The Resale Market is a Cruel Mistress
The PS5 and Pokemon trading cards have been resellers’ favorites for quite a while, but the pandemic has pushed demand for them to new heights. These hot items can demand incredibly high prices in resale markets. Whether or not that’s ethical, you can’t deny that it makes a lot of money, as one teenage reseller discovered. A recent profile by The Wall Street Journal revealed that 16-year-old Max Hayden has made nearly 2 million dollars during the console shortage of 2020-2021, selling dozens of machines for more than twice their sticker prices. Does that sound like scalping to you? It does to us.
For videogame enthusiasts, the console shortage of 2020-21 has been a major drag. For high-school junior Max Hayden, it’s been a bonanza. https://t.co/POLXgn17xC
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) June 27, 2021
Hayden is a high school junior who’s made $1.7 million US–that’s over $2 million CDN–reselling gaming and hobby items, and his racket shows no signs of slowing down. Thankfully, that number refers to his total sales figures, not his profits, and actually buying the consoles and trading cards took a sizable chunk out of his cash reserves. Hayden has actually earned about $110,000 in profits, which is still nothing to sneeze at. We’re not sure how much judgment we can place on his shoulders for his turn to scalping, especially in this economy, but we won’t deny that looking at those figures leaves a bad taste in our mouths.
For many people and small businesses, the pandemic has been devastating, and gamers everywhere are very upset about scalpers reselling limited-quality items like PS5s for sky-high mark-ups that few can afford. The Pokemon Company has already gone on the record as being very displeased with McDonald’s’ scalpers, so we can only imagine how they feel about this particular scenario. It’s good that Hayden has found a way to make an income in an increasingly inhospitable job environment, but we can’t say we’re impressed with his chosen career.