It worked because India is a price-conscious market

Indian gamers are taking action against scalpers selling PlayStation 5s for over US$1000 (Image source: Sony)

An IGN report indicates that Indian PlayStation 5 fans, already dealing with a US$700 MSRP are actively working to shut down scalpers, both by pressuring Sony and by reporting and initiating takedowns of scalper listings on eCommerce sites.

The ongoing GPU and console shortages are allowing scalpers across the world free hand to set markups on products like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Supply shortages and bot-automated mass purchasing force most potential buyers to either wait or pay massively inflated prices.

In India, however, where the base MSRP of the PlayStation 5 is roughly US$689 dollars, gamers appear to be succeeding in their fight against scalpers. An earlier IGN India report indicated that official Sony resellers themselves were involved in scalping. Worse still, these official retail partners appeared to ask customers to lie to Sony if they were asked how much they paid for their console. Since that report, Sony’s reiterated a “zero tolerancy policy” towards scalping by its channel partners, though it remains to be seen what kind of tangible action it’ll take.

Individual Indian gamers are fighting back, too, on eCommerce platforms like OLX and Quikr. Indian gamers appear to be coordinating an effort to report PlayStation 5 seller listings that quote a price higher than the MSRP. The situation has apparently gotten so dire for scalpers that some are being forced to sell their PlayStation 5 stock at MSRP, netting zero profit. The coordinated effort in India looks like it could serve as a model for putting pressure on scalpers in other regions, too. 

Arjun Krishna Lal, 2021-02-20 (Update: 2021-02-20)

I’ve had a passion for PC gaming since 1996, when I watched my dad score frags in Quake as a 1 year-old. I’ve gone on to become a Penguin-published author and tech journalist. When I’m not traveling the world, gathering stories for my next book, you can find me tinkering with my PC.

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