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PlayStation 5, Xbox Seekers Are Losing Out To 'Scalper Bot' On Walmart, Facebook Marketplace

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PlayStation 5, Xbox Seekers Are Losing Out To 'Scalper Bot' On Walmart, Facebook Marketplace

Resellers are deploying “scalper bots” to snag the latest video game consoles made by Sony Corporation (NYSE: SNE) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) from online stores, Reuters reported Tuesday.

What Happened: The scalper bots buy the products online only to relist them for higher prices elsewhere on reseller websites such as those run by eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY) and Amazon.com, Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN), according to Reuters.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further led to increased scalping and also forced some online stores such as ones run by Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT), Facebook Inc’s (NASDAQ: FB) Marketplace, and Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) to battle the software bots.

A Walmart spokesperson told Reuters that they’ve “built, deployed and continuously update our own bot-detection tools that allow us to successfully block the vast majority of bots.”

The spokesperson admitted that the “release of next-gen consoles is creating traffic volume and patterns that have never been seen before.”

Some like Nike are giving long-established members of its SNKRS app the chance to reserve shoes which can be picked up at a physical store, as per Reuters.

Why It Matters: At the launch of the consoles last month, Walmart and Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE: BBY) websites crashed due to overwhelming demand.

Walmart is conducting after-sale audits and claims that the vast majority of next-gen PlayStation5 and the Xbox consoles have been sold to legitimate customers, noted Reuters.

Resale bots are reportedly on sale for up to $5,000 per piece and limited access is available for as little as $10 to $20.

U.S. law does not allow scalping tickets but there are no such protections available to retailers like Walmart and Facebook Marketplace. 

Price Action: Microsoft shares closed 0.8% higher at $216.01 on Tuesday and gained 0.23% in the after-hours session. On the same day, Sony shares closed mostly unchanged at $93.37 in New York.

Related Link: Sony PlayStation 5 Sold Out In Japan On First Day Of Launch

 

Related Articles (MSFT + SNE)

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