The UK Government has officially responded to a petition currently with more than 15,000 signatories relating to the problem of 'scalping'. Scalping is when individuals either themselves or via automated 'bots' purchase increased volumes of products on release in order to sell them at inflated prices on secondary markets such as eBay.
Scalping has become a huge issue in recent times, particularly in relation to the latest gen gaming consoles and graphics cards, which are near impossible to purchase at the moment. If you've tried to buy a PS5, Xbox Series X or an Nvidia RTX30 graphics card in the past few months you'll know what I'm talking about. These products are set to come in stock at a particular store and then seem to sell out instantly. That's mostly thanks to scalpers, and particularly scalping bot scripts that buy the products faster than any human can.
The petition mentioned above aims to put a stop to this practice in the UK and the UK Government has officially responded, recognising the issue and comparing it to a similar problem stopped via legislation in 2018 for sales of event tickets. The Government is discussing the issue with trade associations including Ukie for video games.
Hopefully we won't have to wait for the next generation of consoles before we see an end to the problem (and I can finally get my PS5)!
The Government introduced legislation that prevents the use of automated software (‘bots’) to purchase event tickets which are sold on at an inflated price in 2018. We are discussing the issue of bulk purchasing of high demand items like graphics cards and games consoles through automated bots with trade associations such as Ukie, the trade association for the video games industry.