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1 hour ago, McCoy said:

 

I'd work on a 5% profit margin so maybe £22.50 per console sold. 

 

Sounds about right, when I've looked through wholesale lists before, the margins on new software and hardware is really thin, obviously larger companies get a better slice as they buy in the thousands rther than 10's or hundreds, but 5% would be about right.

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21 minutes ago, MikeBeaver said:

 

Sounds about right, when I've looked through wholesale lists before, the margins on new software and hardware is really thin, obviously larger companies get a better slice as they buy in the thousands rther than 10's or hundreds, but 5% would be about right.

 

When you take into account delivery and other issues, you can see why retailers don't have much insentive to devise a complicated system to beat scalpers.

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They don't need a complicated system, just allow preorders like they already do. Most sites allow you to preorder a game or console prior to release just allow that for something already released. Amazon do this for lots of items, allow you to preorder and give a rough idea of possible availability - just do that, you don;t even have to give the rough idea!

 

Then it is a simple queuing system and anyone who wants a ps5 gets one eventually. This situation is utterly stupid and avoidable.

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4 hours ago, dumpster said:

Is this the most botched console launch ever yet?

 

I know we have a pandemic butbi think the scalpers issue is being overstated. When the scalper group gleefully announced the had secured 2000 consoles that breaks down to 4 units for every Argos store in the country. Now sure , you would have had more chance of buying one from Argos if they have four more than they did. But 2000 is virtually zero in the overall scheme of things. If you're 18000 in the queue for Very, surely this means that, scalpers or not, there's absolutely fuck all stock, nearly 4 months after launch.  

 

No it's not even close to the most botched console launch ever. That's something like the US Sega Saturn launch where they launched far earlier than expected at a huge price and no one wanted it. Also when the PS3 launched, despite being actually readily available it was totally unsold by the PS2 during the PS3 launch window. 

 

There's high demand for these machines, and they can't make enough of them to satisfy demand, which will eventually subside. Kind of like the Wii launch then. It's a far preferable launch position for the platform holders. 

 

Also it's totally obvious why they can't make enough of them. It's the current situation. 

I was lucky enough to pre-order a PS5 for launch and it's a wonderful thing but I now absolutely would like to buy the series X to go along side it. But I just can not buy one, anywhere. I have alerts on my phone for random stock, and I'm always too late. It's rubbish, but they'll soon be available everywhere. 

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29 minutes ago, Clipper said:

They don't need a complicated system, just allow preorders like they already do. Most sites allow you to preorder a game or console prior to release just allow that for something already released. Amazon do this for lots of items, allow you to preorder and give a rough idea of possible availability - just do that, you don;t even have to give the rough idea!

 

Then it is a simple queuing system and anyone who wants a ps5 gets one eventually. This situation is utterly stupid and avoidable.

 

I agree, but that won't beat scalpers in the slightest. 

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11 minutes ago, Kevvy Metal said:

 

No it's not even close to the most botched console launch ever. That's something like the US Sega Saturn launch where they launched far earlier than expected at a huge price and no one wanted it. Also when the PS3 launched, despite being actually readily available it was totally unsold by the PS2 during the PS3 launch window. 

 

There's high demand for these machines, and they can't make enough of them to satisfy demand, which will eventually subside. Kind of like the Wii launch then. It's a far preferable launch position for the platform holders. 

 

Also it's totally obvious why they can't make enough of them. It's the current situation. 

I was lucky enough to pre-order a PS5 for launch and it's a wonderful thing but I now absolutely would like to buy the series X to go along side it. But I just can not buy one, anywhere. I have alerts on my phone for random stock, and I'm always too late. It's rubbish, but they'll soon be available everywhere. 

 

Keep trying. I've managed to get both in the space of the last month. I just happened to be in front of the laptop when the alerts came up and was lucky enough that both orders went through fine.

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7 minutes ago, McCoy said:

 

I agree, but that won't beat scalpers in the slightest. 

can someone explain how scalpers work then?

 

If it is a preorder system, 1 order per customer then a scalper would need an account for each order and an email address and a delivery address. How do they have so many delivery addresses?

 

if there is some nefarious way to bypass that then only allow preorders from existing account holders.

 

Also would scalpers want to be in a queue alongside everyone else with their 200 orders or whatever and receive them on a dripfeed basis so they can't time their auctions etc as well? 200 PS5s over a 2 month period wouldn't interest them as much as 200 orders arriving on Wednesday. Especially as demand might be surpressed as people won't be as likely to pay the BIG prices for a scalped one if they are in a queue for a preorder.

 

I am baffled as to how they work without the retailers noticing the offenders

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16 minutes ago, Clipper said:

can someone explain how scalpers work then?

 

If it is a preorder system, 1 order per customer then a scalper would need an account for each order and an email address and a delivery address. How do they have so many delivery addresses?

 

if there is some nefarious way to bypass that then only allow preorders from existing account holders.

