Best Buy Selling More Consoles, Curbside Pickup Only

Best Buy Store
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you haven’t bought either a Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X/S yet and still want to get in on the ground floor of the next console generation, Best Buy just announced what might be your last chance to get one before Christmas.

On December 14th, the big box electronics chain published a blog post (opens in new tab) stating that it’s planning to restock both consoles on December 15th starting at 8 am Central/9 am Eastern time. The consoles will only be up for sale online, which isn't that surprising, but what's new is that you’ll only be able to pick them up through curbside pickup. 

We don’t yet know how long supplies will last or if Best Buy is planning any more restocks in the following days. We wouldn’t be surprised, though, since the blog post says the console restock also kicks off the store’s “3-day sale” event for last-minute Holiday shoppers.

While online-only launches have become the norm during the pandemic, limiting something as big as a gaming console to curbside pickup is a new strategy. This is likely an effort on Best Buy’s part to counter bots, which have plagued major tech releases throughout the year by instantly buying up all available stock to resell at a higher price elsewhere.

We’re certain that plenty of scalpers are willing to take a car to their local Best Buy for a several hundred dollar profit, but this might at least stop bot users from ordering multiple units. It also means that the stock situation will be more individualized across specific stores, so it’s possible your local Best Buy might luck out and have some units left over for actual end-users.

Still, among other disappointments, this is the year of “sold out.” Good luck to all the keyboard warriors looking to snag a next-gen console. For everyone else, don't worry. You're not necessarily losing out by waiting to buy a next-gen console until game libraries get a little beefier.      

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.

  • kal326
    It won’t stop the scalpers no, but it certainly will slow them down and add additional time and effort. MicroCenter has done in store only first come first serve on 3000 series cards and they still show up on eBay etc. I saw one with a pic that couldn’t have been any later than back to the car and posted for 50% markup.

    Usually Best Buy will check the physical card and a drivers license so it should also help prevent the multiple purchases. I’m guessing day one lots of bots will still gum up the works trying to acquire them.
  • TimmyP777
    Microcenter also checks licenses etc. Only 1 per household.
  • HFirst
    I like it although I agree it won't stop it completely but at least those that really want a console 'might' have a chance? I almost wonder if you should not even be able to order it online, although making them camp out over night doesn't work 100% either. I remember being 4th in line to get a Wii for my kids having set up my chair like 10pm the night before. Everybody in front of me and even behind me was talking about how they were just there to get it and then were going to immediately try to flip it on ebay or craigslist and how they already knew the schedules of the other stores and who was going to what stores on so and so nights.

    Maybe the stores should just play the game and mark them up 100% if you want to ship it or pick it up immediately or you can put it on layway for the normal price and you can pick it up a few days before christmas but then of course this would not be fair to other people that don't celebrate christmas or just really want it right then and there and are not going to flip it but then again, they're not even able to get one now, LOL.

    Or maybe another idea, they sell it for 100% markup but bring the box back in 30 days later showing you opened it and still have it, and they give you a credit back to normal price. But why would stores go through that trouble, they make money regardless what the intentions of the purchaser are.