Hard-to-find Playstation 4s are being resold cheaper than people expected

The price is higher, but the line is shorter, on eBay.
The price is higher, but the line is shorter, on eBay.
Image: AP/Best Buy
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Sony’s new PlayStation 4 is listed as sold out at all of the big US retail outlets at the moment, with Sony possibly having sold one million of the videogame consoles last weekend.

The market for people reselling them online is now heating up. But the premium sellers are charging for the hard-to-find consoles is less steep than some technorati had predicted, according to new data compiled by eBay. The average price for the PS4s sold on eBay so far is $600. That’s a 50% markup over the $399 retail price—but it’s still shy of earlier speculation about $800 or even $1,000 resale prices for the system.

Some early buyers have reported technical glitches with the consoles, something veteran gamers have come to expect with new releases. It’s too early to say whether that has damped demand on the resale market.

On the Nov. 15-17 PS4 launch weekend, over 10,000 PS4s were sold through eBay. That translates to 2.3 units per minute. There are still more than 8,000 PS4 listings on the site.

Immediately after the PS4 was released on Nov. 15, gamers scrambled to get rid of their newly outdated PS3s—the PS4’s predecessors. They also rushed to unload the Microsoft’s Xbox 360, whose successor, the Xbox One (XB1) is yet to be released. Following the PS4’s launch, eBay’s seller listings for both the PS3 and Xbox 360 nearly doubled—as of today, there are about 13,000 for sale on the site. The dramatic increase presumably comes from gamers who want to upgrade to one of the two new systems.

EBay has seen listings of the PS3 increase 33% since the PS4 launch. Sellers are getting, on average, $175  per console (new PS3s start at $200-$250 in the US.) There has also been a 25% increase in Xbox 360 listings, selling for an average of $140 each, while new xBox 360s retail in the US between $180-$250.

For those US gamers who won’t pay the resale premium for the PS4, there are still a couple of options. Retail outlets have told Quartz that they plan to restock the system before the Christmas holiday. The most intrepid buyers could even pick up PS4s as soon as this week, as the one-week holding period for pre-orders runs out Nov. 22 and the reserved units are put out for sale.