How did Sony’s new game console get to 8,000 yuan by the scalpers?

In the past two weeks, I have developed the habit of checking overseas BestBuy and Amazon once a day, scanning Taobao shopping carts, and free fish collection lists.

The purpose is to buy a Sony PS5 at the original price, or a little bit higher than the original price.

Unfortunately, I did underestimate the shortage of next-generation consoles this year.

After reading the following two pieces of news, you can feel how popular this thing is now.

One is a truck robbery in Chile. A local game retailer stated that a truck full of PS5 was robbed by criminals and was forced to postpone the delivery date for all players to next month. Because it was not one or two that were robbed, but a whole car.

▲ Do not imitate dangerous actions

The other is the package drop by Amazon in the UK. Eurogamer reported that the PS5 that some British users bought at Amazon's original price turned out to be strange things like pedicure equipment and wheat flour when they opened the box. Some people also received canned cat food and dog food, but the PS5 that was ordered was actually I haven't seen any of them.

▲ Some users who booked PS5 on Amazon received something completely unrelated to the game console

The victims speculated that the suspects were either the cargo drivers or the couriers. They should have reached a deal with the scalpers and dropped the cargo during the transportation. But now Amazon officially cannot reissue it, because there are no more PS5s in the warehouse.

"Buy it, earn it" is a true portrayal of every PS5 user who has grabbed the original price. With Sony's scarce supply, scalpers all over the world are scrambling to participate in the "speculation" of PS5, waiting for the inquiries from one after another, and the price will not rise too high.

Crazy markup

"First, we are talking about the spot, that is, if you place an order, I can send it immediately; second, we are talking about a floating price, that is, the price will change every day, you see the price now, only today's market price."

On November 19th, Sony PS5 was officially launched in Hong Kong. When I consulted a store at Xianyu, he replied with this paragraph and attached a few real shot pictures to prove that there is indeed a spot on hand.

▲ A spot map sent to me by a seller on Xianyu

Compared with North America, Japan and other places, the Hong Kong version of PS5's launch time is about a week later. Many players hope that after the emergence of the Hong Kong version, the excessively high "scalper price" of the PS5 can be pulled to a reasonable range.

But the trend of price cuts did not appear.

At that time, the PS5 was experiencing the craziest speculation period. The original price of 3980 Hong Kong dollars / 499 US dollars / 49,980 yen CD-ROM version of the PS5, even if you add freight and other expenses, the RMB is only 3500-4000 yuan.

However, the first batch of Japanese PS5 "spots" that entered the Chinese market once had a premium of 8000-10000 yuan, which is equivalent to a two to three times increase, enough for you to buy the latest iPhone 12 Pro, or a good game. this.

▲ Zhihu talks about PS5 price speculation, and the first batch of stores that put on the Japanese PS5

The arrival of these Japanese version machines is also very fast. Even if the PS5 was only released in Japan on November 12th, many machines have already crossed the ocean on the weekend of that week, and under the slogan of spot goods, they boarded Taobao and Xianyu platforms.

A shopkeeper who did not make a Japanese version and was waiting for the Hong Kong version to ship the agent told me that because of the inconsistent sales time in different regions, many people hope to use this time difference to make a quick profit, plus the first batch of shipments. It is also low, and even if the transportation cost is included, the speculation is normal.

▲ As of December 1, the price of PS5 in Hong Kong (here in Hong Kong dollars)

However, in less than a week, the price of parallel imports of PS5 began to fall. By the time the Hong Kong version was launched on the 19th, the price had dropped to around RMB 7,500. At this time, many stores already had ample supply, even if it was still not a reasonable price.

▲ Picture from: Nikkei Asia

The shortage of PS5 in the Asia-Pacific region is probably related to Sony's initial supply strategy. An earlier Bloomberg report stated that Sony focused its PS5 debut on Europe and the United States, while the number of the first batch of PS5 received by Japanese retailers was significantly lower than during the PS3 period, which greatly restricted shipments.

