The Lab, a UK reseller group, specializing in next-gen consoles, says the bad reputation scalpers have “isn’t justified.” Although the size of the group is unknown, its social media accounts have several thousand followers.
In an article in Forbes, the co-founder of The Lab, known as Jordan, said, “There seems to be a lot of bad press on this incredibly valuable industry and I do not feel that it is justified, all we are acting as is a middleman for limited quantity items.”
“I mainly just try and help others now, that’s all that really matters to me. The whole group came about near the start of the first UK lockdown and it makes me so happy that I can help people make some extra money for themselves,” he added.
The group uses fast-buying bots to track down hundreds of consoles and bypass the 3D secure protocol, a layer of security that verifies the authenticity of credit card holders, for a quicker checkout. This system often makes it impossible for individual gamers to get their hands on next-gen consoles since stocks are immediately depleted.
Jordan, however, claims the objective of The Lab is to help users financially, adding that the group donates a large portion of its member fees to local charities and foodbanks. This week, Caroline Dinenage, the Minister of State at the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, stated that officials were reviewing a proposal that would make console scalping illegal in the UK.
According to MP Douglas Chapman, “The issue of scalping first came up with constituents contacting me to explain their frustration about being unable to get hold of certain games consoles or computer components pre-Christmas. On investigation we uncovered more details of the unscrupulous practice of ‘scalping’ by automated bots to bulk buy these goods and sell them on at inflated prices.”
Nonetheless, The Lab, which claims its members have received death threats from angry buyers, believes they operate like most businesses that resell products. “Tesco, for example, buys milk from farmers for 26p or so per litre and sells it on for upwards of 70p per litre. No one ever seems to complain to the extent as they are currently doing towards ourselves,” Jordan argues.
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