A PlayStation 5 scalper who used bots to buy up hundreds of consoles has reportedly made $40,000 in a single week reselling them at exorbitant prices.
PS5 consoles are still proving frustratingly hard for customers to get their hands on, with retailers in both Europe and the US selling out of their limited stock almost immediately whenever new batches are released.
Scalper groups, who use specialised software to acquire as much stock as possible far faster than any manual human shopper would be able to, are largely responsible for what has been perhaps the most problematic console launch in history.
According to Business Insider, one reseller called Mike F managed to buy up 221 consoles on November 12 when the console launched in the US, using “every resource possible”.
In less than a week, Mike F resold more than $40,000 worth of PS5’s, making around $500 on each unit.
Elsewhere UK customers who pre-ordered the console on Amazon but were either left empty handed or received random items in place of their console could soon have answers from the retail giant.
The BBC’s consumer rights programme Watchdog is now asking for affected customers to “get in touch” as it prepares to launch its own investigation into the missing consoles.
Amazon missing PS5 orders segment from this week’s BBC Watchdog. pic.twitter.com/9BofG8hsyR
— Andy Robinson (@AndyPlaytonic) November 29, 2020
“I’ll be working through everything with the team and seeing how we can take things forward,” the programmes presenter Matt Allwright tweeted.
“Feeling this. People need a bit of escape and hope right now. I don’t underestimate the positive effects that gaming can have. A big question also to be asked about launching both so close to Christmas.
“Would a good answer be to make sure that customers whose #ps5 and #xbox orders weren’t fulfilled are top of the list when new stock arrives?”
Amazon apologised to customers left with missing consoles, stating that it is “investigating exactly what happened”.
Sony meanwhile says that it is working to ensure more consoles are available by the end of the year, but as yet has not addressed the issue of scalpers and bots.