Members of the UK parliament have filed a motion to discuss prohibiting “the resale of gaming consoles and computer components at prices greatly above Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price”, and ban the use of bots to purchase those goods.
The motion aims to prohibit sales of consoles and computer components beyond the recommended retail price, ban bulk-buying by automated bots, and prevent resales at inflated prices. The motion specifically mentions a 2018 UK law passed to prevent “rip-off prices” on resales on tickets for live events. That law forces secondary sellers of other live event tickets to be transparent about the original price of purchase, and other details pertinent to a purchase, as well as forces the reseller to prove they own the item in question to prevent fraud.
The full text of the motion follows:
“That this House believes that new releases of gaming consoles and computer components should be available to all customers at no more than the Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price, and not be bought in bulk by the use of automated bots which often circumvent maximum purchase quantities imposed by the retailer; calls on the Government to bring forward legislative proposals similar to those introduced for the secondary selling of tickets, thereby prohibiting the resale of gaming consoles and computer components at prices greatly above Manufacturer’s Recommended Retail Price and furthermore this House; and further calls on the Government to bring forward legislative proposals making the resale of goods purchased using an automated bot an illegal activity, thereby denying unscrupulous vendors the chance to make themselves vast profits at the expense of genuine gamers and computer users, while also deterring fraudulent cybercriminal activity.”
The move was tabled as an Early Day Motion, which calls for the UK’s House of Commons to formally debate on the topic. Sadly, Early Day Motions rarely make it through the process, but UK readers may want to contact their local MP to ask them to support the motion.
Scalping has become a hugely visible issue following the release of next-gen consoles, with PS5s reaching as much as a $2000 price point on the resale market, and bot users claiming thousands of units for resale at inflated prices. It’s a trend that may have been inspired by the rise of sneaker culture.
That huge demand and low supply may have led to even more nefarious events – across the UK, PS5s were seemingly swapped out from Amazon deliveries, and gangs have even been stealing them from moving delivery trucks.