Scalping is to video games what Saumur Champigny is to red wine, filth that should never have seen the light of day. Result of pseudo-traders wishing to make some hard money on the backs of gamers, the scalping consists of anticipating a shortage of a product or service in high demand, by purchasing it in quantity with the aim of reselling it at 1.5 to XX times the price. A practice that can be described as disgusting and which obviously had its hour of “glory” when the PS5 was released. Fortunately, the law, the real one, seems determined to be implemented to prevent the maneuver.
Indeed, in Scotland, the Member of the Scottish National Party Douglas Chapman recently introduced a private member’s bill to ban the practice of scalping. Sky News also reports that the bill is entitled “Gaming Hardware (Automated Purchase and Resale) Bill 2019-21”, and that it would work in the same way as the ban on resale of tickets put in place there. a few years ago in the same country. Purchases carried out mainly by bots, programmed to buy and resell to the maximum potential, which far exceed the simple actions just as shameful of your neighbor who would have bought two PS5 to make a little wheat with the second.
Really effective bots since they have (still in Scotland) managed to seize 3500 consoles from online retailers. A stroke of “brilliance” that would have pushed Chapman demanded legislation that would ban the resale of consoles at prices “well above the manufacturer’s recommended retail price”.
However, we do not get carried away, since the bill is still far from being successful, as recognized by Chapman himself. For now, it is mostly about forcing the government to take its responsibilities on a market drift linked to private buyers. A coup de com ‘in a way to make known the vile maneuver that is the scalping to an entire country, which could potentially force the hand of politicians a little cautious on the issue, even if for the moment, Caroline Dinenage, the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, replied that “officials are discussing this issue with the professional association of the video game industry.”
However, even if the policies are looking at it, there is one hell of a piece to deal with: the boundaries that would make the law effective. Yes, imagine, we limit the price increase to the resale of a product and it is potentially the middle of the collection that we endanger (exit the Charizard at € 500,000 for example). On the other hand, a law that is too flexible would leave room for the smartest of scalpers to carry on their business.
And then beyond this technical aspect, there is casually the principle of individual freedoms which would potentially be questioned here. Indeed, everyone is supposed to be free to dispose of their property as they see fit, and such a law, if it is poorly measured, could undermine the rights of consumers.
Nevertheless, a reflection on the subject is already an appreciable first step. A debate that we hope to see soon in France, with a year 2021 which will include its share of PS5 breakage, the latter arriving in small quantities throughout the year.