In a (at this point, noble) effort to evade bots and scalpers, Amazon is creating a by-request waiting list for purchasing the highly sought after PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X gaming consoles after a recent restock. Users can request an invitation on the Amazon product page.
Hopefully, this invitation-only measure will slow shortages on popular inventory items in high demand and with low supply, and put a stop to bots and scalpers snatching up the limited inventory on such items (and, consequently, jacking up the prices). This new feature will allow regular customers to still purchase the consoles directly from Amazon, just as they would any other product on the site without any markup.
Llew Mason, Amazon’s Vice President of Consumer Engagement, told TechCrunch that, “We work hard every day to provide customers with low prices, vast selection, and fast delivery. This includes developing a shopping experience where customers can purchase items they’re interested in without having to worry about bad actors buying and reselling them at a much higher price.”
Now, with this feature in place, anyone with an Amazon account (Prime or otherwise), can view the PlayStation 5, for example, and click the “Request Invitation” button. That is located right where the “Add to Cart” and “Buy Now” buttons usually are, on the right side of the product page. It does look like Amazon is defaulting to third-party sellers for the console at the moment, but if you click on the “New & Used” button just below that area, you’ll see the option to request your invitation.
Amazon will be actively wading through all of these requests, removing any that appear to be from a bot, and proceeding with accounts that are verified genuine customers. The company will determine that by considering factors like the account’s age and prior purchase history. Once verified, customers will receive a formal invitation via email from Amazon.
That email will contain a link to purchase the console and all of the details needed for you to complete the purchase. But be warned—there is a time limit on that invitation. When you click the link from the email, you’ll see the “Buy Now” button as well as a countdown clock showing exactly how much time you have left from the original 72-hour window to complete your transaction.
Amazon will be applying its new by-invitation system to high-demand low-supply items beyond those gaming consoles, too. This will give regular customers a fair shot at nabbing those goods without anything external negatively impacting their shopping experience, all while putting an end to greedy scalpers. The new ordering option is currently available to shoppers in the U.S., though it will expand to users elsewhere in the future.
And don’t worry if you miss out on Amazon’s current PS5 restock—there is a Walmart PS5 restock event happening today at 3 p.m. ET with its four-day Walmart Plus Weekend sale event. Also, Sony has by-request rolling registrations open for its PlayStation 5 consoles as well. By signing up, you will become eligible for consideration for a console purchase invitation if you have a valid PSN ID.