Third-party statistics can also explain the problem. According to the analysis of VGChartz , at the two launch nodes on November 12 and 19, the global shipment of PS5 is about 2.1-2.5 million units. The US region alone accounts for 1 to 1.2 million units, and the European region is 66- 800,000 units, while Japan only accounts for 110,000-120,000 units. As for the Hong Kong version, there are obviously fewer.

Of course, this year's epidemic relationship also has an impact on the production and transportation of mainframes. Many countries only open e-commerce channels to make reservations and cannot sell offline, which gives scalpers more opportunities for online operations.

In an interview with TASS, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan also said that if he encounters such a global epidemic next time, he will definitely not choose to market a new game console.

▲ Picture from: CCN

Europe and the United States have a larger supply of goods, which is often related to local demand, but it does not mean that there are no scalpers there.

On the contrary, if you are rushing to buy on foreign websites, you may not be fighting one or two scalpers, but fighting the robbing robots.

A foreign organization called CrepChiefNotify recently revealed its " surge purchase results" in a high profile. The looting robot they use can automatically monitor the PS5 inventory of the e-commerce website. As long as the stock is recognized, the order and payment process will be completed in batches.

Today, they have bought about 3,500 PS5s, and they will obviously sell them at higher prices to profit from them. Consumers seem to have no other choice but to curse them online.

▲ PS5 on eBay, the price is also 2-3 times

This form of scanning goods using automatic scripts also appeared on the Switch in the first half of this year. At that time, due to the epidemic situation, the inventory of Nintendo Switch was in a hurry. At that time, some merchants developed a special "automatic order-grabbing robot", which was resold to dealers and players after the e-commerce channel was sold, and the price was doubled. Fan.

Even if the platform has targeted attack scripts, the scalpers will also develop new response strategies and continue to stage the "cat and mouse game". In the end, players who want to buy the machine at the original price are squeezed. This is also a lot of people. The reason for hating scalpers.

In the face of interests, everyone can be a bull

Most people think that scalpers are organized, but for ordinary people, when an item is hot enough and the price increase is increased to a certain level, it will also bring a tempting excuse to grab the goods.

▲ The prices offered by individual sellers are sometimes not lower than the so-called scalpers

A PS5 seller who worked in Japan just got the pre-order quota told me on Xianyu that he bought two machines on the first launch day, one for his own use, and the other for sale. But as an individual seller, the price he gave was not much lower than that of domestic spot merchants during the same period.

During my negotiation with him, he replied this paragraph:

"Everyone is at this price, and I didn't cheat you. Buy early and enjoy early, isn't it the truth?"

Strictly speaking, these people who have geographical advantages and are not full-time purchasing agents are not part of a scalper who hoards goods and resells machines in batches. However, in the face of market conditions, they are not willing to give up their interests and make a loss-making business.

At this time, it is difficult for us to distinguish whether they are scalpers or customers.

The same situation seems to be applicable to popular products such as iPhone 12 and RTX 3080 graphics cards. For PS5, it is not only pure merchants who are really involved in roasting, but there are also many ordinary people who are rushing to buy with the mentality of "making extra money".

After all, if a machine is bought at the original price and resold, it will make a net profit of several thousand yuan. As long as someone starts, a group of people will rush to grab it.

So, who determines the real market price? After all, it is the dealers and distributors who are behind the scenes and hold the source of goods. They maintain a delicate relationship with the downstream stores, and together become the "traders" of this market.

In fact, many merchants selling PS5 have formed a "tacit understanding" of price adjustment. For example, last week, the price of the PS5 optical drive version was still at the 7,500 yuan mark, but starting this week, everyone has reduced the price to the beginning of "6", the pace is very consistent, it is obvious that the upstream delivery price has changed.

The scalpers did not intend to persuade ordinary consumers who "if you don’t buy, I don’t buy, profiteers lose two hundred a day." They know in their hearts that those who will actually place orders are people who don’t need money, as long as Sony’s production capacity cannot be increased. , Don’t worry about price but no market.

