The PlayStation 5 launched in the UK and Europe on November 19 and quickly succumbed to the same stock shortages that plagued the US launch a week earlier. If you’re having a hard time finding Sony’s next-gen console, it turns out scalpers may be partly to blame for the current shortage.
That’s according to a report from Business Insider, which claims that one organized scalper group, called CrepChiefNotify, snapped up around 3,500 PS5s in the UK. The group boasts thousands of paying members, with subscriptions starting at £29.99 and rising to £399.99. Subscribing to the group grants members access to various bots, allowing them to join in with the scalping and make a profit on their investment.
During the PS5’s launch, these bots notified members when the console was in stock and allowed them to skip queues or waiting times, oftentimes purchasing the sought-after hardware faster than any human possibly could. The group managed to snag 2,472 consoles on November 19, on top of the “just under 1,000” preorders that were made in September.
As of this writing, there are over 3,800 PS5 listings on eBay, with most of them being sold for double the asking price. Organised scalping is nothing new, of course, and the group in question started out by using the technology to purchase and resell sneakers such as Yeezys. Anytime there’s huge demand for a product, scalpers will be there to exploit it, but this is seemingly the first time such a coordinated effort has been focused on a new console launch.
If you’re still trying to get a PS5, we’ve got you covered with all the details on upcoming restocks.