It’s no surprise really, since the last time each company updates its consoles was several lifetimes ago in tech-years. (November 2013 was the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One – the predecessors to the newest consoles.)
Every major retailer – and several you’ve never heard of – continue to update stock on their websites, and even send re-stock alerts through their apps. Still, within a matter of seconds, these hottest new consoles keep selling out.
Here are some top tips to scoring one this year, but as you’ll see, it’s best not to get your hopes up unless you want to sell a kidney, or have a ton of money to spare.
If you want to pay double (or more):
How much are you willing to spend for Swappa, and , where resellers are selling new PlayStation 5 at a markup far above its $399 to $499 retail price.for week? $600? $800? $1,000? That’s how much it’ll cost you right now if you go to sites like
A few retailers, like Walmart and Antonline, and others are letting people know the second a new console becomes available via Twitter. Adorama did this earlier today, letting people know they had a few consoles in stock at 11 a.m. ET, and within minutes, it tweeted that they were all gone.
DO THIS: GET IN-STOCK ALERTS
There are a few websites that check inventory at various retailers throughout the day and can even send you alerts if – and when – popular items are back in stock. But you have to act fast, just because you get an alert doesn’t mean you’ll be able to buy.
Popcart bots scan available inventory around the clock. You can get alerts for all of the major retailers with just one click. You choose if the notifications get sent to your email or web browser. It can also compare prices on the web as you shop. It sends pop-up confirmations when the price on a product being viewed is the lowest or if they found a lower price at another major retailer.
BuyVia‘s site has inventory trackers for the Xbox, PlayStation 5, and the Nintendo Switch. There are results from big retailers including Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy and the company says that results are updated every 15 minutes.
ZooLert has dedicated tracking pages that auto-update every minute. The site focuses on stock at “reputable” sites so you don’t get ripped off paying over MSRP. It lets you see everything on one page, including in-stock status, last selling price at that site, and the time the product was last available.
ZooLert can also help you check local inventory instantly by clicking the shopping cart icon next to an item’s listing. True to its name, you can choose to get an alert with fun zoo-inspired sounds like a bird, lion, or rooster when an item is back in stock.
DO THIS: CHECK WITH SPECIFIC STORES
DO THIS: WAIT
If Sony’sis the ONLY gift you or someone you love wants this Christmas… it’s time to take a step back, followed by one big, long, deep, cleansing breath. Unless you want to pay two-three times the regular $399/$499 price, there’s a good chance you’ll have to wait.
I get it, I do. It’s seriously the most coveted console on the planet right now. But when I heard the story of a single mom camping out for FOUR DAYS and missing Thanksgiving with her children, in the off-chance she actually ends up with one of the TWO PS5’s her local GameStop planned to sell on Black Friday? Well, that just seems really sad. I’m not judging. I was a single mom too once and would have done anything, and I mean ANYTHING to help my daughter any way I thought I could. But is waiting a few more weeks for an in-stock console really worth missing Thanksgiving?!
Okay, social commentary aside, let me know if you score a coveted console! I have both the PS5 and the XBOX X Series at home that I’m reviewing now, look for my story on them both soon!