Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason PS5 Scalpers Are In An Uproar

Console scalpers are one of the biggest problems facing next-gen gamers. Ever since the PS5 launched, fans have had a difficult time getting their hands on the new system — but scalpers have not, and have been selling consoles at an absurdly marked up price. Forbes' Janhoi McGregor attempted to get to the bottom of this phenomenon, and discovered something interesting in the process: some scalpers are upset by the way they're being treated.


McGregor spoke with a scalper who asked to be referred to as "Jordan" for the entirety of the piece, in order to maintain anonymity. Jordan expressed his belief that scalpers were being unfairly maligned by the media and by gaming fans. "There seems to be A LOT of bad press on this incredibly valuable industry and I do not feel that it is justified, all we are acting as is a middleman for limited quantity items," Jordan told McGregor.

In other words, Jordan feels that scalpers are providing a necessary service. According to Jordan, scalpers don't do anything too different from other businesses. He explained to McGregor, "Essentially every business resells their products."

While it is interesting to see things from the perspective of a scalper, PS5 fans aren't buying it. When McGregor asked gamers what they thought of Jordan's explanation for scalping, one person described Jordan's point of view as "deluded."


Jordan claims that gamers have retaliated ruthlessly against his and other scalpers' efforts, with some of them even receiving death threats. Of course, not every gamer has reacted in this way. Some are simply content to pit the scalpers against one another. Members of subreddit r/scamthescalpers have been dealing a heaping dose of karma to scalpers in various ways, including sending them to the middle of nowhere for a transaction. This isn't a tactic that will work every time, however, because not all scalpers are running a solo operation. 

McGregor writes, "The scalpers I did speak with operate as a business, in some cases with full time staff. Because of the potential money on the table, the scalpers employ a lot of techniques to gain an advantage over regular buyers and other bot users." Basically, with a lot of people on board who are looking out for deals, it's much easier for a group of scalpers to snag what they're after. 

This process becomes even easier when scalpers are able to use bots to put the coveted consoles right into their online shopping carts. Jordan strongly hinted to McGregor that his group was using a scalper bot called Carnage, which recently helped next-gen scalpers make off with over 2,000 consoles. Perhaps the UK's latest moves to put scalpers on notice will nip this situation in the bud. Until then, it looks like scalpers are going to continue to make an astonishing amount of money and feel pretty good about it.