The true price of a PlayStation 5

This previous week I’ve been watching eBay, attempting to determine if I ought to promote my PS5. I wouldn’t dream of changing into a scalper, nevertheless it’s getting laborious to disregard simply how a lot it’s price. My daughter and I had overwhelmed Astro Bot and Miles Morales, so I believed I’d peek on the resale market. Wow, are they price quite a bit!

And it’s not simply the PlayStation 5 — I discovered that Xbox Series X and S, Nvidia’s RTX 3090, 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti graphics playing cards, and AMD’s rival RX 6800 and 6800 XT GPUs are all commanding extremely excessive costs on the resale market. It not surprises me how every massive ticket vacation gaming gadget sells out nigh-instantly anytime they’re restocked; the motivation for scalpers is simply too excessive. They’re so excessive even of us like me, who purchased one intending to make use of it, may need to suppose twice. (That is capitalism for you.)

Instance: The total-fat PlayStation 5 with a disc drive retails for $499.99. But it surely’s simply price double that on eBay: I averaged the precise remaining sale value of 100 PS5s, subtracting a number of sketchy outliers, to reach at a road value of $1,024. Thoughts you, that’s not the asking value: that’s what persons are really paying for these consoles.

I ran the identical numbers for the PS5 Digital Version, the brand new Xboxes and all six graphics playing cards. Listed here are the outcomes:

PS5, Xbox, GPU road costs: Vacation 2020

Merchandise Retail Value Road Value
Merchandise Retail Value Road Value
PS5 (disc) $499 $1,024
PS5 (digital) $399 $990
Xbox Sequence X $499 $835
Xbox Sequence S $299 $471
Nvidia RTX 3090 $1,499 $2,076
Nvidia RTX 3080 $699 $1,227
Nvidia RTX 3070 $499 $819
Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti $399 $675
AMD RX 6800 XT $649 $1,232
AMD RX 6800 $579 $841

I didn’t weed out any open-box or used consoles to get to those numbers, and you’ll simply see how robust the PS5’s demand is particularly: even the PS5 Digital Version (with out the disc drive) is price almost as a lot because the disc model that retails for $100 extra.

Whereas scanning by way of, I additionally noticed that together with further video games, controllers or equipment is not even crucial: typically it was sufficient to justify an additional $100 or $200, however a PS5 didn’t want one to rake in $1K or extra. (Some Xboxes with further equipment appeared to be price $50 to $100 greater than others, however persons are clearly shopping for for the consoles themselves.) All this implies until the scenario adjustments drastically, the scalping isn’t going to cease anytime quickly.

If there’s a vibrant spot for would-be console consumers, it’s that not each PS5 and Xbox listed on eBay is definitely promoting, even when fairly a number of are. When it comes to quantity, the PS5 and new Xboxes every moved round 1,000 models on eBay on December third alone, however some $1,000 PS5 and $850 Xbox Sequence X listings ran out the clock with out getting offered. (Most PS5 Digital Version and Xbox Sequence S appeared to be promoting, however there have been additionally far fewer of them listed than the disc-based fashions.)

On the PC facet of issues, the brand new Nvidia and AMD graphics playing cards look like in extremely brief provide judging by eBay listings, although. Nearly each single card I noticed discovered a purchaser, save probably the most exorbitantly priced RTX 3090s — and even there, there have been a handful of $2,400 and $2,500 gross sales.

Picture by Tom Warren / The Verge

The shortages really feel very actual: perhaps 100 RTX 3080 playing cards modified fingers on December third, even fewer RTX 3070 playing cards, and solely 27 of the brand new AMD playing cards trickled right down to eBay consumers that day.

As we’ve mentioned repeatedly at The Verge, all of these things are virtually unimaginable to purchase at an precise retailer for his or her retail value proper now. Until you’re fortunate, have connections, or are keen to pay for bots or scalpers, you won’t be capable to discover one in any respect — and retailers have don’t have the right incentives to fix that.

We prefer to suppose we’ve received some quick, savvy dealhunters on employees, however many people are still struggling to discover a new GPU, PS5, or Xbox. Each supposed alternative to purchase is one other shitshow. “Coming quickly” is sort of at all times instantly adopted by “Out of inventory,” and if we really handle to get one into our digital buying cart in that blink of a watch, it’ll usually vanish earlier than checkout. The December 2nd launch of the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti was no exception, with retailers failing to launch at the scheduled time and others gone before they actually appeared to be in stock.

Greatest Purchase was a selected pleasure:

It’s additionally enjoyable to see GameStop and Newegg “restock” these merchandise — the place “restock” means upselling us on bundles with unwanted extras. Are you able to blame them, although, when eBay reveals even these consumers may get their cash’s price primarily based on the present provide and demand?

This sample has performed out many instances earlier than, and it is seemingly that provide will ultimately catch up. Normally, these corporations do not deliberately create shortage, even when it felt like that to me in early 2008 after I camped out in a freezing Greatest Purchase car parking zone for a Nintendo Wii a full 12 months after that console launched.

However we live by way of unprecedented instances proper now, with corporations like Microsoft and Nvidia signaling it could be months earlier than issues even out. I can not bear in mind a vacation season with this many must-have objects, both: Tickle Me Elmo, early Energy Rangers and that Nintendo Wii have been usually one-offs!

I’m nonetheless leaning in opposition to promoting my PS5 on eBay; I identical to the concept of buying and selling it for an AMD RX 6800, like I steered in my review, nevertheless it’s no simpler to search out that GPU; it appears like I would want many of the good points I would see from promoting the console to purchase the cardboard on eBay, too.

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