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I cant be the only one absolutely infuriated by these scalpers. This is a bit of a rant triggered by the fact the i just saw an opened and used ps5 digital listed on my local facebook marketplace for "$1300 usd no lowballs" like tat is not worth that, get out of here, and actually maybe just drive off a bridge you scalper. 

 

Rant over. Feel free to tell me your experiences with scalpers.

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Scalpers only exist insofar as their enablers do. The only solution is to wait until Q1 2021 when this current phase will have ended and supply will have improved, meaning that scalpers will have to sell at a loss or barely break even.

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A better question would be why the entire world appears to go absolutely insane and to some extent rather entitled as soon as a new product is released, and claims that they NEEEEEEEDDDDDD [*insert shiny new thing*]  NOWWWWWWWWWW!!!!


This is, after all, why scalpers exist. They prey on the desperate. If people could be bothered to wait a few weeks/months after release then there would be no market for doing it anymore.

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And I'm infuriated with the number of scalper threads that are appearing. Honestly this is getting us nowhere and always descends into people saying stuff like:

13 minutes ago, Chaos Network said:

 actually maybe just drive off a bridge you scalper. 

 

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2 minutes ago, alabistyr said:

Scalpers only exist insofar as their enablers do.

Sadly, due to the very low supply, it does not take many people itching to get the new thing to keep supporting them.

 

My advice to people who are considering buying from scalpers: If you're willing to pay a premium price, up to 2x the original cost, why not spend that time on the last-gen thing to have something while you wait for a proper stock?

For example, if you really need a new gpu (new build or the old one died) and are willing to pay 1k for a gpu with mrsp of 650, buy a rx 5700 xt for about 350-400, or one of the nvidia models. When you're able to get the gpu you want, you can still sell this intermediate one and get some profit back. If you pay 1k to a scalper, you first might get scammed, but you're definetly giving the extra $350 to a shady person and support their future scalping.

 

I was planning on grabbing a rx 6800 to replace my broken gtx 1070. I was really excited about amd's claim that they got the stock. Sadly, it was just a lie. I was seriously considering to go with nvidia because of that, but the retailer prices are insane. In no way am I willing to spend 1k on a gpu, and especially not when it's worth 600€. So I've ordered a discounted rx 5700 xt for 400€ and I can buy a rx 6800 when it's more available. But now I'm thinking that the rx 5700 xt might be enough for what I need and I've just saved the extra cash for a different upgrade or some new games.

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Want to get even more annoyed at them?

 

These 12 aholes bragging about buying 3500 PS5 using bots.

https://www.gameinformer.com/2020/11/24/scalper-group-brags-about-buying-3500-ps5-systems-to-sell-at-egregious-price

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Consoles are underpowered PCs, but you wouldn't see anyone trying to hoard Dell Oplitex machines. 

 

Without hype, you have no scalpers.

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46 minutes ago, Mooshi said:

Consoles are underpowered PCs, but you wouldn't see anyone trying to hoard Dell Oplitex machines. 

 

Without hype, you have no scalpers.

That could be controversial haha. For the price of a PS5 the type of PC you can get new (excluding used hardware as that's just not a fair playing field) is not suitable for any sort of serious or casual gaming. Outputting to 4K even for YouTube would be out of the question too. 

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1 minute ago, BlueChinchillaEatingDorito said:

That could be controversial haha. For the price of a PS5 the type of PC you can get new (excluding used hardware as that's just not a fair playing field) is not suitable for any sort of serious or casual gaming. Outputting to 4K even for YouTube would be out of the question too. 

In contrast, while gaming at the same price would be unfair to the PC, the PS5 can't do much beyond gaming. Even factoring hardware limitations at the price, you can't do something like write an essay on a PS5 or do digital art.

 

Controversy aside, the focus was more on hype. 

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Such seemingly interesting circumstances we have here. According to Sony, all PS5s are sold out. So this means all thats left are scalpers' stocked up piles. Perfect time for people to give them the middle finger and not buy any.

 

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Just now, Mooshi said:

In contrast, while gaming at the same price would be unfair to the PC, the PS5 can't do much beyond gaming. Even factoring hardware limitations at the price, you can't do something like write an essay on a PS5 or do digital art.

 

Controversy aside, the focus was more on hype. 

Um... where are you going with this? So a computer of the same price of a PS5 can't do gaming but can do word processing or digital art... While a PS5 can do gaming but neither of those.

 

My desktop that is the same price of my laptop is very good, but isn't quite portable. While my laptop doesn't have as much performance, but damn is it very portable. 

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Stores can easily cancel orders from scalpers, buy they still ship it to them anyway, so the problem is on both ends.

