Scalpers may start to become uninterested in trying to scalp the PS5 as second hand prices drop, but why are they dropping?
Without a doubt, the PlayStation 5 has been one of the hottest items to come out as of late, but even almost a year after release, many fans have been unable to snag one due to low stock being combined with mass scalping. The console has consistently been available to buy “new” on second-hand markets like eBay, though with massively inflated prices. Just last year during cyber weekend, the console was selling in the second-hand market for $1000 or more. But according to StockX, that price seems to be dropping now, averaging $715 this month.
Now, granted, that’s still over $200 more than MSRP for the system, but it does show that something is changing, but the question is, why? There could be a few explanations as to why, but it’s still hard to tell exactly why scalpers aren’t making as much on their systems.
More Stock Available?
Let’s just go ahead and get this one out of the way from the start. I would stay stock availability has improved, but in my opinion, not enough to actually have too much of an impact on the scalping market. It may be having some effect as part of the whole picture, but it alone is unlikely to be the reason. Looking around it’s still very difficult to actually get a hold of. So if it’s not really from an increase in supply, then what else could it be?
So, Demand is Going Down?
Honestly, I believe so. Not because the console is losing popularity. It’s quite the opposite, as it’s still very popular and sought after. Demand is not going down due to the console losing popularity, but rather, more likely, because people have grown tired of playing into scalpers, and have become more patient. I believe people have started to learn that if they don’t play the scalpers’ games, scalpers won’t have a leg to stand on in the second hand market. Coupled with that, gamers may be starting to realize that trying to snag the PlayStation 5 right now isn’t really worth it, especially at the higher scalped prices.
Let’s be real, while the PS5 is a really cool system, It’s exclusively library is still lacking. Most games worth playing on the system are out on other older systems that most people own. There is the fact that even older PS4 titles can run better on the new PS5 system, but people are starting to realize that this still isn’t enough either really. Most new games coming out are still releasing on PS4 along with PS5, which may also be making it easier to just stick with the old console and wait out the storm of scalping.
How Prices Dropping Will Affect Scalping
Frankly, it’s hard to say exactly what effect this will have in the near future, given the fact that humans are fickle beings with the ability to have free thought and do whatever they want. Still, we can make at least an educated guess of how things may play out moving forward.
The most logical conclusion is this: as prices on the second-hand market drop, scalpers will start losing interest in scalping the product. Dropping prices means less profit for the scalpers, and if that profit margin takes enough of a hit, the amount earned won’t be worth the effort of the work going into scalping. Which will cause some scalpers to drop the PS5 from their list of products. From there, it will likely start a bit of a downward spiral where less scalpers causes stock to be easier to obtain, dropping second-hand market prices even further, causing more scalpers to drop.
Will this Happen Anytime Soon?
Unfortunately, gauging exactly how soon these events will start to transpire, and that’s IF they transpire, is difficult. Remember, this is all speculation, just one that is backed by some logical thinking. We could possibly see the market prices spike up again, especially as we start approaching the upcoming holiday season. People may start to get desperate again in an attempt to get a system for themselves or as a gift for another person. We can hope that doesn’t happen, but based on previous years, it’s very possible, and perhaps likely, that it will happen. So while I hope they start coming down sooner, it may end up taking till 2022 due to the holiday season re-introducing demand. All we can do is wait, and observe.
Edit 9/14/2021 10:15am PT: Fixed wording in a few sections for clarity.