U.K. retailer Argos’ new stock of PlayStation 5s, scheduled to drop this morning, was rapidly depleted to the frustrations of consumers—and scalping group Express Notify took credit in a widespread operation the day before.
First reported by IGN, multiple anonymous sources allegedly confirmed that scalpers were able to order PS5 consoles on Jan. 25 instead of the planned date of Jan. 26. Express Notify reportedly sent out generated checkout links via its paid-for Discord server, allowing users to directly purchase the consoles a full day early.
Argos supposedly tried to invalidate these links as quickly as possible, but not before several consoles were sold and collected from its physical outlets.
The retailer issued a public statement, calling the scalping a “technical issue which allowed a small proportion of customers to place orders early,” and said its new stock of PS5s was already “sold out” due to high demand from customers.
Technical issues with the retailer’s e-commerce platforms further exacerbated the frustrations for potential consumers. Argos’ app experienced several periods of downtime, while its website failed to reflect the new stock accurately.
While the PS5 was released on Nov. 12, Sony’s next-generation console seems to be remaining on many’s wishlists rather than shelves. “Unprecedented” demand and low supply have created an undesirable situation for the scalping problem to fester, driving the prices of secondary sales sky-high.