Walmart seems to be the only retailer allowing walk-ins during the great PlayStation 5 Hunt Of 2020, and they immediately seemed suspicious. There are plenty of photos and videos on Twitter of people walking into a Walmart and out with a new PS5. Everyone knows they were selling and others started to then try themselves.
This was made easier by a tool known as BrickSeek, that allows users to check inventory near them. From what I can tell, it used the same API as Walmart’s mobile barcode scanner. I say used, because Walmart forced them to shut down. Later in the day, they shut down the API all together.
Walmart might want you to believe this is because their staff is being overwhelmed, harassed, and yelled at. While that is true, Walmart employees brought this upon themselves. I’ll explain.
As soon as more people started trying the Walmart walk-in method, there were countless stories of people being turned away. Some excuses were: “it’s a glitch”, “the inventory system is wrong”, “I don’t know what to you tell, but we don’t have any”, “the store manager isn’t letting us sell”, and of course “they are for online sales”. The last being the most obvious lie, Walmart does not work like Target does in that respect.
I started investigating myself, even made my own tool, which Walmart promptly shut down. I saw inventory at my closest store for the first time, after that location closed. Perfect, I’ll go at 7 AM, when they open. I checked before I left, yup, still stock and got there around 6:58, 2 minutes before they opened. I saw a line of maybe 30 people already, their doors were still closed and I thought… shit. So I pulled over and checked again, “limited stock” 1-2 units. Okay, I’m not going to get one. So I drove home and went back to bed.
But wait a second. How did the inventory go down minutes before they opened?
Something was up. I had tried two other stores that had inventory. Nope and nope. They refused to sell. I got all of the same excuses others did. Not a single employee was willing to check the computer for stock, they just some how knew the exact stock count at all times. Which was really contradictory to what one store manager told me: “the computers are wrong”. Okay, ms. manager, who is responsible for making sure the stores inventory is correct in the systems? You. So you have the power to fix it. Later that day, I saw that Walmarts numbers drop. Mhmm. Sure. There was no inventory. I’m pretty sure corporate Walmart would not be happy with a manager that does not properly track inventory. They would be less happy if they found their employees can’t count to 10, because that was the typical stock per location, when they had it. Oh, she also told me all of the stock was locked in the store managers office. What? Why? Truthful people try to help by the way. Refusing to look at the inventory is not being helpful.
I was frustrated, but other people were pissed. Videos of cops showing up in the Walmart electronic departments became more frequent. People started gather and yelling at employees. Sometimes the staff would give in, usually after a few hours, from what I could gather. Walmart had enough, they shut down BrickSeek and the ability to scan barcodes.
Oh, okay, Walmart wants their employees to not be harassed. Maybe. If corporate is not aware of what's really happening, I'd be shocked. They are far from idiots. You don't accidentally make a 500 billion dollar company.
And then I saw this tweet. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. We all knew it. Videos of employees taking stock away aren’t fake. Employees don’t stonewall customers. And there are enough anecdotal stories to make things like employees selling stock out of the back door credible.
I have no doubt Walmart employees are keeping inventory for themselves, their family, and for profit.
I have heard justification for this. They are underpaid, under-worked, and have terrible working conditions. I for one find that to be a fact not up for debate. But they do not deserve stock before anyone else. I saw someone comment they are a covid nurse. A Walmart associate deserves a PlayStation 5 more than them? Hell. No. And who makes them the judge and jury? If we are going to be honest here, Walmart isn’t even necessary, Amazon as proved this. So that bullshit doesn’t fly with me.
I’ve reported all 3 locations that have lied to me to corporate. I have also reached out to their press line for an official statement. They have not commented at this time.
I for one will never do business will Walmart again. They treat their employees like garbage, they ruin local business / economies, and treat their customers like shit. #FuckWalmart