Microsoft is emailing 'valued customers' links to buy Xbox Series X bundles directly

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,208   +882
Staff member
Good luck, you'll need it: The holidays are fast approaching, and gaming consoles will be harder to get ahold of than ever. Retailers continue to "struggle" finding clever ways to combat scalpers, even though going back to stocking brick-and-mortar stores seems the obvious solution. Sure, it's easy to blame the chip shortage and scalpers, but the retailers are not blameless.

Microsoft is brushing of scalpers by offering Xbox Series X bundles to "valued customers." Over the last week or so, it has been emailing customers links to purchase console packages directly.

The bundles contain an Xbox Series X (including controller), an extra controller, and one game. The Verge's Tom Warren notes customers can choose Madden 22, GTA V, Rust, Far Cry 6, Hasbro Family Fun Pack, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, Insurgency Sandstorm, or Diablo 2 Resurrected.

Units are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, so you are not guaranteed to land one. However, the purchasing links are connected to your store account, so someone else cannot use them. Microsoft is also limiting sales to one per order and no more than two orders in 30 days.

It is unclear exactly how Microsoft is choosing customers to email. Warren speculates that the links are going out to users who have recently shopped on the US Microsoft online store and purchased Xbox software or hardware. These seem like reasonable assumptions.

Microsoft's idea for hindering scalpers seems better than that of Japan-based retailers Nojima Denki and GEO, which have begun writing customer names on console packaging, hoping it will dissuade scalpers from reselling them. Other's like Walmart have developed complicated queues that attempt to weed out bots and repeat buyers.

Permalink to story.

 

psycros

Posts: 3,707   +4,675
"Microsoft is also limiting sales to one per order and no more than two orders in 30 days." And this is all they've needed to do from the start. Hopefully Sony and GPU makers will follow suit.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,447   +6,242
If Microsoft thought like Apple, every single one of their Xbox Live subscribers would have gotten a direct email or in-game message that they had first dibs on ordering a new Xbox.

Apple, since iPhone 6, has made scalping damn near impossible by prioritizing previous iPhone holders, ensuring pre-orders and enforcing pick-up day rules.

I have seen no other company act that way.

 

eforce

Posts: 568   +719
Scalping is only possible because demand is higher than supply, the only solution is to artificially reduce it like Apple or raise prices.
 

bviktor

Posts: 537   +870
Scalping is only possible because demand is higher than supply, the only solution is to artificially reduce it like Apple or raise prices.
... and because *diots actually buy stuff from scalpers. If no one paid them, they'd disappear in an instant. SAY NO TO SCALPERS.
 

eforce

Posts: 568   +719
... and because *diots actually buy stuff from scalpers. If no one paid them, they'd disappear in an instant. SAY NO TO SCALPERS.
Scalpers make scarce products available 24/7 at a price, some people need stuff right now, like a 3090 for doing rendering for work etc.
 

mbrowne5061

Posts: 1,944   +1,133
"Microsoft is also limiting sales to one per order and no more than two orders in 30 days." And this is all they've needed to do from the start. Hopefully Sony and GPU makers will follow suit.
GPU makers will be trickier, given how the relationship between AMD/nVidia and their board partners work. AMD and nVidia make just the GPUs themselves, the board partners make/buy everything else and assemble it. I don't see Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, etc all collectively going 'yeah, we are going to all work together to limit our sales', and then retailers also tolerating this. Not when the high price of scalped cards lets retails ask for above MSRP, and board partners are already guaranteed to sell out every card they make (as long as the retailers stay happy).

As for Sony: when was the last time they ever even tried to deliberately make their fans happy?

I just received the email.

They force you to bundle the system.

Comes out to around $700 with a game, controller and taxes.
Sounds fine to me, tbh. I was already planning on essentially buying just that - would like a little more variety in available games though, and I am a little surprised Halo Infinite wasn't on the list. I've been trying to buy an XBSX, and already spend money with Microsoft (O365+OneDrive). If I get that email, I'll definitely buy one, and then probably pick whatever game has the highest trade-in value and take it Gamestop, or something.

Scalpers make scarce products available 24/7 at a price, some people need stuff right now, like a 3090 for doing rendering for work etc.
"Scalpers make scarce products even more scarce"

FTFY