PS5 scalpers used “bots” to buy up more stock than most UK retailers

PlayStation 5 “scalper” groups used bots to buy up thousands of consoles seeing them amass more stock than most of the UK’s major retailers.

The launch of Sony’s next-gen console descended into chaos last week as it officially went on sale in the UK, seeing stock sell out in minutes and websites crash at nearly every leading retailer.

This chaos, according to a new report from Business Insider, was largely driven by “scalper” groups who competed to see how many units they could buy up before reselling the units for exorbitant prices.

One group called ‘CrepChiefNotify’ managed to secure nearly 3500 units after using bots to amass as much stock as possible both at pre-order and when the console officially launched last week.

The group is one of many which uses these bots to monitor retail sites to determine when stock will drop, then buy up as much stock as possible faster than any human would be able to.

Not only is the group able to resell the most sought after stock, including high-demand fashion items and limited edition ranges, but they also sell subscriptions to their service which offers “botting guidance and access to our in-house bot-slots”.

READ MORE: Currys forced to cancel all PS5 orders due to website “loop hole” leaving customers furious

This fairly new phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down and is expected to see the next batch of PS5 stock, due to be released in December, be largely inaccessible to those buying manually.

Some consoles have been re-sold from multiple thousands of pounds on websites like StockX, while numerous units can be found on Ebay for over £1000.

While scalpers have played a major role in limiting stock levels available to the general public, the console’s manufacturer is also partially to blame.

Sony Interactive Entertainment’s head Jim Ryan told Russian news agenecy TASS:  “Everything is sold. Absolutely everything is sold.

“I’ve spent much of the last year trying to be sure that we can generate enough demand for the product.

“And now in terms of my executive bandwidth, I’m spending a lot more time on trying to increase supply to meet that demand.”

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27 Comments. Leave new

  • There’s ways to stop them doing this, but it seems the retailers and Sony aren’t bothered. Despicable imo

  • It would serve them right if they couldn’t get rid of them and the had thousands of pounds tied up. Dead money. Ps don’t buy extortionate priced consoles

  • No it’s not the sellers fault it’s not even Sonys fault or for that matter it’s not even the scalers fault. It is actually the people that buy these machines from the scalers fault.

    If people didn’t buy them at stupid prices the scalers wouldn’t be buying them either. They only get them because they know they can sell them. If they know they would be able to sell them would they really want to sink thousands on machines that will just sit there. No they wouldn’t.

  • Disgusting how its allowed,sony should be ashamed of this,amazon and eBay,should not allow items to be sold over the original price

  • Richard williams
    November 24, 2020 6:39 pm

    It’s absolute disgusting that this is happening that people can buy as many ps5 consoles and now it leaves customers having to pay double price on eBay to try and get just one console needs stopping this it’s not right on all levels .

  • As hard as it may be should not buy anything from the scalpers and leave them with a pile of stock.

    Sooner they open the PS5 for in store buying the better.

  • Darryn prendergast
    November 24, 2020 7:32 pm

    One per customer thats how it should be proof of id name and address stored so cant buy more than one

  • Ban reselling of ps5s
    Im elite member at game and could not get one
    Its a discrace thought it was 1 per houshold address

  • The first batch will be a bit tempremental anyhow
    So if you buy one of ebay what about warrenty etc
    Returns !

  • Mr Jeremy Mounce
    November 24, 2020 7:54 pm

    They could sell them thru the PlayStation store giving ps plus subscribers a chance to buy one…….

  • Why not wait until after xmas, get a ps5 bundle for a bargain, only a few weeks away, don’t give them the pleasure of fleeing you

  • Fleecing you sorry

  • STOP BUYING OF THEM! It’s the only way to stop them.r

  • Hello there,

    I want to buy a VPN for streaming and gaming. I have shortlisted these VPNs. What’s your opinion about these:
    – Pure VPN 86% off on 10 devices for 5 years.
    – Nord VPN 68% off for 2 years.
    – Express VPN 35% off for 1 year only.


