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Ultimate PS5 restock guide — how to secure a PS5 before Christmas

PS5 console
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The PS5 is sure to be at the top of many people's holiday lists this year. Thousands of parents, family members, friends and loved ones will be hunting PS5 restock over the next few months, in the hopes of having a shiny new console to gift this winter — or maybe even keep for themselves. 

The PS5 is almost a year old, but buying one hasn't gotten any easier. In fact, purchasing Sony’s next-gen gaming console may have actually gotten harder. There are now more obstacles than ever in the way, all of which must be successfully navigated in order to secure that much-coveted order confirmation email. 

Now, here’s the bad news: there’s no single trick or piece of advice we can give you that will absolutely guarantee you'll get your hands on a PS5 this holiday season. Unfortunately, successfully purchasing a PS5 still requires a sizable dose of good fortune. However, below you’ll find everything you need to tip the odds in your favor, which could make all the difference.

There will come a day when you can buy a PS5 without any hassle, but sadly that won’t be for a while yet. Until then, make sure to bookmark our PS5 restock guide and read below for everything you need to know in order to secure a PS5 this holiday season.  

PS5 restock tracker — stores to check

Register for invite-only PS5 restocks at Sony Direct 

In early October, Sony announced that gamers could register for a series of invite-only PS5 restock events that will take place in November. While registering is, as expected, no guarantee of a console it’s worth doing as it only takes a few seconds.

While Sony Direct has been running invite-only PS5 restocks throughout 2021, until now scoring an invitation wasn’t a frustratingly finicky process. Previously it involved signing up for a newsletter and hoping you got chosen at random, now it’s much more straightforward.  

It’s likely that Sony will be handing out more invites than it will have consoles for sale. Nevertheless, registering for the chance to receive an invitation is a no-brainer considering it requires minimal effort. 

PS5: register @ Sony Direct

PS5: register @ Sony Direct
Sony Direct is letting gamers register for its invite-only PS5 restocks. The restocks will be held in November. Registering doesn't guarantee you'll receive an invite nor does it guarantee you'll be able to purchase a PS5 console should you be invited. 

Track PS5 restock on Twitter 

Twitter

(Image credit: XanderSt/Shutterstock)

If you’ve been playing the PS5 restock game for awhile now, you’ll be no stranger to this piece of advice, but it bears repeating. This is arguably the single most important step you can take. If you want any chance of buying a PS5 in time for the holiday season, you need to be tracking PS5 restocks via social media. 

During a PS5 restock every second really does count, and being even a few seconds ahead of the rest can make all the difference. Unfortunately, big retailers aren’t in the habit of announcing when they’ll have fresh stock, but that’s where stock tracking accounts come in. The best accounts will not only alert you the second that stock is available at a major retailer but they will also give you insider information and can even spot restock trends to predict which retailer will drop next. 

There are dozens of stock tracking accounts out there. In fact, some people have managed to make almost a full-time job out of keeping tabs on which retailer is likely to drop next-gen console stock next. With so many options out there, you might be unsure which are worth following. 

That’s why we compiled a list of the PS5 stock tracking accounts you need to be following. Among them are the likes of Matt Swider, Jake Randall, and Wario64. Follow these people and you'll know instantly when PS5 stock drops.  

Black Friday 2021 and PS5 restocks

If you're holding off tracking PS5 restocks for now in the hopes of scoring a discounted PS5 during Black Friday deals, then you'll likely be waiting until Black Friday 2022 at least. 

The simple truth is the chances of the PS5 console being discounted this Black Friday are virtually zero. Sony and its retail partners cannot keep the PS5 in stock at its usual price, they have no incentive to offer any form of discount. Right now just being able to buy a PS5 at retail price should be considered getting a bargain. 

This doesn't mean there won't be Black Friday PS5 deals worth shopping though. Expect a range of the best PS5 games from Returnal to Deathloop to be available on sale, as well as plenty of PS5 compatible accessories such as headsets and hard drives. 

If you're fortunate enough to own a PS5 already or score one in the next few weeks, then Black Friday 2021 will be the ideal time to get it fully kitted out with everything you need.

Get early access via membership programs 

Multiple retailers have taken to gating next-gen restocks behind premium membership schemes. GameStop offers PowerUp Reward Pro members early access, Amazon has given Prime customers first dibs and Best Buy required a $200 membership fee to buy a PS5 earlier this month — thankfully that questionable paywall has been quietly shelved. 

If you already regularly shop at a retailer like GameStop or Amazon, signing up for membership could be worthwhile. Both memberships are relatively cheap with PowerUp Reward Pro memberships costing only $15 annually, for example. 

