Sunday, August 14, 2022

Scalpers PS5 used loophole to buy shares before they went live in UK

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British retailer Argos has been targeted by PS5 scalping, possibly contributing to lower-than-expected availability in a recent stock update. In the early morning hours of January 26, UK gamers were thrilled to see the PS5 back in stock at Argos. But, as we have seen time and time again, the stock lasted much less than expected, amid widespread problems. Not only was the site buggy, alongside the app, but there was also supposedly less stock than expected on the already limited supply of consoles.

Multiple sources (who wished to remain anonymous) confirmed to IGN that this was in part because individuals were able to order PS5 consoles from Argos on January 25, a full day before the aforementioned official stock drop. This was due to a flaw discovered by the Express Notify scalping group, a paid Discord server that shared links that allowed users to purchase the PS5 before the general public even knew about the new stock. Express Notify has been publicly acknowledged, with many of its users posting their orders for multiple consoles.

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Argos reportedly closed these rogue links quickly, but not without several consoles having been sold and even collected from Argos outlets first. There was no confirmation of how many PS5s claimed to be before the loophole was closed, but this is just another example in the growing list of frustrations customers face when trying to purchase the new generation system.

To make matters worse, those attempting to buy legitimately through Argos in the early hours of the morning weren’t exactly one step ahead. At first, the stock appeared to be available on the Argos app – which has been dropped several times for maintenance – but not on the Argos browser-based website. However, even the success of the app apparently depended entirely on your region and willingness to play ball in general. Some users reported success, others said the money went out of their account without a confirmation email, while many others found themselves without a console once again.

We reached out to Argos to comment on the issue.

Scalping has become a major issue for the low-stock, high-demand PS5, and was particularly prevalent in the UK. The consoles have disappeared from Amazon deliveries, summer stolen from a moving truck, and retailers canceled huge amounts of orders claimed by scalping the rings. It was enough for a group of British politicians to proposed debate on making console scalping illegal in the country.

Robert Anderson is Commerce Editor and Transactions Expert for IGN. Send her awesome game screenshots @ robert parl21 on Twitter.

Credit to @ PS5StockAlertUK to help with the information.


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