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Tens of thousands of people likely resold their Xbox Series X/S units over the holidays to make some extra cash, according to new analysis.
The estimate comes from Chicago-based data engineer Michael Driscoll, who’s been examining scalping activities on eBay. To do so, he created a computer script capable of collecting sold item data off the reselling site.
On Thursday, he published an analysis that shows 69,329 Xbox Series X/S units were sold on eBay, usually for $150 to $300 higher than the retail pricing. Meanwhile, another 43,891 units were sold on StockX, a site best-known for reselling sneakers.
In total, that means 113,220 units were sold on both sites for an estimated $79.7 million in sales. Driscoll then crunched the numbers, and found the scalpers likely earned a profit of $14.6 million while eBay and StockX pulled in a combined $10.4 million share.
It’s easy to blame the activities on organized scalpers, who’ve sometimes bragged on social media about buying dozens of Xbox units from major online retailers. However, the analysis from Driscoll shows that 45% of the Xbox scalpers on eBay only sold one or two units on the site.
“Now this could just be the case that scalpers are making secondary accounts to throw off the scent, but that would not line up with the sales feedback distribution,” he wrote, alluding to the number of reviews or stars the eBay seller receives.
“I believe a number of people just got a console and figured it was in their best interest to sell it rather than use it,” he added.
That said, it’s possible the same people resold multiple units through other avenues, such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Twitter direct messages, which Driscoll’s analysis wouldn’t be able to catch.
For consumers, the good news is that demand for the Xbox Series X/S on eBay has been fading, which will likely discourage scalpers from targeting the console.
“When looking at the number of sales per day there has been a dramatic drop off, the Series S is now about 100/day from an average of 300/day before and the Series X down to about 200/day from averaging closer to 800/day,” Driscoll added. “I believe those who wanted the consoles got them.”
However, he also noticed the scalpers raising their prices in recent weeks. This may suggest some consumers got tired of waiting for the retailers to restock and bought the console at a higher price from merchants on eBay.
As for Sony’s PlayStation 5, Driscoll plans on publishing an analysis on scalping activities for the console on Friday. However, a quick search on eBay already reveals over 87,000 PS5 units have been sold on the site. On StockX, the number of sold units is at over 76,000 units.
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