Invite-based ordering comes to Amazon, starting with game consoles

Daniel Sims

Posts: 584   +21
Staff
Why it matters: A year and a half after the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles launched, bots still snatch them up whenever they appear online. Amazon has introduced a new strategy to combat the problem, which it will expand to other supply-constrained products.

Sony has used an invite-based system to sell PS5s online while thwarting bots and server congestion for a while now. This week, Amazon started employing something similar for Sony's latest console so "genuine customers" can secure them.

PlayStation 5 store pages on Amazon now feature an invitation button in place of "purchase." After customers click the invite request, Amazon will verify that the account isn't a bot by checking its purchase history and creation date. The company still can't guarantee a console for everyone or predict wait times, but lucky buyers will get an email with a link good for 72 hours. Getting the invite doesn't require a Prime subscription.

Currently, the invite system is only for buying a PlayStation 5 in the United States, but those looking for an Xbox Series system will be able to use it in the coming days. Eventually, Amazon will roll out the feature to users in other countries and expand it to include consoles and other high-demand items.

Other stores have their strategies for blocking bots, with Walmart seeing success soon after the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles launched. However, Best Buy's attempt to stop GPU scalpers with a $200 paywall backfired.

Although supplies of the new consoles have improved in recent months, Amazon shoppers will likely need to rely on the invite system for a good while. Sony still can't build quite enough PS5s to meet consumer demand. The root of the problem — the global chip shortage — could last into 2024, according to Intel and TSMC.

Permalink to story.

 

mrvco

Posts: 179   +174
It's still unclear to me why "1 per verified account until every account in the reservation queue has been offered the opportunity to purchase one" is too hard.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,334   +6,328
Limit it to two units per credit card within a three month period - problem solved. Why is this so difficult?
 

Axeia

Posts: 46   +45
Limit it to two units per credit card within a three month period - problem solved. Why is this so difficult?
Wouldn't that be trivial to get around with the digital credit services nowadays? Haven't used them myself but I know they exist. So perhaps my understanding of them is flawed but I don't think it'd prevent much. It just adds one more step they can have fully automated and added to the bots.
 

Michael7

Posts: 96   +93
Truth is they dont care.

A sale is a sale, they (retailers) are running a business, moving product, not making friends.
Sure but this not the whole picture. There are loyal clients wanting to purchase a product from the (often favourite) retailer, that can not meet their demands. This will impact the business long term in a negative way.
 

Michael7

Posts: 96   +93
Limit it to two units per credit card within a three month period - problem solved. Why is this so difficult?
One can have more than 1 credit card. Additionally you can use virtual/digital credit card. That's why it will not work.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 600   +1,110
Sure but this not the whole picture. There are loyal clients wanting to purchase a product from the (often favourite) retailer, that can not meet their demands. This will impact the business long term in a negative way.
It's true, but as we can all see for 2 years, short term greed is more important for them...
 

ZackL04

Posts: 843   +647
It's true, but as we can all see for 2 years, short term greed is more important for them...
Its not even greed, its just business. I would label a scalper with the term greed.

No business cares about an individual other than the president and shareholders.

“Are you going to buy or not?”

No retailer “owes” us an opportunity to buy a luxury item like a next gen console.

A larger issue, that we have already seen, is grocery or essential items. And we have seen retailers set limits on the purchase of those items. I believe that was because of massive public outrage, not a comparativly small handful of gamers with money burning a hole in their pockets
 
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defaultluser

Posts: 477   +366
It's still unclear to me why "1 per verified account until every account in the reservation queue has been offered the opportunity to purchase one" is too hard.


Because they can use tricks to fool amazon into thinking you have 100 different valid accounts (all you need is a PO Box and n email for eac account, and the Bot handles the rest) . And by the time every other Bot user gets their fill , there's nothing left for us humans.

nvite means you can finally slow it down to individual emails, each with limited time to purchase it mmeans you have to be paying attention, but you now have exactly thhe same chance as all these other bot accounts..
 
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Kosmoz

Posts: 600   +1,110
Its not even greed, its just business. I would label a with the term greed.
It's bad business, so I call it greed. Big short term gain and not a care for long term effects, like the "live the moment" thinking and F the future.

They gain now more and lose in the medium-long run, yeah it's greed, it's bad business. At some point it will have negative repercussions, we just don't know exactly when it will happen, but what goes around comes around, always.
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,264   +1,090
Any attempt to thwart bots is better than no attempt.

Please bring this to Canada Amazon, also those crazy good sales on hard drives while your at it.
 

ZackL04

Posts: 843   +647
It's bad business, so I call it greed. Big short term gain and not a care for long term effects, like the "live the moment" thinking and F the future.

They gain now more and lose in the medium-long run, yeah it's greed, it's bad business. At some point it will have negative repercussions, we just don't know exactly when it will happen, but what goes around comes around, always.
They are selling at msrp

no greed in my book
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 600   +1,110
They are selling at msrp

no greed in my book
Dude, do you even know why you replied to my quote in the first place?
I said:
It's true, but as we can all see for 2 years, short term greed is more important for them...
I was talking about the greed of the last 2 years, can you understand that?

