Retail giant Walmart was able to stop the attempts of PlayStation 5 scalpers/bots trying to buy the new console during its November 25th online restock, canceling 20 million various scalper/bot orders within the first few hours of the restock alone.
The PlayStation 5 preorder period and its ensuing online restocks have infamously been full of website crashes, inconsistent listing times, and most of all a myriad of scalpers/botters trying to avoid reaction time and human errors in order to secure consoles for resale.
It became such an issue this year that PlayStation 5 bots and scalpers trying to mass purchase the new system has come under considerably more analysis than usual, customers disappointed over the malicious practice and how uncontrollable it appears to be.
One scalper group in the United Kingdom allegedly boasted about receiving more than 3000 PlayStation 5s during its first month of release, something that was especially upsetting given the reports that fans trying to get their hands on a PlayStation 5 on the secondary market had been targeted as robbery victims. Since then, the consideration around how to stop the practice of scalpers and bots taking advantage of online preorders has been a hotly debated topic.
A few hours ago, Jerry Geisler, Walmart’s Global Tech Chief Information Security Officer, published a blog posted on the company’s corporate website discussing how it managed to stop PlayStation 5 bots from taking advantage of Walmart’s November 25 online restock.
Geisler explained that these “Grinch bots” had seen an uptick this year and that Walmart took preventive measures to stop what they believe was 20 million PlayStation 5 bot attempts within the first few hours of the restock alone. Geisler also noted that the company checks and cancels orders that they believe were made by bots that “slipped through” Walmart’s security actions that were already in place.
Perhaps the most intriguing implication of the article, however, was that Geisler took the time to ask other sellers to join Walmart in “asking lawmakers to do more to prevent these unwanted bots on retail sites.”
Regardless of the approach of Walmart as a corporate entity, it’s difficult to argue against the fact that it has a decent bit of sway in determining what kind of action could be taken against bots and scalpers in the future.
Hopefully, this call to action is one mirrored by other sellers, and customers – who would benefit considerably from stopping the access of bots and scalpers to be so efficient – will see some improvements soon.