Online auction site eBay is encouraging the scalping of the highly sought-after NES Classic Edition by offering resellers a guaranteed profit on the console, it has been revealed.
Nintendo’s mini retro system, which comes complete with 30 built-in games from the NES library, has proved a huge hit since launching on November 11, with the company struggling to meet consumer demand.
As you’d therefore expect, the console has attracted more than its fair share of scalpers – with the unit changing hands for considerably more than its original retail price of $59.99 as shoppers try to snatch up the unit before Christmas.
Online auction house eBay has inevitably ended up as one of the most popular websites for NES Classic Edition resellers to shift their systems on, and it’d be hard to argue that the company should take any blame for simply providing a buying and selling platform to users.
At least it would be if eBay wasn’t actively encouraging sellers to cash in on the popularity and scarcity of the console by offering them a selling price guarantee that effectively assures them of making a tidy profit on the NES Classic.
When listing the console as a 7-day auction with a starting price of $0.99, sellers are assured of a final value price guarantee that currently stands at $218.
What this guarantee ultimately amounts to is that if a user sells their console under eBay’s current trending price, the company will make up the difference in coupons to be used on its marketplace. This wouldn’t be so bad if eBay’s minimum selling price of the console wasn’t currently set at nearly four times its MSRP.
To its credit, eBay’s promotional offer only applies to the first two consoles a user sells during a one-month period, but it’d be easy enough for a scalper to create multiple accounts if they so desired.
We have reached out to both eBay and Nintendo for comment on this story.
Have you managed to secure an NES Classic Edition console? What do you think of eBay offering scalpers a guaranteed profit on their stock? Let us know in the comments below.