Actually getting a pre-order in for next gen consoles is proving to be a bit of a challenge. That’s mainly due to incredible demand and not enough consoles, though scalpers and bots are absolutely at work trying to make themselves a tidy profit.
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Anyone hoping to get a console through Currys will have to go through the processes of adding their payment and delivery information, but wouldn’t be able to finalise their pre-order without a £2,005 discount code. That way they end up paying the usual retail price, minus a £5 deposit.
That said this doesn’t mean Currys has more pre-order stock available, despite the website appearing to claim otherwise. Vouchers are being prioritised for customers that already have a valid pre-order and paid a £5 deposit, and they've already been receiving their codes via email. Currys will then cancel any order that hasn’t redeemed a valid discount code by 11:59 p.m. BST on October 18.
Those codes are unique to each customer as well, and can only be redeemed once against a pre-order for an Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) or Series S (opens in new tab). So you won’t be able to use it to grab yourself a new fridge or washing machine. All the specific caveats can be read here (opens in new tab).
It’s clear that this is a way to try and prevent scalpers and bots from taking up all the stock with the intention of selling later. Bots would no doubt be put off by the high price, while anyone trying to get a console without a code is going to wind up with no console. That isn’t stopping people from selling their discount codes on eBay, though, proving that scalpers aren’t so easily dissuaded.
Not all of those listings will be from scalpers trying to make a profit, and anyone who managed to get a valid pre-order elsewhere could theoretically sell their code for a hefty profit. Though the question of how many of the bids are coming from real people, rather than bots, has crossed our minds.
That said this price hike and discount method isn’t that stupid, and it’ll be interesting to see if it’s adopted on PS5 pre-orders and by other retailers. At the very least it’s helpful in grabbing Currys some much-needed publicity as we go into the busiest shopping period of the year.