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1 minute ago, NumLock21 said:

Stores can easily cancel orders from scalpers, buy they still ship it to them anyway, so the problem is on both ends.

Not always easy to tell who's a scalper and who isn't though

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Thanks for reading all this by the way!

By the way, my desktop is a docked laptop. Get over it, No seriously, I have an exterrnal monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset, ethernet and cooling fans all connected. Using it feels no different to a desktop, it works for several hours if the power goes out, and disconnecting just a few cables gives me something I can take on the go. There's enough power for all games I play and it even copes with basic (and some not-so-basic) video editing. Give it a go - you might just love it.

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Just now, pythonmegapixel said:

Not always easy to tell who's a scalper and who isn't though

So a person buying over 50 ps5 isn't scalper. Stores can quantity limits.

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From a bird's eye view its very easy to see where the problems are in the supply chain, but there isn't a single entity that's in control of everything. From the manufacturers of components to the retailers and everywhere in-between, everyone involved is only responsible for a tiny slice of the whole pie, even Sony. I personally think retailers hold the lion's share of the blame, but it would be up to Sony to provide some kind of incentive to retailers to combat scalpers, because retailers are made up of individuals who are only interested in their own sales numbers, or how well they are moving product. A product manager that tries to be conscientious about getting PS5's to proper customers will be risking their own job, so they won't do anything unless their boss tells them to, but their boss doesn't want to start discriminating who is and isn't a customer, that's bad for business. 

 

I think my point is that nobody involved in the supply chain has any incentive to change how they do things, and they even risk reprimand from their superiors if they try to fight scalpers. AMD, Nvidia, Intel, sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, etc will continue to give lip service to consumers and feign interest in fighting scalpers, but it won't change anything. As long as there's someone willing to pay scalper prices, there's going to be scalpers.

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Stores can easily stop scalpers from functioning.

For example, some companies in the smart home field will have limited stock early on, but what it typically means is that you wait an extra week or 2 for the item, and not waiting months.

 

Those items also never get scalped. The way it is done is by limiting orders to 1 per address and payment method, thus for a scalper to get multiple items, they will have to create tons of payment accounts and set up a bunch of different PO boxes or something., thus extra work. That is a barrier to entry that only impacts people who want to buy up a ton of units at launch.

 

Then to further remove motivation for those susceptible to paying scalpers, is allowing people to continue placing orders even if the item is out of stock, and just informing them that the item is currently out of stock so it will take some time for the order to be fulfilled. From a psychological standpoint, even if an order does not immediately ship out, just having the order placed satisfies the urge to purchase the item. It also improved convenience by saving people from having to constantly refresh a page in the hopes that the item will be in stock long enough to complete an order.

 

This means that everyone who wants the item at MSRP, can get it at MSRP, even if it takes longer to fulfill the order.

 

Finally, it avoids the artificial additional scarcity.

Scalping is a 2 pronged attack on consumers.

  1. The first part of scalping is a large initial investment in buying up all available inventory. This is to ensure that the vast majority of people never get a chance to buy the item, thus making the scalped item the only source for the item. this is why you will see some scalpers with 3500 units of a PS5. They often do not expect to sell every unit at the scalped price, instead they will try to sell 1/3rd to 1/2 of the units, then as more and more scalpers start to exhaust their bot budget and general consumers start to have better access to MSRP items, then they quickly try to selloff the remaining inventory for a small profit, thus allowing them to effectively avoid all losses for any inventory, while maximizing overall profits.
  2. Taking advantage of supply and demand to artificially inflate the price to higher levels than the market would otherwise see in the absence of scalping. The artificial extreme scarcity created in the first prong, allows them to charge 3-5 times the normal price, and people susceptible to scalping (basically a combination of being impatient as well as the type of person who does things like buys from vending machines even though the items are overpriced).

If customers are able to place an order as soon as they decide to make a purchase, will mean that those types of customers will not seek out scalpers.The end result is that the scalper is less able to get their gouged items in front of as many eyeballs due to customers being able to place orders from first party sources regardless of inventory. Getting the inventory to scalp to begin with is harder due to payment and address restrictions.

 

It is all due to incentives for the company. For example, AMD and Nvidia get the same money whether 1 scalper buys out everything in the warehouse, or if a 10000 different people place different orders to clean out the warehouse.

 

On the other hand, companies focusing more on automation hardware, want as many separate customers as possible, and they take serious steps to avoid hoarding at launch.

