Console scalper says we should think about the young people making a good living from...

midian182

Posts: 7,902   +82
Staff member
A hot potato: There are several reasons why people struggle to buy new consoles without paying over the odds on eBay. There’s the chip shortage, of course, the continuing material/logistical issues stemming from the pandemic, and overwhelming demand. On top of all that, there are the hoards of scalpers who grab those PS5 and XBSX machines first to sell at a profit. But the person behind a scalper service has defended his actions, saying he is just helping young entrepreneurs, some of whom really need the money. Moreover, anyone who can afford a new console shouldn’t mind paying a little extra on top.

Jack Bayliss runs Aftermarket Arbitrage, a subscription service where members pay £30 (~$40) per month to be notified when high-demand items such as the PS5 and XBSX are back in stock. The 24-year-old told Sky News he earns around $61,000 each month from the 1,500 scalpers who have signed up to his scheme, the majority of whom are "very young."

Bayliss said the thought that families weren't able to purchase a games console due to his business hadn’t bothered him, yet he was "very in tune with my moral compass, as a person."

"But I get to see the flip side of the coin, the area that the media and the general public who hate us quote 'scalpers' [don't see]," he said.

"To me, owning the PS5 or an Xbox isn't a necessity, it's a luxury, okay? 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."

Bayliss also asked those families who couldn’t find or afford consoles over the holidays to think about how much scalpers benefit from the situation. "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."

"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," he explained. So remember, if you choose not to make money scalping, it’s because you’re lazy.

Some scalpers have even been able to quit their jobs. "They spend more time with the family, with their kids," he said. "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." News that should fill people's hearts with joy.

"We’ve then had one of our members, he was £20,000 in gambling debt. And we’ve took him on. He’s been with us for a year, he’s now in the clear, and he’s made, I think, he’s made a significant amount of money."

Bayliss also compared scalping to the stock market. "If you look at the stock market, and the moment you see an arbitrage opportunity, where someone thinks an asset is undervalued, traders are gonna jump on it and arbitrage that profit away. That's exactly what we're doing."

"Look at every single step in the supply chain. Someone is adding value somewhere […] It's not being sold at cost price. It's capitalism."

This isn’t the first time scalpers have defended their way of life, having previously referred to themselves as "acting as is a middleman for limited-quantity items."

Back in January 2021, it was reported that scalpers had sold over 53,000 new Nvidia/AMD cards worth $65 million. There have been government proposals to ban scalping and numerous attempts to curtail the practice, but little has come of either. At least we can sleep soundly knowing people are making good money by purchasing and reselling items via a subscription service. And there's always the PlayStation 4 now that Sony has been forced to make more of them.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,209   +4,246
I actually don't disagree. I can truly see both the side of the scalper who is really just adhering to otherwise well accepted hustler culture and people wanting to buy consoles are usually also trying to access one of the only forms of entertainment available to them and being priced out.

It's actually not hard to see how both the low level scalper and the single unit consumers (As in strictly personal use ones) are really both being pinned against each other artificially when the real issue is a neoliberal capitalist society that tells us that

1) It's ok to do anything you want on the free market, price is what someone is willing to pay no matter how much and greed is a good value and aspirational

2) There should be no concerns about community building and mutual aid and the only thing that matters is individualism and personal responsibility.

So we as a society accept both 1) and 2) as essential core moral values and very widely protected legal rights, then we are basically saying we're ok with the creation of a scalper market and with people on either side of the equation developing an adversary stance.

The real solution would be to force companies to be 100% transparent in their supply allocation and numbers instead of allowing it to be a trade secret to be exploited and intentionally constrained to create both artificial scarcity and prolong any "natural" scarcity past it's initial impact both to basically fix the pricing and serve as advertising because at the end of the day, Sony and Microsoft still benefit from the PS5 and Series X being highly sought after commodities: even if there's some backlash it's usually not that much (Again, because of points 1) and 2) above) and the result is just more customers and ones that are much more likely to be loyal due to the fact that people invest so heavily, both in terms of money and in terms of being emotionally charged in these types of conversations, it ultimately translates to better brand attachment for them.
 

Prosercunus

Posts: 332   +227
It's bullcrap, simply for the fact that it's not a long term goal to work for. Where's the retirement plan? Where's the health coverage? Is this something sustainable into your 50's or 60's? Trying to say this is some sort of legitimate business you're going to be accumulating long term wealth on and even possibly raising a family on is absolute crap.

You're just setting people up for failure with "get rich quick" schemes.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 514   +652
A lot of folks who made money doing illegal things have the same excuse. Scalping might not be illegal, but it certainly costs people money and drives up the price of stuff. And the activity adds no value to anyone else but the scapler.

