Folks have reached out for tips to help them get one of those PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S consoles, but these tips are applicable to any scarce product.
Hope you find them useful!
Getting The Basics Ready
1. Create an account with the store ahead of time
2. Ensure you can log into the account without issue
3. Add a valid credit card as a payment method (get rid of invalid ones!)
4. Ensure your billing address and shipping addresses are correct
⚠️ Use Guest Checkout at your own risk. If something happens to the confirmation e-mail and you do not receive an order number, it may be difficult to follow-up with customer service!
Getting Ready for Showtime
2. If applicable, log onto the site 10 – 15 minutes before the scheduled drop
3. Find the link to the product and landing pages:
Landing pages are useful as they should have all consoles and bundles, but their stock status may not be the same as the actual product pages!
Note: Product pages may change, keep an eye on Twitter for updates!
|Store||Possible Release Times*||PlayStation 5||Xbox Series X|S|
4pm – 6pm ET | 1pm – 3pm PT
|BestBuy||Any weekday at scheduled & random times|
Announces on @BBYC_Gamers
Landing Page w/ Bundles
|Costco||Any weekday @ 8am ET / 5am PT|
(+/- 10 minutes)
|Disc Bundle||Series S Bundle|
|EB Games||Any weekday at scheduled & random times|
Announces on @EBGamesCanada
Xbox All Access
9am – 3pm ET | 6am – 12pm PT
May announce on @ShopprsDrugMart
|The Shopping Channel||Weekdays|
7am – 8am ET | 4am – 5am PT
|TBD||Series X Bundle|
|Toys R Us||TBD||Disc||Series X|
|Walmart||Any weekday at scheduled & random times|
Announces on @WalmartCAGaming
Webpage vs App?
Most retailers have an app these days and while I haven’t used any of their apps, there were reports of people finding success on apps when the webpages collapses under load. Give those apps a try as well!
FAQ: How Do These Websites Work?
Charges without order numbers? Queues? Waiting rooms? Maximum quantity? When did online shopping get so complicated?
Let’s sort this all out.
So you thought you didn’t make it through and order a console, but you checked your credit card statement and noticed that the retailer charged you for the console.
What’s going on?!
This is a pre-authorized hold and depending on the bank, it can take up quite a bit of time for the funds to be released back to you.
Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:
Authorization hold (also card authorization, preauthorization, or preauth) is a service offered by credit and debit card providers whereby the provider puts a hold of the amount approved by the cardholder, reducing the balance of available funds until the merchant clears the transaction (also called settlement), after the transaction is completed or aborted, or because the hold expires.
In the case of debit cards, authorization holds can fall off the account, thus rendering the balance available again, anywhere from one to eight business days after the transaction date, depending on the bank’s policy. In the case of credit cards, holds may last as long as thirty days, depending on the issuing bank. Transactions may be withdrawn but in most cases, especially with smaller banks, will not show up as a deposit on your statement but will instead be directly added to your available balance automatically due to it only being a “temporary charge”.
⚠️ Please be aware of this if you have a relatively low credit card limit or if your card is almost full. The last thing you want is to have multiple holds and become inconvenienced by them.
Question #1: What’s this queue?
A familiar screen for those who shop at BestBuy during Black Friday or Boxing Day, this queues consumers for processing and checkout. It’s supposed to be a first come, first served queue system. You should automatically be redirected when it’s your turn.
Question #1: What’s this virtual line?
This virtual line is placed at least 30 minutes before the actual scheduled release of inventory. It’s to prevent the actual EB Games site from being overrun by the influx of potential customers. It should redirect you the product page and if stock is available, you should be able to place an order.
There is no order or first come, first serve system in place. Selection is completely random and not restricted by IP. There were reports of someone running multiple tabs and finding success with one, but not others.
EB Games’ Twitter is very good at reporting the actual inventory availability.
Dec 10, 2020 update: This workaround did not work during the PS5 Digital Edition release.
It might be possible to avoid the virtual line by changing the product link.
EB Games may stop this workaround in the future, but it does not hurt to try using their old Gamestop alias first. All the product links posted above use the gamestop.ca name.
Issue #1: “You have reached the maximum quantity for a product”
This error appears when you already have an Xbox Series X|S in your cart.
Possible Solution & Workaround:
To check your cart, you can go to https://www.xbox.com/en-ca/cart and try to checkout from there.
You can also clear your web browser’s cache or open the product link in a private tab.
Issue #2: “Unable to purchase the order at the moment — please try again.”
This error means the product is out of stock. The website may allow you add it to the cart, but it fails to process the order due to lack of inventory.
You can keep clicking the Place Order until it finally goes through. It’s an inelegant solution, but people have found success with it. This likely works when inventory becomes available in the back end it is granted to whomever places the next order.
It’s likely easier to achieve this with the Xbox Series S than Xbox Series X due to the latter’s scarcity.
Shoppers Drug Mart
Question #1: What is the virtual waiting room?
This is Shoppers Drug Mart’s solution to people slamming into their site. It’s placed in front of the actual console product pages and should automatically redirect customers to the product page when it’s their “turn”.
Unfortunately, it does not inform customers when the console is out of stock and will stay spinning.
Shoppers Drug Mart’s Twitter announced the status of inventory in the past, but they have been inconsistent. You could use a completely separate browser, device, or private browser tab to see if check if it ends up selling out.
Once you see screen above, it’s fairly safe to assume that you are not going to get a chance to purchase one. You’re welcome to continue waiting as a precaution, but things are not looking good at this point.
- Use a webpage auto refresher extension like Super Simple Auto Refresh – Found on Chrome Web Store, and Edge Add-ons
- Be careful with this! Be sure your extension of choice stops the auto refresh once you click a link. Super Simple Auto Refresh does, but others may not. Test beforehand. You don’t want the webpage refreshing on you when you’re trying to buy!
- Save your store credentials in a trusted password manager
These tips won’t guarantee you a console, but it should increase your chances and help you avoid obstacles!