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Scalpers defend use of PS5 bots and say: ‘We do a lot for charity’


PlayStation 5 – scalpers seem to see themselves as Robin Hood figures (pic: Sony)

An interview with the co-founder of PS5 scalper group The Lab claims they are being unfairly vilified and are just acting as middlemen.

As rumoured, stock of the PlayStation 5 returned to GAME today, although you would never have known if you were just casually visiting the website, as it all sold out in literally seconds – a sure sign that most sales went to people using software bots to make purchases quicker than any human.

Rather than getting better over time the stock situation seems to be getting worse, with scalpers – the term for people who buy the consoles solely to sell at a profit on eBay – becoming public enemy number one with many gamers.

However, it seems scalpers resent this reputation and a Forbes interview with the leader of one group insists that scalping is an ‘incredibly valuable industry’ and all they’re doing is acting as ‘a middleman for limited quantity items’.

Identified only as Jordan, the co-founder of ‘The Lab’ claims to have personally bought 25 PlayStation 5 consoles in January and sold them for £700 each, a profit of £250 on each purchase.

‘Essentially every business resells their products. Tesco, for example, buys milk from farmers for 26p or so per litre and sells it on for upwards of 70p per litre. No one ever seems to complain to the extent as they are currently doing towards ourselves’, claims Jordan – a nonsensical claim that ignores the fact that scalpers simply take stock out of general circulation for their own profit.

The full article goes into interesting detail on how the bots work and the security measures they have to circumvent, including the battle between competing bot technology to be the fastest at finding and purchasing consoles.

Jordan and his business partner Regan both insist that by selling their knowledge and bots to others they are a positive force, helping people to make money during the lockdown.

‘I mainly just try and help others now, that’s all that really matters to me. The whole group came about near the start of the first UK lockdown and it makes me so happy that I can help people make some extra money for themselves’, says Regan.

“We do a lot for charity as well. I myself or collectively as a group donate to charity almost monthly at this point. Most notably over the past month we donated a large portion of our membership fees to a foodbank local to me.’

Although when the Forbes journalist asks for proof of these donations none is forthcoming.

‘Your average person who just wants one of the consoles to use struggles to get close. A lot of these sites have very minimal or easy to bypass bot protection. They often release stocks at stupid times or without any form of schedule,’ says Regan – which is certainly true.

‘A retailer I won’t name released stock of the PlayStation 5s in the extremely early hours of the morning. Which shows the lack of care on their part. The only people who will have known about those restocks will have been people with monitors inside of cook [aka scalper] groups.’

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