Steam Deck reservations are already selling on eBay for foolish prices.
Yesterday, Valve also announced the Steam Deck. It revealed a plan to prevent resellers from making profits by taking advantage of limited supply. Anyone who makes a reservation must have purchased Steam before June 2021. This is so that no one can create many Steam accounts, then use them to reserve large quantities of Steam Decks that can be later unloaded at hugely exorbitant prices.
Although it might stop institutional resellers from making banks, it is not an ideal firewall. Steam Deck reservations were made today, and eBay already has many pre-sales at “confirmed orders” that are well above the cost. For example, a listing for a 64GB unit has bidding starting from $550 with a “Buy It Now” cost of $750–nearly twice the $399 regular price. A 512GB unit has the lowest price of $949, but at least one optimist is asking more than that.
They are selling: The 256GB model sold for $850 while the 512GB model was a steal at $975. The other one sold for $1,599.
It begs the obvious question: Why are buyers spending so much money on hardware that cannot even be pre-ordered and not making reservations? Some people may have too much money and will spend hundreds more to be among the first to purchase a Steam Deck. Actual preorders will only be available based on the order in which reservations were made. Shipping dates are being delayed. The 512GB units are not expected to ship until Q3 2022.
Steam Deck reservations are only currently available in the US and UK. If you are located in China, Australia or Mexico, Saudi Arabia or y’know, anywhere else than the US, UK and EU, Steam Deck reservations are not available unless you’re willing to pay a fee to have one sent to you from those countries.
It seems absurd to pay so much for Steam games to be played on a small screen with analog sticks and trackpads. However, Valve’s restrictions seem to have kept reselling down to a minimum. This is almost inevitable. In September 2020, Nvidia stated it was doing “everything humanly possible” to stop RTX3080 resales via eBay. The cards sold for an average of $1,300 on ebay in January 2021, which is 85% more than their regular retail price.
Although we made a few Steam Deck reservations shortly after they went life (although many others have had server problems and other issues), most Steam Deck reservations have not been placed yet. Although reservations are still possible, ship dates keep being pushed back.