Anyone who’s tried to get an Xbox Series X or PS5 knows how hard it's been. Demand is high, and scalpers have been making it worse by employing bots to buy up all the stock they can.
But there’s some good news for those of you cursing those cretins who were bragging about their hauls, because UK retailer Very has just cancelled 1,000 of their pre-orders.
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Xbox Series X and PS5 scalpers have been all over the news in recent weeks, and all because of the next-gen console launches. Various groups have been proudly bragging about having used bots to buy up stock, all so they can sell PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles on aftermarket sites like eBay for a horrendous markup.
As we wrote this post one PS5 auction on eBay ended, and sold for $1,025 – more than double the MSRP. Some scalpers have even claimed to have sold consoles for as much as $2,000, and obviously this has angered a lot of people.
But karma is a b—, as they say, and Very has now cancelled over 1,000 orders from over the weekend, telling Sky News, “As a result of a technical error, some people were able to place orders for PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles for a short time on Sunday. However, these items are not on sale and affected customers have received notice that the orders have been cancelled. We apologise for the confusion caused.”
Unfortunately, this hasn’t just affected scalpers, because some legitimate users have had their orders cancelled as well. Very has also not confirmed whether it actually has those consoles on hand, and those legitimate customers are being told that refunds may take up to 10 days – meaning legitimate buys now don’t have the money to buy a console elsewhere, should they become available.
Sadly, it’s another case of scalpers ruining it for everyone.
Retailers do have ways to get round scalpers and bots buying up stock faster than real people can manage. Unfortunately, scalpers can get round them, and the ability to bulk order consoles is itself a monetized commodity. One group that has been highlighted over the past few weeks charges $40 a month (or $400 for lifetime access) to be part of a scalping community.
Of course, the only way to stop this from happening is to not buy consoles from scalpers. The PS5 and Xbox Series X will be back in stock eventually, and picking them up from scalpers for inflated prices only encourages them to carry on.