A Canadian Guy With A Closet Full of Unsold PS3s: A Cautionary Tale

Derek O’Brien wanted to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. What better way to do it, he thought, than by buying PS3s and selling them for a profit on Ebay. Whoops.

From the Globe and Mail:

On Nov. 16, a day before the system’s launch, Mr. O’Brien left his construction job and began driving on Highway 401 toward Toronto. His plan was simple: pick up one or two PlayStation 3 systems, advertise them online and sit back as the sure-to-be hot — and scarce — commodity gathered steam in the chug toward Christmas.

Instead, the first-time scalper learned an expensive lesson about consumer demand and when to take a profit. Now that the dust has temporarily settled in the busy gaming marketplace, another lesson is coming into focus: Mr. O’Brien might have backed the wrong box.

O’Brien stood in line all night and in the morning bought two machines, one for regular price and one for $1,800 from a scalper.

“I just kept thinking, ‘keep it until Christmas,’ ” he said. “And that was a mistake. A huge mistake.” Now the boxes are sitting in his closet. He’s looking at selling them on craigslist for a loss. —MEGHANN MARCO

How a PlayStation speculator misread the market and lost [Globe and Mail]