- The PlayStation 5 is officially available worldwide, but it’s been nearly impossible to buy one since launch.
- Sony has struggled to keep up with demand, and retailers have struggled to keep their online stores operational as buyers flood each resupply.
- That insatiable demand has created a robust resale market for Sony’s latest game console, with the $500 model regularly selling for just shy of $1,000.
- So, how do you buy one without spending double? From using a smartphone instead of a computer to pre-loading your digital cart ahead of sales time, resellers gave us their six best tips for snagging a PlayStation 5 this holiday season.
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After months of anticipation, Sony’s PlayStation 5 is finally available worldwide.
Last Thursday marked the second and final wave of launches for Sony’s new game console, which included the critical PlayStation markets of Europe and the United Kingdom.
Because of the pandemic, millions of people turned to digital storefronts to purchase the new console. But that proved impossible for many, just as it was in the United States the week prior. Customers tried — and failed — to order the PS5 through a variety of retailers.
Beyond the already high consumer interest, there’s another reason why it’s so hard to buy a PlayStation 5: With high demand and limited supply, the PS5 has become a hot commodity for resellers this holiday season. The $500 version of the console is selling for just shy of $1,000 on StockX as of Wednesday morning.
Some of those resellers are using “bot” software that enables them to buy items faster than any human being could. But for the vast majority of resellers, there was no subversive software enabling their initial purchases.
So, how are they getting their hands on the PlayStation 5 before you? We spoke with several resellers who gave us their top tips:
1. Have all your information filled out, and be logged in, before trying to buy the console through a digital storefront.
“The key was having all my credit card [information], and addresses, and everything saved for quick checkout,” one reseller named Alex told Business Insider. Alex said he secured seven PlayStation 5 consoles — six through pre-orders back in September, and another one after launch through Sony’s PlayStation Direct storefront.
This is an especially important thing to do given that the crush of people on any given storefront during a PS5 resupply tends to result in significant slowdown or outright broken components.
2. Use your smartphone instead of a computer.
It might seem faster to enter information on a computer, but smartphone checkout is intended to streamline the process — especially if you’re using a mobile app dedicated to that company, like Walmart’s app or Amazon’s app. As such, Alex said that using the mobile apps was critical to his success, “as they were faster than the webpages.”
Without going too far down the rabbit hole, you can set up Twitter alerts for some prominent accounts that are notorious for sharing resupply updates (such as the two listed above). These two aren’t the only accounts out there monitoring for PlayStation 5 stock, but they are among the most reliable.
4. If you do fail, leave the item in your digital cart — and skip several steps the next time supplies are in.
For a lot of people trying to buy a PS5, getting the item into their digital cart is a struggle as thousands of other people attempt to do the same thing at exactly the same time. Walmart’s website, for instance, has outright crashed multiple times while attempting to deal with the massive influx of PS5 customers. By the time they reach checkout, they’re greeted with the unfortunate news that stock has already been depleted. Bummer! The item, however, remains in your digital cart — and leaving it there will give you a big leg up the next time the console is available. Simply jump back into your cart and click checkout, thus skipping a potential roadblock to buying the console.
5. Use Apple Pay if you can.
Another critical tip to streamlining the checkout process: Using Apple’s built-in payment system, Apple Pay, rather than manually entering payment information. When paired with mobile app checkout, you’re potentially skipping major wait times on web-based checkout.
6. If all else fails, there are subscription-based groups that were created specifically to facilitate the purchase of highly sought after products that can be resold.
Whether you want to resell PlayStation 5 consoles or just get one for your nephew, so-called “cook groups” exist specifically to help their members purchase of in-demand products for resale. Some of these groups are free to join, and some charge a subscription fee. One such group based out of the UK that we spoke with, named CrepChiefNotify, said it had secured thousands of PlayStation 5 consoles through pre-order and post-launch purchase. The “vast majority” of those purchases were done manually — the same way you or I would check out, albeit with the collective knowledge of a group and software monitors set up to alert members when resupplies go live. “We knew where to go before they announce it,” a manager at CrepChiefNotify said.
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