It’s hard to come by a PS5 right now, and that’s thanks in part to resellers like the PS5 scalper group CrepChiefNotify who reportedly scooped up 3500 PS5s collectively to resell for profit, sometimes at markups two times or more that of retail value. The group came to the attention of the internet in a Business Insider report last week, being berated for their underhanded tactics by legitimate consumers who haven’t yet managed to score a PS5 for themselves. In a recent statement, CrepChiefNotify says it has “no regrets” about swiping and reselling thousands of consoles for a premium.
On the group’s Facebook page, they detailed how they were able to obtain nearly 3500 consoles for resale, claiming that it was all manual using “knowledge and monitors,” and not through the use of retail-scraping bots as many had surmised. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail,” the post says. A representative from CrepChiefNotify previously indicated that bots had been used in the Business Insider report.
They also say that the profits reaped from PS5 resales have helped members of their group who have been “furloughed, made redundant, or at some form of disadvantage due the pandemic.” The post claims that these profits helped pay off bills, put food on tables, and ensure their children have a Christmas. ” It may be unfortunate that a child wont wake up to a PS5 this Christmas, but another child may have woken up to nothing,” The post ends saying simply “We have no regrets.”
Some comments on the post have pointed out that those not even able to pay bills or put food on their tables shouldn’t be purchasing multiple $500 consoles in the hopes of reselling them at a markup (particularly when pictures like the above show tens of PS5s all obtained by one person). There’s likely some truth behind CrepChiefNotify’s post—it did probably help some of their members experiencing financial hardship—but their entire operation is undoubtedly profit based and not entirely as altruistic as they make it seem.
The group runs Facebook ads to get people to join (for a fee), use its tools to secure scarce items, and “make an easy profit.” They started out snatching up coveted sneaker preorders, and have reportedly to date raked in more than 2 million Euros in profit across its members. (It’s unclear where the fees collected by the group’s 12 employees factor into that profit number.)
High demand that far exceeds the supply helps groups like this succeed at profiting from the scarcity. Sony recently said that the PS5 has been their biggest console launch ever and that it is absolutely sold out everywhere. They are working hard to renew inventory and continue getting the console to retailers, though bots, scalpers, and resellers will also continue to grab them and mark them up until the supply and demand numbers even out a bit more.
Microsoft’s Phil Spencer commented that PS5 and Xbox Series X shortages have created a need to rethink the preorder model to get more consoles into the hands of consumers who actually want them.