Argos is the latest UK retailer to reportedly be targeted by PS5 scalper groups – a day before its latest stock was publicly put on sale.
Like many British retailers this month, Argos briefly made new PS5 stock available on Tuesday morning, which expectedly sold out soon after going live at around 1am GMT.
However, it later emerged that members of a paid-for scalper group had been able to purchase – and in some cases collect – some PS5s from Argos a full 24 hours earlier, thanks to an exploit they discovered allowing them to place orders early.
As reported by IGN, Express Notify has been publicly taking credit for the Argos loophole, with many of its members claiming on social media that they were able to order multiple consoles before the public on-sale date.
One Twitter user demonstrated how the loophole worked by generating a link from the group’s paid-for Discord to purchase a console, before travelling to an Argos store to collect it on Monday.
Argos eventually closed the loophole allowing users to place orders early, but it’s unclear how many PS5 consoles were claimed before it took action.
Like many regions, UK consumers searching for PS5s have been regularly frustrated by retailers selling out of consoles, as well as regular claims from scalper groups that they’d been able to obtain thousands of orders for the purpose of reselling for profit.
Last week one firm behind bot software used to beat virtual retail queues claimed its users had secured over 2,000 orders to resell for profit. Another UK-based scalper group made similar claims on its social media accounts.
However, sales of physical PS5 games increased by over 300% in the UK last week, suggesting that at least some of the recent PS5 restocks managed to make their way into the hands of regular consumers.
UK retailer Game recently told VGC it would cancel any orders it recognised as sending multiple consoles to the same customer, in attempt to thwart the number of resellers targeting its next-gen hardware restocks.
“We have strong measures in place to help ensure that our ‘1 per customer’ statement is maintained to allow for as many individual customers to successfully purchase as possible,” it said.
A December report by business publication Bloomberg reiterated claims that Sony is experiencing PS5 production issues related to its main, custom-designed processor – claims Sony previously labelled “false”.
Sony expects to sell over 7.6 million PS5 units by the end of its fiscal year on March 31, 2021, outperforming PS4’s launch, but it will have less consoles available than previously targeted, according to Bloomberg’s sources.
A Sony spokesman said in response: “While we do not release details related to manufacturing, nothing unexpected has happened since PlayStation 5 mass production has started and we have not changed the production number for PS5.”