Scalper company secured almost 3,500 PS5 consoles for resale, says it has "no regrets"

midian182

Posts: 6,763   +61
Staff member
A hot potato: Many consumers who were excited about buying a PS5, Xbox Series X/S, RTX 3000-series, and other tech products have been disappointed by their lack of availability this season. It's no secret that scalpers are behind a lot of these problems, but one UK group says it has "no regrets" facilitating the purchase of almost 3,500 PlayStation 5 consoles to resell at inflated prices.

The PS5's availability has suffered more than most gaming hardware released recently. Referring to its console, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said that "everything is sold. Absolutely everything is sold." The company later promised more stock before the end of the year following "unprecedented" demand, but much of it could be snapped up by scalpers, again.

While demand for these products was always going to be high, the pandemic has made them even more coveted—and scalpers are taking advantage. Business Insider spoke to some groups that use monitoring software and bots to secure vast quantities of PS5s before anyone else. One of these, CrepChiefNotify, which is made up of 12 core management staff, said its members purchased close to 2,472 consoles in recent weeks, plus "just under 1,000" when pre-orders first opened in September.

CrepChiefNotify charges $40 per month or $530 for a lifetime subscription so members can access its services. Like similar companies, its original targets were high-end sneakers such as Yeezys, but the group evolved when the pandemic hit.

"During the first Covid-19 lockdown, we noticed a huge shift in products that people were buying," manager 'Tom' told Business Insider. "The focus shifted towards the most ridiculous things, like outdoor hot tubs. We noticed that these began selling out in stores, and reselling on eBay for a profit. So our developer wrote some site monitor software, and we tracked the stock of the sites selling hot tubs! Every time they pinged into stock, we would notify our members to buy it all."

Right now, the only way to secure a PlayStation 5 is to buy one from eBay for a price that verges on the comical. The most expensive (on the US site) is $15,000, while the vast majority of those under that are at least $2,000.

With parents having to explain to disappointed children that they won't be getting a new console this year, do the scalpers and those that facilitate their actions feel guilty? CrepChiefNotify certainly doesn't. It writes (via Video Games Chronicle) that lots of its members have been furloughed, made redundant, or are somehow disadvantage due to the pandemic, though you have to wonder how they afford the monthly fee and the price of at least one PS5 console.

"These people have managed to cover their bills, put food on the table and supply Christmas presents to their children," the company wrote.

"It may be unfortunate that a child wont [sic] wake up to a PS5 this Christmas, but another child may have woken up to nothing. We have no regrets.⁠"

It also denies that bots were ever used to secure PlayStation 5 units, despite a manager suggesting to Business Insider that this was the case.

If you are planning to buy a PS5 from eBay, make sure to avoid the numerous listings for "photographs" of the console, which as the name suggests, are just photos and not the machines themselves. And you thought scalpers were bad.

"Merry Christmas, Jimmy. Here's a photo of that console you wanted"

Permalink to story.

 

NicktheWVAHick

Posts: 265   +352
Good for them. I’d much rather give my money to an entrepreneurial scalper than a massive electronics company that can’t even figure out how to price & sell it’s own products effectively. I guess that limiting sales to one email, one name, one credit card, one address is simply too complicated to put into practice.
 

noel24

Posts: 724   +868
What is 3500 units against few millions that Sony must have prepared for premiere?
Or did They?

Did those corporations have learnt nothing from mining shortages few years back?
Do They manipulate public perception of Their market share value with fake shortages? I mean, one paper launch after another. That's too retarded, even for those cokeheads at Their respective headquarters.
And even respected journalists throw Themselves at that phony bone.
"Scalpers" will be the historical word of IT world of 2020-21?
 

Eldritch

Posts: 306   +469
I have said it earlier too and will continue to repeat it, make scalping illegal. It is basically holding market hostage with hoarding and selling over MSRP. How are they being allowed to do it?

If we don't stop it then sellers will very rapidly raise the price of products seeing how much ridiculous amounts people are willing to pay. Think about it. Even after year of release many products are constantly out of stock by scalpers. Companies will invariably reach conclusion that they should raise the price to match what people are willing to pay scalpers. Be ready to pay double or triple for your favorite graphics card or console in near future.
 

Leuten

Posts: 28   +55
I have said it earlier too and will continue to repeat it, make scalping illegal. It is basically holding market hostage with hoarding and selling over MSRP. How are they being allowed to do it?

If we don't stop it then sellers will very rapidly raise the price of products seeing how much ridiculous amounts people are willing to pay. Think about it. Even after year of release many products are constantly out of stock by scalpers. Companies will invariably reach conclusion that they should raise the price to match what people are willing to pay scalpers. Be ready to pay double or triple for your favorite graphics card or console in near future.
People just need to stop buying from them - problem solved.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,430   +2,311
I have said it earlier too and will continue to repeat it, make scalping illegal. It is basically holding market hostage with hoarding and selling over MSRP. How are they being allowed to do it?

If we don't stop it then sellers will very rapidly raise the price of products seeing how much ridiculous amounts people are willing to pay. Think about it. Even after year of release many products are constantly out of stock by scalpers. Companies will invariably reach conclusion that they should raise the price to match what people are willing to pay scalpers. Be ready to pay double or triple for your favorite graphics card or console in near future.
Scalping is already illegal in some jurisdictions for certain products like e.g. concert and sports tickets.

Since this appears to be a commercial undertaking, it would imho be much more interesting if the IRS and consumer affairs bureau (or corresponding legal entities for that jurisdiction) would look into this. I doubt the scalpers declare their income and follow other legal rules and requirements that pertain to operating a business. This should be much easier.
 

