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eBay pulls SNES Mini listings in attempts to counter scalpers

Leading online marketplace will not list any item that cannot be delivered within 30 days

eBay is ramping up efforts in preventing scalpers from profiting from the SNES Mini by removing listings for the console from its site.

It's no secret that within hours of the miniature SNES being made available, there were countless people trying to sell their pre-ordered units for much more than its original price. However, Eurogamer reports that eBay has been striving to counter this by regularly pulling SNES Mini listings.

At the time of our sister site's report - and indeed this very article - there are no SNES Mini pre-orders available through eBay UK.

A representative of eBay explained the deletion of all listings as part of the marketplace's policy to only sell items that will be delivered to customers within a reasonable time.

"We will remove listing for pre-release items and accessories if the release date of the item is more than 30 days away," said the spokesperson.

This suggests that the removal of SNES Mini scalpers from eBay is only temporary, and come late August the site will be flooded by extortionate listings once more - but it's a start.

The SNES Mini has sold out rapidly ever since it was announced last month. The GamesIndustry.biz team actually timed one particular window where stock became available through Nintendo UK's online store - all pre-orders were secured within 24 minutes.

Nintendo UK limits customers to a single SNES Mini pre-order, and Amazon's UK arm has recently implemented a similar limit - deemed to be in part to prevent scalpers from bulk-buying the highly sought console.

However, it's not entirely clear whether the online retailer was adding this limit after a request from Nintendo or whether it was simply bringing its UK operation in-line with the one-per-customer limit imposed in other regions. GamesIndustry.biz has reached out for clarification.

The SNES Mini arrives on September 29th and features 21 games, including the previously unreleased Starfox 2 - something that surprised Dylan Cuthbert, one of the game's original developers.

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006