Scalper group boasts buying up 1,000 Xbox Series X consoles over Black Friday weekend

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,971   +790
Staff member
WTF?! If you are frustrated that you cannot secure that next-gen console you so badly want, you can thank scalpers for buying them all up. It is bad enough when demand is high enough to make something in short supply, but it is particularly bothersome when at least one large group of people are using software to cut in front of everyone in online queues.

Sony's and Microsoft's next-generation gaming consoles launch earlier this month and have been difficult, if not impossible, for most consumers to find. Allotments of both systems have sold out as fast as they are stocked. While rumors of production shortfalls, at least for Sony, might be part of the problem, a more significant factor is turning out to be scalpers using bots to buy up units to sell way above MSRP.

On Sunday, one scalping ring said that its members had snagged more than 1,000 Xbox Series X consoles over the holiday weekend. CrepChiefNotify is a reselling outfit based in the UK that uses software to bypass the online queues of retail websites to automatically purchase high-demand products as soon as they come in stock.

 

🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 We’re happy to announce after making over £2M in profit for our EU based users we are now live in the USA. Expect the same and more... Buy. Sell. Profit. CrepChiefNotify.com

Posted by CrepChiefnotify on Saturday, November 14, 2020
 

We reported last week that CrepChiefNotify bragged about obtaining more than 3,500 PlayStation 5 consoles at launch.

"Our total collective number is 2,472 PS5 consoles across all of our members," said one of the ring leaders, speaking anonymously. That number was in addition to more than 1,000 pre-orders the group had grabbed in September.

CrepChiefNotify comprises thousands of paying members and has been so successful in the EU that it has recently branched out to the US. According to its Facebook page, the organization has made over £2M in profit for its EU-based users.

And CrepChiefNotify is only one group. Others are using similar methods, both individually and collectively, to buy up PS5 and XBSX stock. These efforts have reduced availability so much that scalpers can even buy from other scalpers and still turn a profit. For example, UK reseller CEX offers £650 for PS5 units (£200 over retail) and then flips them for £815. At least it is not using bots to obtain units.

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,894   +5,440
The prices the scalpers demand are so high that most people are not gonna buy.

On top of that, there are so many active anti-scalper fraudsters on EBay (who bid snipe with fake bids) that the scalpers can’t easily move units.

It’s also potentially dangerous for the scalper to do in-person sales.

All the potential buyers need to do is WAIT.

Eventually the scalpers will have to sell or refund.

By then, stocks will be replenished.

Neither system has any worthwhile games or Killer apps yet anyway (Besides being able to say you have the system on Social Media).
 

lipe123

Posts: 972   +560
Uh working as intended? if you MUST have that shiney new thing on launch day you can enjoy paying more for it.

The normal people can wait a while for stock to replenish.
 

kiwigraeme

Posts: 324   +258
The prices the scalpers demand are so high that most people are not gonna buy.

On top of that, there are so many active anti-scalper fraudsters on EBay (who bid snipe with fake bids) that the scalpers can’t easily move units.

It’s also potentially dangerous for the scalper to do in-person sales.

All the potential buyers need to do is WAIT.

Eventually the scalpers will have to sell or refund.

By then, stocks will be replenished.

Neither system has any worthwhile games or Killer apps yet anyway (Besides being able to say you have the system on Social Media).

Not like the old days - when you could buy 1) an XBOX or PS4 +2) a laptop + 3) a simple phone +4) main consumer DSLR camera from say Canon ALL - yes ALL for the price of a top spec Iphone.
In fact mainly depending on Laptop you could have money left over - Same goes for top Samsung .

or in the USA get a 65 inch LG OLED in a Black Friday sale for cheaper than an iphone 12 pro spec'd out
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,014   +6,783
There used to be several laws on the books to prevent this sort of thing, but the regulations have become so relaxed in the past few years the only protection is to refuse to buy and let the scalpers try to regain their investment ......
 

Adhmuz

Posts: 2,148   +952
I don't want any of the new consoles, can wait as long as need be for a GPU upgrade.

Doesn't change the fact that I wish a most painful and slow death on any of these scalper ****s.
 

Sherwoodnt

Posts: 45   +82
I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, but why not let everyone (including scalpers and bots) sign up for the cards/consoles whatever during a limited period on launch day, weed out the duplicate orders by customer/IP/mailing address and other bot detection methods and then just use a lottery system to fill orders? Yes bots and scalpers still get items but I would think a larger percentage would get in the hands of end users... Retailers still sell just as many as they can.
 

Farkinell

Posts: 156   +223
There used to be several laws on the books to prevent this sort of thing, but the regulations have become so relaxed in the past few years the only protection is to refuse to buy and let the scalpers try to regain their investment ......

What laws would these be? Although a super shitty thing to do, I can't see anything about buying and reselling stock being illegal.

I guess there maybe a sales clause saying you have to be an authorised dealer, but the scalpers don't sign any kind of contract or agree to terms when they buy the stock.