Of course, not all scalpers can get the goods at the original price or even lower than the original price. Many small and medium-sized stores have little business and can only negotiate prices with second- and third-level agents, and no one knows. How many hands are transferred in the middle, and how much money you can make after removing the expenses such as freight is another matter.

In the presence of complex intermediaries, the scalper's price will have great flexibility. As for how fast the price falls, it still depends on the popularity of the product and the subsequent replenishment.

▲ Picture from: Eurogamer

On the other hand, the positioning of the PS5 itself in the domestic "parallel imports" also gave the scalpers an opportunity to increase prices.

Since these machines are not officially listed in mainland China, it is difficult to trace the source of the goods. Even if there is an uplifting behavior on Taobao and Xianyu, there is no agent responsible, and consumers have no way to complain.

Some players told me that now he hopes that the licensed PS5 can be introduced as soon as possible, so that these scalpers will be in their hands.

To some extent, the significance of an orderly licensed market also lies in this. This is reflected in the previous Tencent agent Nintendo Switch, and earlier licensed PS4 and Xbox One. Although there are many restrictions on licensed game consoles, after they appear, they can still play a guiding role in the parallel import market and stabilize the entire market price.

No one wants to "hungry marketing", but there must be goods

The product is scarce, the higher the price gets. Regardless of the Spring Festival travel tickets, concerts, sneakers or limited hand-held areas, for consumer electronic products such as the PS5 that are mass-produced, the scalper's madness is essentially due to the imbalance of supply and demand, which has caused supply to exceed demand.

However, it is not an easy task to ensure that everyone who wants to buy the product can buy it, and at the same time let the factory produce only the amount that just meets the market demand.

▲ Picture from: Bloomberg

Apple is clearly a positive example of supply chain management. When Jobs invited Cook to join Apple at that time, what he fancyed was his mature supply chain management methods, and he did improve Apple's inventory turnover rate.

A good supply chain is ultimately reflected in selling goods. Take the iPhone as an example. Even if all the goods on the first launch day are sold out, Apple will postpone the payment order and give a forecast time for the delivery. Now Facebook also adopts this scheme when selling Oculus VR devices. Consumers have expectations.

▲ Do not close the payment page, but at the same time give an estimated delivery date, many people may not patronize the scalper

In contrast, the game industry seems to be creating a phenomenon of "hunger marketing" when it first releases a new product. If you have experienced the PS4 launch day a few years ago, you should know that Sony's supply was also very tight at the time. A machine was fired to a price of 10,000 yuan by scalpers, and PS5 has repeated this history again.

The point is, you don't know if Sony is really out of stock or pretending to be out of stock.

▲ Picture from: Gamerant

The Verge complained in the article "The game industry has been performing terribly when selling important products" , saying that this year's PS5, Xbox Series X and RTX 3080 pre-orders and sales can be called "complete chaos." Disaster". There is no postponement of orders, and there is no reasonable queuing mechanism for appointments. Whether you can buy it depends on luck.

This kind of non-disclosure and opacity of sales information is also the situation that scalpers are most willing to see, so that they can create a sense of scarcity and sit on the ground. But if all manufacturers can, like Apple or Oculus, allow users to place orders and pay, and at the same time inform the arrival time of the products in advance, perhaps many people will not patronize the scalper's business.

The shortage of PS5 is only temporary, but when it will be possible for the scalpers to stop increasing the price, Sony cannot give an accurate answer. The industry predicts that the undersupply situation of next-generation consoles may not be relieved until the first quarter of next year. Of course, Sony should also be thankful, because its main competitor, Microsoft, is also not very optimistic about the supply of consoles. .

This year's Christmas business war, Nintendo can lie down and win.

Source of title image: IGN

#Welcome to follow Aifaner's official WeChat account: Aifaner (WeChat ID: ifanr), more exciting content will be provided to you as soon as possible.

Ai Faner | Original link · View comments · Sina Weibo