  • We must push for major reselling websites like eBay and Amazon to implement MSRP maximum price policy.

  • My boy said that if you can’t get one for Xmas I’ll wait don’t pay what they’re asking

  • The retailers don’t care who buys them, as long as they shift their stock to make room for more as quick as possible. If they’re all ending up on eBay for double the price, so what, they don’t care.

    I’ve got one myself, but still registered interest on multiple sites to keep an eye out for my sister-in-law – I’ve not received one single stock alert email from any of them before any of their stock went live.

    Argos went live yesterday at 3am FFS, without any warning, why? Who is going to be awake at that time in the morning on a weekday? I am starting to wonder if they’re pandering to the scalpers because they know their stock will shift quicker that way, so they can then order more.

    Sony and Microsoft need to take some of the blame, for creating this mess by releasing these consoles so close to Christmas, because this situation is pretty much killing Christmas for kids everywhere.

    Start taking orders in store. If we have to queue around the corner in the rain, so what – at least queue jumpers can be told to **** off and sent down the road.

    In store pre-orders, with a deposit or full cash payment, allocate a number to each customer at checkout and when the stock allocation reaches your number, you get your console.

    That’s how it used to be.

  • Agreed, Sony, Amazon and Ebay dont care, they make their money via the scalpers with the fees they would get if the scalpers shifts the stock.
    The only way to deter these people are to not buy off them.
    Ebay wont do a thing about this I bet, and why should they, becuase they will lose money as they take a cut on the fee of any selling item.
    The only, only way this would stop is if people dont give in to scalpers and make them sit with a lot of stock they will eventually not be able to shift.
    Sony is to blame for not meeting supply for demand I think personally.

  • Waiting to buy next year
    December 17, 2020 8:35 am

    Don’t buy from scalpers .simple supply and demand laws apply. This will also lower sales of games and plus subscriptions . Hitting Sony’s income. The retailers know when bots are buying.

  • Andy still waiting to buy PS5
    February 8, 2021 5:57 pm

    I don’t think ebay or amazon should regulate prices on things like PS5. It’s like every other commodity or gold. If its rare and in demand price go up. If you willing to spend more its your call. I think you shouldn’t. What should happen is Sony and other resellers should put measures to limit amount of items one person and only real person can buy. Measures to stop bots being able to order. They have failed to Fairly distribute stock. We always see this stupid capcha question. Are you a robot?Mark all taxis etc. Why things like this are not implemented when needed but instead you always do it when you type random search on google?!!! Even to post on this site!!! From Sony perspective they have sold whole stock in few minutes. They have the money. Does anything else matters? Sony is failing for quite some time now. Their Mobile phone releases are fail especially when new released phone is available more than six months later. Shame they do a good phones too.

  • Andy still waiting for PS5
    February 8, 2021 6:25 pm

    Some people suggest PS5 should be sold in shops to real people. I agree to that but lets not forget We have Pandemic going on at the moment. We don’t want to bring lots of people to the stores to spread the virus. Btw people were queing anyway. I agree that releasing it in Argos at 3am leaves no chance to ordinary customers. Helping only scalpers to make their business. Sony and other resellers should take full responsilbility for this mess. One scalpers group bought 3,500 ps5 units?! That could be 3,500 happy customers. The best thing to do now is just wait. Stock in shops will increase and PS5 will become widely available then scalpers will have to lower their prices to get it sold. I know there is always hype for new tech but even ps4 is a decent console so lets stick to that untill PS5 is available at a reasonable price

  • Let’s not forget the scalper and friends that work in these said stores. They will know when the stock is coming in and it’s all sold before it’s even restocked!

    All the stores had to do is sell one per household and log their info! So unless the scalper had a 1000 addresses and payment methods, they’d be out of luck.

    Another thing that caught my attention is CEX, they are buying and selling the consoles at scalper prices!


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