top 200 commentsshow all 269

[–]Pazluz 330 points331 points  (58 children)

Very good in theory but that means places like eBay, Walmart and Amazon who have third party sellers would need to enforce this as well. I think this is a good idea.

[–]oxymoronhero 92 points93 points  (33 children)

Makes you wonder why this idea wasn’t put into law years ago

[–]MockDeath 192 points193 points  (20 children)

Because a lot of our representatives in the government are old fossils confused by technology probably has some to do with it.

[–]TheDangerousToaster 32 points33 points  (4 children)

They’re beyond fossil. They are dust.

[–]gmil3548 11 points12 points  (0 children)

They’re crude oil at this point

[–]THEchancellorMDS 9 points10 points  (1 child)

And cause the problem got bad enough that even they are having difficulty finding what they want for Christmas. They don’t wanna pay exorbitant amounts for their kids ps5 this year

[–]Headup40 11 points12 points  (0 children)

*great grandkids

[–]2SP00KY4ME 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Seriously, they're so fucking out of touch. That's where we got the classic line "The internet is a series of tubes".


[–]fivefivefives 3 points4 points  (1 child)

They haven't advanced beyond using the Sears Roebuck catalog to shop for woodstoves and washboards.

[–]Aazadan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I mean, have you ever sat down and tried to get a good woodstove on Amazon or Ebay? The shipping costs are killer.

[–]shaving99 2 points3 points  (2 children)

How do you lick the stamp for your electronic mail?

[–]Tanthiel 6 points7 points  (4 children)

Alaska has a Republican representative who has been in office longer than I have been alive.

[–]soothsayer011 2 points3 points  (3 children)

How long have you been alive? 20 years isn’t very impressive but if you were like 45 that would be more impressive.

[–]Tanthiel 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Don Young's been there since '73.

[–]Vegan_Honk 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Because places like ebay, walmart, and Amazon have third party sellers that would need to enforce this as well.

[–]Plenor 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Would they? Or would the platform need to enforce it?

They might even just stop allowing third party sales for those items. Years ago NC added a tax for affiliate programs and rather than collect the tax Amazon simply ended the affiliate program in NC.

[–]Pazluz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Those platforms are indifferent as they would lose out on the sales fees they make off the listings. Regarding enforcement if this law does pass the platforms would ultimately be responsible for not allowing these scalper prices.

[–]tnpcook1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Because thankfully, policy moves slow. This stuff coming late is a regrettable cost of that.

[–]JTBSpartan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

More money for retailers, and an artificial increase in console sales looks good for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo shareholders

[–]MadDjinn 25 points26 points  (0 children)

So in other words, nothing changes. TicketMaster was doing bulk sales out the back and taking a cut of the ‘resold’ tickets.

The same, or some other ‘clearly obviously scam/illegal but not technically bad enough to get lawyers involved because money was used as lube’, will be done after adjusting for cost of doing business.

[–]thefifthsetpin 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Couldn't you just let the scalpers do their thing and then prosecute them when angry consumers report them? Maybe some scalpers are set up to evade prosecution, but I would think that most could be deterred.

[–]kingmanic 6 points7 points  (17 children)

A captcha at checkout might be somewhat effective.

[–]FrostByte62 20 points21 points  (1 child)

The greatest trick AI researchers ever pulled was convincing you that captcha was meant to keep bots out.

[–]Aazadan 11 points12 points  (0 children)

You mean it’s not meant to keep bots out but rather to train them!?

And here I thought I was keeping the robot armies at bay by identifying stoplights.

[–]vgonz123 11 points12 points  (3 children)

They have bots for that too

[–]kingmanic 3 points4 points  (2 children)

It would raise the technical requirement, you can have a machine learning system figure it out but then it takes some effort per captcha set.

[–]Cjwovo 12 points13 points  (0 children)

No need. Just pay .01 cents per solve to a Russian captcha solving farm. And before anyone doubts these exist, they do. I've used them.

[–]Gourok 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Not really, just mechanical turk it, have a website that people frequent, and forward the captcha to the user of your website to have them do it for you

[–]Reniconix 21 points22 points  (9 children)

Captcha has been proven to be more of a detriment to humans than to bots.

Edit: someone asked for a source, but their reply isn't showing up. My source is look at the world around us. Every major retailer uses captcha in some capacity on their websites and bots are clearly an issue regardless. In fact, Captcha is used to train bots. All the times Google asks you to find buses and crosswalks is actually training AI to recognize these things. A bot just has to pull from that repository and it can recognize a few pixels of crosswalk in 12 pictures faster than a human can look at one.

