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It was nearly impossible to buy the PlayStation 5 at launch thanks in part to resellers using the same type of bots that snatch up Yeezy drops

-Arcadia-

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On the bright side, if they're snatching up so unprecedentedly much, resell prices could crash to something a bit more reasonable? Or maybe that's optimistic thinking.

Forgoing the lines was dumb. I'm not reiterating my feelings on the plague with a 99+% survival rate for most demographics, but I would have also gladly stood 6 feet apart, worn a mask, etc. Would take some creative zoning to create the line, but it's nothing we weren't already doing earlier this year.
 

Zog

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. There should have been no pre-orders available and no online orders. Make people walk into a damn store and buy their new console and limit those to 1 per customer.

Also, now that they did allow this to happen sites like ebay need to crack down on resellers by pulling the items down.
 
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cireza

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To solve the issue, learn how to wait. These scumbags will end up with a ton of stock that they won't be able to make any profit with. I know, this involves self-control and patience.
 

michaelius

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2 days before release in EU - apparently there will be some stock on release day.
I give it less than 15 minutes before bots get everything.
 
Jul 23, 2018
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The thing people miss here is this has always been the case for consoles at launch. Even before covid and online pre-orders was a thing, the Wii was impossible to get for like a year.

March of the following year is usually when we see more consoles in stores like when the 360,ps3 and ps4 released and hopefully that is the same case for the PS5 and Series X.
 
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Apeopleman

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. There should have been no pre-orders available and no online orders. Make people walk into a damn store and buy their new console and limit those to 1 per customer.

Also, now that they did allow this to happen sites like ebay need to crack down on resellers by pulling the items down.
I agree. Or even do pre orders in store.

if Sony said “at 3 PM on September 17th PS5 pre orders go live IN STORE ONLY scalpers could only get 1 console. Everyone only gets 1 console.
 
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Umbral

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Whatever Sony did worked for me. I was in and out in 5 minutes and had one ordered. Maybe they had enough stock to mitigate the issues, maybe it was the system they used, but I have friends that cannot get their hands on one anywhere and they are always ready and watching.
 

-Arcadia-

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My count was about 5 minutes. With multiple instances of the site going down or freezing in those.

The best advice I can offer is to have your stuff all filled in ahead of time, and be quick, quick, quick. Load multiple tabs if you have to.
 

iconmaster

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They really need to put laws into place against this kind of thing.

This would be almost impossible without also prohibiting legitimate resales. I suppose you could make it a crime to exceed a retailer’s “X per customer” policies but… 1) how would you ever prosecute it, especially online and 2) I don’t really want retailers’ whims to gain force of law.
 

-Arcadia-

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The thing people miss here is this has always been the case for consoles at launch. Even before covid and online pre-orders was a thing, the Wii was impossible to get for like a year.

March of the following year is usually when we see more consoles in stores and hopefully that is the same case for the PS5 and Series X.

With the Wii though, I was able to get the day off and plant my butt for 12+ hours at the head of line, to ensure I got one.

There wasn't a Terminator shoving me out the way at the last second either.

Lines are merit-based. Whoever works hardest, gets the prize. Online launches are a lottery that favors fraud, and that really, really sucks.
 

ReBurn

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I agree. Or even do pre orders in store.

if Sony said “at 3 PM on September 17th PS5 pre orders go live IN STORE ONLY scalpers could only get 1 console. Everyone only gets 1 console.
This year in-store preorders weren't necessarily an option. In general I agree with you, though.
 
Dec 7, 2008
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Got screwed several times by walmart that day but the last time i got all the way to the 'place order' button and then it crashed. The only people who have benefitted from this ridiculous launch has been the scalpers. Everyday buyers, get fucked.
 
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Zog

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This would be almost impossible without also prohibiting legitimate resales. I suppose you could make it a crime to exceed a retailer’s “X per customer” policies but… 1) how would you ever prosecute it, especially online and 2) I don’t really want retailers’ whims to gain force of law.
Legitimate resales don't often go above the retail price.
 

mckmas8808

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. There should have been no pre-orders available and no online orders. Make people walk into a damn store and buy their new console and limit those to 1 per customer.

But most people got their PS5 by doing a pre-order online. Why take that from us?
 

Unknown?

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They did not even have any bot protections at all to at least help mitigate the speed and give people a chance.

Sporting events at least put the tickets in your box, with captcha, and timers to purchase. How Walmart and Best Buy had it, was zero protections, where the scripted bots could rip the items RIGHT OUT OF YOUR CART.

A simple captcha at checkout would have given people a much greater fighting chance, as well as not allowing items to be "sold out" while your entering payment and hitting 'submit order'.
Walmart had captcha when I got through to payment but that won't stop bots unfortunately.
 

Zog

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People who buy from scalpers are worse scum than scalpers. Scalpers exists because of them.


Actually, people buy from scalpers because they can't buy at retail thanks to scalpers buying up all the stock.

So we should let scalpers ruin it for us regular gamers too?
They already do. You can walk into a store to buy a console, a bot can't.
 
