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The dark truth about buying PS5s on eBay

It's no secret that the current console generation launch has been a spectacle of disappointment, especially for the PlayStation 5. First, Sony ran out of pre-order stock before most gamers knew pre-orders were even open, and the situation went from bad to worse when scalpers vacuumed up new copies the nanosecond they became available and sold them for around (or at least) double the MSRP. Since some scalpers purportedly have more PS5 stock than most retailers, you might think buying one of these consoles from eBay is your only option, but if you thought it was safe to trust these hustlers, guess again.

According to Fox 13 of Salt Lake City, an anonymous man in Orem, Utah, ordered a PS5 from eBay for $878. Of course, the price was higher than the MSRP of $500, but it was still cheaper than the average eBay price of $1000. At face value, this asking price was essentially a steal compared to the other listings, so the man knuckled down and wired the money. At long last, his quest for the PS5 was at an end, or so he thought. When the console arrived — well, it was something else entirely. Instead, he received a cinder block. Not a picture of a PS5 or something tangentially related to one. No, he got a plain hunk of concrete that probably cost less than $2. On the bright side, the block was packaged inside a PS5 box, so it wasn't a total loss, since some scalpers are selling those for $700.

Understandably, the defrauded PS5 hopeful contacted the police, who informed him he should receive a full refund thanks to eBay's money back guarantee. However, the authorities couldn't help him any more than leaving a bit of advice that applies to everyone else who uses eBay: No matter how desperate you are for a console, never buy one from a seller who has zero feedback scores. It doesn't matter how cheap their offers are compared to other listings. In fact, a (comparatively) cheap PS5 coupled with no feedback scores is probably a red flag.

While eBay promised to beef up security to prevent PS5-themed scams after the console picture debacle, this one flew under the company's watchful eye. With any luck, this unfortunate soul from Orem will receive justice — and a PS5 — soon. It's the least he deserves for gathering concrete evidence of yet another PS5 eBay scam.