The Nintendo Switch shortage is being made worse by scalpers

21 April 2020, 15:14

By Katie Louise Smith

When will the Nintendo Switch be back in stock? You'll have to move fast to avoid being beaten by scalpers using the 'Bird Bot' app.

Anyone who has tried to buy a Nintendo Switch over the past few weeks knows exactly how impossible it is to get your hands on one.

Across the world, people are spending the majority of their days in quarantine either glued to their Switch, or glued to the internet trying to buy a Switch. The shortage has been caused by a shutdown in manufacturing in China where they are made. That, coupled with the sky high demand, means they've become one of the most sought after items on the internet.

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It's now being reported that there's another factor at play which is making it even harder for us to get our hands on one – scalpers.

In the same way people buy and resell tickets and exclusive trainers, it's now happening to the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Switch shortage is being made worse by scalpers
Nintendo Switch shortage is being made worse by scalpers. Picture: James Sheppard/Future via Getty Images, E!

As reported by Vice, it appears as though scalpers are using bots to get first dibs on the Switch as soon as it gets restocked online.

According to Vice's Motherboard, there's an app called 'Bird Bot' that is able to scour the internet and find Switches that are in stock. However, it's now being used by resellers, who are buying the Switches when they are restocked, in the hopes of selling them on marketplaces like eBay for a higher price.

TechTimes reports each device is being sold for $500 to $750, which is more than twice the original retail price.

Creator of the app, Nate, told Motherboard: "I decided to make it as a joke, but I quickly realised just how powerful it could be."

So far, it appears as though this is only an issue in the US, with Walmart and Target at the top of the list. UK stockists seem to be avoiding the issue for now, but continue to struggle with the restocks due to low supply and extremely high demand.

The good news is that Nintendo are planning on restocking the Switch around the world, but we likely won't see that happen until summer 2020.

Our advice? Set up restock alerts on the sites you're able to and keep trying. Or, you know, you could go on a scavenger hunt around eBay and find enough parts to build your own?