A hot potato: There are several reasons why people find it hard to buy new consoles without paying the odds on eBay. There is of course the chip shortage, the ongoing hardware/logistics issues resulting from the pandemic, and the overwhelming demand. On top of all that, there are the hordes of scalpers who first grab these PS5 and XBSX machines to resell them for a profit. But the person behind a scalping service defended his actions, saying he was only helping young entrepreneurs, some of whom are in dire need of the money. Plus, anyone who can afford a new console should feel free to pay a little extra.
Jack Bayliss runs Aftermarket Arbitrage, a subscription service where members pay £30 (~$40) per month to be notified when high-demand items such as the PS5 and XBSX are back in stock. The 24-year-old said Sky News he earns about $61,000 a month from the 1,500 scalpers who have joined his program, the majority of whom are “very young”.
Bayliss said the idea that families couldn’t buy a games console because of his business didn’t bother him, but he was “very in tune with my moral compass, as a person.”
“But I see the other side of the coin, the area that the media and the general public who hate us refer to as ‘scalpers’ [don’t see],” he said.
“For me, owning the PS5 or an Xbox isn’t a necessity, it’s a luxury, okay? If you can afford to spend £450, spending the extra £100 should be pretty marginal, if you have cash ready to splash on that.”
Bayliss also asked families who couldn’t find or afford consoles over the holidays to think about how much scalpers are taking advantage of the situation. “Yes, some families are going to have to pay £100 more, but what you don’t think of is our members, they have 30 consoles, they make £100 on each. And then they make a good month’s salary in A few days.”
“What they’re doing is they’re entrepreneurs, they’re going out, creating a side income, and they’re doing something that 90% of the population can’t be bothered to do,” he said. -he explains. So remember, if you choose not to make money scalping, it’s because you’re lazy.
Some scalpers have even been able to quit their jobs. “They’re spending more time with family, with their kids,” he said. “We’ve had people who have been able to renovate their homes, they’ve bought the kids a climbing frame, they’ve bought the wives new cars, they’ve bought themselves new cars.” News that should fill people’s hearts with joy.
“We then had one of our members, he had a gambling debt of £20,000. And we hired him. He’s been with us for a year, he’s now in the clear, and he’s done, I think, he made a lot of money.”
Bayliss also compared scalping to the stock market. “If you look at the stock market, and as soon as you see an arbitrage opportunity, where someone thinks an asset is undervalued, traders are going to jump on it and arbitrage that profit. That’s exactly what we do.”
“Look at every step of the supply chain. Someone is adding value somewhere […] It is not sold at cost. It’s capitalism.”
This is not the first time scalpers have defended their way of life, having previously called themselves “acting as a middleman for limited-quantity items”.
In January 2021, it was reported that resellers had sold over 53,000 new Nvidia/AMD cards worth $65 million. There have been government proposals to ban scalping and numerous attempts to restrict the practice, but little has worked either. At least we can rest easy knowing that people are making good money buying and reselling items through a subscription service. And there’s always the PlayStation 4 now that Sony has been forced to do more.