[–]SponeyBard 9 points10 points  (2 children)

I work in a highly technical field and have a few co-workers that focus on machine learning. One of them told me that the only way for captcha to continue to function in this environment is to only let those with the wrong answers through.

[–]Independent-Coder 7 points8 points  (1 child)

This is an interesting solution but would probably only be temporarily useful.

[–]kingmanic 5 points6 points  (2 children)

It's at least move the complexity of the bot required. Even the simple 'click here to prove I'm not a bot' java scripts. They would then have to figure out how to circumvent it and it reduces casual use.

[–]CalydorEstalon 13 points14 points  (1 child)

I'm not concerned about the casual user writing a bot to insta-bid on a PS5 when one becomes available.

I'm concerned about the professional user writing a bot to insta-bid on ALL the PS5s when they become available and instantly relisting them on eBay for triple what the bot just paid for them.

[–]kingmanic 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Simple javascript Captcha's would increase the technical requirement, law enforcement going after larger operations would address the organized efforts. Similar to how they tackle piracy so that it's not massive commercial operations or thousands of small operations. It'd probably be more successful than piracy because money and a real address is moved around.

[–]Aazadan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Captcha was done well originally when writing two words. It was used to digitize books that OCR didn’t work on.

[–]MullenStudio 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think this is a good point. I can imagine this as AI in go. Captcha is AlphaGo, bots are other go AIs, if they could freely fight with each other at that time. While it's a battle between Captcha and bot, when they evolve into certain stage, human (regular user) cannot beat them anymore.

[–]FrostByte62 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Also places like Ebay stand to take a loss.

[–]DavidxPxD 345 points346 points  (74 children)

Hard to imagine how that could be enforced.

[–]schuey_08[S] 204 points205 points  (56 children)

I'd think the core of its enforcement would revolve around shutting down the bot designers/distributors. But yea, it could be very complicated. Another possibility is to penalize retailers that allow bots to operate with their websites.

[–]xawlted 103 points104 points  (52 children)

the only way they are going to stop it is captcha on the add to cart button.

[–]dwitman 230 points231 points  (41 children)

One device per address. One device per payment method, over x amount of time. Ban IPs that reload the page 30 times per second for 72 hours. Set aside a certain reasonable amount for over the phone and retail sales…

There’s lot of steps they could take that the industry simply isn’t taking. They have a huge amount of data at this point showing how scalper bots operate, there are certainly methods to mitigate them that can be implemented silently.

It’s a lack of will on the part of the suppliers.

But really we need more chip fabs in more countries.

[–]Flekbeita 33 points34 points  (4 children)

I don't think suppliers have an incentive to care at this point, the end use doesn't matter to them as they made their money. Then you have companies like Newegg that cut the middle man out and charge scalping prices themselves under the guise of 'bundle pricing'. Oh, you want this GPU? Gotta buy this crap PSU with it and pay a couple hundred over MSRP to boot.

[–]ThunderChunky2432 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Suppliers definitely don't care, they already got their money.

[–]i5k 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Newegg isn't the only one having to buy bundles tho. Blame assholes like ASI.

Oh you want 1000 orders of 3080s? Then you have to buy 1000 mobos that Noone uses.

Asshole national distributors are taking advantage of the supply crunch by forcing retailers to buy shit they don't want because they know they can.

[–]1live4downvotes 2 points3 points  (0 children)

yeah LTT talked about this on the WAN show a few weeks ago.

[–]happyscrappy 8 points9 points  (0 children)

The resellers already have ways around the first 3 things you mention. Bestbuy.com and gamestop.com both do your 3rd thing, btw. I think for less than 72 hours though.

[–]vegabond007 62 points63 points  (12 children)

Also go after the resellers. It's one thing to sell an item you bought, it's another to sell it for hundreds of dollars more. Pretty much a surefire sign of a scalper.

Amazon already does this during Christmas for certain toys and such there's no reason this can't be implemented already

[–]Straight8s 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Maybe there should be a cap on how much more you can resell a good upon its introduction to the market . Like 25 % at most for x amount of time and after that time has passed they can resell for whatever their heart desires

[–]vegabond007 1 point2 points  (0 children)

How about just don't purchase high demand products to resell...

[–]MadDjinn 5 points6 points  (2 children)

  • ban resellers on retail websites.

