Almost every console launch is plagued by scalpers, people or small businesses that purchase units in order to resell them at a higher price when a shortage happens. Quite a few tried that trick in Japan too, but it didn’t exactly go as they hoped.
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Asia President Hiroshi Kawano promised that the company would take any possible measure to ensure a good volume of units at launch, and the console was made available for pre-order at least five times last year.
Even if the PS4 sold out every time pre-orders were opened, that definitely dampened the need for over-the-counter availability on launch day, especially combined with the ever-growing habit of Japanese customers to order what they want online.
The result of those factors is that, at the moment, there’s no shortage of Sony’s new console in Japan. A quick search reveals that almost every single major electronics chain has units in stock.
A byproduct of this kind of solid supply is that scalpers got shafted. When customers can just walk to a store to buy a product, there’s no way to sell it online with a mark-up.
Checking the popular online auction site Yahoo Auctions we can see something not many would have expected: in order to recoup the loss, Japanese scalpers have actually been forced to put their carefully hoarded PS4 consoles for sale at a price lower than the official one, which is 41,979 yen (including taxes), or 46,179 yen with the camera.
If you ever had to resort to a scalper to get a console you wanted, probably paying a lot more than its actual price, you can check out the picture below, and smile.