Big W’s latest PS5 drop has arrived in Australia under a cloud, after a local scalper group announced on social media they were able to issue “backend” orders through Big W’s system to acquire the stock early.
Posts began appearing online yesterday in the Instagram stories from an Australian scalper group. The group posted multiple shots of their Discord channel and images of users making multiple successful purchases from Big W online, saying they had taken advantage of an “auto checkout service” that utilised Big W’s backend systems.
Not all shots posted to the channel’s stories included full details, although many of them did show spending totals that match the PS5 full-size console’s $749 price.
The orders were placed ahead of an expected stock drop this morning. In a statement Big W told Kotaku Australia that regular users will not be affected by the scalper group’s efforts this week.
“We can confirm an issue occurred on our website caused by some unsuccessful attempts at placing fraudulent orders,” Big W said.
“The issue has now been fixed and we can ensure our loyal customers wanting to order a PS5 that they will not be impacted. Customers should keep an eye on our website for future releases.”
It’s believed that Big W’s PS5 stock will be available within the next hour.
I’ve asked Big W to confirm what steps and additional verification they might put in place to prevent their ordering systems from being exploited in the future, although the company declined to comment further.
Update 29/7, 4:10PM AEST: Big W has supplied an additional statement following this morning’s proceedings:
We know that PS5 consoles are hugely popular with our customers and drive a lot of excitement about when they might be released. We remind customers to keep an eye on the BIG W website for details for when they will become available, as stock is limited.
It doesn’t say why the expected drop was delayed, or the previously-live URLs for the PS5 and PS5 Digital Editions are now offline. It’s likely this won’t be the last battle between scalpers and retailers though, as the PS5 and Xbox Series X remain hugely popular in Australia and all over the world.