Speculators, those Internet users who buy and sell PS5 and Xbox Series X / S at a high price, have bad press. The Lab, a group of British scalpers, doesn’t understand why most buyers hate their business.
With the arrival on the market of PS5 and Xbox Series X / S, speculators (or scalpers in English) have multiplied. For those who don’t know, this practice is simply to mass-buy highly sought-after products (like a video game console) and then resell them at very high prices. Thanks to the resale of PS5 and Xbox Series X and S on sites like eBay, some scalpers generate millions of dollars in profit.
Quite often, speculators use bots to automatically grab a stock of products before other buyers can use it. Recently, scalpers have even managed to buy a full stock of PS5s before they go on sale. Obviously, this practice is very frowned upon. As many buyers desperately seek a next gen console, speculation is helping to deepen the shortage.
Speculators say they want to help people
Despite the consequences of their actions, speculators say they have no regrets. CrepChiefNotify, a British group of speculators organized on Facebook, claims that the scalpers are simply trying to survive and pay their bills in the midst of the economic crisis. “Much of our community has been put on short-time or unemployed outright, or has experienced other negative consequences of the pandemic. These people managed to pay their bills, put food on the table and buy Christmas presents for their children ” testifies the founder of CrepChiefNotify.
Asked by our colleagues at Forbes, Jordan, co-founder of a group of scalpers called The Lab, goes even further. The Internet user regrets the bad press surrounding speculation. “There seems to be a LOT of bad press on this incredibly valuable industry and I don’t think this is warranted, all we do is act as a middleman for items that are in limited supply” Jordan justifies. The scalper does not understand why many buyers send threats of the dead to his group.
“Basically every business resells products. Tesco, for example, buys milk from farmers for around 26 cents per liter and sells it for over 70 cents per liter ” continues the speculator. For Jordan, the bulk buying and selling of PS5 or Xbox is a job like any other, which takes time, patience and investment. “Our group monitors hundreds of websites to quickly notify members of replenishments” the scalper continues.
Against all odds, Jordan says his speculator group is looking to helping people by offering them financial opportunities. “I mainly try to help other people now, that’s all that really matters to me. The whole group was born around the start of the first lockdown in UK and it makes me so happy that I can help people make some extra money ” says Regan, co-founder of The Lab. Determined to restore the image of scalpers, he specifies: “We also do a lot for charity. Myself or collectively, as a group, I donate to a charity every month ”. We doubt that these statements are enough to restore the image of speculators.