The legislation aims to fight against the “grinch bots” who buy the inventory of video game consoles


LATHAM, NY (NEWS10) – As the holiday shopping season continues, some items at the top of many Christmas lists are still nearly impossible to find, especially at market prices. But the proposed new federal legislation hopes to curb online scalping of video game consoles.

Finding a new PlayStation 5 or Xbox X / S under the tree this year is still unlikely.

“We need an equalizer that level the playing field,” said Chris Lee, co-owner of Vortex Video Games in Latham.

Since consoles hit the market last year, third-party sellers have been using online robot technology to quickly buy inventory and sell it for high prices. This makes it almost impossible for local consumers or retailers to get a hold of them.

“I can’t tell you how many phone calls I get per day, do you have PS5s, do you have Xbox Series Xs, not only do we not have them, we can’t even get them”, Lee explained.

To find out how much some consoles will cost, News10 do a quick online search. We found that a PlayStation 5, which normally sells for $ 399 or $ 499 depending on the model, is worth up to $ 2,000.

Lee urges buyers to stay away, “These people make thousands of dollars from the grief of others. There are families who only want one. Let them get one. If you see someone scalping a system, scalping sneakers, or scalping a graphics card, don’t reward them.

Washington is also seeking to combat this practice. Rep. Paul Tonko traveled to Vortex on Monday morning to present his new proposal for the “Grinch Bot Stop Law”.

“It is so important to be able to have access to some of these priority items on the list type, and to make sure that they are indeed affordable,” the congressman said during his remarks.

The legislation aims to combat bots by eliminating the workarounds they use, making it illegal to sell or offer for sale products obtained through the practice, and give the Federal Trade Commission the power to take action against these players. .

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