PS5 scalpers are probably the reason you can’t find Sony's console in stock

PS5 scalpers
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Pressmaster)

If you’ve been searching where to buy a PS5 for the past few weeks, you might want to take a deep breath before reading this... as it’s bound to make your blood boil. 

A Business Insider report claims that an organized group of scalpers have teamed up to amass a haul of nearly 2,500 PS5 consoles during launch week in the UK, and managed to snag “just under 1,000” units when pre-orders opened back in September. 

So what are the scalpers doing with 3,500 PlayStation 5 consoles? Well, selling them for a disgusting amount of profit to those who are desperate to buy a PS5, of course.

Due to the pandemic, all PS5 sales were conducted online to prevent customers rushing to buy in store. This played into the hands of resellers, though, who teamed up to grab as many PS5s as they could with the intention of marking up the prices considerably.

If you’re wondering how the scalpers were so successful in their distasteful pursuit, well, bots played a significant role. Bots were partially responsible for crashing Walmart’s website when new PS5 stock arrived, and likely crashed countless others, as bots can automatically check retailers for stock. Bot scripts can also be used to make purchases almost instantly, meaning you probably won't even make it to checkout before your desired purchase has been taken.

A quick scroll through eBay produces a litany of listings that are all accompanied by simply extortionate price tags, often doubling if not tripling the price of the system. It's a sad state of affairs, really, but proof that scalpers have had a field day in the UK in particular – though stock is equally scarce in the US.

Scalpers and scammers

Unfortunately for consumers, demand for the PS5 has been so high that it’s led to some nefarious delivery drivers reportedly scamming consumers. We reported that some PS5 orders from Amazon were seemingly being hit by thieves, with consoles being switched for an air fryer, Nerf gun or various other items people didn’t order. 

Of course, the best way to combat scalpers, despite how desperate you might be for a PS5, is to simply wait until stock is more available so they don’t make a dime. 

The temptation of having the console before Christmas might be too much for some, though – however, we strongly advise trying to pick one up legitimately to stop you spending through the nose.

We’re scouring the internet everyday to help you find PS5 in stock, and you won’t pay a penny more than the recommended retail price. You’ll also get the extra satisfaction of knowing that you grabbed a PS5 before a scalper, which is a small bonus.

Adam Vjestica

Adam was formerly TRG's Hardware Editor. A law graduate with an exceptional track record in content creation and online engagement, Adam has penned scintillating copy for various technology sites and also established his very own award-nominated video games website. He’s previously worked at Nintendo of Europe as a Content Marketing Editor and once played Halo 5: Guardians for over 51 hours for charity. He is now an editor at The Shortcut.