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The Xbox series X and Series S consoles keep flying off the digital shelves. On Monday, Best Buy replenished its stock, giving many people the opportunity to get their hands on Microsoft’s new system. We’re not sure which seller will be next, but chances are more will come straight from the Microsoft store.
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Target is the latest to make an internal policy change for console sales, moving from slower bulk resupply to making the console available when one is for sale in your region. When an Xbox arrives at your local store, you can see it right away on the website or in the app and pick it up later in the day.
This policy change, which was leaked to Twitter gaming deals expert Wario64 stated last week, “Target employees have been notified that starting May 18, Xbox Series S / X consoles will be available for purchase online for in-store pickup as soon as supplies arrive.”
Below we’ll share a few tips to help you find what you’re looking for without the extra expense, because avoiding a steep price hike or an expensive bundle of accessories you may not want is just as important as finding the Xbox for sale in the first place.
Why is the Xbox Series X so hard to find?
In essence, Microsoft cannot get the materials it needs to make enough Xbox consoles to keep up with demand. As for the Sony PS5 and most PC video cards, there is a shortage of chips straight away. COVID-19 saw that many chip makers were unable to produce things like processors and video cards for a while, and it is expected that at this point, the problem won’t be fully resolved until the end of the year.
As a result, Microsoft makes as many consoles as it can and distributes them among its trading partners. Each retail partner releases its available consoles in the manner it sees fit. Usually this means announcing in advance when you can buy the console online and then release it to everyone.
In recent weeks, these are the retailers that had Xbox Series X stock:
- Walmart, May 20: There was a small addition, but Walmart has kept some consoles for it Xbox All Access program.
- Microsoft, May 17: This addition to the Xbox Series X was made through the new Console Purchase Pilot program, which you could only participate in if you are part of the Xbox Insiders program. More about this below.
- Lenovo, May 16: This was not a previously announced update, but there were a handful of Xbox Series X consoles available at their regular price for a while.
- Antonline, May 14: A surprise drop on this site allowed shoppers to score an Xbox, but only for about 30 minutes.
- BJ’s Wholesale, May 12: This addition to the Xbox Series X was only available to BJ’s customers with existing accounts and didn’t last long.
Expect more updates here as they happen.
What is the Console Purchase Pilot Program?
Microsoft has made it possible for people participating in the Xbox Insiders Program to form a virtual queue that guarantees that you will be offered a legitimate Xbox console at the regular price as soon as one becomes available through Microsoft. The only way to participate in this very limited program is to already own an Xbox, so you can join the Xbox Insiders Program and be invited to sign up for this Console Purchase Pilot.
At this point, registration for the pilot is closed, but Microsoft claims it will reopen registration soon. While you wait, it’s probably a good idea to join Xbox Insiders.
How do I join the Xbox Insider Program?
Microsoft’s in-house program to give fans early access to things it is trying out offers a lot of fun things to browse around, even without this early access program for buying a new Xbox. Paradoxically, some of you will need to be signed into an Xbox with your own account to participate in this program.
1. Open the Xbox Store.
2. Search insider.
3. Select the Xbox Insider Bundle app.
4. Select Join when you open the app.
Nothing you do within the Xbox Insider Program is permanent. If you decide you don’t want to be notified when test features are available, you can remove yourself from the Xbox Insider Program at any time. From the Settings page in the Insider Hub app on your Xbox, you can remove your Xbox from the program via the Manage devices section. Just remove your Xbox and the Insider Program will stop.
When will the Xbox Series X be in stock this week?
- Last addition: May 16 at 11:59 p.m. ET
- Next addition: May 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET
- Confidence level: Pretty confident
Microsoft likes a midnight release, and the Additions to the Xbox Series X and Series S. have been reliably following a pattern for quite some time. Rather than making the consoles publicly available on the website as usual, the Console Purchase Pilot program was used last week to give Xbox Insiders an orderly rule to buy from. This means that access is somewhat limited, but if Microsoft continues with this tool, it will be much less stressful to actually buy an Xbox.
While other retailers are less reliable in their supply patterns, there are a few that you can set a calendar notification for just in case:
- Target: Target is no longer going to stock up in bulk like many other retailers have, so you’ll just need to refresh regularly to see if it’s in stock near you.
- Walmart: Returns of the week may appear on weekends, making it possible to pick one up without a hefty price increase.
- Newegg: Currently in stock, but at prices you really shouldn’t pay.
How to increase your chances of getting an Xbox Series X when a new supply happens
It can be a bit chaotic, constantly refreshing the screen and hoping you see a checkout link. And as many can attest, it is quite painful to enter your payment information to find that the purchase cannot be completed because everything is already gone. Here are some of our tips:
- Open multiple browsers: Do you have a laptop? A phone? Maybe a tablet? Use them all to try to make the purchase. Set yourself up in advance with multiple browsers open to the shopping site of your choice and be ready to buy from all stores.
- Do not give upMany of these retailers have started releasing the consoles over the course of 30 minutes, to stop bots from buying them all and reselling them at a price increase. If you see that everything is sold out after the first 5 minutes, keep freshening up as your chances are probably not gone yet.
- Make sure you have confirmation e-mail: There are many reports that a purchase “hangs” and although the website said the sale was complete, there was no confirmation email, and then no Xbox. Keep an eye out and make sure you actually have an Xbox Series X on your way before you celebrate.
How to Avoid Xbox Series X Refill Scams
Unfortunately, there are many people who would like to take advantage of anyone trying to get an Xbox Series X. Here’s how to avoid the known scams:
- Stay away from Twitter links: If you see something on Twitter about Xbox Series X stock somewhere, it’s best to go straight to the store instead of clicking a link. In many cases, those Twitter links turned out to be scams.
- Only buy at the retail priceIf someone offers you an Xbox Series X for more or less than $ 500 or an Xbox Series S for more or less than $ 300, you should probably stay away. There are many of these sites offering “deals” or “bundles” that are often not really worth it.
Xbox Series X: Check the stock replenishment
Amazon sells both the Xbox Series X and the cheaper Series S from this product page.
This is Target’s product page for the Xbox Series X.
Best Buy was the last retailer to recoil in the pre-order days, but is now ready for your Xbox Series X purchase if stock permits.
GameStop has in the past touted a “very limited number of Xbox Series X and S console bundles for sale,” but is currently sold out.
If you want the latest Xbox Series X news, there’s probably nowhere better than Microsoft’s own Xbox Series X homepage. Here you will find the latest specifications, announced game titles, details about the new controller and more.
Walmart does a good job of noting availability windows for PS5 and Xbox Twitter feed. You may also want to visit the store Xbox landing page for both new consoles.
Here you can buy the Xbox Series X from Newegg if the retailer has stock.
Are you desperate now? Are you willing to pay a premium of hundreds of dollars over the list price? Listen, we wouldn’t do this and we don’t recommend that you do it. But if you want to go that path, StockX is a reputable eBay-style site that lets you buy and sell new Xbox and PS5 models – as long as you’re willing to shell out over $ 600.
To be clear, we highly recommend that you wait for stock to appear at regular retailers so that you can purchase an Xbox Series X at its regular retail price. But if you’ve decided you just can’t wait another moment, the average price of the Xbox Series X on eBay is about $ 700.
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