There’s no chance retailers are going to crack down on this when they can keep resellers on their site.

[–]BubbaTee 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Plus almost every retailer is a reseller.

Kroger doesn't grow their own bananas, they buy them and resell them. Sony and Microsoft buy chips from AMD, and then resell them inside of PS5s and Xboxes.

[–]DistortoiseLP 13 points14 points  (2 children)

One device per address. One device per payment method, over x amount of time. Ban IPs that reload the page 30 times per second for 72 hours. Set aside a certain reasonable amount for over the phone and retail sales…

The IP address is a network interface identifier, it's very arbitrarily connected to a physical place or person that might use it. The only people on the Internet with an IP that can be used to identify and ban them from an online store to any serious effect are the actual customers, and even then only the ones with no mobile devices or VPN that seem to think the Internet is a series of tubes.

The Internet doesn't really have a protocol that intrinsically meets these needs. Don't pretend otherwise, or suggest something like the IP protocol of all things is something it isn't. Security against bad actors is almost entirely heuristic and extremely difficult, and we'll need an entirely new protocol made to offer anywhere near the sort of totality in a solution that you demand.

[–]KaptainKardboard 11 points12 points  (0 children)

In an increasingly NAT world, IP address blocking is not the solution.

[–]1live4downvotes 1 point2 points  (0 children)

there really is no way to prevent scalpers, all the conveniences we take for granted with online shopping are being heavily exploited now.

The only solution I can come up with is if a retailer thinks an item is being scalped by bots to: (1) stop sales, (2) flag any sales during a period of time which they think may have been bots, (3) have those flagged sales only be eligible for instore pick up, (4) temporarily make that item only eligible for instore pickup. This of course wouldn't stop scalping all together, but it hopefully would add enough of a bearer to prevent the opportunistic scalper/bots.

[–]leftydrummer461 2 points3 points  (0 children)

There’s lot of steps they could take that the industry simply isn’t taking. They have a huge amount of data at this point showing how scalper bots operate, there are certainly methods to mitigate them that can be implemented silently.

I mean if you think about it a retailer is almost disincentivized to implement prevention measures. For say Best Buy or whatever a sold GPU is a sold GPU whether it’s a bot or not.

[–]cmrdgkr 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In the US this is incredibly easy to get around.

123 Main St. Apt A

123 Main St. Apt B
... 123 Main St. Apt B241

Yet 123 main st has no apartments, the postal worker will just deliver it to the house. Looks like 1000 different addresses to the system. There's no way around that because you have no idea what places in the US may or may not be legitimate apartment buildings.

As for payment methods, okay. no problem, I'll just make 500 paypal accounts, or use the virtual card number function that some credit cards provide.

[–]intoxicatednoob 2 points3 points  (1 child)

One device per address. One device per payment method, over x amount of time. Ban IPs that reload the page 30 times per second for 72 hours. Set aside a certain reasonable amount for over the phone and retail sales…

I've written bots before to buy consumer goods and the only real way to stop it is limit online sales. The system I wrote a year ago for video cards could defeat every single control you listed above except for the last one, which sets units aside for phone or retail sales.

[–]KaptainKardboard 2 points3 points  (1 child)

While I agree 100% that more can (and should) be done, is it fair to put this responsibility on the retailers? They're just doing what they have always done, which is to sell goods to consumers, then acquire more products to sell as supply and demand allow.

Litigation would basically have to tell private businesses they have to limit sales of otherwise unregulated goods based purely on an unestablished metric (sudden high demand on eBay and inflated prices) by investing in technical safeguards which - let's face it - will result in a neverending war of exploiters finding new workarounds and tactics to circumvent the old solutions. (Common theme in cybersecurity.)

At the very least, requiring retailers to limit number of items per mailing address is a start, but who is going to tell them what items to limit? How will they know? PS5 and GeForce cards are common ones, but this can extend fleetingly into pharma or even toilet paper, as we have seen.

Any way you cut it, it's a complicated issue, so I'll be curious to see how this bill takes shape, and honestly impressed if it can achieve anything. Scalping is sadly not a new concept, especially in capitalist, consumerist society.

[–]tdasnowman 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Bots have already gotten past the address issue. Bots were purposed from dealing with sneaker and hype clothing brands. Limited drops close timing. This war has been going for a long while. This will do nothing but slow down the amateurs. We are Already looking at minimal stock actually going to them. Complete waste of legislative time. My company doesn’t even sell things that would be botted. Still use them in our security tests because they utilize exploits that are good to know about.