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Jul 23, 2018
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The truth is we don't have any data to back up the theory that scalpers are mainly responsible for the shortages.

I think the video game market has grown a lot more since the launch of the PS4/previous consoles and due to the pandemic more people are at home. So more people are trying to buy these consoles day one versus previous years combined with the fact that Sony can't produce enough consoles in a short amount of time.

Most of my casual gaming friends are actually looking to buy a PS5 day one which blow me away because most of them wait years to upgrade.

Scalpers are not helping obviously but I don't think they are the only reason for the shortage
 
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AgentP

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So these bots don't work on Xbox orders?
 

Jigga

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The problem is also because people allow resellers to exist. What I mean is people are impatient and do pay up. You won't die if you can't get your hands on a PS5 this Holiday. Same with the latest shoes. When you buy your console 1.5 the price or more, you're allowing this behaviour to exist. I understand wanting to have the latest bling, but still.
Did u secure any console?
 
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Sounds like I should have put the lottery on as I didn't click the link to the Amazon page until about 15min after it had been posted on Hotukdeals and got a PS5 no problem. Maybe they did them in batches or something in the UK.
 

iconmaster

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Jul 18, 2013
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Legitimate resales don't often go above the retail price.

Sure they do, all the time. You can see this right now if you look into used gun sales -- owners are demanding premium prices because the demand in 2020 is there to justify it. Also consider collector's items, or items that are no longer being made. There are whole markets devoted to fluctuations in resale price for things like sneakers (as mentioned in the article, it's an area where bots are a particular nuisance).

I'm skeptical there's any precise way to legally differentiate a reseller from a scalper.

So these bots don't work on Xbox orders?

No, no. They work fine...
 
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Gods&Monsters

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Awful decision from Sony. No one is able to get their damn console anywhere at full retail price. I have my name on a waiting list along with like 500 people and that's only 1 store. Worst launch ever.

There are lines everywhere for random stuff at Costco, Walmart and Ikea. Blaming Covid for everything is so tiring. Enough with that shit.
 
Jun 23, 2020
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Sad thing is, scalpers exist because there are people willing to pay a fucking thousand dolarinos for a game console.

Don't fall prey of the hype people.
 

OrtizTwelve

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After getting to checkout, PlayStation 5 buyers found out the device had already sold out. Walmart

After months of anticipation, Sony's PlayStation 5 finally launched on Thursday — but it seemed nearly impossible to buy the console through any online retailer.

Because of the pandemic, Sony decided not to go the traditional console-launch route and didn't sell the new game console in retail stores at launch. Instead of massive launch lines and stories of excited fans camping out overnight in front of GameStop, the main way to get a PS5 on November 12 was to have preordered the console months ago through one of several retailers.

Beyond that, PlayStation 5 buyers had one recourse on launch day: the digital storefronts of major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. And at 12 p.m. ET on November 12, people got a look at how well that system worked.

The flood of customers was so voluminous that it caused the entire Walmart web store to crash, and users were greeted with a message explaining that the store was overloaded by too many shoppers at one time.

"Last week, when we released the item for sale on Walmart.com, we did see massive traffic, which caused some customers to experience intermittent slowness for a few minutes," a Walmart representative told Business Insider. "We quickly caught up with the volume and are currently restocking the item for additional release of inventory throughout the holidays."

So how is it that one of America's largest retailers was unable to handle a flood of digital customers?

Some of those customers weren't customers at all but software designed to circumvent wait times, jump queues, and rapidly purchase high-demand items: "bots" that are able to buy items faster than any human being could.

While you were filling out your customer data or waiting for the checkout to load, bots were zipping past and buying up PlayStation 5 consoles that are largely turned around for resale.

Social-media and resale websites are rife with resellers who say they used bots to nab dozens of PlayStation 5 consoles on launch day:




"My bot came through," one reseller said on Twitter. "Let me know who needs a #PS5 #Playstation5 If you haven't secured dm me selling both digital and disc."

That same reseller was selling the $500 PlayStation 5 model for $1,100 and the $400 model for $900.

Those prices aren't wildly outside the spectrum of market value: The sneaker-resale website StockX has the $500 model selling for just shy of $900 as of Monday morning.

If you're at all familiar with the world of sneaker resale, you're likely already familiar with the concept of bots. Broadly speaking, bot software is intended to replicate the actions of normal online customers but significantly faster. Retailers like Walmart employ their own software intended to thwart reseller software, but bots exist in an ever-evolving marketplace and innovation is rampant. As such, retailers are constantly working to keep up with the latest in bot software.

Effective bots are in such high demand that they've created their own microeconomy, with resellers fighting for access to the best ones.

And it's these bots that were able to rapidly scoop up at least part of the limited supply of PlayStation 5 consoles available last week.

Meanwhile, for the many people who were unable to buy a PlayStation 5 last week, it's unclear when you'll be able to get one.

