PlayStation 5 stock has been scant since launch, but buying the console will probably get even more difficult in the coming weeks. Many PS5-exclusive games are now available or nearing launch, and we’re sure to see big reveals at upcoming events like E3 and Summer Game Fest that are likely to increase demand for the console. TechRadar’s editor-in-chief and PS5 restock tracker Matt Swider says he expects demand for the PS5 to be as high as the Nintendo Switch.
However, Sony won’t be able to boost production to meet that demand until the ongoing semiconductor shortage and global pandemic relent; and even once things start going back to normal, it’ll be a long time before supply chains pick up.
With more people than ever looking to buy one of the few PS5s available, the chances of snagging one from an online retailer will be tougher than ever—but not impossible. Here are some tips for buying a PS5 before the ravenous hordes of die-hard fans, bots, and scalpers get them first.
How to buy a PS5 before they sell out again
- Call your local stores: Some locations may be offering in-store units separate from its online stock. Call your local stores to see if they have more or are expecting more soon. (If you buy in-person, make sure you follow any COVID-related safety measures in place for your city).
- Set up alerts from online retailers: Bookmark the store listings for as many online retailers as you can. Create a store account, sign up for automatic email, browser, and mobile push notifications whenever available. Here are the store pages for Sony, Amazon, Best Buy (PS5, PS5 digital-only), Walmart (PS5, PS5 digital-only), Target (PS5, PS5 digital-only), Sam’s Club, GameStop (PS5, PS5 digital-only), and NewEgg. Many of these retailers will also offer limited-time bundles that include pack-in gams and extra accessories. The bundles are more expensive than buying the basic PS5 package, but are worth checking for as well.
- Use autofill and quick checkout options: Set up autofill and auto payment options in your browser(s), store accounts, or password managers. I’m not usually into the idea of having my name, mailing address, and payment info saved remotely, but filling out an order with a single click will increase your chances of success.
- Get restock alerts: Opt into email, text, or push notification alerts from the various retailers for when preorders are back in stock. Not every store provides these alerts, but you can use a service like NowInStock for immediate alerts (assuming the website hasn’t crashed due to high traffic). Another great option is visualping.io, which monitors web pages and alerts you whenever there’s an update.
- Follow particular social media accounts: Follow Twitter accounts that tweet whenever new stock is available, and enable push notifications or SMS alerts for when they tweet. Some suggested accounts are @Wario64, @mattswider, @GYXdeals, @PS5Drop, and @PS5StockAlerts. Be sure to comment below if you know of other reliable accounts to follow. Similarly, there are public Discord servers and Telegram channels that send alerts whenever new PS5s are available.
- Avoid eBay: Scalpers will charge twice as much—sometimes more—for a preorder. The PS5 is rad, but it’s not $1,000 rad.
If you manage to buy a PS5 online, congrats! But don’t let your guard down yet; you need to monitor your email for at least the next few days, as orders routinely get canceled due to over-selling, failed transactions, and other errors.
This story was originally published in September 2020 and was updated on May 25, 2021 with new information.