The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in quite a few unexpected changes to everyday life. It would have been very hard to convince anyone that toilet paper would be the hottest commodity around just a few weeks ago. One side effect of quarantine, however, is that everyone seems to have more free time than they know what to do with. As a result of this, unsurprisingly a massive number of people have turned to video games. From casual gamers with more time to invest to professional athletes who suddenly don’t have a job, seemingly everyone has picked up a controller.
For many people, wanting to play a game means that they have to buy a console, either because they don’t have one at all, or because a certain game they want to play is exclusive to a console that they do not have. The Nintendo Switch is already a massively popular console – many Nintendo games are easy to pick up and enjoy, you don’t even need a TV to use it, and a lot of people grew up playing older Nintendo consoles. In fact, Nintendo had sold over 52 million switches by then end of 2019.
Due to quarantine and the massive success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons however, this demand has greatly increased over the past few weeks. In fact, the Switch is sold out in almost every store, including online retailers such as Amazon. This is due to a combination of the fact that most switches are assembled in Foxconn factories in China, which were shut down due to COVID-19. These factories have re-opened, but there were almost no Switches being produced for quite some time. This means that if you really want a new Switch, you may have to wait a few weeks or even months before you have a chance to buy one retail again.
Of course, smaller online sellers who still have stock have pounced on this opportunity to mark up the prices on their Switches to make quite a hefty profit. In fact, on Amazon, the cheapest new Switch you can find at the moment is selling for over $500, with about the same prices on eBay. The Animal Crossing: New Horizons version of the console is selling for $699 on eBay at the moment. This is to say the least, a massive markup: the base console retails for $299, so at the very least you would have to pay a 60% markup to buy a new Switch today.
If you really must play Animal Crossing in the next few weeks, you could pay this markup, but a far cheaper option would be to buy a Switch Lite, which is still a great console as long as you don’t care about playing on your TV or monitor. The Switch Lite is beginning to sell out as well, but the markups are far easier to stomach.