This guy has a very warped sense of self-righteous.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 4,453   +2,418
It's bullcrap, simply for the fact that it's not a long term goal to work for. Where's the retirement plan? Where's the health coverage? Is this something sustainable into your 50's or 60's? Trying to say this is some sort of legitimate business you're going to be accumulating long term wealth on and even possibly raising a family on is absolute crap.

You're just setting people up for failure with "get rich quick" schemes.
It's summarized as being a long term gig, but this quote contradicts that:

"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," he explained.

Keywords: entrepreneurs, side income
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 514   +652
It's summarized as being a long term gig, but this quote contradicts that:

"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," he explained.

Keywords: entrepreneurs, side income

Except a good enterprise offers something of value to the market. These guys do precisely the opposite - they skive off it. I don't see entrepreneurs, I see parasites.
 

Prosercunus

Posts: 332   +227
It's summarized as being a long term gig, but this quote contradicts that:

"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," he explained.

Keywords: entrepreneurs, side income

The thing is, it's not long term as you already pointed out. They are making scalping money by taking advantage of temporary market forces.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,705   +6,648
This guy, and the scalper crowd, are nothing more than drug pushers and he's asking us to think about the benefits to the scalpers, yet does not give a crap about those who can only afford minimal luxuries to which the scalper pricing puts those luxuries out of reach?

And we should be overjoyed that the scalpers, themselves, get to live lives of luxury that would be out of reach for them if they weren't scalping?

And then, those who are not scalping are lazy?

What a clown, no, worse than a clown. IMO, he, and his scalper crowd are the lazy ones. They are probably all to dumb, ignorant, or drug addicted, themselves, to be able to get, hold, and work a real job.

Just like ways have been found to effectively combat ticket scalpers, someone will find a way to effectively fight these drug pushers, too.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,705   +6,648
I actually don't disagree. I can truly see both the side of the scalper who is really just adhering to otherwise well accepted hustler culture and people wanting to buy consoles are usually also trying to access one of the only forms of entertainment available to them and being priced out.
Key word - Hustler. And as @stewi0001 mentioned, those who need their fix. It's codependency at its worst, IMO.
 

m4a4

Posts: 2,894   +3,704
TechSpot Elite
They're just trying to justify adding nothing to society. Preventing a sale to a legit customer, then asking for a premium from said customer is completely unnecessary.
Maybe I should sell drugs to make a good living. They're a luxury item, right?

If all scalpers went away, nobody would miss them.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 2,209   +4,246
Key word - Hustler. And as @stewi0001 mentioned, those who need their fix. It's codependency at its worst, IMO.
Yep, I used that word precisely because this is entirely a matter of perception: If you take young people doing what they're doing out of their savings and basement then people consider it a "hustle" and like we've seen in this threat, immediately associate it with illegal activities as well.

Yet all any of these kids need to be considered a completely legitimate, respectable business, is a business loan: You get your loan, rent a small warehouse, increase your purchases, report your taxes and as you expand maybe even get a few employeers and now you're no longer a hustler, you're an entrepreneur and a well respected member of society nobody ever questions.

Yet absolutely nothing about your business model has to change: Scalping isn't the problem at all and it's just a matter of perception and respectability and most of those kids just don't have the job experience, education or generational wealth to access those initial business loans or investors to fund their "hustle"
 

Prosercunus

Posts: 332   +227
They're just trying to justify adding nothing to society. Preventing a sale to a legit customer, then asking for a premium from said customer is completely unnecessary.
Maybe I should sell drugs to make a good living. They're a luxury item, right?

If all scalpers went away, nobody would miss them.
Your end point is really "all" that needs to be said. The manufacturer and vendor already existed. The scalper serves absolutely no purpose in the market.
 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 2,074   +1,654
Consoles are luxury items, if there is a limited supply and people are willing to pay more then you will get scalpers. You cant make buying low and selling high illegal. Laws to tackle scalping are extremely difficult to make without hurting normal businesses.

I am actually kind of in awe of this scalper, if hes telling the truth. He makes more money than I do as a certified Cisco associate that took me years to get.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,239   +1,054
Violence doesn't solve anything, however in this instance a good brick to the side of the head would do this guy wonders.

""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," he explained. So remember, if you choose not to make money scalping, it’s because you’re lazy."

So what, the solution is everyone goes out and becomes a scalper? But don't forget he needs to get his cut right?

"Jack Bayliss runs Aftermarket Arbitrage, a subscription service where members pay £30 (~$40) per month to be notified when high-demand items such as the PS5 and XBSX are back in stock."

Brick to the side of the head might even be too polite a way to put it...