Valve’s announcement of a portable PC called the Steam Deck has been a pleasant surprise for gamers who are seeking a convenient way to take their entire Steam libraries on the go, but what followed was disappointingly typical in a year where hotly anticipated tech items are preyed upon by anyone desiring to seek a profit. Shortly after the Steam Deck went up for pre-order on Friday, July 16, auction sites such as eBay became inundated with listings for the popular device, with some lucky but immoral reservation holders seeking as much as $5,000 from desperate gamers wanting to receive a unit early. Luckily (and to the dismay of scalpers), eBay has already begun identifying and deleting most of these listings, as they violate the company’s terms and conditions for being pre-sale items that won’t be delivered within 30 days. Valve has attempted to minimize scalping activity and unauthorized resellers by limiting Steam Deck reservations to Steam users who have made a purchase on Steam prior to 2021, but that special window will soon be over. At the time of this posting, current Steam Deck reservations won’t ship until Q2 2022.
eBay told Kotaku via email that these listings will be removed as they violate the website’s “Presale Policy.” This policy states that all pre-sale items must ship within 30 days, which is not the case with Valve’s Steam Deck. (It won’t start shipping until Dec. 2021 at the earliest.)