WTF?! The Xbox Series X/S, PS5, and RTX 3070/3080 all have some things in common: getting hold of them has been a nightmare, bots snapped up many units, and scalpers are selling them (and pre-orders) on eBay for ridiculously high mark-ups. One of the UK’s largest electrotonic retailers is taking an unusual approach to addressing the bot issue by charging over $3,000 for an Xbox Series X—but it’s not what it seems.
The company isn’t capitalizing on gamers’ desperation, of course. In the FAQ page, it explains that people who pre-ordered and paid the £5 deposit will receive an email with a £2,005 voucher that can be used against Xbox Series X/S orders only, meaning they’re left to pay the standard MSRP.
“Because demand is so high and to make sure your pre-order is prioritized, we have increased the upfront cost of the Xbox by £2000. But don’t worry. This won’t change how much you pay,” the firm explains.
It’s also noted that anyone who is willing to pay thousands for an Xbox Series X/S and tries to buy one without a code will have the order canceled. Additionally, customers have until midnight on October 18 to redeem the codes.
It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that people are selling these pre-order codes on eBay for around $190. Buyers would still have to pay the remaining balance, naturally, but not everyone might realize that. Interestingly, Currys hasn’t used the same system for the PlayStation 5. Sony’s machine is now sold out but could come back in stock.
Seeing as the vouchers are only given to people who have already ordered a system—new pre-orders aren’t available—it’s likely that Currys implemented the system as a way of stopping bots that would be unable to manually enter the voucher codes and would likely ignore such a high price.