The true price of a PlayStation 5

This previous week I’ve been watching eBay, attempting to determine if I ought to promote my PS5. I wouldn’t dream of turning into a scalper, nevertheless it’s getting laborious to disregard simply how a lot it’s value. My daughter and I had overwhelmed Astro Bot and Miles Morales, so I assumed I’d peek on the resale market. Wow, are they value a lot!

And it’s not simply the PlayStation 5 — I discovered that Xbox Series X and S, Nvidia’s RTX 3090, 3080, 3070, and 3060 Ti graphics playing cards, and AMD’s rival RX 6800 and 6800 XT GPUs are all commanding extremely excessive costs on the resale market. It now not surprises me how every huge ticket vacation gaming gadget sells out nigh-instantly anytime they’re restocked; the motivation for scalpers is simply too excessive. They’re so excessive even people like me, who purchased one intending to make use of it, may need to assume twice. (That’s capitalism for you.)

Example: The full-fat PlayStation 5 with a disc drive retails for $499.99. But it’s simply value double that on eBay: I averaged the precise remaining sale price of a hundred PS5s, subtracting a few sketchy outliers, to reach at a avenue price of $1,024. Mind you, that’s not the asking price: that’s what persons are really paying for these consoles.

I ran the identical numbers for the PS5 Digital Edition, the brand new Xboxes and all six graphics playing cards. Here are the outcomes:

PS5, Xbox, GPU avenue costs: Holiday 2020

Item Retail Price Street Price
Item Retail Price Street Price
PS5 (disc) $499 $1,024
PS5 (digital) $399 $990
Xbox Series X $499 $835
Xbox Series S $299 $471
Nvidia RTX 3090 $1,499 $2,076
Nvidia RTX 3080 $699 $1,227
Nvidia RTX 3070 $499 $819
Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti $399 $675
AMD RX 6800 XT $649 $1,232
AMD RX 6800 $579 $841

I didn’t weed out any open-box or used consoles to get to those numbers, and you’ll simply see how sturdy the PS5’s demand is specifically: even the PS5 Digital Edition (with out the disc drive) is value almost as a lot because the disc model that retails for $100 extra.

While scanning by, I additionally noticed that together with further video games, controllers or equipment is not even obligatory: generally it was sufficient to justify an additional $100 or $200, however a PS5 didn’t want one to rake in $1K or extra. (Some Xboxes with further equipment appeared to be value $50 to $100 greater than others, however persons are clearly shopping for for the consoles themselves.) All this implies except the scenario adjustments drastically, the scalping isn’t going to cease anytime quickly.

If there’s a brilliant spot for would-be console consumers, it’s that not each PS5 and Xbox listed on eBay is definitely promoting, even when fairly a few are. In phrases of quantity, the PS5 and new Xboxes every moved round 1,000 items on eBay on December third alone, however some $1,000 PS5 and $850 Xbox Series X listings ran out the clock with out getting bought. (Most PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S appeared to be promoting, however there have been additionally far fewer of them listed than the disc-based fashions.)

On the PC aspect of issues, the brand new Nvidia and AMD graphics playing cards look like in extremely brief provide judging by eBay listings, although. Almost each single card I noticed discovered a purchaser, save essentially the most exorbitantly priced RTX 3090s — and even there, there have been a handful of $2,400 and $2,500 gross sales for what’s nominally a $1,500 GPU.


Photo by Tom Warren / The Verge

The shortages really feel very actual: perhaps a hundred RTX 3080 playing cards modified palms on December third, even fewer RTX 3070 playing cards, and solely 27 of the brand new AMD playing cards trickled all the way down to eBay consumers that day.

As we’ve mentioned repeatedly at The Verge, all of this stuff are virtually unimaginable to purchase at an precise retailer for his or her retail price proper now. Unless you’re fortunate, have connections, or are keen to pay for bots or scalpers, you won’t be capable of discover one in any respect — and retailers have do not have the fitting incentives to repair that.

We wish to assume we’ve acquired some quick, savvy dealhunters on workers, however many of us are nonetheless struggling to search out a new GPU, PS5, or Xbox. Each and each supposed alternative to purchase is one other shitshow. “Coming soon” is sort of at all times instantly adopted by “Out of stock,” and if we really handle to get one into our digital buying cart in that blink of an eye fixed, it’ll usually vanish earlier than checkout. The December 2nd launch of the Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti was no exception, with retailers failing to launch on the scheduled time and others gone earlier than they really gave the impression to be in inventory.

Best Buy was a explicit pleasure:

It’s additionally enjoyable to see GameStop and Newegg “restock” these merchandise — the place “restock” means upselling us on bundles with undesirable extras. Can you blame them, although, when eBay reveals even these consumers might get their cash’s value based mostly on the present provide and demand?

This sample has performed out many occasions earlier than, and it is doubtless that offer will finally catch up. Usually, these firms do not deliberately create shortage, even when it felt like that to me in early 2008 after I camped out in a freezing Best Buy car parking zone for a Nintendo Wii a full 12 months after that console launched.

But we live by unprecedented occasions proper now, with firms like Microsoft and Nvidia signaling it might be months earlier than issues even out. I can not bear in mind a vacation season with this many must-have objects, both: Tickle Me Elmo, early Power Rangers and that Nintendo Wii had been usually one-offs!

I’m nonetheless leaning in opposition to promoting my PS5 on eBay; I similar to the concept of buying and selling it for an AMD RX 6800, like I steered in my overview. But it is no simpler to search out that GPU than it was to search out a PS5; it seems to be like I’d want most of the positive aspects I’d see from promoting the console to purchase that graphics card on eBay, too.


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