Argos has launched an “investigation” after reports emerged that PlayStation 5 scalper groups once again wiped-out stock before other customers had a chance.
PS5 stock issues continue to plague the console’s release more than two months after it launched in the UK, as scalper groups persistently hoard stock in order to resell it at severely inflated prices.
Earlier this week Argos “released a small amount of additional stock”, but customers were once again left disappointed after it sold out almost immediately.
According to IGN, paid-for scalper groups exploited a loophole which allowed members to purchase stock before it officially went on sale.
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The group scalper group, Express Notify, has taken credit for the stock buyout and many of its members have posted pictures of themselves collecting consoles from Argos stores.
The retailer is understood to have shut down these rogue links as quickly as it could manage, but several bad-actors managed to get their hands on a PS5 before they were able to do so.
Argos said it “identified a technical issue which allowed a small proportion of customers to place orders early”.
“It’s clear our customers are excited for the new PlayStation,” it added.
“We released a small amount of additional stock and have seen huge numbers of customers trying to place their orders with us and we have now sold out.”
Despite launching in the UK in November, PS5 stock levels are still very limited, filtering through in small stock allocations such as this.
Scalper groups using ‘bots’, or automated software able to buy up swathes of stock at lightning speeds, have been cashing in on the limited availability and extortionately high demand for the two next-gen consoles.
Retailers have struggled to tackle the use of these bots, which have allowed some scalper groups such as CrepChiefNotify to amass more stock than almost all UK retailers and sell them on for exorbitant prices.
PS5 consoles are still appearing on resale sites like Ebay for nearly twice their recommended retail price, suggesting stock is still in high demand.