salary in a couple of days."
Bayliss claims he’s earning £45,000 a month (around $60,000) by helping other individuals buy stock in bulk, and reselling it for a higher price before users can buy them for their list price. This, according to Bayliss, allows others to create a healthy side income – he says some members have been able to quit their regular jobs.
"What they're doing is they're being entrepreneurs, they're going out, creating a side income, and they're doing something that 90% of the population can't be bothered to do," said Bayliss. “They spend more time with the family, with their kids. We've had people who've been able to renovate their house, they bought the kids a climbing frame, they bought the wives new cars, they bought themselves new cars.”
Analysis: scalping could soon be banned in the UK
The practice of scalping in the UK has come under intense scrutiny in the last year or so, with Member of Parliament, Douglas Chapman, calling for it to be banned, similar to ticket touting.
The use of sophisticated automated bots are primarily to blame for new PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles being snapped up before consumers have a chance to buy them, and Chapman is asking the UK government to prohibit their use.
While Bayliss claims that banning bots wouldn’t impact his business, and obviously has a more positive view of his work than others, Chapman says the practice needs to stop.
He said: "The bottom line is that this is a consumer fairness issue, which also impacts on business.
"This is a situation where shoppers are being treated badly and having to pay way over the odds for goods, goods which are then not covered with warranties or the right to return, or recompense for faults.”
We’ve seen PS5 and Xbox Series X scalpers paint themselves in a different light before, with one saying that consumers should “feel sorry” for them. Last year, a PS5 scalper said they get a “lot of bad press”, and even went as far to say that the practice of scalping is an “incredibly valuable industry”.
For now, with both PS5 and Xbox Series X stock remaining difficult to find, scalpers will continue to capitalize on the limited supply and high demand. Our advice? Don’t pay over the odds for either console. Instead, stay tuned to TechRadar for updates on stock at legitimate retailers – so you'll never pay more than the list price.
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