PlayStation 5: 16-year-old scalper made nearly $2 million reselling consoles and Pokémon cards

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Thanks to the pandemic, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles have been like gold dust ever since their release in November last year.

But amidst all the scarcity, tech-savvy teenager Max Hayden saw nothing but opportunity.

The high-school junior from Hopewell Township, in central New Jersey, has bought and resold dozens of the consoles for as much as $1,100, which is more than double their $500 retail price.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the 16-year-old has made a profit of more than $110,000 on $1.7 million in revenue by buying up and reselling goods that were hard to get hold of because of the pandemic, including patio heaters and Pokémon trading cards.

In fact, he’s been so successful that he now co-rents warehouse space and pays two friends $15 an hour to help him with the venture.

“Some people call this retail arbitrage,” said Max, of Hopewell Township, in central New Jersey. “I wrote an essay for school on the topic.”

He’s certainly not the only one who’s taken advantage of the circumstances though. Entrepreneurial-types, or scalpers, depending on your point of view, have used the pandemic to amass small fortunes, simply by buying and reselling products that are now hard to come by.

The console shortage has occurred due to the well-documented semiconductor shortage. It’s impacted manufacturers of products such as televisions, mobile phones and cars and is still having an impact on Sony and Microsoft’s ability to meet demand for their elusive consoles.

Initially, the problem occurred because of a temporary delay in supply as factories shut down when the pandemic first hit. Even though production is now back to normal, a new surge in demand driven by changing habits fuelled by the pandemic means that the issue recently reached crisis point.

As Neil Campling, media and tech analyst at Mirabaud, told The Guardian earlier this year: “Chips are everything. There is a perfect storm of supply and demand factors going on here. But basically, there is a new level of demand that can’t be kept up with, everyone is in crisis and it is getting worse.”

As Gaming Bible reported back in April, the semiconductor shortage may last until 2023. Regardless, the PlayStation 5 is the fastest-selling console in US history, selling a whopping 4.5 million units globally in 2020 and a further 3.3 million between January and March this year.

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