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Wanted to also add that other stores are starting to catch onto this. For example, consider the ammo shortage that is being largely caused by antigun politicians that add so much red tape that companies cannot easily expand manufacturing capacity to meet demand, and due to high demand, it becomes easier for scalper bots to clean out inventories. The end result is that instead of having people search for an item and find that it is out of stock and then go elsewhere or to a scalper, they are instead able to place an order even if the item will not ship immediately.

 

In the case of some stores, they just find euphemistic descriptions to describe the back order based on how many people you will be waiting behind. Thus instead of not being able to place any order, a user wanting to order something can place it, even if it might take 2-5 weeks to ship out (random amount of waiting)

 

Amazon, newegg and many other stores can easily do the same for video cards, CPUs, consoles, and other devices.

 

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all the gen ones have problems any way why would you want that? its time to stop preordaining and put your money were your mouth is imo.  you got to wonder why you cant place an order even thow there no stock.... if everything is in hi demand then you can sell at hier prices and makes less its a win win. even ammazon is built off of this the fear of missing out so it says there only 3 in stock...

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Back orders are pretty common, especially on the business side. For example, what do you think is happening when a store orders 1000 video cards even though they know their supplier will only ship out probably 100 out of the 1000 they ordered? Most people do not have the time spending hours refreshing and checking stock, especially if it will save no time compared to just placing a back order where tie system will instantly assign it to your order the moment the product is logged into inventory (provided the inventory reaches up to your place in line in terms of orders).

Pre-ordering blindly when a product has no track record at all is risky, as you are relying only on the word of a marketing department. On the other hand pre-ordering for known non-scam items is fine. For example, for the ammo back orders, is LCAAP producing a specially made batch that simply doesn't work while the specs and component list exactly the same?

 

Back ordering is the equivalent of waiting in line to buy a product and is preferable to constantly refreshing a web page in the hopes that an item comes back in stock and that you are lucky enough to complete the order before a bot cleans out the inventory. Another way to think of it is ordering a meal at a busy restaurant, it may take a while as the food you ordered has not even been made yet, but you place the order and wait.

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I'm more pissed these company's completely miss read the market. They could be charging wwaaay more and investing that back into their production lines, research and people.

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1 hour ago, Amias said:

I'm more pissed these company's completely miss read the market. They could be charging wwaaay more and investing that back into their production lines, research and people.

This is the correct answer. The fact that scalping works is proof that people are willing to pay more.

 

This is how markets work. Supply and demand will try to meet each other at the price. There are two scenarios here:

 

1.) If the price is initially too low for the demand, it will rise until it matches the demand. If the original manufacturer underprices it, then the price will rise to match the demand anyway, but from resellers. 

 

2.) The other case is where something is overpriced for its demand, and the product will sit on the shelves until the vendor lowers the price. 

 

The ironic thing is that the majority of people  buying something from a scalper for $x over MSRP and then complaining about scalpers would not be complaining if they bought it for the same price from Sony. The psychological difference is the knowledge that they could have bought it at MSRP for less if they were fast enough. It's sore loserism. 

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They cannot use too much of an initially high price. When MSRP swings wildly, it makes legitimate customers feel cheated.

 

Beyond that, it drives customers away as it causes them to look elsewhere due to sticker shock, or they simply make other purchasing decisions. Suppose Nvidia started charging scalper prices for the 3070, and listed a price of $800-900 for it. How many people will decide that their 1070 is good enough, and that the Ryzen 5900x is looking more enticing, or that an extra 1TB NVMe is more worthy of their holiday spending budget.

 

A customer who wants a product at the right price for them will wait for the product (within reason), but one who you scare away, will spend their money elsewhere, especially if it is an upgrade, where they have an alternative to the core functionality.

 

When major companies took part in price gouging due to the GPU mining craze, it didn't make me wait for a GPU, instead I stuck with my old one and used those funds for a DSLR. Nvidia and newegg not only lose my business for that GPU generation, but my money went to an entirely different industry that they have no financial ties to.

 

MSRP is something that is planned heavily based on aggregate profit. Sure you can gouge and find a few suckers who will pay the insane price, but the overall profits will be lower than if you sell multiple orders of magnitude more items at a moderate profit to more people. The only solution is to go for an MSRP that will ensure the best overall profit over the life of the product, while hoping for a smart enough logistics and management staff who will take steps to avoid having scalpers get the items, as scalpers hurt the brand and limit market share and product adoption.

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I don't get it. Don't buy from scalpers, end of story. There is no human right to always be able to buy the latest tech. We are in the middle of a global pandemic, supply lines are interrupted, factories are operating below their max. capacity, raw materials are out of stock... There are currently way more important things to consider (like getting through the pandemic/ not dying) than whether or not we are able to buy a RTX 3080 or a Ryzen 5900X.

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