Good news: as shown off in T3's PS5 restock tracker, more retailers are getting PlayStation 5 consoles in stock imminently. But the bad news is that at least some of them are likely to end up in the hands of scalpers, with their prices then pushed into orbit by people who'll make more in a few days than we do in a month.
If you'd like to make the red mist descend, Sky News has interviewed one of the key people (opens in new tab) trying to stop you from getting your PS5 for a fair price. 24-year-old Jack Bayliss is the boss of Aftermarket Arbitrage, a firm whose 1,500 subscribers snap up not just PS5 consoles but also the Xbox Series X and in-demand trainers.
It's time to tame the tech touts
I found the article enraging: while Bayliss claims that he feels a little bit sad that his scalpers mean parents won't be able to get affordable consoles for the kids this Christmas, he also indulges in a that's capitalism, innit justification and boasts that "our members, they've got 30 consoles, they're making £100 on each one. And then they're making a good month's salary in a couple of days." A salary I'm sure they're telling the taxman about.
I'll admit I have a dog in this fight: you're reading my words on a site that wants you to find a PS5 you don't have to pay over the odds for. But I despise scalpers of any kind, whether they're scalping concert tickets or games consoles.
This isn't capitalism. It's profiteering: people creating artificial scarcity by buying up all the stock and then reselling it at an inflated price without your usual consumer rights.
Consoles are already a huge expense for many families; seeing people making them even harder to get – and then adding insult to injury by boasting about all the things they've been able to do with their ill-gotten gains – makes me furious.
Here's a quote from the Sky News story. "If you can afford to spend £450, spending the extra £100 should be pretty marginal, if you've got cash ready to splash on that." That one made steam come out of my ears. Many families can't afford £450, but they stretch to it or save for it because they don't want their kids to miss out.
It's illegal to do this for football tickets, because politicians – rightly, in my view –believe that the beautiful game shouldn't be solely for the rich. And I don't think beautiful games consoles should be solely for the rich either. If we can't get three ghosts to visit the scalpers this Christmas and make them regret their greed, we need to change the law to make this their last Christmas spent scalping.