UK Parliament discussing motion to make 'scalping' of consoles like Xbox Series X|S and PS5 illegal

Xbox Series S And Series X
Xbox Series S And Series X (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • The Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and even next-gen computer components like GPUs have all been very hard to purchase since launch.
  • That's because relatively low supplies and the constant onslaught of scalpers wipe out stock within moments at most retailers.
  • A new motion from the UK Parliament would make scalping, or buying in bulk and reselling at inflated prices, illegal.
  • It would also make the use of bots to bypass queues and exceed retailer purchase limits illegal as well.

If you've been attempting to pick up anything "next-gen" in gaming like the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, PS5, or any of NVIDIA's or AMD's new GPUS, you've likely run into a lot of problems. Since their launch, the Xbox Series X|S and other gaming consoles and components have sold out almost instantaneously any time they're restocked at retailers, thanks to an unfortunate combination of low supply, high demand, and an army of scalpers waiting patiently to scoop up as many units as possible. Apparently Microsoft expects to have limited availability of Xbox Series X|S until Spring 2021, leaving lots of interested players without a next-gen console.

Scalpers have been a particularly nasty problem this time around, with modern tools letting scalpers use bots to instantly buy consoles without waiting in a queue and exceed the maximum purchase limit most retailers put in place. Then these scalpers turn around and sell their unfortunately-acquired merchandise with severe price markups, often going for ridiculous amounts more than the MSRP. It seems that the UK Parliament is looking to combat this problem and is currently considering a motion that would effectively make scalping illegal.

More specifically, the motion would bring forward legislative proposals to prohibit the resale of consoles or computer components at costs that greatly exceed the MSRP, as well as using bots to avoid wait times or purchase limits. It's great to see a government body consider proper action against scalpers, who profit massively off people willing to pay extra to get their next-gen gaming console or component a little earlier than others. So far, the motion has received 26 signatures and will hopefully gain good traction and result in something concrete.

If you're looking to purchase an Xbox Series X|S, don't give scalpers your time or your money. Instead, keep an eye on where to buy Xbox Series X|S, and have patience, as Microsoft and Sony are both hard at work to provide enough consoles for everyone.

Xbox Series X/S


Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.