 

Also would scalpers want to be in a queue alongside everyone else with their 200 orders or whatever and receive them on a dripfeed basis so they can't time their auctions etc as well? 200 PS5s over a 2 month period wouldn't interest them as much as 200 orders arriving on Wednesday. Especially as demand might be surpressed as people won't be as likely to pay the BIG prices for a scalped one if they are in a queue for a preorder.

 

I am baffled as to how they work without the retailers noticing the offenders

 

Well, email addresses are easy to come by. Limiting orders by postal addresses can be done but again needs a broadly complex system designed - most retailers do not already have a system in place to limit multiple different orders going to a specific address. You then encounter problems with flat/house shares or blocks of flats which all broadly have a similar address system. This again makes devising an automated system difficult and a manual system time consuming. Best case scenario, the system works and the retailer only has to manually deal with lots of legitimate complaints from two friends who both live in the same house who want to order a PS5 but computer says no. Worst case scenario, simple address spelling 'mistakes' causes the whole system to be easy to circumvent or entire blocks of flats get put on the black list because flat 315 has already placed an order. 

 

Scalpers know at any point they can return a system ordered to the retailer for a full refund. So they can put in as many 'pre-orders' as they want. They then receive the systems and put them on ebay. If they achieve the desired minimum price the system is sold to the bidder. If not, it is returned to the retailer for a full refund. It is as close as possible a way to make money without any actual risk to the scalper. They'd probably welcome the pre-order system since they can just spend their days placing as many pre-orders as they want to - no more designing a bot or trying to be first in queue at Very to secure a console they will then sell on. 

 

Retailers can, absolutely, notice the offenders if they want to. But they make minimal profit from console sales, and from their financial point of view they don't care if the system goes to a genuine buyer or a scalper - they make the same profit regardless. So they are faced with having to come up with a broadly bespoke system for preventing multiple different orders with potentially different email addresses from being delivered to the same address and as a reward for coming up with such a system and implementing it they can look forward to receiving exactly the same level of profit than if they hadn't bothered in the first place. 

 

I'm not saying they shouldn't morally devise such a system but I can see why they don't bother. 

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I must confess I don't get it either. As someone who, every year, is at my computer as iPhone pre-orders go live I cannot understand why Sony and Microsoft can't implement a similar system. As each iPhone model runs out of its initial supply, you see the lead times increase almost in real time so you get an idea of how long you're going to have to wait.

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2 minutes ago, superfunk said:

I must confess I don't get it either. As someone who, every year, is at my computer as iPhone pre-orders go live I cannot understand why Sony and Microsoft can't implement a similar system. As each iPhone model runs out of its initial supply, you see the lead times increase almost in real time so you get an idea of how long you're going to have to wait.

 

I'm speaking of retailers generally. I agree that platform holders like MS and Sony which have the ability to sell direct to consumers should and could come up with a system that beats scalpers - prioritising gamertags which have existed for more than 12 months as an example. 

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5 minutes ago, McCoy said:

 

Well, email addresses are easy to come by. Limiting orders by postal addresses can be done but again needs a broadly complex system designed - most retailers do not already have a system in place to limit multiple different orders going to a specific address. You then encounter problems with flat/house shares or blocks of flats which all broadly have a similar address system. This again makes devising an automated system difficult and a manual system time consuming. Best case scenario, the system works and the retailer only has to manually deal with lots of legitimate complaints from two friends who both live in the same house who want to order a PS5 but computer says no. Worst case scenario, simple address spelling 'mistakes' causes the whole system to be easy to circumvent.

 

Scalpers know at any point they can return a system ordered to the retailer for a full refund. So they can put in as many 'pre-orders' as they want. They then receive the systems and put them on ebay. If they achieve the desired minimum price the system is sold to the bidder. If not, it is returned to the retailer for a full refund. It is as close as possible a way to make money without any actual risk to the scalper. They'd probably welcome the pre-order system since they can just spend their days placing as many pre-orders as they want to - no more designing a bot or trying to be first in queue at Very to secure a console they will then sell on. 

 

Retailers can, absolutely, notice the offenders if they want to. But they make minimal profit from console sales, and from their financial point of view they don't care if the system goes to a genuine buyer or a scalper - they make the same profit regardless. So they are faced with having to come up with a broadly bespoke system for preventing multiple different orders with potentially different email addresses from being delivered to the same address and as a reward for coming up with such a system and implementing it they can look forward to receiving exactly the same level of profit than if they hadn't bothered in the first place. 

 

I'm not saying they shouldn't morally devise such a system but I can see why they don't bother. 

interesting. Limiting preorders to existing account holders only would seem to be the easiest solution, but again they don't have the incentive to do it.


And the platformholders don't have the infrastructure in place to sell directly (sony) or don't have the "bandwidth" of Apple's store (MS?)

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5 minutes ago, McCoy said:

 

I'm speaking of retailers generally. I agree that platform holders like MS and Sony which have the ability to sell direct to consumers should and could come up with a system that beats scalpers - prioritising gamertags which have existed for more than 12 months as an example. 

Yeah - I was thinking of Sony and Microsoft doing direct sales there. I agree that there's not much of an incentive for retailers. If Sony and Microsoft took the approach that they want to 'delight' their customers, having a direct pre-order queue system of one per account (for the first few weeks or months) would go a long way towards doing that.

