I've helped 70,000 people get PS5 and Xbox Series X – here are my 10 restock secrets

Find PS5 / Xbox for sale

PS5 restock Twitter tracker Matt Swider

(Image credit: Matt Swider / Instagram)

PS5 restock tracker Matt Swider has helped 70,000 people in the US buy a next-gen console in 2021 with his tireless 24/7 tracking, in-stock Twitter alerts and exclusive restock reporting.

PS5 and Xbox Series X restock challenges continue in August 2021, but I've found a way – well, many ways – to know precisely when stores in the US have the consoles in stock. It's through both my 24/7 PS5 and Xbox Series X restock Twitter tracker account and my exclusive restock news reporting that I've sent real-time updates to people, growing from 21,000 followers to 837,789 followers in six months. American stores like GameStop, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and even Costco have the Sony and Microsoft consoles in stock at random times.

It's become my job to track PS5 and Xbox Series X at each online store. Through my latest PS5 restock live stream, I've helped subscribers by coaching them through the complicated checkout process. If you're not one of the 70,000 people with the console yet, here's what to do.

How to get PS5 and Xbox consoles

When? Follow PS5 restock Twitter tracker Matt Swider and turn on notifications for instant restock news. It's the fastest way to get PS5 stock updates.

► Never buy from other Twitter users – ever. They're all scams. Only buy from the US stores Matt alerts you to. No one will sell a PS5 for just $550.

► Need help? Subscribe to Matt Swider's YouTube channel for live coaching and video updates whenever there's an announced PS5 and Xbox Series X restock.

1. Get PS5 and Xbox Series X restock alerts fast

I didn't expect to be closing in on one million followers (projected to happen in September 2021), but over the last six months, I've sent hundreds of PS5 and Xbox Series X restock alerts to my followers, who have notifications turned on.

Directions: Click on this screenshot of a PS5 restock alert from Matt Swider and turn on notifications (that little bell icon) for instant alerts. This is what you'll see when there's the PS5 is in stock from Best Buy, for example. Notice the helpful tips in the second tweet?

PS5 restock Best Buy alert from the Matt Swider Twitter account

(Image credit: PS5 restock)

I'll point you to stores that have online orders for the Sony and Microsoft consoles, including Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and GameStop, all the way to smaller retailers in the US like Antonline and Kohl's, the latter of which isn't known for video game sales and rarely has the PS5 in stock. Every restock alert matters, though, if it gets people the console of their choice.

Origin story: For me, the Twitter restock account took off organically: I couldn't find the PS5 and Xbox Series X in stock myself. I tweeted my frustration. The next day, Sony Direct, which is the official PlayStation store, opened up another 'virtual queue' and I sent out a tweet, alerting others. I still didn't get it, but then people started thanking me and following my account. From there, it snowballed.

2. Know how to get the Sony Direct email invites

Elusive Sony Direct email invites are the key to overcoming the PS5 restock challenge and while these emails are sent randomly to PSN users, there are ways in which you can open yourself up to getting picked. 

PS5 restock newsletter entry form box

(Image credit: Matt Swider)

Specifically, it requires you to open yourself up to get emails from Sony, and through signing up for Matt's restock email newsletter – we've taught people how to do this time and time again. It's a complicated process, as Sony has buried the email check box deep in a bunch of settings submenus of your PSN account. We've also filled our newsletter with a bunch of other tricks on how to buy the PS5.

3. Get PS5 and Xbox live coaching on YouTube

With 41,000 people watching my latest YouTube live stream for the Walmart PS5 and Xbox Series X restock, I've gone from simply sending out alerts and a few written tips to people in character-limited tweets to actually walking them through the complicated checkout process.

Get this image to like and subscribe for future YouTube videos that will live coach you through the PS5 and Xbox buying process in the US.

Matt Swider posing with a PS5 console in front of a blue background

(Image credit: Matt Swider / YouTube)

It's an amazing feeling helping people in real-time as they ask me questions through the YouTube Live chatbox. And every retailer is different. the Walmart PS5 restock live stream proved difficult, but lining up the add-to-cart button with the 'Sorry out of stock dialogue box' that pops up so that you can just hammer away at the add-to-cart button seconds faster proved to be a winning strategy. Trying to tell people about that on Twitter is... difficult.

