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Cover image for An analysis of the $143 million PS5 Scalping Market

An analysis of the $143 million PS5 Scalping Market

driscoll42 profile image Michael Driscoll ・7 min read

Source Code for Data Scraping: https://github.com/driscoll42/ebayScraper

This article is a continuation of my analysis of the scalping market.

Summary:

  • 7.06% of all PS5s sold in US resold on eBay/StockX (through 1/16), an additional estimated 3-8% on OfferUp/FB/CL for 10-15% of all PS5s resold
  • 157,004 PS5s sold on eBay/StockX
  • $143 million in sales on eBay/StockX for $43.2 million in profit for scalpers and $15.9 million for eBay/PayPal/StockX
  • The PS5 Digital is going for 200% ($799) of its MSRP and the PS5 Disc for 170% of its ($849) MSRP
  • PS4 pricing increased 50% after the PS5 launch and sales tripled for the initial weeks after PS5 launch

Methodology:
As this gets asked a fair amount on how I avoid fake listings:

  • This analysis is only for sold listings.
  • I scanned the listings for the words png, "p n g", print, image, picture, mpeg, paper, "Box only", "read description", which are indicators they're fake.
  • Anything below MSRP I tossed out.
  • Anything for a suspicious account, less than 10 feedback I manually checked.
  • I looked at all the lowest 100 or so listings each few days to validate.
  • I've been doing this every few days since December. Did I get every single listing? Surely not, but I'm very confident I got the vast majority.

The headline is that 7.06% of all PS5s sold since launch have been resold on eBay or StockX, as according to VGChartz 2.067 million PS5es have been sold in the US through 1/16, while on eBay/StockX 145,967 had been sold in the same time frame.

But clearly eBay and StockX are not the only places people are selling and buying PS5s. Searching OfferUp and scanning the active listings for most of the largest metropolitan regions of the USA ,filtering on >$400 and pickup only.

City PS5 Listings City PS5 Listings
Los Angeles 8,487 Boston 1,058
New York City 5,476 Detroit 1,029
San Francisco 2,293 Phoenix 948
Miami 2,265 Las Vegas 769
Houston 1,846 Seattle 540
Dallas 1,810 Portland 513
Chicago 1,809 St. Louis 227
Washington, D.C. 1732 Minneapolis 204
Atlanta 1,356 Denver 197
Total 32,559

This is to be compared to eBay's current 5881 active listings (StockX has 280), which would suggest that OfferUp's market size is up to 5.5x the size of eBay's.

However, these numbers are larger than the reality, due to fake listings, stale listings, and other items getting caught up in the search, but that is also offset by some listings being for multiple PS5s and I only looked at 18 city metros. From my examination of some of the data I would think that is no more than 20%, but to be conservative let's call it 50% of all the listings. Further if we assume items sell at half the rate of eBay, it would increase the total resold to 11%, though more realistically it would be closer to 15%, with another 2% of the total PS5's sold just sitting trying to be resold on eBay/OfferUp/StockX/etc...

Returning to eBay's sold listings, prices dropped ~$300 by Christmas from the post-launch peak, and unlike the Xboxes prices have remained fairly stable since the start of the New Year at $799 for the PS5 Digital, and $849 for the PS5 Disc. Sales have dropped down to ~350/day for the disc version and ~100/day for the Digital.

PS5 Median Pricing

PS5 Digital

PS5 Disc

Console Graph MSRP Total Sold Median Price Past Week Median Price Casual Scalper Break Even Sophisticated Scalper Break Even Total Sales Estimated eBay/PayPal Profits Estimated Scalper Profits
PS5 Digital $399 18,329 $894 $799 $522 $406 $16,622,295 $2,114,599 $6,104,994
PS5 Disc $499 61,586 $987 $849 $649 $507 $63,354,245 $8,064,429 $20,205,041
Total N/A 79,915 N/A N/A N/A N/A $79,976,540 $10,179,028 $26,310,035

StockX is nearly as large a seller of PS5es as eBay, selling only 4% fewer PS5s, though 21% less total sales dollars, and 36% less profit for the scalpers. Perhaps due to StockX's ask/bid system, forcing every seller to sell at the lowest current price, it pulls prices to be lower as buyers don't have to scan hundreds of listings and compete against each other as much.

Console Total Sold Average Sales Price Last Week Average Price Total Sales Volume Estimated StockX Profits Estimated Scalper Profits
PS5 Digital 27,695 $788 $405 $21,823,660 $1,964,129 $7,048,447
PS5 Disc 49,394 $845 $725 $41,737,930 $3,756,414 $9,800,387
Total 77,089 N/A N/A $63,561,590 $5,720,543 $16,848,834

PS5 Disc Cumulative Plot

For the cumulative sales/profits, profits have not leveled off nearly as much as for the Xbox, with there still being a noticeable positive slope to the profit trendline, though it has dropped significantly as the market prices have been brought down.

Below are the weekly eBay and StockX sales compared to the VGChartz sales of that week. I did have to estimate the StockX # sold each week, using the eBay number as a proxy and using the ratio, which the totals are below. These numbers combine the PS5 Digital and Disc. Most notable is that week after week, the % of PS5s resold of the total number sold increases, one must assume people figure they can wait to play games and make a small profit now.

Week Weekly US Sold Cumulative Sold Weekly eBay Sold Cumulative eBay Sold % sold on eBay of US Cumulative Assumed StockX totals Estimated StockX % Est Total %
14-Nov 1004523 1004523 15142 15142 1.51% 14607 1.45% 2.96%
21-Nov 64734 1069257 7669 22811 2.13% 22004 2.06% 4.19%
28-Nov 74853 1144110 7633 30444 2.66% 29367 2.57% 5.23%
5-Dec 156853 1300963 7341 37785 2.90% 36449 2.80% 5.71%
12-Dec 178621 1479584 8166 45951 3.11% 44326 3.00% 6.10%
19-Dec 187792 1667376 8746 54697 3.28% 52763 3.16% 6.44%
26-Dec 166937 1834313 6003 60700 3.31% 58553 3.19% 6.50%
2-Jan 106048 1940361 5026 65726 3.39% 63402 3.27% 6.65%
9-Jan 69273 2009634 4927 70653 3.52% 68155 3.39% 6.91%
16-Jan 57882 2067516 3644 74297 3.59% 71670 3.47% 7.06%

PS5 Seller Feedback

Compared to the Computer hardware, there’s a much higher percentage of the sales being by eBay Stores, whether these are real stores (e.g. Newegg) or scalper eBay stores reselling for a huge market, either way they are profiting. Fully 40% of PS5 sales are from sellers selling just one or two consoles, again those who were opportunistic and able to get their hands on one to resell. For true scalpers, it’s at least 35% of the market of those selling 5+ consoles.

PS5 eBay Seller Sales vs Total Sold

Similar to the Xbox One S/X, the launch of the PS5 has driven up PS4 and PS4 Pro pricing. Likely many are reselling their consoles with games for a bundle deal, and the sales volume doubling for a while before coming back to prelaunch sales volume.

PS4 Median Pricing

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