A 17-year-old 'gamer' earns 1.4 million euros in 2020 reselling in times of pandemic PS5, Xbox Series X / S and other luxury products
The global pandemic has caused, among other things, a shortage of all kinds of products: garden heaters, razors, inflatable pools, weights, ketchup envelopes, Pokémon cards... And the 2 new PS5 and Xbox Series X / S consoles. The shortage of components to manufacture them has caused fewer consoles to be distributed from the respondents.
The rush to be the first to buy a new console when they are replaced sporadically has revitalized the second-hand market: a few people have specialized in buying consoles with mansalva and then resell them for double and even triple the original price.
One of these people is Max Hayden, a 17-year-old high school student who in 2020 alone through the purchase and resale of luxury products earned $1.7 million (1.4 million euros) in income and $110,000 (90,000 euros) in profits.
Hayden is part of a new group of young entrepreneurs who have found a way to profit from the shortage of consoles and other products along with their consumers' craving for these objects.
Not everyone is happy with Hayden's economic success. It receives incendiary emails on a daily basis from both people who complain about their prices and from representatives of shops and franchises.
"how dare you ask us $1,500 for a $500 PS5?" someone complains in one of these messages. "you should be ashamed of what you do," another person complains.
Max's father was also initially suspicious of his son's initiatives. But he calmed down when he realized that the resale of non-essential products is generally legal. "it's not the same as if I sold some real need," he explains. "this is after all capitalism."
Max analyzes what consumers will need in advance. For example, in the spring of 2020 he bought a lot of weights after the closure of gyms was announced due to the pandemic. He did the same thing with razors when the hairdressers were closed. In summer he bought inflatable pools and in November he dedicated himself to acquiring and reselling Playstation 5 consoles and Xbox Series X and S.
How did you get this last one? At the time buying new consoles was quite an odyssey due to the number of gamers entering at the same time into virtual stores. Hayden discovered that the target store chain had been able to reserve consoles since September. So he bought 10 in advance using his credit card and risking his savings.
"target was not a secret, but in September few people thought they wanted a new console," Hayden explains for Wall Street Journal.
When November arrived and gamers discovered that consoles were running out fast, Max continued to buy hardware thanks to another stratagem: online communities have been created that, in exchange for a monthly subscription, give tips and tips on upcoming stores that will replace consoles. Max found out earlier and was preparing to buy them in large numbers.
In addition, these online groups, which are usually hosted at Discord, share information about the latest bots that automatically purchase online orders. With this technology, resellers like Hayden Don't have to stick to the PC screen all day, waiting for consoles or other products to replenish.
Wall Street Journal
Some stores have installed anti-bots software while others allow only one unit per person to be purchased. Despite these measures, Hayden's business is going head-to-head.
In part, Hayden gets rid of these measures because he has made friends with some store employees. For example, he has contacts at the Walmart near home. Thanks to this you know when swollen pools are replenished and can buy and resell them.
Hayden's walks in this last year and peak pandemic are the culmination of several previous attempts to succeed in the resale world.
When he was even younger, he thought of buying toys and reselling them. He used his parents' eBay account for his plans, but the account ended up blocked when he made a miscalculation: the toys didn't arrive in time and his first customers accused him of cheating for taking so long. They reported him to eBay and the service cut off his business before it prospered.
"I used my mother's debit card for that," explains Max. He had to pay his debts with the money he was given on birthdays and similar events.
On his second try, he resold books. His father, an architect, received hundreds of books from a client who found them in the house he had just bought. Instead of throwing them away, Hayden used them to earn an extra money. It carries out its current operations under the name of MH Book store, its alleged bookshop company.
As Hayden has not taken his driver's license, the trucks of the transporters visit his house so often that his mother already knows everyone's first names. On one occasion, Amazon's delivery truck stayed an hour parked at the entrance of the house of the amount of garden heaters Hayden was going to resell.
Max has even workers: 2 friends of his who help him pack or attend to customers for 15 dollars an hour. In addition, it shares the rental of the warehouse with 6 other resellers.
In the beginning, Hayden's notes staggered because of the time he spent on his business. Now, his income helps him finish his studies. And what do you want to be "major"? Entrepreneur. This kind of idea seems to be part of the family DNA: his grandfather had a car business while his mother owned a catering company. He plans to study information management systems and, beyond that, you will see.
"I hope I can rent a beach house with the money I earn," he concludes. "Let's see if I can convince my parents."