PS5 restock tracker: GameStop wants you to line up on Thanksgiving for consoles
The next planned PS5 restock is coming from GameStop, and it will be in store instead of online. You will need to check the GameStop store locator to confirm which local store will have consoles and be especially careful of the time those stores open. Some GameStop locations will be opening as early as 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and you will likely need to line up early to guarantee you can take part in this PS5 restock.
Want to wait for an online PlayStation 5 restock instead of camping out on Thanksgiving day for a Black Friday deal? Can't blame you, but getting in on a PS5 restock can be messy and frustrating, especially if you've been through a couple and still haven't gotten your hands on one. The good news is these PS5 restock have been increasing in frequency -- in fact, there have been two massive restocks already this week and it's likely we will see more today or tomorrow.
Here are a few quick tips:
- PS5 restocks are a lot more common in the afternoon and evening than they are in the morning. Chances of an unplanned restock tend to go up dramatically after 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m.
ET), so if you're wondering when to check, that's usually the best time to start.
- If a restock starts and you immediately see Out of Stock on the screen, do not give up. Refresh the screen a few times and keep trying. Some retailers release the consoles in waves to keep bots from getting all of them.
Over the last year, the biggest retailers have made a lot of changes to the checkout process in an effort to both offer peace of mind and keep bots from buying all of the consoles and selling them for more somewhere else.
The most recent change we've seen in the PS5 restock game has been paid access, meaning you buy a subscription and one of the perks is you get in on the next PS5 restock either earlier than anyone else or exclusively for your club. After a few weeks of this new system rolling out across GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart and even Amazon in some cases, the one thing we can say for sure is it's still not guaranteed you will get a console through these systems. The queue fills up fast for all of them, and consoles remain in stock for only minutes in many cases.
Every time a PS5 restock happens, social media fills with people describing how they experienced glitches in the process and the consoles ended up being gone entirely. It's unreasonable to sign up and pay for every service, but that's where we can help. We're constantly tracking the best way for you to get your hands on a PS5, and there are plenty of things you can do to increase your odds before the buy button lights up.
Check it out below.Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Why is the PS5 so tough to find?
There are three big reasons why you're still struggling to get a PS5. The first is the most obvious: The system is really popular. Sony says the PS5 is its best-selling console and has already sold 10 million units since launch.
The second reason is the current chip shortage impacting most of the world's electronics. Sony did say it has secured enough chips to meet its goal of 14.8 million consoles for the fiscal year. As for the last reason, it comes down to bots.
Resellers are using software to purchase a massive number of PS5s at once, leaving only a few for actual humans to buy. Retailers added various bot protections during PS5 restocks, but these restrictions only hamper resellers so much.
Where has the PS5 been available recently?
We keep track of every PS5 restock, and maintain this list here of the most likely places you'll find them, and when the PS5 was last available there.
Which Early Access service should I pay for?
Lots of companies now limit access to a PS5 to a subscription, but each one is a little different. Here's the full breakdown of how each one works.
- Amazon Prime: This one is pretty straightforward.
In many cases the only way to buy a PS5 from Amazon is by being a Prime subscriber or by signing up for the Treasure Truck text service. There's no extra fee outside of the standard Prime subscription, but in many cases you can't access the PS5 restock unless you're subscribed.
- GameStop PowerUp Rewards Pro: Many PS5 restocks from GameStop start an hour earlier for you if you have signed up for this rewards program. This works best when GameStop announces the restock ahead of time or emails its subscribers to let them know a restock is coming.
This subscription service costs £15 per year, and includes a ton of extra perks.
- Walmart Plus: This service was built by Walmart just to offer early access during sales events, and that includes a PS5 restock. The rules for this early access vary; in some cases PS5 restocks can be entirely limited to subscribers or it can be an early access window of one to four hours before the general population has access. Walmart charges £13 per month or £98 per year for this service.
There's a 15-day free trial currently available if you're not sure it's for you, but you only get early access if you pay for that first month.
- Best Buy Totaltech: If you want special access to Geek Squad for installations and tech support, as well as extensions on warranty purchases, this is the service for you. If you just want this for early access to a PS5 restock, Best Buy is asking you to pay £200 per year and that is a lot. Best Buy does occasionally limit access to a PS5 restock to only Totaltech subscribers, but most of the time those restocks are made available to the public later.
For the moment, the service that seems most useful to most people is Walmart Plus.
There are more restocks at Walmart than most other places right now, and that subscription can increase your odds of getting a console dramatically. You're still going to have to be quick and accept that you may not get the console on the first try, but it's a good way to increase your odds.
How do I increase my chances of getting a PS5?
Major retailers like Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target and Best Buy don't usually give much notice ahead of a restock. Sometimes they'll have a restock in the morning, other times in the afternoon and, in some cases, even in the middle of the night.
Here are some tips to help you get the jump on the competition. First tip: Don't wait until you see an alert for a PS5 inventory drop. Check the links at major retailers for stock updates daily or even multiple times a day. (We've got the links all lined up below.) If you do happen upon some PS5 availability, go all-in with as many browsers and devices as possible.
On a desktop, for example, open the retailer's page in Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Then do the same on your phone and tablet. The more devices and browsers, the better.
It's like with lottery tickets: The more you have, the better your chances of winning. Second tip: Create accounts at the different retailers and make sure you're already logged in if you're going to try to get a PS5. Make sure all your shipping, bill and payment info is updated on whatever device you can buy from, whether it's a laptop, desktop or phone.
This makes checking out a lot faster, which is crucial as retailers' sites get quickly bogged down, leading to people losing their chance of securing a PS5. Third tip: Keep checking back with this post and follow CNET and Oscar Gonzalez on Twitter for updates.
Where is safe to buy a PS5 if I'm OK with paying extra?
If you're starting to crack and considering buying a PS5 right now (and we know that with the number of big PS5 games dropping over the next few months, the pressure is on), you can do so, but at the cost of a hefty markup on sites like eBay or StockX. On eBay, for example, we've seen PS5 units priced over £1,000, although prices have slowly made their way down to approximately £700.
Where to buy a PS5
You will usually find the standard edition is available more often than the digital edition at Target, but that doesn't make it any less solid a place to check for stock.
Currently one of the best places to get a PS5, but beware the company frequently makes the consoles available to Walmart Plus subscribers first.
It's usually a requirement to have a Prime membership to get access to a PS5 restock from Amazon, but not always.
And if you sign up for the Treasure Truck program, you'll get a text when a PS5 is available for delivery.
Restocks happen fast at GameStop, and if you're a PowerUp Rewards Pro subscriber you can occasionally get access to the console an hour before everyone else.
You can find a PS5 restock at Best Buy more often than most places, though it occasionally requires a Totaltech subscription if you want to get in on one early.
If you want to buy a console directly from Sony, click this link and register to be put in the waiting queue.
When you get an email inviting you to buy the console, it's a fairly low-stress checkout followed by a one- or two-day wait for shipping and you're done.
PS5 restocks don't happen at Newegg super frequently, but they do happen and it's a great idea to check here because a lot of other people don't know to do so.
You won't be paying the standard price for your PS5 if you buy it from here, but you will certainly get it without much fighting to check out.
When all else fails, if you absolutely must have the console right now regardless of price, the folks at StockX will at the very least protect you from being scammed by someone who never intended to give you a console.
Now playing: Watch this: Install an M.2 SSD in your PS5 with a heatsink upgrade
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