Online retailer Very has cancelled what scalpers have claimed were more than 1,000 orders for the new Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles, which they intended to resell at a higher price.
Limited supplies of the new consoles have driven numerous parties to the money-making tactic of attempting to buy more than one and then sell them on for a marked-up price.
Retailers, including Very, have attempted to suppress scalping by limiting purchases to one per address, but the demand for the consoles is so much greater than supply that reselling has become a lucrative market. Gamers derail eBay listings to stop hardware scalpers profiting
Workarounds for the tools that retailers are using to limit orders are also becoming a highly monetisable commodity in themselves.
One business called Crep Chief Notify (CCN) charges members £30 a month, or £400 for a “lifetime membership”, to send them alerts when such a workaround becomes available.
This business claimed to have exploited a link to make high-volume orders from the British retailer Very for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles.
After the Very Group was contacted by Sky News, a spokesperson confirmed that the orders had been cancelled.
“As a result of a technical error, some people were able to place orders for PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles for a short time on Sunday,” it said.
“However, these items are not on sale and affected customers have received notice that the orders have been cancelled. We apologise for the confusion caused.”
Legitimate customers, who did not make high-volume orders, have also been affected by the cancellations. Very has not confirmed what stock of the consoles it currently has in supply.
One customer, Piyush Tushar, told Sky News he had purchased a PS5 but was informed by Very that his order had been cancelled. The company added that it could take up to 10 days for him to be refunded.
Mr Tushar said he was concerned the delay could mean he and other consumers would be unable to buy a console at all before the Christmas holidays.
He said: “Please can Very just refund the money so we can buy our consoles from elsewhere?”
A spokesperson for Very told Sky News: “We process customer refunds immediately and refunds should reach the majority of customers within 48 to 72 hours, depending on their bank.”
Crep Chief Notify which formerly focused on reselling trainers, previously told Business Insider that its members had placed more than 4,000 orders for PS5 consoles which they would resell.
On its website, CCN claimed it enabled its members to resell “products that are in insanely high demand with relatively low stock”.
It states: “When you join CCN we will show you our exact methods on how our members were securing multiple orders! We will also show you how to sell all of these items too!”
The business is registered with Companies House with two named officers, both 21-year-old men, Bradley Gee and Thomas Cleary-Pugh. It told Business Insider that it employs 12 people.
Its website makes a number of claims about the money its members make – one earning over £60,000 in just seven months – and that its members have collectively made £3.2m in profit – although it does not provide any evidence for these claims.
The company did not respond to questions Sky News sent to its Twitter account and via email.