Sony is selling the new game console directly to consumers, but the resupply drops are sporadic. GameStop said it would have consoles available for sale in stores on Black Friday, November 27, but the only guaranteed quantity is limited to two consoles per store. Walmart is also offering sales on Black Friday, but the console will be available only through the web store once again. Best Buy, meanwhile, has said it won't have any additional PlayStation 5 consoles for sale throughout the rest of the holiday season.

Sony representatives did not immediately respond to Business Insider's requests for comment.


> Captcha me if old.

This is why people collectively should stop buying these consoles for resale online at outrageous prices. They can command these prices because there are plenty of morons willing to pay outrageous prices for a PS5 without a care in the world.
 
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Hinedorf

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If the demand is greater than the supply, it has nothing to do with scalpers, they are just a byproduct of shitty supply

If anything scalpers are preying upon FOMO when there isn't really much at all to play on that fancy new console but software available elsewhere.

If you just can't wait, that's a you problem
 
Jan 2, 2011
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There should be a cap on how many you can return to store. If I'm a retailer and I saw someone come in with a wagon full of expensive electronics they clearly couldn't scalp then I wouldn't trust those were handled well enough for me to resell. I'm all for generous return policies but when somebody is clearly taking advantage of it to take money from my pocket I'd crack down on that shit.
 

NullZ3r0

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Because they can’t sell games to bots.

it doesn’t take a genius to figure that out.
Again, why should a retailer care? Sony and MS has to make them care. But no one does since money is money. It's not like they're being stolen.
 
Dec 29, 2018
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The ultimate fuck you to these cuntbuckets would be to not buy a single on of their PS5's.

Let them sit with those units. Let's see how smug they are then.

Fucking hate these scalper motherfuckers. CUNTS !!
 
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Zog

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Again, why should a retailer care? Sony and MS has to make them care. But no one does since money is money. It's not like they're being stolen.
Maybe you didn't know but retailers don't make much off of console sales, they make their money from game sales.
 

Gods&Monsters

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The thing people miss here is this has always been the case for consoles at launch. Even before covid and online pre-orders was a thing, the Wii was impossible to get for like a year.

Not true. The Wii was hard to get but there were shipments in stores and people were grabbing them quick. They were checking forums, calling/texting each other and waiting in line to get them.

There is zero stock for PS5 anywhere, no one can get one besides bots and scalpers. Huge difference.
 

Michael Hawk

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Yes and no.

Yes bots snatched them up (and always will) but I think what also happened is -- and I'd really like to know how this still happens in 2020 -- some retailers canceled pre-orders thinking it was a bot, only in this case it wasn't and it was actual humans (e.g. me) who placed the order.

It sucks if you wanted one for the holidays, and if COVID-19 morphs into COVID-20 then finding one over the next 4 to 6 months will be tedious. However, given that people are dying left and right due to a bat flu, I can't get upset at not getting a PS5 at launch.
 

NullZ3r0

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Maybe you didn't know but retailers don't make much off of console sales, they make their money from game sales.
With the lionshare of game sales being digital, this is a moot point. Walmart and Sony make their money on consoles regardless. There's no net loss. Especially when we have people willing to spend $1100 on a PS5.
 

ComputerBlue

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During pre-orders I was sleeping before I even had a chance to try, saw them up days later on Amazon from resellers starting at $1799 CAD, fucked up. But I got lucky on launch day.

On launch morning I got into a virtual line the moment it went up for sale at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, waited for 90 minutes with no luck and their website crashed, plus people found a loophole to avoid the waiting room. Then Costco had some, which I wasn't expecting and they went before I even knew about it. Then Walmart put some up and I immediately noticed since I knew it was going to be live around 11am since they announced it, so I kept refreshing, it went live and let you add it to cart, but then once you tried to checkout the product wasn't available, this is like 30 seconds were talking here, and it's already out of stock. So frustrating. Bestbuy was next, added to cart then it put you into a virtual lineup, and my position wasn't moving, so I opened a new tab to see if the site was down, it wasn't and I noticed that it showed I still had it in my cart, so I went to checkout and used paypal and it worked, took me to paypal and let me completely skip the line, I got lucky because of a loophole. But fuck, what a frustrating experience it is. It's crazy that that aren't better infrastructures for this type of shit.

I hope the people who bought loads of stock have a hard time selling it, or hardly make a profit in the long run if they do. I get the hustle, it's just don't respect it.
 
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Foamy

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This would be almost impossible without also prohibiting legitimate resales. I suppose you could make it a crime to exceed a retailer’s “X per customer” policies but… 1) how would you ever prosecute it, especially online and 2) I don’t really want retailers’ whims to gain force of law.
I was thinking more along the lines of punishment for using the bots in this manner as a cyber crime.
 
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Zog

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With the lionshare of game sales being digital, this is a moot point. Walmart and Sony make their money on consoles regardless. There's no net loss. Especially when we have people willing to spend $1100 on a PS5.
Just because some people buy digital doesn't mean that retailers don't sell and make money off of games. Also, legitimate retailers don't sell them for $1100 (why did you even say this when you are talking about retailers?).
 
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