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After months of anticipation, Sony’s PlayStation 5 is finally available worldwide as of this week.
Thursday marked the second and final wave of launches for Sony’s new game console, which included the critical PlayStation markets of Europe and the United Kingdom.
Because of the pandemic, millions of people turned to digital storefronts to purchase the new console. But that proved impossible for many, just as it was in the United States the week prior: Customers tried and failed to order the PS5 through a variety of retailers.
“Overall, I feel like it would be easier to get one of Willy Wonka’s golden tickets,” a woman in London told the Financial Times of her experience.
Meanwhile, on the popular chat app Discord, reseller groups with thousands of members were organizing to buy as many PlayStation 5 consoles as possible for resale. “Our total collective number is 2,472 PS5 consoles across all of our members,” a manager of one such UK-based group named CrepChiefNotify told Business Insider.
That’s in addition to “just under 1,000” PlayStation 5 pre-orders from back in September, when Sony initially opened sales, he said, meaning the group sourced nearly 3,500 consoles to sell to customers searching for the next-gen console.
How were they so successful? “We knew where to go before they announced it,” a manager at CrepChiefNotify said.
How resale groups beat normal consumers
CrepChiefNotify, made up of 12 staffers, charges a subscription for access to its services starting at £29.99 (~$40) and going up to £399.99 (~$530). Paying members get access to a variety of services intended to facilitate the purchase of highly sought after products that can be resold, often for a handsome profit.
A 33-year-old manager named Tom, who goes by the handle “Cibbers,” said that his group competes with other such groups to see who can snag the most of, say, a new pair of Yeezys, or the PlayStation 5.
Beyond the core management group of 12, members number in the thousands, Tom said. The upstart subscription business is “just over a year” old.
Though the group’s background is in sneaker reselling, its scope has broadened during the coronavirus pandemic as consumer interests have shifted across the year. Hot tubs, for instance, became a hot item at one point.
“During the first COVID-19 lockdown, we noticed a huge shift in products that people were buying,” he said. “The focus shifted towards the most ridiculous things, like outdoor hot tubs. We noticed that these began selling out in stores, and reselling on eBay for a profit. So our developer wrote some site monitor software, and we tracked the stock of the sites selling hot tubs! Every time they pinged into stock, we would notify our members to buy it all.”
As Sony and Microsoft geared up for their big PlayStation and Xbox console launches in mid-November, the reseller group was also preparing. With UK retail outlets closed due to a new coronavirus lockdown, Tom said his group was “watching all the sites for when they drop stock” and “running bots for members to …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Tech