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7 minutes ago, Clipper said:

interesting. Limiting preorders to existing account holders only would seem to be the easiest solution, but again they don't have the incentive to do it.

 

Yep, that's probably the easiest solution although it is rather an anathema to retailers who would probably welcome the opportunity of securing a new account holder by selling an in demand item. 

 

It might also just take scalping from a sophisticated industry to a back room industry. You could have an average person that hears that you can make money by buying and selling PS5s and even with a 1 account per order it wouldn't stop the practice. I mean, I've already got like 10 accounts for retailers that sell PS5s which I could validly use to order 10 systems.  Extend the same logic to to my partner, and/or my mother/brother/father and already I could be a person with the legitimate means to pre-order 30+ systems. 

 

You might increase the odds of a genuine buyer getting a PS5 but again, you stop one way and people simply move onto a different way of trying to circumvent the system. 

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also all this talk of retailers not wanting "bespoke" systems to handle this situation. Lots of them have implemented queuing systems and other methods to prevent their system going down. Also lots of them are suffering outages due to "stock drops".

 

If they had preorders in place then those systems and outages would no longer be an issue.

 

I guess number crunchers somewhere have decided this hassle is better for them than the other one.

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A cynic could suggest that it is in the interests of the retailers to keep demand and site traffic high.

 

I for one spent a bit on a system refresh after the disappointment of missing out on the initial drop of 3080 GPU's last year so I bet there's a lot of people thinking fuck it I'll buy some other tech instead after missing out on yet another drop of a few hundred consoles when demand is still in the tens if not hundreds of thousands.

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1 hour ago, Kevvy Metal said:

Also it's totally obvious why they can't make enough of them. It's the current situation. 

I was lucky enough to pre-order a PS5 for launch and it's a wonderful thing but I now absolutely would like to buy the series X to go along side it. But I just can not buy one, anywhere. I have alerts on my phone for random stock, and I'm always too late. It's rubbish, but they'll soon be available everywhere. 

 

The figures I looked at suggested the PS5 has sold comparably with the PS4 on its launch, I don't get the impression stock has been restricted in any meaningful way. 

 

It's more likely to be a combination of scalpers and people who wouldn't normally buy a console at launch but have a lot of disposable income because they didn't go on holiday last year and haven't been to the pub for 6 months.

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As someone who doesn’t really understand the internet, why is it still so rubbish in many ways? With platforms like AWS and Azure, can’t servers/bandwidth be scaled on the fly? Having websites completely fall over because 10,000 people hit F5 at the same time seems laughable.
 

 

How are these systems still letting you get stuff into a basket but then not check out? Surely the stock should be allocated to a basket on a one in, one out basis?

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25 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

As someone who doesn’t really understand the internet, why is it still so rubbish in many ways? With platforms like AWS and Azure, can’t servers/bandwidth be scaled on the fly? Having websites completely fall over because 10,000 people hit F5 at the same time seems laughable.
 

 

How are these systems still letting you get stuff into a basket but then not check out? Surely the stock should be allocated to a basket on a one in, one out basis?


They can be scaled.To an extent. But first, how much are they willing to pay for services to do this or the engineering to build/configure it. Each store is different to some extent.

 

And how things get in a basket and not checked out is the reality of complex timing race conditions and handing off between different parts of the system. Imagine if I could go to Amazon and add all of their stock of something to my cart so no one else could buy one. Okay I might need many accounts to do so but that’s not impossible.

 

Restricting to existing accounts is fine this time. Until scalpers understand this going forward and start creating many accounts with many retailers in the markets they care about. Maybe restrict to those who have made an order in the last year? Now how do you feel that your only buying option is, say, Amazon? Every restriction will piss off a set of real potential customers.

 

In the end, if customers continue to flock to where there is stock regardless of the retailers practices and lack of (IMO impossible and pointless bot filtering then they will keep doing as is.

 

The point about iPhones is interesting. But the reality is that it’s different because a) stock isn’t really that limited at all compared to these things and b) Apple just sell direct and most people buy from them or will be aligned with contract upgrades rather than new phone releases.

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56 minutes ago, Clipper said:

also all this talk of retailers not wanting "bespoke" systems to handle this situation. Lots of them have implemented queuing systems and other methods to prevent their system going down. Also lots of them are suffering outages due to "stock drops".

 

True, although I think the queuing software is not bespoke as I've seen similar types of queuing software used elsewhere. 

 

I do agree with you that pre-orders would be the best way to deal with the situation, all things considered. 

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Raffle!

 

each ticket cost £450

 

if your number comes up, you get a ps5

 

eventually everyone gets a ps5. It’s  a bit of a lottery, but when it’s your turn, bingo!

 

also: treasure hunt

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3 hours ago, Eighthours said:

 

Many congrats! I hop you end up liking the console after all this. :lol: Did you get any games?


no but jcafarley let me borrow his copies of Miles and Sackboy so I’ve got something to play when I get some time with the thing!

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