PlayStation 5: Scalpers hit Argos' PS5 stock before they had even officially gone on sale

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More than two months after it was first released, the PlayStation 5 remains in desperately short supply.

Sony was caught off-guard by the sales figures for its next-gen console, previously admitting that it was not prepared for the levels of demand that we have seen. 

The global pandemic has definitely played its part in this surge in demand. With so many of us stuck in our homes at the moment, the appeal of a brand new console is clear to see.

However, the pandemic has also presented Sony with a wide variety of logistical issues when it comes to getting more PS5 consoles onto the shelves. COVID-19 restrictions have impacted everything from production to delivery - meaning that very few pieces of hardware are actually making it to the retail market.

Whenever retailers are receiving a small shipment of PS5 consoles, though, organised scalping rings are seemingly scooping up the majority of the stock.

These highly-prepared operators routinely have inside knowledge of retailers' systems and procedures to ensure that they are able to get their hands on any available PS5 inventory well before the general public. Of course, these consoles are then sold on the secondary market for hugely inflated sums, denying genuine customers a fair shot to own a PS5 at retail price.

According to IGN.com, one group of scalpers were able to gain early access to the Argos website again this week, taking control of a vast amount of its most recent delivery of PS5 consoles, grabbing them all before they had even officially gone on sale!

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Having been made aware of the scam, Argos vowed on social media that any early orders would be tracked down and immediately cancelled. This does not, though, appear to have happened in practice - with many photos being posted of individuals actually picking up consoles that were obtained through this method.

Argos is not the only retailer to have been hit by this practice either. One satisfied customer of the scalping group stated on social media recently that he had been able to pick up no less than seven consoles from four different outlets.

"A PS5 for every room in the house, even the bog," boasted the post. 

Let's face it, Argos probably hasn't got the resources at present to be looking into the legitimacy of every PS5 purchase that is made through their website. Truthfully, they are likely just happy to be making the sales.

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The statement that Argos put out following these claims blamed sheer levels of demand, making no mention of scalpers.

"It's clear our customers are excited for the new PlayStation. We released a small amount of additional stock and have seen huge numbers of customers trying to place their orders with us and we have now sold out."

In response to the overall scalping situation, intervention by the UK Government has been debated recently. Sadly, it might well take this sort of step to resolve the issue fully.

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