“Just keeps getting easier every time.”
An organised scalping group has claimed it scooped up more than 2000 PlayStation 5 consoles from GAME’s restock today.
A Twitter account belonging to the scalpers boasted it had “over 2000 checkouts successfully logged for today’s GAME restock on the PS5” and that it “just keeps getting easier every time”.
The Twitter account is now set to private after receiving a backlash from would-be customers left unable to buy a PS5 before stock sold out.
“GAME Digital needs to do something about this,” one reply reads. “Too many people who genuinely want one are being screwed out of it by this piece of scum.”
“Thanks for letting bots ruin normal people getting PS5 bundles,” wrote another.
And there are numerous less family-friendly responses.
Posts from members of the scalping ring are still visible. Many include screenshots of email inboxes filled with purchase confirmations from GAME for multiple PS5 consoles.
Some of these users have then boasted about how they will soon resell these consoles for profit, to people willing to pay far higher prices.
PS5 consoles regularly sell for £100s more on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. On the high street, CEX still sells PS5 consoles for £815 and continues to operate its in-person trade-in services even while the UK is in lockdown – something many of the chain’s own staff have told Eurogamer they feel is unsafe.
Back on Twitter, some of those who bought extra PS5 stock today attempted to explain why they had done it.
“I lost my full-time job due to the pandemic, I have bills to pay, to do that I am selling a PS5,” one user wrote. “I have bills to pay and this is how I can currently pay them in the pandemic, if people are fortunate enough to be able to afford a PS5 they are not in the position I am.”
In a statement to Eurogamer, a GAME spokesperson said the chain had “strong measures” to prevent scalping, and cautioned that many of the claims and screenshots being shared online showed email confirmations where payment had not yet been taken.
Here’s the statement in full:
“PS5 continues to be in very high demand and that demand far outweighs current supply,” a GAME spokesperson told Eurogamer. “We have strong measures in place to help ensure that our ‘1 per customer’ statement is maintained to allow for as many individual customers to successfully purchase as possible.
“All pre-orders are subject to automatic checks and order updates such as cancellations following these checks take place after a customer will have received a valid order confirmation email. At the present time these orders are still pre-orders and as such no payments have yet been taken from customers. Payments will commence once our order checks have been completed.”
While it feels like GAME faces an uphill battle, it’s worth remembering that retailers have won against scalpers in the past. Back in December, Very cancelled 1000 Xbox Series X orders a scalping group had boasted about nabbing.
And while these scalping groups do have success getting some consoles, its also worth remembering why they like to have such big mouths on social media: they’re constantly trying to attract new customers of their own.
Both the group today and the high-profile group Eurogamer reported on back at the PS5’s launch in November run as subscription services, with their tools to help you jump online queues and circumvent purchase limits only available if you pay up first. The group behind today’s scalping effort advertises its services for £60 every six months. We won’t be naming them here.
Last month, a group of Scottish MPs suggested UK legislation was needed to stop the rise in scalping for items such as games consoles, especially as the practice is already outlawed for event tickets.