Part of the reason why new game consoles are in short supply is because scalpers gobble up as much inventory as they can afford and then jack up the price on second-hand markets (eBay, Craigslist, and so forth). Well, Amazon has decided not to be a part this practice, at least in regard to Nintendo's upcoming SNES Classic. The online retailer is refusing to honor bulk orders and reducing such requests down to a single system.
"We're writing about your Amazon.co.uk order [number redacted], which includes more than one Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Unfortunately, there's been a change to the availability of this item on Amazon.co.uk. As a result, there is now only one listing for the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System available... As such, we have reduced the quantity of the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System in your order to one (1) unit. We understand this isn't what you expected when you placed your order and apologize for the inconvenience," Amazon writes in an email to affected customers.
It is unfortunate that a policy like this has to be in place, as it also affects non-scalpers who might be looking to buy multiple systems for family members—think grandparent with multiple grandchildren. However, the alternative is to feed into the second-hand market frenzy where may of these hot-selling items end up, and at grossly inflated price tags. We have seen this time and again, most recently with the NES Classic.
As it stands right now, most NES Classic systems are priced on eBay at $250 and up. Some of the listings show multiple consoles stacked on top of each other, sometimes even dozens of consoles. Of course, some of the fault lies on Nintendo, both for not anticipating how popular the NES Classic would be and then for abruptly discontinuing the console after making promises that everyone who wanted one would be able to get one. But that does erase the fact that scalpers pounce on these opportunities and ultimately exacerbate an already frustrating situation.
For what it is worth, Nintendo said there will be "significantly more" quantities of the SNES Classic later this year compared to the NES Classic. The miniaturized console is headed for a holiday season debut and will come with 21 classic games pre-loaded, along with two SNES controllers a relatively lengthy 5-foot cord (versus the 3-foot cord that shipped with the NES Classic). It will also come with a USB power adapter and HDMI cable.
Pricing for the SNES Classic in the U.S. is expected to be $80.