4. PS5 and Xbox bundles are the shortcut you need

People decry PS5 and Xbox Series X bundles, and there's a litany of reasons for this. Sometimes they don't like the games or accessories includes, often they want the console for MSRP, and all of that is understandable. 

But, too often, these same Twitter followers of mine spend weeks or even months trying to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X and cave to buying a console on StockX or eBay. And here's the kicker, instead of getting a bundle from GameStop or Antonline for $750 with three to four games, an extra controller and a gift card, they pay $800 to a reseller for just the console. It makes no sense. 

Also, you can wait up to two weeks to a month for the console to be delivered. GameStop and Antonline will have it to you in about three to five days.

5. Don't buy PS5 consoles with low inventory

This is impossible for average consumers to know without help, but the PS5 Digital, which is $100 cheaper at an MSRP of $399, is not being manufactured by Sony at the same rates at PS5 Disc, which is priced at $499. This seems like a tempting deal if you've already sworn off discs anyway and want to download games digitally.

Mistake 1: People wait for Digital and get burned
I watch as people hold off on Target PS5 restocks, which usually start with PS5 Disc inventory, and then, when that sells out, Target's online store opens up PS5 Digital console stock. It's out of stock in a matter of a few seconds – always less than a minute. People complain: "But I wanted the PS5 Digital version. I don't need discs."

Mistake 2: People think PS5 Digital is cheaper – it's actually not
There's so much more you may not know. First, disc games often get $20 cheaper a few weeks after launch. Even a top game like Resident Evil Village is already $10 off on disc at multiple retailers in the US, but remains $60 through the PlayStation Store. You can get it used even cheaper, but the PS5 Digital Edition console doesn't accept used games. PS5 Disc opens you up to that cost savings.

Mistake 3: Some people – not you, of course – think PS5 Disc can't get digital games
"But I want to be able to download games," so people say in direct messages to me on Twitter. The mistake here is simple: they think PS5 Disc only accepts discs and cannot download games digital from the PlayStation Store. This is just not the case. Alas, I see this falsehood every day.  

So if you're actually going to play games, PS5 Disc will save you money in the long run, whether you're an avid gamer who plays a lot or a casual gamer who doesn't get every game on launch day. It's fine to buy PS5 Digital when you can, but do not pass up PS5 Disc for the reasons stated above.

6. Don't fall for PS5 and Xbox Series X scams

I get a thousand messages every day from people, and as many as 250 of them – per day, mind you – are from people asking me if another user selling the PS5 through social media is legit and if they should send them money through the internet. About 15 of them – emphasis: per day – either don't listen to me or messaged me too late and have already sent over $550 for a console that will never arrive.

Stop. The answer is no, they are not legit. Are you seriously going to send money to a stranger through CashApp, Zelle, Apple Pay Cash, Venmo, or PayPal Friends and Family? If you do, you're never going to get the console from them and your money is gone – forever.

Here are tricks that people fall for every day:

  • The scammer renamed their social media display name to 'PlayStation', uploaded the PlayStation logo to their profile and claims to be a "verified Sony rep" (this means nothing).
  • The scammer has a Twitter verified account – but it's either hacked or bought.
  • The scammer has tons of 'vouches' – but they're all from fake users. It's a scam ring.
  • The scammer has written the victim's name on a piece of paper next to a box to 'confirm' that this is the console that's going to be sent to them (it's never coming).

Twitter does nothing to stop these PS5 scammers from messaging you (there are Xbox scammers, but PS5 is more profitable for these scammers). And people don't stop messaging me after reading the above, asking "I know you said not to trust anyone, but this guy says he's legit." Please.

7. Know when retailers do a PS5 or Xbox restock

My investigative journalism skills have been put to the test with PS5 and Xbox Series X restock tracking in 2021, and I've amassed exclusive sources at retailers, including GameStop, Walmart, Target and Best Buy. And I know when to check in with them based on restock patterns (they can't check inventory every hour of every day as this sets off alarm bells).

My Twitter restock alerts have been a treasure trove for people wanting to decipher patterns and I've compiled a list of the Best Buy PS5 restock dates and the Walmart PS5 restock dates. I've also listed out the Target PS5 restock dates.

