The UK government’s efforts to stamp out console scalpers is gains momentum – as scalping bots come under fresh scrutiny.
British Member of Parliament Douglas Chapman, who represents the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the House of Commons; has been taking the fight to scalpers for months.
Last month, Chapman proposed the government ban scalping bots to make the games console market a fairer place. The idea is to prevent retail bots from enabling scalpers by banning the software used by them.
It’s an unrealistic idea, and Chapman himself has admitted the bill he proposes is unlikely to pass into law. This is mostly because retail bots are legitimate tools, just misused by scalpers for opportunistic and unethical gain.
Banning the software outright isn’t the answer and is unlikely to be supported in the Commons. However the UK government has been successful in the past when it comes to stopping ticket scalpers. For live performances for example.
Speaking about ticket scalpers, Chapman said; "We've proposed that a similar legislative process be brought forward to ensure that consumers can purchase gaming consoles and computer components at no more than the manufacturers' recommended price. And that resale of goods purchased by automated bots be made illegal."
While the second part of Chapman’s comment is unlikely to happen anytime soon, he has a point in the earlier half. The UK government has stopped scalpers before – and could do again.
How to Realistically Battle Scalpers
Appearing on a live BBC radio broadcast last month, Chapman exposed his lack of understanding of why banning scalping bots simply wouldn’t work. But he should be commended for his commitment to creating a fairer marketplace.
Chapman now hopes that even if his bill fails to become law, that he’s raised awareness for an important issue. He also hopes that now more MPs know about the scalper problem, a future bill may gain more support to find a solution.
Let’s just hope it’s one that is more realistic and less draconian than banning software. Instead, the UK government should work with online and high-street retailers to help them identify scalpers – and cancel their orders.
The key to beating scalpers also lies with increasing the PS5 and Xbox Series X stock. As more stock becomes readily available, scalpers lose their appeal, and their efforts become pointless.
But large retailers also need help to detect and disable any loopholes scalpers use to make their large orders. If the world's governments can install measures to help with the above two things, then scalpers will indeed be put out of business – and soon.
The best place to keep updated with all of the PS5 stock drops is our UK PS5 Stock Tracker. It'll let you know when the PS5 goes on sale at all of the major UK retailers.
A new PS5 and Xbox Series X restock at GameStop is imminent, so be ready - unless you’re a scalper.