 

silversea

Posts: 35   +51
All scalpers are no good for nothing slime balls that need to be dealt with in the strongest way possible, I know a bunch of mafia guys in Chicago that would be glad to oblige, Chicago mafia make good Police they don't take any ****.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
What laws would these be?
He's wrong, of course. No such laws "used to exist". And in fact, there is substantial case law precedent to prevent manufacturers from enforcing such resale provisions at the contractual level as well. If you bought it legally, you own it -- and can thus resell it, at any price you wish.
 

Neojt

Posts: 246   +87
Remember if you buy from them, you are part of the problem.

I was going to say the same thing! Scalping is a viable business as long as ppl are buying. Its like complaining about illegal workers not paying taxes then hiring them todo your pluming cuz the official channel is more expensive!
I want a RX 3080 since day 1 buit there is not way im going to pay scalper price, let them sit on this 100k investment.
I just hope microsoft ,sony,NVidia and AMD flood the market again and get these dude stuck with their BS.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,298   +1,806
Hahahaha. **** those guys.

Remember if you buy from them, you are part of the problem.

lol they should all be arrested for crimes against humanity.

Not that I care personally I'm a pc gamer and wasn't going to buy a console, but I feel for those parents that have kids asking for these at Christmas and they will never get one.
 

mctommy

Posts: 389   +121
Don't expect this trend to die down because it's not a trend at all. It's the new normal.

It's not a new normal. Scalping (for electronics) has been around for decades. Ebay facilitated the broadening of the audience and its reach. Technology facilitated these scalpers and every day customer in gaining access to the products.


A new normal that will last about 45 minutes after the Covid lockdowns and supply-chain disruptions end.
Wrong. Scalping will still happen regardless of lockdowns. It's all supply and demand. Lockdowns may have impacted the launch supply of these consoles but you never have enough supply at launch to satisfy demand and thus you'll always have people who sees it as an opportunity to scalp and $$$.
 

ddg4005

Posts: 455   +143
TechSpot Elite
It's a good thing I've always gamed on the PC, otherwise I'd feel a certain way toward these lowlifes on general principle (actually, I still do). This sucks for anyone that wanted an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 for the holidays (thanks to these feckless bastards).
 

RedBlu

Posts: 33   +36
I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, but why not let everyone (including scalpers and bots) sign up for the cards/consoles whatever during a limited period on launch day, weed out the duplicate orders by customer/IP/mailing address and other bot detection methods and then just use a lottery system to fill orders? Yes bots and scalpers still get items but I would think a larger percentage would get in the hands of end users... Retailers still sell just as many as they can.

The problem is that any approach will penalize legitimate customers.

There are plenty of scenarios where multiple people will share an external IP address: universities, campus housing, businesses, mobile data users, VPN users, etc. For example, Boeing Everett has 30,000 employees.

Any half-smart scalper is probably already using a botnet/VPNs and unique emails anyway. Unique payment methods can probably be circumvented by prepay debit cards or giftcards and scalpers will hit multiple retailers anyway. Tying sales to service accounts (Xbox live, Steam, etc.) penalizes first time buyers. Legitimizing customers by their purchase history again penalizes first timers.

There just no real way to discern if a customer is legit or not without some authoritarian privacy violating hellscape like tying sales to SSNs.
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
Wrong. Scalping will still happen regardless of lockdowns.
Scalping in general, sure. I was referring to the current situation with consoles. That will end right after the lockdown ... and then, some other item or items in short supply will be the next scalpers' target.
 

mctommy

Posts: 389   +121
Scalping in general, sure. I was referring to the current situation with consoles. That will end right after the lockdown ... and then, some other item or items in short supply will be the next scalpers' target.
You are quite a prophet... that this trend will end right after lockdown. And what lockdown are you speaking of?

This (scalping of console) will not just magically disappear once there is a lift of some sort of lockdown. The profit margins for the scalpers will decrease over time as supply meets demand - more people buying at MSRP from retailers and less people willing to pay these scalpers' price.

It's the same scenario with the launch of highly sought-after electronics. I did this 20 years ago with the launch of the PS2. Back then you were limited to buying 1 console per person and you had to wait at a B&M retailer at 1am on day of launch for 7+ hours to get the PS2. Bought 2, sold 1 on ebay for 100% profit basically free console (the one I kept).
 

Endymio

Posts: 1,334   +1,216
You are quite a prophet... that this trend will end right after lockdown. And what lockdown are you speaking of?
My apologies; I didn't realize you were posting from the planet Xorg. Here on Earth, all the major nations are in various degrees of a pandemic-induced lockdown. This is simultaneously disrupting global supply chains -- leading to shortages in various manufactured goods -- and also increasing demand for entertainment-related consumer goods, as much of the population has more leisure time at home. Once those lockdowns end, supply will rapidly increase and demand likewise decrease.

The lockdowns are due to a virus we here have termed "Covid-19". Be lucky you denizens of Xorg have so far avoided it.