I’ve been tracking PS5 inventory for a whole year, here’s what I learned

I never would have thought that a year after starting a live PS5 restocking blog, I’m still here, scouring Twitter feeds and listings for any mention of the word PS5, frantically squeezing out retailer websites like geek geek waiting for Glastonbury tickets to drop.

But the persistent global shortage of semiconductors led me on this odyssey. For the past 365 days, I’ve been tracking PS5 drops day in and day out, posting the latest forecasts, and watching websites spoil its drops and explode in awe as Sony leases jumbo jets full of consoles in the UK to meet Christmas demand.

Despite all that, trying to buy a console is still a huge undertaking. Even though it’s been a year and a half since its launch, Sony is still struggling to create enough consoles to meet demand.

The company recently revealed that it missed its sales target, shipping just 2 million PlayStation 5 consoles in the first fiscal quarter, down from 3.3 million shipped in the same quarter last year.

With the outlook still looking pretty bleak, I want you to have every advantage over the brokers. To give you a good idea, I’m about to reveal everything I’ve learned while tracking PS5 restocks for hours on end over the past 12 months.

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Keep these stock alerts turned on

Waking up to the sound of PS5 alerts ringing in your ear isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, but you have to be on the ball if you really want a console. While I’ll be posting about every single PS5 drop on my minute-by-minute stock tracking Liveblog, there are a few Twitter accounts you’ll want to follow for the best chance of securing an account.

Over the past year, Twitter stock trackers have come and gone. RIP @ PS5 moment, who used to leak the retailer’s drops with incredible accuracy. Armed with a fleet of bots, these Twitter accounts constantly crawl the websites of retailers to get a glimpse of restocking. The second moment a retailer places the console on the backend of a website is when you’ll most likely see a tweet coming out.

The most popular Twitter stock tracker is Tweet embed, who apparently has two insiders at Argos, Smyths Toys and John Lewis & Partners. The Tweet embed The PS5 stock tracker isn’t as popular, but it often catches drops that @PS5StockAlertUK might have missed.

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You’ll want to turn on Twitter alerts on your phone by tapping that little bell icon inside the app. Yes, there’s a chance you’ll be woken up at three in the morning, but that’s the life of a PS5 hunter.

Get to know your retailers

There’s science to stopping the PS5, and it all stems from knowing how and when the retailer likes to let go of the console. Some retailers are quite to be expected — he loves restocking on Tuesday mornings, Amazon enjoys dropping consoles on Wednesdays and the game tends to restock the PS5 between Tuesday and Thursday with most retailers restocking once every four weeks.

You’re not likely to see a restock in the afternoon or evening or — except for ShopTo who really enjoys dropping inventory on Saturdays and Sundays — on the weekends. With some retailers, you’ll want to register your interest early – particularly with PlayStation Direct, which sends out an exclusive invite in the afternoon before landing (if you’re lucky), or a BT store, although you’ll need to be a range customer. Wide BT.

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Anyway, I Always Recommend creating an account on each retailer’s website in advance. It makes paying faster when you finally reach the order page. This is very important to Amazon, which insists that every customer be registered with Amazon Prime if they want to buy the PS5.

I’ve compiled the latest information on each retailer at our flagship PS5 Restock Center, which is constantly updated. I’ve created a historical database for every single drop since 2021, which is how I make my predictions about restocking. Retailers can be expected, and you can use that to your advantage.

Perseverance is the key

Sometimes, weeks go by without a PS5 restock. The first three months of 2022 were horrific, and the hunt for consoles was just as frustrating. But as Confucius said: “It doesn’t matter how slow you go as long as you don’t stop.” Patience and perseverance is the key! However, that didn’t stop me from picking up on a deep disdain for some retailers I had never dealt with before.

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Argos are the bane of any PS5 hunter’s existence. The retailer frequently drops consoles in the dead of the night, with their website malfunctioning such that only a few people in certain locations are able to purchase the console. Last year, customers only had to use two devices to get the PS5 in their cart, and Android users were at an advantage. But if you spend an hour constantly updating the page, your efforts will pay off.

Then there are retailers like AO, who prevent customers from putting the console in their cart when a website gets a lot of traffic. Customers were so annoyed that they found a solution to get the console into their cart by editing the website code in Google Chrome – more details on the PS5 home guide.

Writing off inventory when demand is high is also a common technique used by retailers such as Argos, Smyths Toys, and Very. All three swap the PS5 back into stock as soon as the traffic stops, which is why it’s worth it to refresh the page constantly for a few hours, rather than looking at the website for the first five minutes, getting upset and confused.

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And we didn’t even mention Asda, which sometimes forces customers to check out via their wish list, or John Lewis & Partners, who restock on average once every two months for about 30 seconds at 7 a.m. It may take some time to get the PS5 due to the insufficient systems of some retailers, but you will succeed in the end.

Some of you are at a disadvantage

If you are looking for a PS5 digital edition console, you are at a disadvantage to your peers who are looking for the disc release version of the device. While it’s certainly cheaper (£359.99 vs £449.99) and powerful, restocking is less common. For every digital version of the PS5 restock we see, there are about five drops from the disc version.

when Eurogamer Speaking to sources at several retailers prior to the console’s first launch in 2020, retailers were said to have customized about 25 percent of digital version consoles and 75 percent of disc version consoles. By the looks of things, that hasn’t changed. We’re still seeing fewer digital editions than on the PS5’s main console with the drive. Even then, you’ll likely see the Digital Edition console bundled with PS5 accessories and PS Plus subscription gift cards, which neatly brings us to our next point.

Allocate extra money for the package

It’s become a disastrous trend over the past few months, but PS5 bundles are the dominant force these days. A few retailers – Amazon, Smyths Toys, Argos, PlayStation Direct, and John Lewis & Partners – still sell the PS5 on their own. Frustratingly, these retailers don’t frequently leave the console, and if they do, they are usually a bit of a mess.

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Currys and Game only sell bundles these days. During Currys’ latest drop, the cheapest package was £749.99. You’ll need to budget for this extra cost when buying a PS5, because every console will likely be bundled with games and accessories, allowing the retailer to sell the console at a premium price.

tl; DR: Here’s what I learned on PS5 inventory tracking

Buying a PS5 takes a lot of time and effort. You’ll have to prepare yourself for potential early morning drops if you really want a standalone console. You’ve learned the most useless things about retailer websites that only a PS5 tracker would know. Amazon is on Wednesdays and Tuesdays too, for example, and that mantra will probably never leave my mind. But it’s all worth it, knowing that I’ve helped several readers secure the PS5. But will the drought continue?

Right now it looks like it is, but the situation is getting better, and I’ll be here to track the PS5 restock until the only words out of my mouth are “PS5 Available, PS5 Available, PS5 Available”, no end.

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