PS5 scalpers believe that their reputation of being deplorable, immoral, greedy opportunists isn’t fair. And they’re being deadly serious.
In an interview with Forbes (opens in new tab), a PS5 scalper by the name of Jordan has voiced his disappointment that the public have given resellers a “lot of bad press”, and even went as far to say that the practice of scalping is an “incredibly valuable industry”. We’re sure that the thousands of frustrated customers who have been trying to buy a PS5 and Xbox Series X will politely disagree.
Jordan is the founder of a UK-based “cook group” that helps paying members use bots to snag high-value items from the public, like the next-gen consoles, so they can be resold for extortionate prices. Feeling sorry for them yet? We didn’t think so.
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Nevertheless, Jordan believes that somehow, the waves of angry and disappointed customers will sympathize with PS5 scalpers, and explains why we all may have misjudged them.
Jordan told Forbes: “There seems to be A LOT of bad press on this incredibly valuable industry and I do not feel that it is justified, all we are acting as is a middleman for limited quantity items.”
Jordan claims he secured 25 PlayStation 5 consoles in January alone, and resold them for £700 each (around $950 or $AU1,200). That’s a profit of £250 per PS5, as the console retails for £449.99 in the UK and $499 / $AU749 in the US and Australia. Remember, he’s providing a valuable service here.
Bizarrely, Jordan goes on to compare PS5 scalpers to farmers who sell milk to supermarkets. “Essentially every business resells their products,” said Jordan. “Tesco, for example, buys milk from farmers for 26p or so per litre and sells it on for upwards of 70p per litre. No one ever seems to complain to the extent as they are currently doing towards ourselves.”
While this might seem like a fair comparison, it’s missing a key point. Jordan’s army of bots essentially buys every carton of milk in the store, and sells them at a disgustingly high mark-up right outside the front door in the hopes that you’re that desperate for some cow juice, you’ll pay the extra cost. They’d probably drain every single cows' udders they could find too – just to suffocate supply.
With tensions understandably high towards scalpers, particularly over the Christmas period where many parents will have dashed the hopes of dreams of their children, Jordan has said he’s received death threats. This is absolutely unacceptable, of course, and should not be condoned in any way.
The crying game
Unfortunately, despite Jordan’s best intentions, we think his plea for scalpers to get more credit reputation will largely fall on deaf ears. Like jackals and hyenas, scalpers tend to work in packs to secure multiple consoles using bots, which are then shared around like an antelope’s lifeless carcass. The speed and efficiency of bots make a normal consumer's chance of buying a console online almost impossible.
There’s no doubt that both the PS5 and Xbox Series X will continue to be hard to find during 2021, with Microsoft saying shortages could last until June. We've seen more stock trickling in during the new year, but retailers' websites still struggling to deal with the influx of traffic whenever consoles are available, which is predominately due to – you guessed it – scalpers' millions of bots.
We're doing everything we can to help you secure a console without paying over the odds by checking all the major retailers for any stock drops.