Vice: Resellers Using Checkout Bots Are Driving the Nintendo Switch Shortage


Well-known member
Dec 12, 2018
During the global coronavirus pandemic, demand for the Nintendo Switch console has skyrocketed and retailers have repeatedly run out of stock. Seizing that opportunity, some price gougers on Amazon and eBay are selling Switches for hundreds of dollars over the recommended retail price.

Like lots of money-making opportunities in online shopping, many of these resellers aren't just stumbling upon their in-demand product of choice. Instead, developers are creating dedicated tools to automatically buy Switches from stores when they come back in stock, and before others get a chance to. Motherboard has traced some of the bulk Switch buying to a community revolving around a new, particular bot. Hundreds of people looking to jump on the gold rush or who are just desperate to get their hands on a Switch for themselves have joined a Discord group where users share tips on how to effectively use the tool.

"I decided to make it as a joke, but I quickly realized just how powerful it could be," Nate, the creator of Bird Bot, the open source tool for quickly purchasing Switches, told Motherboard in an online chat.
Others are trying to capitalize on the stimulus checks the Treasury Department is sending to Americans this week.

"Yeah mine are taking so long to deliver I want them to hurry up while everyone stills [sic] has some money," one apparent reseller said referring to their Switch orders.

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