The Steam Deck, Valve’s portable game system that runs Steam OS and is capable of playing AAA games from Steam’s vast library of games, is set to be released in mid to late 2022. However, you can reserve one from sellers on eBay — for up to $5000. We will not be linking to these posts out of ethical reasons.
“Scalping” was coined in the late 19th century for individuals who would re-sell tickets, it is unclear if it was railroad tickets where it originated or theater tickets, usually for a profit. The term “taking a little off the top” when talking about money also refers to scalping. Ticket scalping originated in Amercan English, and the terminology is still used to this day, but not just for tickets.
This writer remembers when Cabbage Patch Kids were sold out of vans or trunks of cars on the side of the road for profit. When websites like eBay originated, individuals found ways of being able to resell items online the same way as doing it in person. Eventually, other product selling websites like Amazon and Etsy have sellers who will sell brand new items that have yet to be released to the public. The need to fulfill the purpose of receiving new or hard to find items before anyone else is still quite prevalent to this day.
The Steam Deck was announced only last week, and we are now seeing sellers, not only on eBay, but even social media as well, sell the Steam Deck for above the MSRP of the product in hopes to lure and entice buyers into making sure they have the game system before their friends, enemies, and competition.
In a society where staying ahead of the game is vitally important, buyers have proven that there is a need for access to items to remain on top of everyone that they know. Some buyers neglect to realize that they are paying a percent higher than another buyer who is willing to wait until the product is readily available.
The above situation where a seller is attempting to scalp a system that will normally sell for around $750, and asking for around $5000, is looking at a profit of upwards of 666%, but only if someone is willing to pay those costs. Plus, is the system going to stay at the current costs, or will they reduce costs to stay competitive with the market come release? The same situation happened over the last few days with Nintendo’s new OLED system. The manufacturer has lowered the cost of the product so that they can continue to maintain costs with the competition brought by Valve with the new handheld.
Is it worth paying more for a product that hasn’t been released? Or is it better to wait for the system to come out and pay the normal MSRP for the new handheld?