It may be hard to get hold of a PS5 right now, but it's going to be a lot harder to shift them for scalpers in the coming months. Savvy consumers are already avoiding scalpers and holding out for retail drops (which you can keep up with in our PS5 stock tracker), and they're starting to actively fight back against dodgy, overpriced PS5 listings.
Gamers in India are mass reporting PS5 ads with jumped-up prices on online marketplaces. This has reportedly been so effective that scalpers are adjusting the prices of their listings to avoid being flagged, and revealing the much higher price when contacted directly about the sale. Even that tactic isn't guaranteed, and a number of them are having to sell at cost.
The consumer backlash against scalpers popped up on a subreddit (opens in new tab) that noted that PS5 scalpers are struggling to sell their PS5 stock, and are "getting abused" for the practice. It adds that if this trend continues, scalpers are going to have to return their stock, which means there'll be more inventory available at retailers for regular customers. Meanwhile, "most of the [OLX marketplace] ads" have been reported and banned (via IGN India (opens in new tab)).
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With less people prepared to pay over the odds, scalpers have found themselves quite rightly vilified, and now that Sony is lining up more PS5 stock for March, buyers have less reason to turn to them and hand over hundreds of dollars more than the retail price.
One UK PS5 stock tracker Twitter account (opens in new tab) notes that PS5 scalping is "becoming less profitable" with an average eBay selling price of £680 for the standard edition, and £620 for the Digital Edition. The standard edition PS5 retails for $499 in the US, £449 in the UK, €499 in Europe, and AU$749.95 in Australia, so it's still a pretty big bump in price, but significantly less than some of the hair-raising prices we were seeing at launch. At this point, scalpers are making more money off the PS5 than Sony is.
The extent of the issue may have an upside though, garnering attention from UK politicians; we may even see console scalping criminalised in the same way that ticket scalping is, although there's still a way to go before such legislation could roll out.