eBay making efforts to shut down Steam Deck reservation scalpers

Hold on to your $2000, sports fans

In inevitable events, online auction house eBay was overrun last week with new listings of Valve’s Steam Deck, mere hours after the manufacturer shut the door on reservations for its new handheld gaming system. Various listings for the portable PC popped up at outrageous prices, pushing well past the four-figure mark in many cases, as industry-standard scalpers immediately got to work on trying to make phat profit on their successful reservations.

Speaking to Eurogamer, eBay has announced its plans to clamp down on any and all scalped Steam Deck listings, no doubt still reeling from the heavy fire it came under following similar events surrounding the launches of PS5 and Xbox Series X/S back in 2020. eBay is taking down the scalped pre-orders by exercising its right to cancel any auction that will not deliver its goods within 30 days of the auction’s end. Of course, the Steam Deck is currently not scheduled to start rolling out customer orders until the end of 2021 at the earliest.

“We understand how frustrating it can be for gamers to see overpriced listings for presale hardware,” said eBay in a statement to Eurogamer. “To comply with eBay’s presale policy, listings must clearly indicate that they are ‘presale’ items and must guarantee postage within 30 days of purchase. As the Steam Deck is not expected to ship until next year, these listings are in violation of our presale policy, we are working to remove all listings of the product.”

eBay also uses word filters and other undercover algorithms in an effort to spot scalp-based auctions, but obviously, savvy-sellers are quick to ascertain the trigger words and bypass them entirely. While scalping has always been a problem with in-demand hardware, recent years have seen a major increase in activity within the industry. As is the case here, scalpers often sell their orders at hugely marked-up prices before they have ownership of the item in question — or even a release date.

FOMO is a hell of drug.

Steam Deck will enter its order availability phase in early 2022, allowing reservists to place an official order for the hardware.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors.