Another Sony PlayStation 5 India Sale with Stocks Vanishing in Minutes: Why Can’t India Move Past the Scalper Problem

PlayStation 5

The PlayStation 5 is quite likely the most in-demand console in India and despite the regular restocks every month – you would be hard-pressed to successfully order one for yourself and have it delivered to your doorstep. There have been countless stories of customers either getting the orders for their brand-new console cancelled, or worse, not showing up for weeks on end.

But even more likely is the possibility that you might not even get a chance to place an order as stock seems to fly off the shelf no sooner than they arrive on e-commerce sites. Does the problem lie in the possibility that the number of consoles per restock simply isn’t enough to cater to the overwhelming demand? Or is it something slightly more ‘devious’?

PlayStation 5 and the Massive Scalper/Reseller Presence in the Global Market

Resellers or scalpers, as they have come to be known have been a persistent cause of woe for prospective PlayStation 5 buyers worldwide. Countless stories of massive scalping ‘teams’ and ‘groups’ hoarding large stocks of PS5 units were commonplace at launch, but over the course of a year and a half – such cases have subsided globally.

Although there is still a massive scalper presence in the global market, several retailers have actively sought to combat said presence with innovative tactics. Sony Japan has reportedly asked retailers to break a ‘special seal’ in front of buyers so that the new unit cannot be sold on the reseller market as it will not appear new.

Japanese retailers such as GEO and Nojima Denki have policies such as writing the full name of the buyer on the box of the PlayStation 5, therefore, ensuring that they are not fit for reselling. This seems to have taken off in Japan, reports of resellers doing that in other major markets such as the UK and US have been scarce.

While practices such as these might just help mitigate reselling/scalping in physical retail stores – mitigation is substantially more challenging when it comes to e-commerce. In India, where seemingly the majority of PS5 sales happen online – scalpers currently seem to be getting the best of prospective buyers in the country.

What is the current situation like in India?

Popular reselling platforms like OLX are flooded with various offerings of the PlayStation 5, including several resellers that are inviting customers to exchange their old PS4s for a shiny, new PS5. Although, it cannot be verified if these resellers are indeed selling new consoles.

The console recently had another restock today at 12 Noon but it seems only a handful of buyers were able to successfully place their orders for a new console. The speculation within the community seems to suggest that there is still a massive scalping presence in the online retail space that is utilizing ‘bots’ and other means to secure a PS5 order.

Services such as the PlayStation Direct in the US allow customers to queue for the console on an invite-basis – allowing them a fair shot at buying a PS5. Sadly, the service isn’t available in India.

While select retailers might have algorithms and policies in check such as ShopatSC not allowing more than 1 unit of the PS5 per cart – reselling and scalping continue to be a major issue for Indian PlayStation fans.

As it currently stands, successfully ordering a PS5 is purely a matter of chance and luck for gamers in India. Many independent teams such as “Console Stock Notifications India” and “Indian Console Gamers” are helping buyers get somewhat of an upper hand by notifying fans when PlayStation 5 stocks are available at any retailer. So if you’re looking to get your hands on Sony’s newest console – following their Twitter handles and even signing up for their Discord channels might be your best shot at copping one of these consoles. Meanwhile Sony is yet to take any significant steps to prevent scalping in India.

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I possess the dexterity of a toddler when it comes to fighting games, but the confidence of a hundred Jay-Zs. Absolutely love narrative-driven games - with a particular obsession with indie side scrollers and retro wave scores. Currently playing: Deliver Us the Moon.