We’ve all experienced it at some point, you’re looking to buy something that was just released, perhaps as a Christmas gift or just for yourself and can’t find it in the regular channels. You know where you can find it? eBay or some other reseller site – usually for an inflated price.
Those who enjoy gaming are experiencing it right now. Trying to find the NVidia RTX 3080 card? Gone. Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Series S as well as Sony PlayStation 5 buyers had a similarly frustrating time trying to get their pre-orders in. Nintendo has been accused for years of “artificial” shortages.
Is it a lack of stock or is the demand really that great? How much of it is resellers swooping in, buying up all the stock and reselling it for artificially inflated pricing?
What should you do if the item you’re looking for is out of stock, and how do you avoid being one of many who won’t get their hands on the tech item they’re looking for?
One thing that appears to be new is the advent of items targeted by bots to buy up all the product for resellers. To say they have an unfair advantage when it comes to making a purchase quickly is an understatement.
It’s clear more needs to be done to combat the unfairness of scalpers swooping in, and buying limits need to be more strictly enforced on tech items. What are some ways you can still get what you’re looking for anyways?
- Be aware of the sales date and be on the website early, websites will often crash in the wake of a launch but most retailers have queuing systems in place so the earlier you’re on there, the more likely you’ll be able to get what you’re looking for.
- As a general rule, do NOT refresh your page when you’re in a queue. If you refresh the page most times you will be moved to the back of the queue (it’s the same as getting out of line).
- Figure out which retailers are going to have the item you’re looking for and queue up for multiple sites to give yourself a better chance. Just be sure to jump off the additional ones once you’ve purchased your item.
- If it seems like your order didn’t go through, don’t despair. Many times, an order that looks like it didn’t go through actually did. Keep this in mind if you go to try and buy it again.
- If you did miss the item, instead of buying it from a reseller (and thereby validating the practice) find out when the next launch date it. For popular items it’s probably sooner than you think.
NVidia, Microsoft and Sony could take a page from companies like Apple who seem to have the buying process down. Apple has scaled up their production for every new launch and those who want their products have no trouble buying them with ease. Nothing is more frustrating to a potential buyer than to have cash in hand ready to buy and end up leaving empty handed.
They may find if they don’t solve these stock issues more aggressively, that these same buyers will move on to different products.
Looking for more to read? We suggest these tech articles from the last week.
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