If you’re still trying to secure a PS5, then you’ll want every advantage you can find over the competition. Reading through expert buying advice is a no-brainer, but getting early access to PS5 restocks is one of the biggest ways you can tip the odds in your favor.
When a retailer holds a PS5 restock, every second really does count as thousands of eager customers all attempt to check out at the same time. Having priority access to a drop may not guarantee you a console, but it offers you a smaller pool of competitors, which is extremely advantageous when it comes to scoring that much-coveted order confirmation email.
- PS5 restock update: Track on Twitter, Best Buy, GameStop and more
- Black Friday PS5 deals — the best early deals
- More: Ultimate PS5 restock guide — how to secure a PS5 before Christmas
Of course, you can only get early access to a PS5 restock if the retailer in question offers the opportunity. During the console’s launch window, most major retailers didn’t offer a way to get early access, but over the last few months, the landscape has changed. The majority of major retailers now offer early access to buying a PS5 — for those willing to pay for the privilege.
So, if you want early access to PS5 restocks at retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and GameStop, then we’ve got everything you need to know down below. Don’t forget to also bookmark our PS5 restock hub for the latest stock updates as we get them.
How to get early access to PS5 restocks: Amazon
Amazon has been experimenting with offering early access to PS5 restocks for members of its popular Amazon Prime service. This perk was originally seen on international Amazon sites, but the online retailer brought it Stateside in September with a drop that was exclusively open to Prime members.
It has since held a couple of smaller PS5 restocks open to everyone via its Treasure Truck service, but we expect larger drops will be exclusively reserved for Prime members going forward. A membership to Prime costs $119 annually or you can opt to pay $12.99 a month. You’ll also get access to Prime Video, Prime Music, and unlimited free shipping, so it’s a worthwhile investment.
How to get early access to PS5 restocks: Best Buy
Last month, Best Buy held a PS5 restock that was exclusively open to Totaltech members. This would have been permissible if a Totaltech membership didn’t cost an eyewatering $200 a year. It’s fair to say the electronics retailer received a swift and fierce backlash for pulling this stunt.
Since that poorly received PS5 restock, the retailer has held additional stock drops that have been open to all. It would seem at this point that Best Buy has decided that gating PS5 restocks behind a $200 paywall isn’t the most customer-friendly decision.
If you’re a frequent Best Buy customer who already has, or was considering, a Totaltech membership then it’s worth keeping note of this perk, in case the retailer holds another gated drop in the future. However, if you’re just after a PS5, we’d suggest holding off, as the premium service is not worth the significant investment in that case.
How to get early access to PS5 restocks: GameStop
GameStop was one of the first retailers to start offering early access to PS5 restocks as part of its premium membership service. Since the summer, PowerUp Reward Pro members have been offered priority access to both PS5 and Xbox Series X restocks.
The system has worked fairly well to date. This, coupled with GameStop’s habit of bundling PS5 stock with additional items, has resulted in scalpers generally avoiding GameStop drops. PowerUp Reward Pro membership costs a relatively cheap $15 annually, which makes it well worth purchasing if you’re serious about scoring a PS5 this side of the holiday season.
PowerUp Reward Pro membership: from $15/year @ GameStop
GameStop's PowerUp Reward membership already came with a host of benefits, but the retailer has announced that Pro-tier members will get early access to next-gen console restocks. If you're still after a PS5 or Xbox Series X, this could be $15 very well spent.
How to get early access to PS5 restocks: Sony Direct
Sony Direct is currently the only retailer that offers early access to PS5 restocks without requiring some form of premium membership. If you want early access without having to spend an extra dime, then Sony Direct is the retailer to keep tabs on.
You can currently register for access to invite-only PS5 restocks that will be held this month. In the past, after this invite-only phase, Sony Direct has held open restocks but often drops are only for shoppers who have managed to secure an invitation, so get signed up as soon as possible.
Of course, because of this lower barrier to entry, the number of people signed up for early access to PS5 restocks at Sony Direct is likely fairly high. You’ll probably have more luck with one of the other retailers on this list, as not everyone will be willing to pay extra for priority access.
How to get early access to PS5 restocks: Walmart
After a year of selling PS5s to anybody who wanted one, Walmart is the latest retailer to jump on the early access trend. Its most recent drop was gated exclusively for members of its Walmart Plus service.
The service costs $98 a year (or $12.95 a month) and aims to compete with Amazon Prime by offering fairly similar perks including unlimited free shipping, as well as discounts on fuel and commonly prescribed medication.
Walmart has also been quite crafty and disabled the ability to purchase a PS5 during its latest drop for Walmart Plus members on a free trial. As a result, you will actually need to pay for membership to get early access to PS5 restocks at Walmart.
Walmart Plus: $98/year @ Walmart
Walmart Plus is a subscription service from Walmart. Priced at $98 per year, it includes perks such as unlimited free delivery on more than 160,000 items as well as fuel discounts at more than 2,000 Walmart and Murphy USA fuel stations. Shoppers can also opt for a $12.95/month option. Walmart Plus comes with a free 15-day trial.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.