PlayStation 5 scalpers made more than US$19 million profit on the console via eBay with the PS5 Digital Edition reaching over 350% MSRP
It’s the revelation that many gamers and would-be console owners feared: Scalping of the PlayStation 5 has been incredibly successful and very lucrative for those involved. Data engineer Michael Driscoll analyzed the scalping activities of numerous much-desired tech products, including the PS5 and Xbox Series X. While scalpers turned a decent profit by selling Microsoft’s new consoles on eBay (29,255 units for US$23.5 million in sales), it was Sony’s new gaming hardware that really filled the coffers.
According to Driscoll’s research, scalpers managed to sell 7,322 units of the PS5 Digital Edition and 25,642 units of the disc variant via eBay from when PS5 pre-orders began in mid-September up to the beginning of December. It’s clear to see by the graph that the engineer produced (see below) that stock shortages have obviously pushed prices for the PS5 sky high, with the disc version peaking at over 200% of MSRP (US$499) and the Digital Edition hitting over 350% of its MSRP (US$399). Median scalper prices for both consoles over the past week before the report was published have crossed the US$1,000-mark: US$1,025 for the Digital Edition and US$1,101 for the regular PS5.
When all the figures and estimates are added together, it seems total sales for the PS5 on eBay amounted to a whopping US$34.75 million with the scalpers and eBay pocketing over US$19 million in profit. Naturally, eBay and PayPal will take their cuts of the profit, and as pointed out by Driscoll, this information is based on a single trading platform, with the entire PS5 scalping market likely being much higher (possibly up to 10x as much). When a “casual” or “sophisticated” scalper can make around US$500 per sold unit, it seems unlikely that scalping practices, which are viewed by many as both immoral and unethical, will cease anytime soon.