Japanese retailers hinder PS5 scalpers by writing their names on product boxes

Polycount

Posts: 2,934   +588
Staff member
In context: Though we PC gamers have been dealing with scalpers, GPU stock shortages, and overpriced hardware in general for years now, console gamers are not much better off. PS5s and Xbox Series X devices are constantly being bought out by bots and resold en-masse for double the asking price, if not significantly more. US retailers have tried to tackle this problem with CAPTCHAs, queues, and purchase limits, but some Japanese companies are getting more creative.

According to a report from VGC, Japan-based retailers Nojima Denki and GEO have both implemented policies to combat scalping. The former is reportedly using a simple marker to write the name of the console's buyer on the side of any given PS5's box, while also "destroying the packaging for the controller."

GEO, on the other hand, is allegedly marking the inside of every console's box. Apparently, that means drawing a "large cross" on the controller's packaging to note that it's a used console and not brand-new from the shelf.

These strategies are certainly interesting, but it's difficult to say how effective they will be at combating scalpers. They're a clever lot and will almost certainly find a way around the dilemma, or perhaps just ignore it if it doesn't hurt their bottom line too much.

With that said, Nojima Denkin's solution does seem a little more practical than GEO's. As far as we can tell, the theory is that a scalper might have a hard time selling a device for an exorbitant price if their name is emblazoned on the side.

Perhaps a wary buyer might think it's stolen and push for a return or refund, or maybe they would just prefer a clean box. Of course, since this rule applies to everyone and not just scalpers, the latter group still wouldn't be satisfied buying direct from Nojima Denkin.

At the end of the day, it's a complicated issue, but these companies arguably deserve some credit for thinking outside the box (literally) here. Online queues clearly aren't working, since bots can easily bypass them and legitimate customers regularly get booted to the back of the line. CAPTCHAs are not impossible for sophisticated programs to solve, either, so some retailers evidently feel like they have no choice but to try something new.

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QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,469   +6,266
How about you do What APPLE does and force people to preorder, trace the preorders to assure there's no abuse of preorders and then deliver the order to the store specifically for the person who preordered?

I haven't had ANY issue getting a new iPhone since iPhone 6.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 664   +506
How about you do What APPLE does and force people to preorder, trace the preorders to assure there's no abuse of preorders and then deliver the order to the store specifically for the person who preordered?

I haven't had ANY issue getting a new iPhone since iPhone 6.

Some stores in some countries have got waiting lists - I got my 3080 this way
If I wanted a PS5 or Xbox one - I would of had them easily by now - maybe scalpers in the US have more bots/accounts/credit cards to get around 1 per person .
I wonder also in normal times how many more consoles would've sold .
Ie would of made sense to be in a PC cycle - as PS5 etc limited games on launch , all expensive - so suit the hard core - where as build a PC throw in a $300-$350 ( in good times ) RTX3060 and lots of game to play.

3rd year in is best V2 with twice the storage - would you want a ps4 with 500gb ? - most families probably do not buy extra drive storage - they just delete and reload as needed .
1TB is not great now - so would rather 2tb in house .
I see no reason to buy a PS5 at the moment- though if my wife wants to play FarCry 6 - I have to buy digital as you can get both ps4/ps5 at same time - annoying that physical copies that are really just download codes do not do this ( it may not be a download - but it will be buggy and need a huge update )
 

brucek

Posts: 942   +1,363
In 1990, the Tennessee House Judiciary Committee backed a proposed law setting a maximum fine of $1 for beating anyone who burns an American flag.

Maybe we could try something like that for scalpers. Would work especially well with the idea of engraving the buyer's name and address into the casing.

 

mizkitty

Posts: 55   +13
If the PS5 I buy new from a retailer is going to be "marked" or have destroyed packaging...why would I care if the PS5 from a scalper was already "marked"..? šŸ˜¶
 

Mjswooosh

Posts: 65   +84
In 1990, the Tennessee House Judiciary Committee backed a proposed law setting a maximum fine of $1 for beating anyone who burns an American flag.

Maybe we could try something like that for scalpers. Would work especially well with the idea of engraving the buyer's name and address into the casing.

This is just batshit crazy enough it might actually work!
 

theSon

Posts: 14   +19
Call to preorder just one. Agent lets customer know terms and conditions below....

When it comes in, the store calls the customer to come in person pickup and present ID and pay within 4 hours. If not, sell to the next preorder on the list..

If they miss it, they get put back on the bottom of the wait list. This list is worldwide per chain franchise.

How to bypass this and buy all of them and resell ...

You can't order from multiple stores because there is only one list. IIf there no universal list, then go to each store. But how many stores are there, maybe 10 in your area?

Hard to get past this system.

Way to go ebgames canada