I wonder how close we are getting to exhausting market of people willing to pay way about RRP. Really hope there are a bunch of people who end up having to shift consoles at cost that they were hoping to scalp hundreds on.
This isn't even scalping on a fair playing field now though, is it. It's gone past the 'well I'll buy one to sell on' phase to using a piece of technology - I'm sure many would say nefarious - to gain an unfair advantage on an industrial scale and it needs to be made illegal. There is no way of purchasing a product (in this case it's a games console, though it's also been things like limited edition trainers and graphics cards) without the use of these bots.
However you look at it, whether that's requiring the technical savvy to find and use a bot, the capital required to repeatedly keep purchasing so many products to begin with, or having the disposable income to then pay over the odds for it on eBay, the people that keep missing out are the average consumer.
Unfortunately one method, that being withholding stock and making it available in-store only, isn't currently possible.
Problem won't be solved until either Sony flood the market when shops re open (won't happen) or eBay bans sales of PS5s. Again won't happen.
They are so in demand that it makes the average consumer become a scalper. If someone was able to get one at Amazon for £450... Then the temptation is there to stick it on eBay and make double that. Covers the original cost and gives them a few hundred in the bank.
Sony needs to use the online IDs for people to register and then buy direct from them.
I suspect the reason Sony aren't doing that is the logistics and reverse logistics implications. Taking the burden of customer service responsibilities would be a huge hassle involving hiring and training lots of new staff who would only be needed for a comparatively short period.
SCEE don't seem to want the responsibility of selling it themselves. They seem to dabble in retail (Sony Centres, PlayStation Gear, PlayStation Shop - which I think was the only place to purchase different coloured PS2s in 2002/3) and then quickly make their exit again.
But the old fashioned method of filling out a form and sending a cheque/POSTAL ORDER (R.I.P. Gameplay) would kill this nonsense dead.
I had a preorder with Currys that i cancelled back in December because i could no longer justify picking one up (i still cant but i'm tempted again). It never even dawned on me to take receipt of it anyway and then sell it on.