Eldritch

Posts: 306   +469
People just need to stop buying from them - problem solved.
Two things I would like to say here :

If In App Purchases (gems/gold) in games costing many times more than AAA titles, pay to win mechanics, day one DLCs etc are any indication I don't have much faith in people especially kids with no concept of money to have the restraint to defer a purchase.

Secondly, why should we shift the burden of responsibility to the people when the scalpers are the one who are disrupting the free flow of commerce? What if local shops colluded and raised price of bread and chips etc (basically items that aren't worth going far for) to double or even triple would you say that people shouldn't buy from them or will you call for legal action against them for price gouging?
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
I have said it earlier too and will continue to repeat it, make scalping illegal.
When demand exceeds supply, scalping will always exist. Always. Many nations have tried to ban it, and failed. The Soviets sent scalpers to Siberian gulags and still couldn't stop scalping from flourishing ... you think the West can do any better?

the scalpers are the one who are disrupting the free flow of commerce.
They're not disrupting commerce. The exact same number of PS5s will be bought and sold, with or without them. And once those 3,500 mentioned in this article are sold, the shelves will still be empty. Not because of scalping, but simply because demand exceeds Sony's ability to supply it.

What if local shops colluded and raised price of bread and chips
But the scalpers are not colluding to raise prices. They're each setting their own price individually (note some PS5s sell for $2K, others for nearly five times that). "Bread and chips" stores are likewise each free to set their own prices.
 

No Longer Human

Posts: 48   +64
Good for them. I’d much rather give my money to an entrepreneurial scalper than a massive electronics company that can’t even figure out how to price & sell it’s own products effectively. I guess that limiting sales to one email, one name, one credit card, one address is simply too complicated to put into practice.
Well I hope you have one (or more) of the 33 bids on the $10,579.99 PICTURE of a PS5. Don't have that kind of cash? There is always the $5,500 USD (with $117.30 shipping) for a PS5 "confirmed order".
 

yeeeeman

Posts: 393   +343
Curious if stores could add a clause to their terms and conditions stating that certain goods are only sold for private use and not for direct / commercial resale.
I
there isn't such a thing...you can't control it and frankly this is not as evil as the press wants it to be. whenever when there is more demand than the actual availability there is bound to be a raise in prices. the current situation is mostly because of people being so freaking obsessed with buying new gpus/cpus/consoles, like there is no tomorrow. Just...wait for the stock to get up to speed and no one will sell a ps5 at 2000$ anymore. that is basic logic.
 

paul1122

Posts: 99   +59
Maybe we should just tell AMD, Nvidia and others to simply not say when these new things are being released. Just say the year. Not to stop 'hope crushing' people who justify reselling something for a higher price than most can pay, but to stop people from getting their hopes up of getting one anywhere near a given release day. Just release it, the money grubbers will find it, and resell it. Maybe money grubbers price will come down if no one knows it's released. Until a few people buy it from them anyways.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 5,899   +4,135
Curious if stores could add a clause to their terms and conditions stating that certain goods are only sold for private use and not for direct / commercial resale.
I
The trouble with that would be prosecuting it, as I see it anyway. It seems like it would be almost impossible to track what someone did with it after buying it, and then much less possible to prosecute it if they did not meet the agreement. Sony, or someone similar, would need to be involved, IMO, for this to have any real teeth.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,567   +3,385
TechSpot Elite
Two things I would like to say here :

If In App Purchases (gems/gold) in games costing many times more than AAA titles, pay to win mechanics, day one DLCs etc are any indication I don't have much faith in people especially kids with no concept of money to have the restraint to defer a purchase.

Secondly, why should we shift the burden of responsibility to the people when the scalpers are the one who are disrupting the free flow of commerce? What if local shops colluded and raised price of bread and chips etc (basically items that aren't worth going far for) to double or even triple would you say that people shouldn't buy from them or will you call for legal action against them for price gouging?
Financial responsibility is thing that you eventually have to learn in life. Let them buy the expensive consoles and smart people will just wait a bit more.

People who buy at such inflated prices have only themselves to blame. They could wait a few more months to get it, they don't need it today.
 

Aryassen

Posts: 153   +185
"These people have managed to cover their bills, put food on the table and supply Christmas presents to their children," the company wrote.
"It may be unfortunate that a child wont [sic] wake up to a PS5 this Christmas, but another child may have woken up to nothing. We have no regrets.⁠"

Errmmm....where is the "rainbow puke" emoji again?...

I mean, come on now: I understand that they have found a way to make money, but please, at least don't try to dress it up as something noble. They can't possibly be serious suggesting that they are following their business model just so they can "put food on the table" (as there were no other alternatives and otherwise they would have starved). FFS!
 
Last edited:

texasrattler

Posts: 1,151   +540
And I wonder how the company would feel if something happened to it. Cause I guarantee no one would have any regrets either. Karma is a b*tch and always, always comes back around.

I dont feel bad for the rich nor do I care what happens to people who can s*rew people over without a second thought.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,446   +3,596
I cant believe there are comments advocating for making scalping illegal and prosecuting scalpers.

Guys. GUYS. Its a VIDEO GAME CONSOLE. It's not life saving medicine, food, or water. There are already laws in place to prevent scalping of necessary goods and services.

If you want to play modern woke vidya so badly, just pay the scalpers and get it over with so you can spend $2000 on DLC and microtransactions for FPS battle game #57 remaster the third. Or just practice patience. There are literally thousands of great games on the PC, you going to tell me you've played every single one of them? Every good game for every console you currently own?

If you HAVE played every good game ever made, get off your arse and put those hours into something useful. Video games are entertainment, there is literally 0 reason to get so honked off that some people are stupid enough to pay extra to play them.

It's like watching 5 year olds melting down that their barney TV show has been interrupted by something. It's utterly inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.