In a recent interview with Forbes, a man who claims to have purchased 25 PS5 consoles in January and resold them for upwards of $450 profit apiece says “reselling” is an incredibly valuable industry that does not deserve the bad press it gets.
The scalper interviewed by Forbes, who goes by the name Jordan, is the founder of The Lab, a UK-based “cook group” that teaches paying members how to use bots to secure high-value items like hard-to-find video game consoles or limited-run designer sneakers. Scrolling through the group’s Twitter feed you’ll see an ongoing parade of success stories: pictures of receipts, transaction records, and actual product, all purchased using inhumanly speedy automated bots. Like the old saying goes, sell a person an overpriced fish, they’ll eat for a day; teach them how to buy fish with bots and resell them for profit, and you’re a real piece of shit.
Jordan feels the negative press and angry comments he and his group have been getting since they started posting taunting pictures of stacks of consoles the general public never had a chance of purchasing is unjustified. In the Forbes article, titled “PlayStation 5 Scalpers Aren’t Happy With Their Public Image,” Jordan attempts to get a justifiably angry internet to sympathise with him.
“There seems to be A LOT of bad press on this incredibly valuable industry and I do not feel that it is justified, all we are acting as is a middleman for limited quantity items.” said Jordan, whose group generates money by actively helping make limited-quantity, hard-to-find items even more limited and hard to find.
According to Jordan, purchasing 25 PlayStation 5 consoles that retail for as much as £450 (around $800) and reselling them for £700 (approximately $1,246), which he did, is exactly how every other business works. Technically that is correct. Businesses do purchase things for one price and then sell them for a higher price.
“Essentially every business resells their products,” said Jordan. “Tesco, for example, buys milk from farmers for 26p or so per litre and sells it on for upwards of 70p per litre. No one ever seems to complain to the extent as they are currently doing towards ourselves.”
True, but that’s not exactly what Jordan and crew are doing. What they are doing is using very fast robots to zip into Tesco, purchase all the available milk, and then sitting outside selling their ill-gotten gallons (pardon, “litres”) at a much higher price to slower, less efficient humans. If I went to the shop and they were out of milk and then I came across a man outside the shop reselling the milk I could not get at a premium price I would punch that man in the nose and take some milk, and then speed away on my wheelchair.
I would not, however, make death threats. Jordan says he has received several death threats from angry gamers, and has reported them to the authorities. Don’t threaten death, folks. It’s not a good look. If you’re going to kill a man, kill him. That last line was left in on purpose for my editor to remove it. Wait, she’s going to let it remain? Oh no.
Jordan and Regan, his business partner, both feel that ultimately they are helping people earn some extra cash. Regan said that his group came about during the first UK covid-19 lockdown, invoking the worldwide pandemic that’s taken the lives of more than two million worldwide as a means of making their little club seem more relatable and less slimy. Regan also claimed that he personally, and the scalper group as a whole, regularly donate to charity, including giving most of their monthly membership fees to a local food bank. When pressed, Regan did not provide details about which food bank was the beneficiary of this windfall, so make of that what you will. Or just call it bullshit, whatever.
The entire Forbes article is a great read, providing not only a look into the mindset of console scalpers, but also their processes, the software they use, and how either deluded they are or how stupid they think we are. Those fucking jerks.
Why These People Suck
In South Korea, game retailer Gamewoori has a banner that reads, “Pre-Order Now” next to images of the PS5. The PS5 launched there on November 12, but like everywhere supplies are tight and hopeful customers still must reserve consoles from future shipments.Read more
The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S are in high demand but short supply. That’s not completely surprising given the challenges of launching next-gen consoles in the middle of a pandemic. But trying to get a hold of one continues to be a bigger headache than it otherwise might be due...Read more