GameStop in store with people walking

(Image credit: Shutterstock / rblfmr)

Some people ask me "Do they [a specific retailer] restock every day?" which is a wild question to me (the obvious answer is "No"). But I have to remember that there are a lot of new people who follow my PS5 restock Twitter account every day, and a lot of moms, dads, grandmas, etc who just want to get that console as a gift for a much younger person.

Target has been doing a PS5 restock every three weeks recently, Walmart does restocks consoles on Thursdays but not every Thursday, and GameStop has been choosing Tuesdays but always restocking every seven to 15 days in 2021. Best Buy is all over the place but only restocks during daytime (the span has been 9:35am EDT to 5:05pm EDT). Amazon can do day or night and usually restocks once a month. Antonline promises one next-gen restock per week and has been consistent (though sometimes it shoehorns in the Xbox Series X, which most people aren't as interested in these days next to the always-sold-out Xbox Series X).

8. Don't give up – and hope others do

"It sold out in seconds. I give up," is what I heard a lot of at 3:01pm EDT during the Walmart PS5 and Xbox restock. Thousands of other people hung on for the second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth waves of this console, which appeared every ten minutes until it sold out an hour after first going on sale at Walmart.

PS5 restock

(Image credit: Future)

So many people see that 'sold out' message and walk away. That's exactly what I tell people not to do during my PS5 restock live streams and on my Twitter tracker, and so many people don't listen. That's actually good news for the persistent, and truth be told, I received about one hundred messages from people who got the console by sticking around until 4pm EDT.

Other PS5 and Xbox Series X retailers do the same thing – they launch the console in waves, not all at once. The official Microsoft Xbox Store is notorious for this: as soon as the initial Xbox Series X inventory sells out, anywhere from five to minute minutes after the first drop, there are suddenly more consoles. Why? Because people love to see if they can buy the console and back out or do actually try to buy one only to get their credit card information wrong. Hundreds of Xbox consoles get kicked back into inventory minutes later, and that's your time to shine. 

9. Don't wait until after the 'October deadline'

I’ve spent months pushing my PS5 analysis, coining the ‘October deadline’ phrase for finding PS5 and Xbox Series X in stock, and that commentary still stands today. While people will still be able to find the console in stock from October until the end of the year, I predict that millions of more consumers will wake up to the fact that they suddenly need a PlayStation 5 or Xbox for someone they love for Christmas, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be the peak of demand.

PS5 restock frustration and mistakes

(Image credit: Shutterstock / Mr.Whiskey)

Right now, those forthcoming consumers, mostly moms and dads, are not looking to buy the console. There’s no urge to get it this far in advance of the holiday. That’s why August and September are going to be your time to get one before they sell out even more quickly from October 2021 onward. Too many people tell me they’ll wait until later this year when the consoles are on store shelves. I don’t foresee that being a possibility until 2022.

It’s actually become easier to buy the console in July and August, with a slight dip in consumer demand (trust me, Sony and Microsoft aren't making the consoles much faster than before so production is fairly level). It’s just that people are getting the PS5 and Xbox consoles, lessening the demand ever so slightly. Again, when parents start looking for the console, it’s going to get much harder.

10. Ask me questions before doing anything rash

I've turned the Matt Swider Instagram account into Q&A platform via my Instagram Stories, and I find it to be a much better way to publicly answer questions (many of which are the same) without having to get to thousands of individual Twitter direct messages. Sometimes I answer them on Instagram, and sometimes I answer them on YouTube live.

PS5 restock questions answered by Matt Swider

(Image credit: Matt Swider / Instagram)

Too many people have recently messaged me to say "I think I'm going to give up and buy PS5 on StockX or eBay." My curt response is "Why?" GameStop bundles, as I've outlined in this article, are easy to get if you're a PowerUp Rewards Pro member. in one particular case, the person actually knew about the GameStop bundles but didn't want to pay $15 monthly for the membership. This gave me a chance to informed this follower that it was $15 annually and comes with tons of benefits.

That person was about to spend $800 on the PS5 console alone and now, during the next GameStop PS5 restock, they're going to have a very good chance of buying it for $750 with three games, a controller and a GameStop gift card – and get it sooner than StockX would get it to them. 

Wouldn't you be glad you asked if you had similar questions?

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