PS5 Scalpers Used A Loophole To Buy Up Consoles Before The Restock Was Publicly Announced
Consumers of UK retailer Argos were left frustrated and without a PS5 when scalpers pounced on new stock a day early.
The latest generation of video game consoles have been a prime example of what happens when high demand collides with low supply numbers. PS5 stock in particular continues to be extremely difficult to get your hands on, and that problem could be even worse than we thought. One scalper group targeted the UK retailer Argos, managing to buy a supply of PS5 systems before they were even available to the general public.
Users of the scalping group Express Notify managed to obtain and share links for the limited stock of new PS5 consoles amongst its members, a full day before Argos publically announced the restock to consumers on January 26. While Argos did react and shut down any rogue links from the loophole that Express Notify had discovered, by then several of the consoles had already been ordered and collected from Argos outlets. Several members of the group posted pictures of their successful purchases, with some users having bought multiple consoles as well. This resulted in there being even less stock available for the official stock drop, with other technical issues only compounding the experience for legitimate customers.
According to IGN, the Argos website was reportedly acting up for regular consumers as well, while its official app went down for maintenance that morning, remaining functional only for customers in select regions. Customers were eventually left defeated, frustrated, and without a PS5 console to show for their troubles.
Scalpers have been a persistent problem since next-gen consoles launched, with one report estimating that they have made in excess of $82 million in revenue almost a month after the consoles went on sale. When new supplies go online, even when not teased ahead of time, it's extremely difficult to place an order before the programs snatch them up. This is still the case for the PS5 more than two months after its release.
This has had a harmful impact on the next-gen launch, with some analysts suggesting that scalpers have contributed to depressed sales for physical copies of games when compared to previous console generations. If you're still hoping to snag a new-gen console for yourself, check out our PS5 stock hub to see which retailers have refreshed supplies available.