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

brucek

Posts: 802   +1,104
TechSpot Elite
Nothing is fair
To be clear, the specific "unfairness" I was referring to was the shopping opportunity only being open to bot networks with millisecond polling & response times. Life may have many unfairnesses that are impossible to fix, but this will not be one of them in the long run. It is in the retailer's interest to have the products that bring customers into their real or virtual stores, to have the relationship with the customer, and to not be fighting off what is essentially a perpetual DDoS attack. They will eventually find a combination of technical, process and/or legal changes that make this less and less viable.
 

Freddie159

Posts: 82   +47
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".

Yeah seeing that "picture" bothered me too, I know people sell empty boxes of stuff on ebay but it's usually listed as such, are they selling the "picture" for 10k or the actual device for 10k and what happens if all you get from some non English speaking person is a fricking picture?
 

pmshah

Posts: 160   +28
These SOBs have been identified. So why not resist buying them from any and all of these unauthorised sources for any more than say 75% or 80% of the authorised source prices? Make them suffer a severe loss. How desperate can one be ?
 

Aryassen

Posts: 153   +185
These SOBs have been identified. So why not resist buying them from any and all of these unauthorised sources for any more than say 75% or 80% of the authorised source prices? Make them suffer a severe loss. How desperate can one be ?

That would be the one of the ultimate solutions, yes (the other would be flooding the market with the product by the manufacturer, so no one in their right mind would buy from unofficial sources).

Unfortunataly, it seems that there always will be some, who wouldn't care about the price and source: they only care that they get what they wanted, period. And we can say whatever we want, and the government can regulate as much as they want, until the stock of the scalpers are bought up at elevated prices, the phenomenon will stay with us, because those people generate demand. I honestly don't know what could be done to make them considering changing their minds :(
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
That would be the one of the ultimate solutions, yes (the other would be flooding the market with the product by the manufacturer
Both ideas. of course are far from actual solutions. The only real solution is the one economists have been attempting to teach us for the last century or so: price goods so that supply matches demand. Nothing else works. A higher price from Sony itself would not only reduce demand, but the extra margin would allow them to increase short-term supply, if even only by a small amount.
 

Aryassen

Posts: 153   +185
Yes, this is true, and I'm especially frustrated that the extra profit end up in lining the scalper's pockets, instead the manufacturer's (whether that would be put to good use, such as R&D, I don't know, but at least there would be a chance. With Mr Scalper wedged in the picture, there is no chance).

Actually, I wonder if manufacturers would consider this in their future releases when they know in advance that their initial supply will be low...would be interesting to see how the markets react.
 

pmshah

Posts: 160   +28
That would be the one of the ultimate solutions, yes (the other would be flooding the market with the product by the manufacturer, so no one in their right mind would buy from unofficial sources).

Unfortunataly, it seems that there always will be some, who wouldn't care about the price and source: they only care that they get what they wanted, period. And we can say whatever we want, and the government can regulate as much as they want, until the stock of the scalpers are bought up at elevated prices, the phenomenon will stay with us, because those people generate demand. I honestly don't know what could be done to make them considering changing their minds :(
Actually I have witnessed one company really and royally screwing these scalpers. They first identified them. On initial release they limited the supply and actually allowed the scalpers to corner the supply in large volumes. Then they released the next lot in such volumes that the scalpers lost their shirt.
 

Bp968

Posts: 212   +154
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.

About the only real way to accomplish something like this would be for ebay and amazon (and any other major online resale vendor) to limit the resale of recently released products to MSRP+store fee+paypal fee+shipping+tax. So a 700$ 3080 FE would sell for 700+73+43.80+30+22.74= 869.54$

If they wanted to be really generous they would allow 5-10% on the MSRP item:

700$MSRP+5% Profit is 911.22$ and he makes 35$

700$MSRP+10% profit is 952.89 and he makes 70$. Notice each time ebay+paypal makes 12.9%, or significantly more then the scalper. If the item isnt selling for 12.9% more + shipping costs, then he loses money.

I had an extra 3080 from pre-orders and called around my friends until I found someone who needed one. He asked why I didn't ebay it. I said #1 I wanted to check with friends first. #2 I hate giving ebay 150$+ for them to do almost nothing. #3 because of those fees and the new auto sales tax stuff id need to sell it for 1100$ to make 150$ in profit! So (roughly) id need to mark the card up 50% to earn 20% (750$ gpu). If you have a tax account setup and a retailers license I think you can get ebay to send you the tax from the sale to defer whst you paid, or you need to handle it with the state(s) which adds a significant paperwork overhead to your "business" and then you need to calculate income tax and possibly corporate tax against those revenue numbers I postes above.

So how to stop this?

Each manufacturer could setup a pre-order/back-order program that only allowed 1 card per address/name/CC#. All 3 would be required (so no using multiple CCs to the same address, or same cc to multiple addresses or same name+cc# to multiple addresses). Obviously there will be holes in this, a credit card that generates new numbers per purchase could be used to send to multiple addresses (since you cant block by name alone because too many people have duplicate names). So you could still send one to your inlaws and parents, etc. But it would significantly limit bulk buying and likely help ensure most of the initual supply goes to actual gamers.

Another option is to take this releases data and apply it to the next one. People buying 700$ cards for 2000$? Then sell them for 2000$ with a 1300$ rebate, *one* per name, per household for the first 3 months. Have the rebate take 60 days to complete and become available to the buyer. A 2 month delay on a big chunk of profit might cause some hesitation. Especially if they worry about rebates being denied. After 3 months drop the rebate and return to normal MSRP. Nvidia/amd makes a little more from skipped rebate claims, day one buyers get their GPU at MSRP it just takes a few months to get their money back, and everyone else still pays MSRP 3 months later (hopefully).

Unfortunately in a capitalist world as long as there is someone who feels a having a new GPU ASAP after release is worth 2000-7000$ (or a 200%-1000% markup) someone else is going to supply that demand. Ive seen people reconsider keeping their new video card or VR headset once they saw what the product was selling for on ebay. I know I did.

What bothered me the most this year wasn't the resellers, ive done it before to make extra cash. What bothered me was the automation of the process. The bots. When I did it I bought 3 nintendo switches on preorder before the released. I had my father in law do the same. Then I ebayed 5 of them and kept one. But preorders never ran out, it was retail supply that was limited. And we did it on foot, or manually online and within reason. The bot guys having the bot farm 50-100k$ worth of stuff in seconds takes if from a cottage industry of broke hustlers to more of a factory resale middleman. And that sucks. When I see twitter posts from full on legal corporations who's only reason for incorporating is as a bot powered resale scalper its demoralizing both from the perspective of a part time "resale hustler" and the perspective of a gamer/customer.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
Unfortunately in a capitalist world as long as there is someone who feels a having a new GPU ASAP [and] someone else is going to supply that demand.
In socialist worlds, scalping was far worse. In the USSR, for instance, c. 1980s, if you wanted decent clothing, toiletries and hygiene products, and sometimes basic food staples, you dealt with a scalper or did without.

Capitalism is the cure for scalping, not the cause. The only reason PS5s are being scalped now is Sony's refusal to price them properly, out of fear of the Socialist Twitter-mob rampage that would instantly accuse them of "profiteering" from the crisis.