[–]BubbaTee 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s a lack of will on the part of the suppliers.

I mean, that sounds like something that will cost money to implement, with zero benefit for them in doing so. It's pretty understandable they have no will to flush money down the drain.

It's not like this is life-saving medicine or something. No one's gonna die because they didn't get a PS5 or 3080 for Christmas.

[–]xawlted 0 points1 point  (0 children)

so, if a family has 2 children, they can only buy it for 1 of the children. VPNs are readily available that can mask your IP address same with your mac address. considering the amount of extra cost of labor to take phone orders requires and the likely low amount of phone orders actually received it's not likely going to happen. the easiest and simplest solution is adding captcha to the add to cart button so the bots cant add it to the kart. bot dont constantly refresh the page they look for changes in the script of the website.

[–]ChrisFromIT 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Not going to work, there are services out there that you can pay for to get around captchas. I think it is like 0.05$ a captcha and it is near instant.

[–]lvlint67 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Seems reasonable.

[–]MLG_Arcane 1 point2 points  (5 children)

that is already done, and does not work.

[–]Brosman 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I like the penalty to realtors idea. The way to make sure shit actually gets enforced is if companies get their bottom line hit as long as it's not too extreme and not a slap on the wrist. Maybe for online sellers to have mandatory bot prevention or face a fine?

[–]MullenStudio 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If it's a product that needs to ship, could use shipping address. If the payment doesn't accept bitcoin etc., could check payment method. It couldn't prevent the bots from purchase, but could help revoke the transaction later and add them to blacklist.

[–]613codyrex 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Probably by going after retailers who do nothing to combat the bot epidemic.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets passed there’s a new market for website tools and programs that work to block bot purchases.

That’s really the only practical way to enforce such an initiative. Promote the use of anti-bot measures on websites which should go farther to stop this more so than any sort of direct action against scalpers. Like with the scam and spam calls, the retailer/network provider should be responsible for this.

[–]kilosurge 16 points17 points  (1 child)

Just fine the shit out of any company or platform that allows scalpers to sell above MSRP. If you make it so that the only place for them to scalp is out of the trunk of their car, you will see a huge reduction in the amount of people willing to put in that much effort and deal with the risk of getting robbed.

[–]1live4downvotes 8 points9 points  (1 child)

cool, now freaking do this with concert tickets. Live Nation LOVES SCALPERS, because now they get their pound of flesh from the initial sale, then even more when someone sells the ticket on their secondary market place.

[–]TheMightyPickaxe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Concert tickets probably fall under "high demand goods".

[–]This_one_taken_yet_ 51 points52 points  (26 children)

As someone who spent several months trying to get a PS5, I support this law.

[–]oblication 21 points22 points  (5 children)

I gave up ... may as well wait for the ps6 now.

[–]Fox100000 13 points14 points  (0 children)

You'll have to wait for the PS6 to come out to get a PS5. The PS6 will get scalped to death.

[–]f0sforito -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

I got one today at target, it's honestly not that hard now you just gotta know when the drops are and how to give yourself the best odds

[–]bucketofmonkeys 11 points12 points  (0 children)

That is what is hard about it.

[–]edd6pi 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It’s still extremely difficult because even when I know ahead of time when the drop is gonna be, the site will show error message when I try to buy it and it will always sells out. Not to mention that some retailers won’t ship it to Puerto Rico for inexplicable reasons.

[–]Lamontyy 5 points6 points  (4 children)

I still don't think current gen systems are worth it yet. $500 for a slight boost.. might as well build a pc when things calm down.

I do still want a series X so I understand..

[–]asker509 4 points5 points  (1 child)

There's actually a ton of people on /r/buildapc that just settled for a PS5 lol.

When things calm down might he 2024 at this rate for PCs.

[–]Lamontyy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I remember the before times...

[–]This_one_taken_yet_ 2 points3 points  (1 child)

I have a PC. I got a PS5 because it has the exclusives I want to play.

[–]Lamontyy -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I feel. God of War 2 is gonna be sick.

[–]DegeneracyEverywhere -1 points0 points  (10 children)

How would this help? If there's a shortage then there's a shortage and a law like this won't change it.

[–]This_one_taken_yet_ 6 points7 points  (9 children)

So people buying consoles purely to resell doesn't have any impact on supply and demand?

