It's a PS5 restock war and the scalpers and bots are winning

As the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X continue to sell out immediately – seemingly the moment new stock is listed – there's a lot of concern from regular consumers that scalpers are beating everyone to the punch. When it comes to the latest PS5 restock from UK retailer Argos, that seems to quite literally be the case, as a group of organized scalpers were able to take advantage of a loophole to buy up stock before Argos intended to open sales to the general public.

Initially reported by IGN after speaking to anonymous sources familiar with the matter and later confirmed by Argos itself, these scalpers – who organized using a paid Discord server – were able to buy up a number of PlayStation 5 consoles on January 25, a day before they were slated to go on sale at Argos. Some of those scalpers have even taken to social media sites to boast about their hauls.

Argos was apparently able to stop some of the early sales, but the company did confirm in a statement to IGN that there was a technical issue that allowed some people to buy up PS5 stock ahead of time. The company said that it "identified a technical issue which allowed a small proportion of customers to place orders early," before stating the obvious and noting that these consoles are hotly in-demand.

"It's clear our customers are excited for the new PlayStation. We released a small amount of additional stock and have seen huge numbers of customers trying to place their orders with us and we have now sold out," the retailer said. It's bad enough to have to contend with scalpers and bots when the playing field is otherwise even, but if there are organized groups out there who are looking for loopholes they can take advantage of, it's pretty easy to feel extremely disadvantaged as a regular consumer just looking to land one next-gen console.

Stock issues for both the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 have been constant since the consoles released in November. With demand as high as it is, these stock problems aren't likely to be solved anytime soon. Those of you looking for tips on securing a console can check out our buying guide for more information, but unfortunately, we don't have any tips on beating groups of organized scalpers taking advantage of a retailer's technical problems.