eBay Is Already Filled With Steam Deck Scalpers Asking For Way Too Much Money

eBay Is Already Filled With Steam Deck Scalpers Asking For Way Too Much Money
Gif: eBay / Kotaku

Valve’s recently announced handheld PC, the Switch-like Steam Deck, isn’t out yet. But folks can preregister for an opportunity to buy it at a later date and some scalpers are already trying to flip these registrations for hundreds of dollars.

The Steam Deck was revealed on July 15 and yesterday, Valve opened up the store allowing folks to plop down five bucks to register for the opportunity to buy one. The device will allow people to play many of their already-owned Steam games on the go via the powerful hardware inside the device. The base model starts at $US400 ($539).

For the first hour or so on July 16, after Valve began accepting these pre-registrations, things collapsed and folks ran into error messages and crashing servers. But eventually, things calmed down and it became easy to pre-register for a Steam Deck.

Even as things calmed down and with that $US5 ($7) registration fee, none of this has stopped resellers, who in the last 24 hours or so have flooded eBay with offers to buy Steam Decks for large prices, including some asking for as high as $US2,500 ($3,372).

Screenshot: eBay / KotakuScreenshot: eBay / Kotaku

Many of these listings claim to be confirmed pre-sales or pre-orders, saying things like “CONFIRMED ORDER* PRESALE Preorder Ships In December.” Others promise that the Steam Deck will be shipping in December and that the order is locked in. However, to be clear, according to Valve none of this is true.

If we visit Valve’s FAQ page for the Steam Deck, you’ll see a bunch of useful answers about the Steam Deck hardware, release, purchase process, and more. The most important answer can be found about halfway down the page:

When will I be able to order?

We are aiming to start sending order invitations by December 2021. We will make every effort to convert all reservations to orders but we are not able to guarantee availability.

That answer explains that these handheld PCs won’t begin shipping in December 2021. Instead, Valve is aiming to send out purchase invitations that month to folks who pre-registered. And while Valve claims it will do everything to “convert all reservations to orders” it does not “guarantee availability” of Steam Decks. So to be clear, even if you put down $US5 ($7) the moment pre-registrations went live on July 16, Valve can’t 100% guarantee you’ll get your device by the end of the year or even if you’ll get it at all.

Read More: eBay Is Banning The Sale Of ‘Adult Video Games’

Compare that information with the vast majority of eBay resellers who claim otherwise. It’s odd that all of these are still up on the site as it would seem these are listings with potentially fraudulent claims.

Kotaku has reached out to eBay about these Steam Deck listings and if they will remain on the site.

While I understand that many of you out there might be feeling FOMO after not getting in on the pre-registration madness yesterday, I’d hold off buying any of these eBay listings and supporting these resellers. Instead, go to Valve’s site and place your own order. While it might be a long wait before you get one, it’s a better use of your time and money.


    • Yahoo Auctions Japan does as well. I’ve found this useful to get physical store bonuses for various games (wall scrolls and the like) without needing to actually get the game itself. Of course, I’d only do that with well rated stores but those can pretty much be bumped by burner accounts.

    • I think eBay requires purchases be delivered 30days after an auction closes. Looks like they’ve cottoned on and Steam Deck auctions are being removed.

  • Scalping will always exist. I have no idea how people find it surprising or feel the need to blame the company. Like the constant hate Sony gets. Scalpers will ALWAYS find a way.

  • I legitimately don’t understand why people are willing to pay scalper prices for something that will eventually be available to all. It’s really okay to wait a little bit before getting the brand new toy.

    • Well, for Australians there would be a very likely reason as to why at least some people down here would fork the money over to scalpers.

      The Valve Index, Valve’s VR headset was released on the 28th of June 2019. It will see an official Australian release via EB Games, next month – on the 18th August 2021, over 2 years after it’s original release. You still cannot order the device off Steam in Australia and I’ve been told that the only reason EB Games has even gotten inventory is because they themselves went to the effort to acquire the stock, with virtually no assistance from Valve.

      A VR headset is fine after a few years, and to my understanding while it was best in class during the launch period, the Valve Index has been surpassed in certain aspects by newer headsets in the VR space. The problem with the Deck is it will almost definitely not have the same longevity. The specs for the Steam Deck now are quite impressive, but have a look at those same specs, for around the same price if not higher with the Australia tax say 2-3, maybe even 4 years from now, and it’s not such an enticing deal.

      That’s the mentality that the scalpers will be hoping to profit off.

    • A lot of these will just be money laundering. $5 deposit down on a semi-plausible scarcity, and suddenly your $1k in drug money is a nice clean plausible $995 profit from astute ebay trading.

    • There’s no guarantee the Steam Deck will ever be available in Australia while it’s relevant or useful. Valve’s hardware usually arrives here very late (2 years or more), or not at all.

  • I know this article was written by the American Kotaku staff, but there is a very simple reason as to why this product is still going to get scalped severely once pre-order confirmations are given by Steam.

    Valve goes to all this effort to try to thwart scalpers re-selling the Steam Deck, but because they’re intentionally excluding a significant portion of the world from purchasing them directly, albeit initially according to them, they’re practically guaranteeing there will be a market for scalpers once pre-orders are confirmed.

    At the rate it’s going with pre-orders and the fact that people are saying they’ve made orders expected to be shipped Q4 next year, and this was before the reservations were opened to the wider community, including the majority of would-be scalpers. Anyone outside the regions where you can reserve them, like us here in Australia are either going to have to wait, likely until 2024 – 2025 if how long it took for the Valve Index to be released here is anything to go by, or try their luck with scalpers.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!