With the dawn of a new console generation comes ‘scalping.’ Consoles are bought up and sold at huge mark ups. I am of the opinion that scalpers need to be stopped.
Why Scalpers Need to be Stopped
Scalpers have existed as long as people have been desperate enough to spend whatever it takes to get the product they want. The internet generation has seen this trend spike and it is something that can leave people out of pocket and without anything to show for it.
The global Coronavirus pandemic has seen scalpers growing in numbers. They no longer skulk in dark corners. They are right there on social media and selling sites telling consumers they can get the product they want. The product their children want. Some parents might want to ensure that their child is not disappointed this Christmas. More so after a year of uncertainty, lockdowns and unprecedented restrictions on our ‘normal’ way of life.
Scalpers Prey on Demand
Both the Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5 have been in incredibly high demand. Stock has been reduced due to the pandemic and parts not able to be produced quickly enough. Scalpers tend to work in groups and will buy up stock on launch. They know that demand is high and that there will be people who will pay what it takes. Tech Spot reports that one scalper had brought 3500 PlayStation 5 consoles to resell.
So a £450 gaming console suddenly becomes £1000, £1500 and occasionally more. Last night, November 26th, I watched a number of these consoles being sold on e-bay. I want to make it absolutely clear that e-bay and other selling sites are not at fault. Legally scalpers are doing nothing wrong. Bids were starting at £800! £350 profit for doing nothing.
Selling an Xbox Box
Selling consoles at marked up prices is one thing. What I noticed was that there were some sellers selling boxes. Console boxes. Cardboard boxes. You have to know where to look to know that you are being scammed and scalped though. If it is not the console being sold, the description will make you think it is the console, the pictures will tend to have a totally white background. The reason being that they are stock pictures so the product itself has not been pictured by the seller. It is a small thing but it catches people out. Be warned!
My advice is simply this – be careful out there. I have been in love with video gaming for over three decades. I fully understand the desire for the next big thing. The excitement that it brings for a child or an adult. But make sure you know what you are buying and remember that stock at the proper price from the correct retailers will come back in. It might mean that you have to wait until after Christmas. Ultimately it will save you heartache and prevent you having to recover from open wallet surgery!
Enjoy gaming – don’t be scalped or scammed.