Not the prices we have now. Close to MSRP, which don't matter anyway because all these GPUs are 2 years old, they will be the old generation in a few months.

They (all of them from nvidi/AMD to the last one on the chain before the selling) went full on greed - maximum profit beyong any kind of common sense and not one thought about how those customers that they did not fool, those with more sense, but not necessary less money - how those will not buy from them again.

It's about the alienation of a portion of the customer base because they went insane with the price hikes. And I don't care about offer and demand all that economy **** excuses. They forever lost some people, maybe a lot of people, for going 300% over MSRP, that level of greed is the issue. And make no mistake it is greed, no matter how you or others want to spin it. If they wanted they could have sold at MSRP or close to it, not let bots buy them and not sell to miners, but only to gamers.
Three years ago there was no mining boom, they sold only to gamers, no one "forced" them to sell 50% or more of the GPUs to miners now, they wanted because gamers would not pay 300% MSRP prices, at least not many of them. So yeah GREED.

That's what I'm referring to when I say short term gain for long term consequences or losses.
 
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ZackL04

Posts: 843   +647
Dude, do you even know why you replied to my quote in the first place?
I said:

I was talking about the greed of the last 2 years, can you understand that?

Not the prices we have now. Close to MSRP, which don't matter anyway because all these GPUs are 2 years old, they will be the old generation in a few months.

They (all of them from nvidi/AMD to the last one on the chain before the selling) went full on greed - maximum profit beyong any kind of common sense and not one thought about how those customers that they did not fool, those with more sense, but not necessary less money - how those will not buy from them again.

It's about the alienation of a portion of the customer base because they went insane with the price hikes. And I don't care about offer and demand all that economy **** excuses. They forever lost some people, maybe a lot of people, for going 300% over MSRP, that level of greed is the issue. And make no mistake it is greed, no matter how you or others want to spin it. If they wanted they could have sold at MSRP or close to it, not let bots buy them and not sell to miners, but only to gamers.
Three years ago there was no mining boom, they sold only to gamers, no one "forced" them to sell 50% or more of the GPUs to miners now, they wanted because gamers would not pay 300% MSRP prices, at least not many of them. So yeah GREED.

That's what I'm referring to when I say short term gain for long term consequences or losses.
I Wtf are you rambling about

this article is about Amazon and a PS5….

your gpu rant is not applicable IMO…
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 600   +1,110
I Wtf are you rambling about

this article is about Amazon and a PS5….

your gpu rant is not applicable IMO…
Yes, I went off topic, I admit, but I wanted to underline the principle of short term gain at the expense of long term one and the consequences of wanting above common sense profits now (maximum greed) and not caring about loyal customers and how that can alienate them going forward.

That principle very much applies in anything related to sales, consoles or GPUs are actually very alike in many aspects, so the comparison is valid.

Despite my off topic, nothing changes about what I said above, I'm right.

Anyway, I have nothing more to say. I made my point, if you get it or not, I don't care anymore.
 

ZackL04

Posts: 843   +647
Yes, I went off topic, I admit, but I wanted to underline the principle of short term gain at the expense of long term one and the consequences of wanting above common sense profits now (maximum greed) and not caring about loyal customers and how that can alienate them going forward.

That principle very much applies in anything related to sales, consoles or GPUs are actually very alike in many aspects, so the comparison is valid.

Despite my off topic, nothing changes about what I said above, I'm right.

Anyway, I have nothing more to say. I made my point, if you get it or not, I don't care anymore.
Not the same at all

selling a gpu for over msrp was bad, and may have lost retailers future customers, I can see that (I also doubt it, I think most of those sales were to miners happily paying over cause they know it would pay for itself). I also think if your dumb enough to pull the trigger on a overpriced GPU to play computer GAMES, then you have only yourself to blame.

BUT selling a console AT MSRP…not crooked in my book

the Business owners have a massive amount of data at their finger tips. I bet they are cackling in their castles at your “future consequences” idea.

I’ll re-quote my original post:
“Truth is they dont care.

A sale is a sale, they (retailers) are running a business, moving product, not making friends.”

your living in a fantasy world if you think anyone cares about you or me as individuals. Same goes with government, healthcare, insurance….the list goes on. We are just number$. IMO family is the only group of people that care

very strange if you to go off topic ranting then claim “im right” when talking about a completely different (retailer scalping) issue.
 

zulu53

Posts: 143   +51
It's still unclear to me why "1 per verified account until every account in the reservation queue has been offered the opportunity to purchase one" is too hard.
Perhaps its the definition of "verified account" that is too hard to validate?
 

zulu53

Posts: 143   +51
Limit it to two units per credit card within a three month period - problem solved. Why is this so difficult?
Because it is very easy to get multiple credit card per person and muliple persons that can be hired for their credit cards and churn them?
 

zulu53

Posts: 143   +51
Truth is they dont care.

A sale is a sale, they (retailers) are running a business, moving product, not making friends.
Sure, but if I convince the manufacturer that I deserve a higher % of their production (by selling more than my competitors and perhaps paying them more per unit) then I make more money - yes?