In the weeks following the release of the next generation consoles, many have had a hard time finding PlayStation 5, because of shortage of stocks. The fault is certainly first of all Sony, which had major problems in the production phase.
To add to the problem of the small number of consoles available, there is a behavior now familiar to many in the world of video games, speculation. The mechanism is simple: someone with financial availability buys large quantities of a high-demand, limited-stock product well in advance, and then resells it at a higher price.
The problem has reached such dimensions that Dev.io has decided to investigate to find out what the actual turnover of videogame speculation was. The analysis, that you can find here in full version, takes into consideration the next generation consoles and some graphics cards, for a total of 14 products. The article takes into consideration only eBay, which is the most used site for reselling consoles and GPUs, but certainly not the only one.
The GPU market itself is already very unstable due to their use in cryptocurrency mining. We have had proof of this in recent years when the sudden spike in the price of bitcoins led to a disproportionate increase in the prices of graphics cards.
Speculation is therefore nothing new, but in September 2020 it had a new peak with increases compared to the list price between 220% and 240%. All products have experienced price spikes of this type, regardless of the manufacturer.
However, the phenomenon seems to have faded with the passing of the months. Demand has dropped and inventories have risen, which has thwarted speculation bringing prices back under control.
When the analysis passes to the consoles, however, the situation changes. Not just if you look at PlayStation 5 reaches peaks of 350% of surcharge on the price list, but the phenomenon has not yet completely disappeared and does not signal a clear downward trend.
So taking into consideration only the sales on eBay in the last few months, this speculation is worth $ 82 million. Even by subtracting taxes, Ebay costs and payment methods, the amount earned by speculators is very high.
Dev.to's is not the first analysis of this type. Already The Verge e Tom's Hardware they had signaled the phenomenon of speculation, recognizing its exponential growth without however making estimates of the total turnover.