A collective of scalpers, who bought up PS5 consoles to sell at greatly inflated prices, have up to 3,500 to sell on eBay and other sites.
If you thought one person being able to buy seven PlayStation 5 consoles was unfair it seems that some people have been able to game the pre-order system even more, leaving them as one of the only remaining sources of PlayStation 5s in the world.
These scalpers are far more organised than you might imagine, using sophisticated bots to make sure they’re first in the queue to buy consoles from legitimate retailers and offering subscription services to thousands of paying members.
One UK group called CrepChiefNotify, claims to have 2,472 PlayStation 5 consoles across all members, plus just under a thousand pre-orders that they haven’t yet been able to collect on – because stock ran out.
According to a report by Business Insider, the group has 12 staff and charges subscriptions of £29.99 to £399.99, which members have to pay before they’re then granted the chance to buy scarce products, ranging from video game consoles to rare trainers.
In the run-up to the PlayStation 5 launch the group claims it was, ‘running bots for members to almost 100% guarantee at least one PS5.’
The bots used are specifically designed apps that, in many cases, can bypass queues on shop sites and quickly purchase items faster than a human ever could.
Bots have already been blamed for crashing a number of sites in the UK during the launch and with retailers apparently unable to stop their use they’re only likely to get more sophisticated and widespread in the future.
It’s hoped that shops will get more stock of the PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S, in time for Black Friday at the end of this week, but so far there are no guarantees – and even if there are scalpers are likely to get there first.
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