These drops tend to last a little longer as there is typically less competition due to the enforced paywall. It might seem frustrating that some retailers are choosing to add a premium barrier to entry, but it does weed out the scalpers at least.

If you want a complete rundown on which retailers offer priority access to next-gen console drops make sure to read our full guide on how to get early access to PS5 restocks, this hub contains all the information and signup links you'll need. 

PowerUp Reward Pro membership: from $15 @ GameStop

PowerUp Reward Pro membership: from $15 @ 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.

Amazon Prime: for $119/year

Amazon Prime: for $119/year
Amazon Prime gives shoppers access to free shipping on over 100 million products. It also includes access to services like Prime Video and Prime Music. 

Learn how each PS5 restock retailer is different 

No two retailers function exactly alike. The restock process is a little different for each one. Learning the ins and outs of each retailer can give you a major advantage when it comes to securing a PS5 over the next few weeks. 

For example, Amazon has a strange trick involving the wishlist function that can dramatically increase your odds of successfully buying a console. You can actually add the console to your wish list while it’s sold out, and then during a restock can add to your cart from there. This allows you to bypass the product listing page which often crashes during a drop. 

This is just one small piece of buying advice at one specific retailer, but each retailer has its own methods and intricacies that are well worth learning. That’s why we’ve put together a collection of tips for each major retailer. Plus, if you’re in the U.K. we have a separate guide just for you.

Another helpful source of retailer-specific information comes from YouTuber, and full-time stock tracker, Jake Randall. He’s put together a playlist of individual videos that cover the process of buying a PS5 at each major retailer. These videos are extremely thorough and very useful — definitely give them a watch. 

Listen to our expert PS5 restock buying advice

PS5

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

At Tom’s Guide, we’ve been tracking PS5 restocks for over a year at this point. During that time we’ve picked up plenty of nuggets of advice that we can share with you to make your attempts at buying a PS5 run slightly smoother: 

Be prepared: Ahead of a PS5 restock make sure you have everything already set up. Create an account at your retailer/retailers of choice, and make sure all your payment and address information is pre-saved. When stock becomes available it’s a mad rush to checkout and you don’t have time to waste entering your credit card number or searching for your zip code. If you’re doing these things, the competition will already be confirming their orders before you. 

Select a retailer: There is a large handful of retailers restocking the PS5 on a weekly/monthly basis, but narrowing down the field can actually make the process less complicated. We suggest choosing two or three retailers to focus on, so you don’t get overwhelmed trying to track stock literally everywhere (leave that to us!).  

Sign up for stock alerts: A retailer’s own stock alerts are usually pretty useless during a restock. You’ll get a notification from a stock tracking social media account more quickly, but they can still be useful. Occasionally retailers will flag a restock ahead of time, so be signed up just in case. 

Bookmark the product page: This one might seem obvious but you’d be surprised how often actually locating a retailer’s PS5 listing can be tricky during a restock. Ahead of time make sure you’ve got quick access to the actual buying page for the PS5, use our links above. If you’re clicking through generic landing pages, you might end up missing the moment new stock arrives. 

Keep refreshing: Often retailers will release stock during small waves over the course of 20 or 30 minutes during a restock. You might assume they’d just drop all the stock at once, but places like Target and Walmart are notorious for slowly releasing stock. If you jump onto a retailer’s site during a restock and the console is marked “sold out,” don’t instantly throw in the towel. Stick around and keep refreshing; you might get lucky.

You’ll get a PS5 eventually 

Ultimately, you will get a PS5 eventually. Winning the PS5 restock game comes down to being proactive and taking every chance to secure a console that you can. You might not get the console on your first attempt, or even the second, maybe not even the third, but eventually you’ll be among the lucky few who secure a console during a restock. It’s inevitable. 

Alternatively, if you don't fancy playing the PS5 restock game in time supply will meet demand. Eventually, the console will become another tech item that can be purchased at any major retailer without issue. In fact, it’s likely that in the future the PS5 will even be sold at a discounted price!

If you don’t want to wait that long as you want to be playing some of the best PS5 games this holiday season, then make sure to take our advice above, follow several of the best PS5 tracking accounts and bookmark our PS5 restock hub for the latest updates. Doing all these steps will dramatically increase your chance of success.  

Rory is a staff writer at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics including tech news, deals, gaming, streaming and more. When he’s not writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found watching a borderline unhealthy amount of movies and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team. 

  • SteveTNrealtor
    I've been seeing everywhere that Walmart Plus members get access an hour earlier to restocks. That has not been my experience. I paid for the plus membership and tried the last three restocks (not the one exclusively for plus members) and did not have access an hour earlier.
    Reply