Steam Deck Scalpers Are Charging Outrageous Prices On Ebay Because Of Course
Scalpers have been making out like gangbusters during the silicon shortage by selling things like graphics cards and game consoles at high markups on eBay. You can add Valve's recently released Steam Deck
to the pile. That's not a new develop, but now that Steam Decks are out in the wild, scalpers are cashing in with "in-hand" listings at obscene prices.
Interestingly enough, pricing varies wildly from one listing to the next. Looking at listings that recently ended with a buyer, the flagship 512GB model has fetched between around $700 all the way up to $2,100 for console that are in-hand. It's anyone's guess where there is such a big pricing disparity, though one explanation could be fake bids intended to ruin auctions.
Whether that's actually the case or not, who really knows (besides the buyers and sellers involved). Some of the buyers are longtime members who actively buy and sell items on eBay. Bidding with no intention of paying can result in a suspension or ban from the platform. Likewise, there are measures sellers can take to mitigate the risk of an unpaid buyer, like requiring immediate payment using PayPal
Still, the risk is ever-present and it could account for some of the sold listings. Probably not all of them, though. And looking at current listings, scalpers are optimistic they can score a huge payday on in-hand Steam Deck consoles.
The first few listings that pop up having 'Buy It Now' or high bid prices of $1,399 or higher. And there are several listings with asking prices well north of $2,000. Those all represents massive markups over the MSRPs, which break down as follows...
- Steam Deck w/ 512GB NVMe SSD: $649
- Steam Deck w/ 256GB NVMe SSD: $529
- Steam Deck w/ 64GB eMMC: $399
Scalpers can charge way above MSRP because like practically everything else, the demand for Steam Deck is exceeding supply. Steam Deck sales work on a reservation system, where you log into your Steam account and then reserve your model of choice with a $5 deposit. Then when it's in stock, you'll receive an email to complete your order.
The first wave of shipments went out at the end of February. If you place a reservation right now, the expected order availability is sometime "after Q3" of this year. So that would be October at the earliest. If you're looking for a silver lining, it's that Valve is making fast work of improving the experience on Steam Deck. So by the time Q4 rolls around, the Steam Deck should feel pretty polished (and more games will be validated
to run on it). Which is to say, you're better off waiting than paying scalper pricing.