Trying To Buy A Switch Now Is Just Ridiculous

Trying To Buy A Switch Now Is Just Ridiculous
Image: Nintendo, Kotaku

The covid-19 outbreak created an economy of scarcity. Overnight, goods such as toilet paper, cleaning products, and hand sanitiser became valuable commodities. Meanwhile scalpers seized upon the opportunity to hoard and resell those items at ridiculous mark-ups. But as stocks are replenishing, one item that hasn’t yet been seen on many shelves is the Nintendo Switch.

Production on the Switch halted with the halt of literally everything else in China. Stay at home orders proliferated around the world, forcing people to spend a lot more time cooped up in their homes. And what do bored people do stuck at home with nowhere to go?

They bake bread actually. Lots and lots of bread.

But they also play video games. Especially, Animal Crossing. Consumers and resellers snapped up every available console they could find. The result is a marketplace where you can no longer buy a Switch or a Switch Lite at their normal price points.

And I need a Switch.

Having a new job comes with new responsibilities. A couple of weeks ago a Switch was a luxury entertainment purchase I could do without, now it’s a business expense. Thanks to scalpers, I’m unable to work the way I’d like to. (Not to mention an ever growing case of Animal Crossing: New Horizons FOMO.)

What’s troubling is, while production on Switches hit a few coronavirus shaped bumps, they are not in short supply. Today, I count 147 consoles available on alone…it’s just that I’d have to spend $688 at minimum to get one— 50% higher than retail price.

Image Screenshot: Amazon, Kotaku

Not only that, when new stock trickles into retailers like Best Buy in the U.S. at its normal price, it’s gone within seconds. It seems that a bot created by a 16 year old kid is partially to blame, according to the Washington Post. Amazon has tried to curtail scalpers by removing gouged Switches from its platform. But, like cockroaches emerging from under nuclear fallout, the higher priced consoles simply reappear under slightly different names to avoid Amazon’s purges.

In early May, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa told investors that he expects the impact on production to “subside to some degree by [winter],” but they have not offered specifics on when inventories will return to normal.

It’s frustrating being unable to play the games I want while watching unscrupulous dickweasels take advantage of desperate consumers. However, I’m content to wait for my chance to own a Switch. I have a generous boyfriend from whom I can occasionally pry Switch time between his stints of Dragon Quest 11 and Panel de Pon. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long though, he’s obsessed with those games.


  • Ebay is your best bet right now. I picked up a Switch for about a month back for about the same price I’d have paid at JB Hifi

  • Can beat that with a Steam Index in Aus…. Even on back order to import it, I’m looking at months. GOOOOOOO TEAM! 😀

  • The coverage in traditional, gaming and social media surely didn’t help matters either, everybody was flogging Animal Crossing.

  • Had the chance to buy a Switch when stocks were available at JB Hi-Fi. A friend in Japan couldn’t find one (let alone buy one) for love or money, so I PM’d her if she wanted me to buy one. She had to think hard before saying no- but I was in the shop, and ready to pass over my card.

    In the end I didn’t get one, because, when I got down to it, I wouldn’t really use it. Didn’t regret my decision then, don’t regret my decision now.

  • Plenty of switch lites around.
    Apparently hardly anyone uses dock mode anyway – not sure why.

  • Don’t regret my decision?
    What the fuck are you talking about sydney2k?
    Are you telling me that you had the chance to get your hands on the Nintendo Switch when stocks were available at JB Hi-Fi and now your saying don’t regret my decision now?
    Don’t give me that bullshit!

  • I don’t get why switches would go nuts over the corona Virus. I mean the idea of a switch is to use it you know, outside of your home.

    I am guessing it’s because alot of people were given the stimulus package but I’d have thought the other console sales would increase also

    • I’ve personally kept my Switch permanently attached to the dock and been using it basically as a regular console.

    • For families in particular, it has been a big buy during the virus, partially because it lets one person play while others use the TV for netflix etc. It also lets the kids play in the room while the parents are on Zoom in meetings.
      The other side is the linkup-keeping in touch. My eldest is 20 and she moved out of home two years ago, the two girls still at home keep in touch with her by visiting her island in Animal Crossing, it has become a really sweet and quite meaningful way to keep in touch, give each other in-game gifts, send each other virtual post cards etc. That experience then convinced the parents of their cousins overseas got one and Animal Crossing and now everyone visits each other and it’s been really great. Also, families with multiple kids, you can buy Mario Kart and have 4 players on at once, and there are plenty of games that have somewhat elastic-balancing so the younger ones can still have a good time playing with their older siblings. Some people bought one for Just Dance, or Ring Fit Adventures to keep their exercise up. It is a good all rounder, appeals to a broad range of gamers, is tiny and, importantly, has its own screen when you want it to. We ended up buying a second one during the lockdown. Already owned a PS4 Pro, and an older oculus rift with a 1080Ti reasonable gaming rig, but during the lockdown, for whatever reason, we all drifted towards mostly playing on the switch, it just seemed to suit the mood and had the whole family on the couch often, wether playing Minecraft, Animal Crossing, Rocket League, Mario Party, Fortnite, Splatoon or doing fitness or dancing, it was in constant use and the other consoles haven’t had much use at all.

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