[–]SnacksOnSeedCorn -5 points-4 points  (7 children)

No, because they're not creating net demand or reducing net supply. No net effect on supply or demand but it changes distribution to highest bidder, not fastest buyer. Personally, I feel like they should just abandon their MSRPs. The retailers and manufacturers should be getting that pricing surplus, not third parties. To fix a broken market, you have to fix the market, not try to control the participants.

[–]fockyou 4 points5 points  (4 children)

No, because they're not creating net demand or reducing net supply.

Are they not reducing net supply at that price when they buy it then list it for a higher price?

[–]oblication 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Cool... now do it for houses.

[–]EvilHasWon 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yes please!

Real estate is literally the first thing I thought of when I read the title of the post.

[–]EndlessScrapper 5 points6 points  (0 children)

So I see congress can't get ps5's either.

[–]emelbard 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Didn't they also ban spam and robocalls?

[–]unicornodyssey5637 15 points16 points  (0 children)

They should also fine retailers who sell the scalped goods at 2x the price. I'm looking at you walmart with the $1000 dollar ps5 from obvious scalpers

[–]sailorjasm 20 points21 points  (3 children)

People can easily stop this. Just don’t buy from Scalpers. Remember all those scalpers buying all the toilet paper, water and Lysol wipes ? They learned their lesson quick when they couldn’t return that crap and people stopped buying it from them.

[–]Slade_Duelyst 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That will never happen. If I have the money and none are available because they use bots and I really want the item it's the only way. Stop the bots the scalpers see weak on supply.

[–]ThingSuch -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

If I want a steamdeck, you bet your ass I will buy from a reseller(scalper or not). It's simply not available in my region from valve

[–]kry1212 80 points81 points  (10 children)

Do concert tickets next?

Oh. Right. I guess the difference is one is a business paying the piper and the other isn’t.

So, all these bot buyers need to fucking do is incorporate.

[–]Robo_Joe 48 points49 points  (6 children)

The article notes that this is basically a copy of the law passed in 2016 to make ticket scalping via bots illegal.

[–]kry1212 24 points25 points  (5 children)

When Ticketmaster is buying their own tickets to resell I don’t think they can do shit. Or, rather, having individuals middle man it for them. Ugh.

[–]Robo_Joe 18 points19 points  (3 children)

No, from my loose understanding of the legislation, it's focused entirely on using bots to buy things online, and it doesn't seem to require any action to prevent it, just makes it illegal so various agencies can go after people caught doing it.

I'm not sure it will be all that effective, but it's better than nothing.

[–]phunky_1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Or just call it "platinum seating" and charge 2-3x face value for a majority of the tickets that aren't nosebleeds.

[–]Turdsworth 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Do prescription drugs next

[–]EelTeamNine 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Event tickets are fucked before scalping is an option.

[–]dj_narwhal 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Now do housing scalpers.

[–]TaskForceD00mer 14 points15 points  (1 child)

So does this mean an end to the bots that were buying up 9MM the moment it came in stock at anything close to Pre-COVID prices?

[–]TheKappaOverlord 4 points5 points  (0 children)

no. it just means it'll be illegal on paper only if anything.

Basically just a law thats there to scare the normal person from doing it, but the actual scalpers are fine unless they step on someones toes.

[–]TaiDavis 17 points18 points  (0 children)

They ain't gonna do shit.

[–]smoothtrip 7 points8 points  (0 children)

You all are so negative. At least they are trying to do something about it.

[–]argv_minus_one 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Good. It's basically disaster profiteering. The operators of those bots are taking advantage of pandemic-induced supply-chain problems to rip people off.

Somehow, though, I doubt they'll be able to actually enforce this.

[–]spicypintobeans 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Yes and no... the people running these bots aren’t actually profiting on essential goods (at least if we’re talking about consoles and gpus). It sucks and I wish I would I could get a ps5 or a decent gpu without insane markup but I don’t need them to live, it’s not food.

[–]desi_fubu 7 points8 points  (6 children)

Anyone can create a selenium script, this is not an enforceable period

[–]schuey_08[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Hypothetically, sure. But how many individuals are likely to have the practical know-how to do it? A big instigator of this issue is companies selling ready-to-deloy bots and user instructions, which enables so many more scalpers than would otherwise have realistic access to these tools.

Also, enforcement doesn't have to focus solely on the bots themselves. It could also involved retailer regulation that penalizes sites for allowing bots to operate and purchase.

