Apparently, some PlayStation 5 scalpers are displeased with their bad public image, and claim what they're doing is justifiable.
If you're not aware, PS5s — and other highly sought after items — are being scooped up by scalpers, people who employ sophisticated programs to automatically purchase the consoles from retailers before regular customers even get the chance. They then resell these units for highly inflated prices.
According to a report by Forbes, some of these individuals feel their actions are being unfairly judged. Jordan is co-founder of The Lab, a "cook group" that advises paying customers on how to scalp products. Here's what he has to say about public perception of scalping: "There seems to be A LOT of bad press on this incredibly valuable industry and I do not feel that it is justified, all we are acting as is a middleman for limited quantity items."
He compares scalping to how retailers operate. "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."
Forbes put these quotes to frustrated people who've failed to secure a PS5 themselves, and the response is expectedly irate. One called Jordan "deluded", pointing out the fallacy of his argument. "He's not Robin Hood."
Jordan and fellow co-founder Regan say they're helping others by providing opportunities to make some extra money. That's great for the scalpers — not so good for those who just want to play PS5.
This whole issue is exacerbated by the fact that PS5 stock is hard to come by even without scalpers. Sony has said that short supply of key components is slowing down production, meaning it currently can't keep up with demand. Combine this with people using bots to buy up consoles in seconds, and it's no wonder people are struggling to get one for a fair price.
The trouble is that there is a market for these resold machines. Part of the reason scalpers are so prolific is because customers are willing to pay those dizzying prices. Ultimately, the practice sucks for most people, but there's little that can be done while it's still legal.
On that note, scalping PS5s is attracting the attention of the UK government for being "so unfair" to consumers. One MP is pushing for these bots to be banned, which is good news, but it'll take some time even if the bill is successful.
Check out the Forbes report to learn more about scalping, bots, and insight from the people behind it.