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News hardware & software 24 November 2021, 16:22

author: Arkadiusz Strzala

Retailers Mark PS5 Packagings in a Bid to Scare Off Scalpers

Japanese distributors of PS5 are marking their packaging to make it harder for scalpers to resell them. One idea is to put the buyer's name on the box, for the buyer's information.

IN A NUTSHELL:
  • Japanese distributors of PS5 consoles mark the packaging, which is to hinder their reselling by scalpers;
  • The effectiveness of such actions remains debatable.

The battle with scalpers buying up PlayStation 5 consoles andGPUs seems endless. Unfortunately, so far most of the safeguards have proven ineffective. Automatic bots bypass captcha verification and restrictions on the number of pieces in online stores. However, two of Sony's distributors in Japan - GEO and Nojima Denki - came up with a rather interesting idea. They mark the packaging of all sold consoles.

GEO simply puts crosses on the box of the controller, which is to symbolize that the product is used. Nojima Denki, on the other hand, is pursuing an idea that seems more interesting. It writes the name of the buyer on the packaging with a marker before shipping, and destroys the cardboard box from the gamepad. These efforts are certainly noteworthy and both companies should be commended for thinking outside the box.

However, it remains to be seen how effective these efforts turn out to be. Theoretically, this informs the purchaser of the device that they are buying a second-hand item and not directly from a store. The method would probably be designed to discourage scalpers from buying up consoles. They receive marked devices, so in some way they can be considered "defective", different from those available in stores.

Will the PS5 with a cross on the box in something that will bother gamers? I think rather not. It may hinder overseas sales as receiving a package with handwritten Japanese signs outside the Land of the Rising Sun is unlikely to be welcomed. The Japanese buyers should show more understanding in this matter, though.

It also occurs to me that stores could identify purchases made by scalpers. They will not refuse to send the product, because the transactions are made in accordance with the rules, but they will mark the package. That way... ordinary shoppers could still receive intact packaging. But how to recognize a scalper?

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