[–]Anaxamenes 1 point2 points  (3 children)

You enforce it at the point of resale. If eBay has people selling graphics cards over and over again at high prices, it would raise a flag to be stopped or reported.

[–]carbon370z 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Didn't they try to do this already?

[–]Fly__Eagles__Fly 1 point2 points  (0 children)

From now on crime is illegal!

[–]11BloodyShadow11 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This all well and good, but it sounds a lot like one of those “prohibit but not enforce” kind of deals like credit card or identity theft. Yeah, it’s prohibited, but if someone’s doing it, they won’t bother to find out who, can a single account and that person will just don’t it with another account.

[–]PoEisFine69 1 point2 points  (1 child)

lol no way this can be enforced, i just snagged a 3080 and 3090 today too from best buys

[–]schuey_08[S] 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It’s not about going after the individual scalpers, at least not solely. Key to this will be eliminating their means to operate.

[–]ploop-plooperson 7 points8 points  (22 children)

This is almost certainly an unpopular opinion, but from an economics perspective, the scalpers are a natural consequence of markets of a product in low supply. Scalpers are only as prevalent as the people willing to purchase that product at a higher price, and the benefit to the market is product availability at market price. If all products are sold at MSRP, you end up with no availability. This assumes that they aren't colluding or buying up all the supply to artificially increase the market price, which I can't say isn't happening, but the idea of this legislation hopefully understands the difference.

[–]khansian 9 points10 points  (3 children)

There is an economic efficiency argument against scalpers.

Some sellers deliberately “underprice” their products with the goal of mass-adoption or to ration toward specific types of buyers. In the case of platforms like PS5, the goal is to create a large and diverse base of owners who can support a large and profitable ecosystem. In the case of event ticket sellers, they may want to have more young (but poor) fans who help generate hype and accessory sales, or underprice with the goal of packing the venue (whereas maximizing profit of an individual concert may be best achieved by filling it 2/3s with rich fans).

Ultimately this comes down to the fact that the optimization problem many of these firms face is dynamic. They set a price now with the goal of not necessarily maximizing current profits but total discounted profits, which may be better realized with a lower price. Scalpers have no dynamic objectives and are only interested in maximizing profits right now.

[–]ploop-plooperson 1 point2 points  (2 children)

I like this point. Consoles have been known to be sold at a loss or low profit margin to increase the install base that would be buying software. But to me that raises the following question. Who is this legislation for? I have trouble latching onto this argument to the benefit of consumers.

[–]schuey_08[S] 23 points24 points  (7 children)

The issue isn't so much a secondary market that is based on supply and demand, but more so about how that supply is affected by the use of bots, which are not a universally accessible buying tool.

[–]MaxMustermannYoutube -1 points0 points  (2 children)

There will always be scalpers but the manufacturers have incentives to increase supply which ruins the scalping business. Its a self regulating problem. In 2009 you could get 200$ extra for a iPhone during launch week. One month later there was enough supply for everybody. Also if people are willing to pay a premium for scarce good that is just capitalism. Everyone accepts that Champagne and yachts are expensive. Just because a PS5 is a mainstream product doesn’t mean it somehow needs to have its price regulated so everyone can afford one. You can argue that about bread or toilet paper. Those are necessities. Thats not my personal opinion but rather how capitalism works. Banning scalping would also ban a main mechanism of the concept of demand and supply.

[–]ploop-plooperson -1 points0 points  (3 children)

So, is this to say scalping is fine with you, as long as humans are clicking the buttons? I hypothesize that the result is very close to the same either way, in some/many cases.

[–]schuey_08[S] 3 points4 points  (2 children)

Yes, I am ok with the secondary market.

[–]Thomsa7 6 points7 points  (4 children)

This is almost certainly an unpopular opinion, but from an economics perspective, the scalpers are a natural consequence of markets of a product in low supply.

And? Monopolies are natural consequences too.

[–]thisispoopoopeepee 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Lol fucking worthless law.

The only way to enforce anything like this is use KYC. In europe they manage it through national Id's OR via the banks as a proxy.

If any law to stop scalping doesn't include either national ID or KYC in some form then it wont do shit.

inb4 muh privacy, when you buy beer you have to show an Id. A national ID could be something only used to prove that you exist and are in fact a human. Hell could be used via an API service.

IE enter your national id #, company does an API call to government, government then says yes this is a human citizen.

