UK MPs say it should be illegal to resell items bought with bots

UK MPs say it should be illegal to resell items bought with bots

A group of Scottish MPs have filed a motion for consideration in the UK Parliament which would make it against the law to resell items purchased with automated bots.

The call for the legislation was filed in an Early Day Motion on Monday of this week (December 14th) and would make it illegal to sell games consoles and computer components for well over the Manufacturer's Recommended Retail Price.

The motion was filed by six members of the Scottish National Party and has since attracted 11 more signatures, mostly from Scottish MPs, but also some independents and Labour Parliamentary representatives.

This follows the launch of Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X/S consoles, which were purchased in huge numbers by scalpers when pre-orders went live and when they finally launched last month. At the time of writing, the former is going for as much as £990 on platforms like Ebay – well above the £450 RRPG – while the Big M's new hardware is attracting around £770 on secondary marketplaces, much more than the £449 it is meant to be sold for.

It also comes in the wake of Nvidia releasing its new line of RTX 3000 graphics cards. This was revealed in September before this started to be rolled out later that month with the RTX 3080. This hardware was snapped up by bots, with Nvidia moving its store to its own platform to try and prevent these purchases.

Scalpers have been aided by automated bots which notify users when stock is available at an online store and allows them to skip queues to quickly snap up hardware.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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