PS5 Scalpers Used a Loophole to Buy Stock Before It Was Live in the UK
UK retailer Argos has been targeted by PS5 scalping groups, possibly contributing to lower-than-expected availability during a recent stock update.
In the early hours of January 26, UK gamers were delighted to see the PS5 back in stock at Argos. But, just as we’ve seen time and time again, the stock lasted for a much shorter time than expected, amid widespread issues. Not only was the site buggy, alongside the app, but there was also supposedly even less stock than expected on the already limited supply of consoles.
Multiple sources (who wished to remain anonymous) have confirmed to IGN that this is 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 down to a loophole discovered by scalping group Express Notify, a paid-for Discord server that shared links allowing users to buy the PS5 before the general public even knew about the new stock. Express Notify has been publicly taking credit, with many of its users showing off their orders for multiple consoles.
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Argos supposedly shut these rogue links down quickly, but not without several consoles being sold and even collected from Argos outlets beforehand. There hasn’t been any confirmation of how many PS5s were claimed before the loophole was closed, but this is just another example in the growing list of frustrations that customers are facing when trying to purchase the next-gen system.
To compound the issues, those who were attempting to buy legitimately via Argos in the early hours of the morning weren’t exactly given a head start. At first, stock appeared to be available on the Argos app – which repeatedly dropped for maintenance – but not on Argos’ browser-based website. However, even success with the app was seemingly entirely dependant on your area, and whether it wanted to play ball in general. Some users reported success, others said the money came out of their account without a confirmation email, while many more were left without a console once again.
We’ve contacted Argos for comment on the issue.
Scalping has become a major issue for the low-stock, high-demand PS5, and has been particularly prevalent in the UK. Consoles have gone missing from Amazon deliveries, been stolen from moving trucks, and retailers have cancelled huge swathes of orders claimed by scalping rings. It’s been enough for a set of UK politicians to motion for a debate on making console scalping illegal in the country.
Robert Anderson is a Commerce Editor and deals expert for IGN. Send him awesome gaming screenshots @robertliam21 on Twitter.
Credit to @PS5StockAlertUK for assisting with information.