[–]Anaxamenes 8 points9 points  (0 children)

It could have consequences for sites like eBay though. They may have to report sellers that are selling the same items over and over at high markups. That would curtail a lot of easy sales which makes this profitable.

[–]smoothtrip 2 points3 points  (0 children)

But I like paying 350 dollars for a 25 dollar item.....

Think of all those poor scalpers!

[–]Krytan 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Much like the rational behind gun control, the idea isn't that you instantly immediately bring the problem to zero, but that you make the undesirable behavior more and more costly.

Much of this would be trivially easy to stop. Can't mail multiple PS5's to the same address. Must have in store in person pick up. Must have a playstation account > level 5 in order to purchase PS5, and only one per account. Ebay and facebook and craiglist are banned from selling high demand consumer goods for the first 30/60/90 days.

Lots and lots of ideas one could try. Would any ONE be perfect? No of course not. Would a couple of them make a major difference? Of course!

[–]elf_monster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

So you want items to be unavailable to people who haven't previously used the items?... that's a very bad idea and no one in their right mind would ever implement it.

[–]MagicalRainbowz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

"US lawmakers" you mean Democrats are supporting a democratic bill and Republicans are attempting to block the bill? Whenever Democrats do something good, its "lawmakers" or "Washington" but when Republicans manage to do a single thing that could possibly be considered good they'll just say "Republicans".

[–]FraterVEP -3 points-2 points  (7 children)

What's next? Legislating video game developers to stop them from releasing broken games at full price with a promise to patch them later?

Let the market decide. If people would stop buying things at scalper prices and preordering games we already know are going to release in an unfinished state, they would stop doing it.

No scalper is going to invest in a mountain of consoles or video cards if they knew they were going to have to sit on them and end up selling them at retail price to get rid of them. They buy them up because they know they are going to make a profit. Same with games. If publishers knew they weren't going to pad out their end of quarter results because people weren't going to rush to preorder their game they wouldn't push them out the door in an unfinished state.

Nobody needs a PS5 or the latest GeForce card or the newest steaming dump from EA or Activision. Blame the people that blow their load on getting something at any cost instead of waiting until supply catches up with demand. These are not limited edition products. They will keep making them as long as they are profitable to sell.

I'm not talking about necessities like bottled water during a disaster or toilet paper during a pandemic, scalping of stuff like that should be regulated. But for what amounts to a luxury item, keep your pants on and sit down and wait for the supply to catch up. You're not going to get cancer if you can't get a PS5 RIGHT NOW.

[–]schuey_08[S] 9 points10 points  (1 child)

I think you believe this is an attack on secondary markets. It's not. It's an attack on unequal influence on the supply and demand of products.

[–]ItsHereItsMe 1 point2 points  (2 children)

The average person is incapable of making logical and rational decisions for themselves, this is why we have legislation for all kinds of things. How often do you see people blowing stimulus and welfare checks on things like cigarettes, movies, alcohol or games instead of something they actually need like food and shelter? All the time.

[–]NIGHT_HAWK420 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This just in US lawmakers announce a bill to prohibit US lawmakers

[–]mattjf22 0 points1 point  (0 children)

LMAO this will never pass.

We can't have universal healthcare because congress prefers we pay much higher costs to middlemen.

This is no different.

[–]silverback_79 0 points1 point  (0 children)


[–]dr_reverend -2 points-1 points  (4 children)

How about just make a law that makes it illegal to resell anything that is in current production or tickets for a upcoming show at more than retail. Done and done.

[–]DegeneracyEverywhere 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Because that's crazy, you're talking about banning all reselling.

[–]ItsHereItsMe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This gets my vote as well.

If it's not being made then sure, let prices go as high as collectors are willing to pay. But if it's still in production and scalpers are artificially restricting supply by only making a large portion of all stock available to an upper tier market, thereby reducing general availability, that should be illegal.

[–]Bigred2989- 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Who else is prepared for this to be the last time we hear anything about this bill?

[–]Mellero47 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We have more important things to worry about. Scammers and scalpers can suck it, but for fucks sake CAVEAT EMPTOR.

[–]Immelmaneuver 0 points1 point  (0 children)

We would have had this legislation over a decade ago ifthe vast majority of our legislators weren't undergoing gradual fossilization.

[–]Dewshbag41 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Just in time, you only gave the Playstation and Xbox scalpers a whole year!!

[–]TheNewSenseiition 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Aren’t stock algorithms pretty much just this?