Scalpers are your only hope for scoring a PS5 this holiday season

  • The PS5 is sold out ahead of the holiday season, with Sony already confirming that it cannot meet demand.
  • A new report reveals that groups of scalpers used to reselling highly coveted products have targeted the PS5 and Xbox Series X this year.
  • The $500 PS5 can retail for more than $1,000 on the resell market, although stock will be limited even there.

There’s no PlayStation 5 stock coming anytime soon to possibly satisfy demand. Sony can’t make the new PS5 consoles as fast as it can sell them, and the PS5 and PS5 Digital Edition have been sold out since the first day of preorders. And those were some botched preorders, as Sony failed to offer gamers a preorder process that would have given everyone a fair chance of placing an order. PS5 stock was available sporadically, with some retailers reopening orders briefly. But they run out of units fast. The upcoming Black Friday shopping event will bring some PS5 stock here and there. Walmart will be taking online orders as long as supply lasts. And GameStop will sell the console in stores, but it won’t have too much inventory to go around.

Your best bet for scoring a PS5 this holiday season is trying the reseller market, as scalpers have had a much easier time buying the PS5 so far. It’s not because of a special relationship with Sony or any of its retail partners. Instead, resellers are highly organized, and they often use bots to speed up their purchases and ensure they can get supply where other users might struggle.

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One such reseller group was able to buy some 3,500 PS5 units so far since the console went on preorder, Business Insider reports.

“Our total collective number is 2,472 PS5 consoles across all of our members,” a manager of a UK-based group names CreepChiefNotify said. That’s on top of “just under 1,000” units that the group members bought back in September.

“We knew where to go before they announced it,” a CrepChiefNotify manager said when asked how the group was so successful at purchasing PS5 stock.

The group has 12 staffers and charges a subscription for access to its services running from £29.99 (~$40) to £399.99 (~$530). Members get access to various services meant to facilitate the purchase of highly sought-after products that can then be resold for a profit. The group has members in the thousands, and the service is “just over a year” old. Other groups like the on Business Insider describes exists.

The group’s background is sneaker reselling, but the same principles have been applied to find other highly coveted items during the coronavirus pandemic.

“During the first COVID-19 lockdown, we noticed a huge shift in products that people were buying,” the manager said. “The focus shifted towards the most ridiculous things, like outdoor hot tubs. We noticed that these began selling out in stores and reselling on eBay for a profit. So our developer wrote some site monitor software, and we tracked the stock of the sites selling hot tubs! Every time they pinged into stock, we would notify our members to buy it all.”

The PS5 and Xbox Series X were the natural objectives.

The group has been using bots specifically customized for next-gen console purchases, although not all of its members have used the bots to place their orders. Full-time resellers are more likely to appeal to bots for scoring larger quantities of PS5 units that they could then flip on eBay and other sites.

Bots were reportedly responsible for crashing Walmart’s site a few days ago when the retailer sold more PS5 stock. Walmart will host another PS5 sale in just a few days.

The $500 PS5 can sell for $1,100, while the cheaper $400 can go for $900 in the resell market. Those are the prices you can expect from scalpers this holiday season, and you’ll probably have to hurry to get your orders in. Resellers might be able to buy PS5 stock faster than regular customers, but they still have access to limited supply from Sony.

Chris Smith started writing about gadgets as a hobby, and before he knew it he was sharing his views on tech stuff with readers around the world. Whenever he’s not writing about gadgets he miserably fails to stay away from them, although he desperately tries. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.