PS5 restock tracker: Where to look for a console this week

Sony started the week with back-to-back PS5 is recharging with PlayStation Direct, but it does not look like a third one is coming today right now. Both of these were only for invited events that were not open to the public as they were sold out prematurely. We have not had any rebuilds from Best Buy, Walmart or Target this week, so there is still hope that you will be able to score a console without having to wait too much longer.

Here are some of our top tips, tricks and tips to help you grab your PS5:

  • If you see someone offering to sell you a console on Twitter, it’s almost certainly a scam. Avoid these people.
  • Where relevant, use an app to complete a purchase instead of a browser. Not only are apps often faster than mobile browsers, but it is also easy to use an app and a browser at the same time if you are trying to shop on multiple computers.
  • PS5 refills are much more common in the afternoon and evening than in the morning. The chances of an unplanned reconstruction tend to increase dramatically after 6 p.m. 13:00 ET (10:00 PT), so if you’re wondering when to check, this is usually the best time to start.
  • PS5 rebuilding almost never happens on the weekends.
  • If a refill 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 vendors release the consoles in waves to prevent bots from getting them all.
  • Have an account created and logged in for any retailer you shop with. From personal experience, it is devastating to have a console in your shopping cart and then miss something because you would have to waste precious seconds entering your payment and shipping information.

Over the past year, the major retailers have made a lot of changes to the payment process in an attempt to offer peace of mind and to prevent bots from buying all the consoles and selling them for more somewhere else. The latest change we’ve seen in the PS5 restock game is paid access, which means that when you purchase a subscription, you get into the next PS5 rebuild either earlier than anyone else or solely for your club.

Our best tips for getting a console

After several weeks of rolling out this new subscription system across GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart and even Amazon in some cases, the only thing we can say is that it is still not guaranteed that you will get a console through these services . The queue fills up quickly, and consoles are in most cases only in stock for a few minutes. Every time a PS5 rebuild happens, social media is filled with people describing how they experienced errors in the process and how the consoles ended up being completely gone.

It is unreasonable to sign up and pay for every service, but this is where we can help. We are constantly tracking the best way for you to get your hands on a PS5. And we explain below what you can do to increase your odds before the buy button lights up.


Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Why is the PS5 so hard to find?

There are three major reasons why you are 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 more than 10 million units since its launch.

The second reason is the current chip shortage that affects most of the world’s electronics. Sony said it has secured enough chips to reach its target of 14.8 million consoles for the fiscal year.

As for the last reason, it comes down to bots. Retailers use software to buy a huge number of PS5s at one time, leaving only a few that actual people can buy. Dealers added various bot protections during PS5 rebuilds, but these restrictions only hamper dealers so much.

Where has the PS5 been available recently?

We keep track of every PS5 rebuild and maintain this list here of the most likely sites you will find them and when the PS5 was last available there.

  • Verizon: Nov. 17
  • Walmart: December 8th, 13th
  • PlayStation Direct: December 14, 5, 6, 13, 24, 25 January
  • GameStop: December 23, 28, January 14, 21
  • Amazon: December 30th
  • Target: December 23, January 6, 21
  • Best Buy: December 27, January 5, 20

Which early access service do I have to pay for?

Many companies now restrict access to a PS5 to a subscription, but each one is a little different. Here is the full overview 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 are no additional fees outside of the standard Prime subscription, but you probably will not be able to access the PS5 rebuild unless you subscribe.
  • GameStop PowerUp Rewards Pro: Many PS5 recharges from GameStop start an hour earlier for you if you have signed up for this rewards program. This works best when GameStop announces the rebuild in advance or sends emails to its subscribers to let them know they are on their way. This subscription service costs $ 15 per year and includes a wealth of extra perks.
  • Walmart Plus: This service was built by Walmart to offer early access during sales events, and it includes a PS5 rebuild. The rules for this early access vary; in some cases, PS5 rebuild may be completely limited to subscribers, or it may be an early access window of 1 to 4 hours before the general population has access. Walmart charges $ 13 per month or $ 98 per. years for this service. There is a 15-day free trial available at the moment if you are not sure it is something for you, but you will only get early access if you pay for the first month.
  • Best Buy Totaltech: If you want special access to Geek Squad for installations and technical support, as well as extensions of warranty purchases, this is the service for you. If you just want this early access to a PS5 rebuild, Best Buy is asking you to pay $ 200 a year, and that’s a lot. Best Buy occasionally restricts access to a PS5 restocking to Totaltech subscribers only, but most of the time these restraints are made available to the public later.

Currently, the service that seems most useful to most is Walmart Plus. There are more rebuilds at Walmart than most other places right now, and that subscription can increase your odds of getting a console dramatically. You will still need to be quick and accept that you may not get the console on the first try.

How do I increase my chances of getting a PS5?

Major retailers like Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target and Best Buy usually do not give much notice prior to a rebuild. Sometimes they will have a warehouse 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: Do not wait until you see a PS5 stock drop warning. Check the links of major retailers for stock updates daily or even several times a day. (We have all the links listed below.) If you encounter a PS5 availability, go all-in with as many browsers and devices as possible. For example, on a desktop, open the reseller’s page in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. So 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 greater your chances of winning.

Second tip: Create accounts with the various retailers and make sure you are already logged in if you are going to try to get a PS5. Make sure all your shipping, billing and payment information is up to date, no matter what device you can buy from, whether it’s a laptop, desktop or phone. This makes checkout much faster, which is crucial as retailers’ websites quickly get stuck, leading to people losing their chance to secure a PS5.

Third tip: Keep checking back with this post and follow along CNET and oscar gonzalez on Twitter for updates.

Where is it safe to buy a PS5 if I’m okay with paying extra?

If you’re starting to crack and are considering buying a PS5 right now (and we know that with the number of major PS5 games dropping over the next few months being pressured), you can do so, but at the expense of of a large markup on sites like eBay or StockX. On eBay, for example, we’ve seen PS5 units priced above $ 1,000, though prices have slowly dropped to around $ 700.

Where to buy a PS5

Reinstallation is fast on GameStop, and if you are a PowerUp Rewards Pro subscriber, you can occasionally access the console one hour before everyone else.

You can find a PS5 restock at Best Buy more often than most places, although it sometimes requires a Totaltech subscription if you want an early one.

Currently one of the best places to get a PS5, but be aware that the company often makes the consoles available to Walmart Plus subscribers first.

You are usually required to have a Prime membership to access a PS5 restock from Amazon, but not always. And if you sign up for the Treasure Truck program, you will receive an SMS when a PS5 is available for delivery.

You will usually find that the standard edition is available more often than the digital edition at Target, but it is a solid place to check for inventory.

To buy a console directly from Sony, click on this link and sign up to be placed in the waiting queue. When you get an email inviting you to buy the console, it’s a pretty low-stress checkout followed by a one or two day wait for shipping.

PS5 rebuilds don’t happen that often at Newegg, but they do, and it’s a good idea to check here because many other people are not thinking of doing so.

You do not pay the standard price for your PS5 if you buy it from here (which means you will pay a lot more), but you will definitely get it without having to struggle to check it out.

When all else fails, if you absolutely must have the console right now no matter the price, the people at StockX will at least protect you from being scammed by someone who never intended to give you a console.

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Install an M.2 SSD in your PS5 with a heatsink upgrade


More PlayStation 5 coverage

This story is updated regularly with the latest PS5 stock news.

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