Sony PlayStation 3, Ebay and modern arbitrage
Waiting for a Nintendo Wii in downtown Philly
Photo Credit: Joystiq
I paid a Mexican immigrant 50 bucks (along with a $100 deposit) to get on line early and wait a few hours at a game store to pre-order Sony's PlayStation 3. For those of you who live in the real world, allow me to explain: the PS3 is a game player, media center and virtual alternate-life console. Since there will be only about 320,000 premium units released in North America on November 17th anyone wanting to buy it will have to wait until March of 2007 to get one.
A small note, this one of the few few instances when you will see American youth actually willing to do the same work that Mexican Immigrants are willing to do.
There will be a few stores in the US selling limited units on November 17th but the wait will probably be more than 48 hours outside in line. Meanwhile one could have purchased the pre-order certificate on Ebay today for $1699.
Unfortunately Ebay pulled most if not all PS3 listings that haven't already sold. My take is that Ebay does not allow sales of items which take more than 30 days (from the end of auction) to deliver. I have, however, already sold my certificate for $1500.00. I'm not a gamer so my involvement here is strictly financial:
Pay Mexican: $50
Cost PS3: $599
One day Profit: $851
Making money off of Sony's stupidity in production scheduling: Priceless.
By the way, stores taking pre-orders limit them to one unit per household address, so theoretically I could have hired a few hundred immigrants to wait in line and cornered the market in PS3s in my area. However, this would have been unnecessarily cruel to local gamers. I already make money in other ventures but certainly this would be another instance where a person can make a lot of money off the stupidity of companies like Sony.
Japan: November 11th (100,000 units)
North America: November 17th (320,000 units)
Europe and Australasia: March 2007
In Japan, the 20GB unit will cost 33,399 yen with the 60GB unit going for an open price.
In North America (and Europe), the 20GB and 60GB units will go for $499 and $599 respectively.
Since stores take IDs to make sure no one orders more than one unit, I employed a legal immigrant who used a valid driver's licence in this venture. No Mexicans were harmed during the writing of this blog.
BTW: The fat girl weighs almost as much as the PS3. It would take a bunch of Wiis to weigh as much as the thin girl. It takes about 23 seconds to begin playing games on a Wii. The intuitive nature of the Wii controller will change the entire landscape of future game makers.