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As I'm sure you're aware, it's pretty much impossible to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 right now. If you're not one of the lucky customers that managed to secure a pre-order and a trouble-free delivery, I imagine your days have been spent searching for rapidly dwindling stock from various retailers. I've seen plenty of friends frantically searching for their own next-gen console, and my heart goes out to them.
Part of the reason for this shortage is of course because of the ongoing pandemic. Sony has attempted to manufacture and distribute a next-gen console in unprecedented times, and that was always going to lead to unique challenges. That's why it's even more disgusting that there are those who have actively chosen to take advantage of these times and buy up as much PS5 stock as they can, selling it on for inflated prices.
We call people who do this "scalpers", although I tend to refer to them as "massive arseholes" because it has a nicer ring to it. Creating an even scarcer supply and then selling it on for £1,000 before Christmas in a pandemic during a recession when thousands of people have lost their jobs is about as close to evil as you can get without suddenly growing horns out of the top of your head.
With that in mind, try not to grind your teeth to dust in anger as you learn all about this recent interview with Business Insider. In it, the publication shed horrifying new light on the reseller market, with one UK based group claiming that it's snapped up 3,500 PS5 consoles since pre-orders started back in September.
As it turns out, these people are seriously organised. The group actually makes money selling subscriptions to resellers, with one of the benefits of these subscriptions being access to a suite of tools that help them source and buy in-demand products before anyone else can. These tools include bots to sit in queues, and general advice from more seasoned scalpe- sorry, massive arseholes.
The group also pools its resources and works out what items might be in demand at any point in time. The PS5 and Xbox Series X were obvious contenders, naturally, but apparently at one stage hot tubs were big business during the summer of the pandemic. Once the group has its sight set on the next big item, it clearly plans accordingly and sweeps up as much stock as it can as efficiently as possible - maximising its own profits and screwing the rest of us.
But one of the most shocking aspects of the report focuses on the fact that there are bots that can jump queues and complete transactions long before any human could. It's deeply unfair and honestly, pretty damn shady. Unfortunately, at present, it doesn't look like there's very much anyone can do about it. All we can really do at this stage is speak with our wallets and refuse to buy from scalpers - something that's easier said than done for a lot of people.
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