Prime Day’s super sales event at Amazon earlier this week coincided with a large Xbox Series X and S restock on Tuesday that took some time before being sold out. Best Buy followed suit on Wednesday with a restock.
We don’t know which retailer will be next to offer more systems, but Walmart and GameStop appear to have consoles available as part of Xbox All Access. Microsoft created the financing program to allow customers to pay off their new Xbox in monthly payments with zero interest.
We know you’re here for help on getting an Xbox Series console, and we’re here to offer some tips and answer your questions.
Why are the Xbox Series consoles so tough to find?
Essentially, Microsoft can’t get the materials it needs to make enough Xbox consoles to meet demand. As with the Sony PS5 and most PC video cards, there’s a chip shortage right now that is slowing supply. COVID-19 affected production for a lot of chip manufacturers, and industry watchers currently don’t expect the issue to be entirely resolved until the end of the year.
As a result, Microsoft makes as many consoles as it can and distributes them among its retail partners. Each retail partner releases its available consoles in whatever way it deems appropriate. Most of the time, this means announcing ahead of time when you’ll be able to buy the console online and then releasing it for anyone to purchase.
In the last few weeks, these have been the retailers with Xbox Series X stock:
Best Buy, June 23: Another small restock from the retailer that didn’t last long. Amazon, June 22: Amazon had more Xbox Series X and S consoles available on the second day of its Prime Day sales event.Best Buy, June 10: It didn’t take long for this small restock to sell out. Microsoft, June 8: The Xbox Store saw more inventory that lasted longer than normal. Best Buy, June 3: A surprise restock that didn’t last long.
Expect more updates here as restocks happen.
A new era of Xbox is here.
What is the Console Purchase Pilot program?
Microsoft has made it possible for people who participate in the Xbox Insiders program to form a virtual queue that guarantees you will be offered a legit Xbox console at the regular price once one is available through Microsoft. The only way to participate in this limited program is to be part of the Xbox Insiders program and get invited to sign up for this Console Purchase Pilot.
How do I become a member of Microsoft’s Xbox Insider program?
Microsoft’s internal program for giving fans early access to things it’s testing out offers a lot of neat things to poke around with, even without this early access program for buying a new Xbox. To sign up on an Xbox, follow these steps:
1. Open the Xbox Store.
2. Search for Insider.
3. Select the Xbox Insider Bundle app.
4. Select Join when you open the app.
Windows 10 users have similar steps to sign up:
1. Press the Start button on your Windows device, type “store,” and then select Microsoft Store.
2. Search for “insider.”
3. Select the Xbox Insider Hub.
4. Select Get or Install from the page.
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. The Settings page in the Insider Hub app on your Xbox or on Windows will allow you to remove your Xbox from the program through the Manage Devices section. Just remove your Xbox, and the Insider program will stop.
How can I improve my chances of getting an Xbox Series X?
It can be a little chaotic, constantly refreshing the screen and hoping to see a checkout link. And as many can attest, it’s pretty painful to punch in your payment information only to see that the purchase can’t be completed because all the consoles are already gone. Here are some of our tips:
Open multiple browsers: Got a laptop? A phone? Maybe a tablet? Use them all to try to make the purchase. Set yourself up ahead of time with multiple browsers open to the retail site of your choice and be ready to buy from all of them. Don’t give up: Many of these retailers have started releasing the consoles over the course of 30 minutes, to keep bots from buying them all and reselling them at a price increase. If you see everything is sold out after the first 5 minutes, keep refreshing because your chance probably isn’t gone yet. Make sure you have a confirmation email: There have been many reports of a purchase getting “stuck” and even though the website said the sale was complete, no confirmation email arrived and then no Xbox arrived. Keep an eye out and make sure you actually have an Xbox Series X headed your way before celebrating. How to avoid Xbox Series X scams
There are plenty of folks out there eager to take advantage of everyone 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 an Xbox Series X restock happening somewhere, your best bet is to go straight to the retailer instead of clicking a link. In many cases, those Twitter links have turned out to be scams.Only buy at the retail price: If someone is offering 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 frequently not actually worth it.More on Xbox Series XXbox Series X: Check inventory restock
This is Target’s product page for the Xbox Series X.
If you want to get the latest on the Xbox Series X, there’s probably nowhere better than Microsoft’s own Xbox Series X homepage. Here you’ll find the latest specs, announced game titles, details on the new controller and more.
Best Buy was the last retailer standing back in the preorder days, but now stands ready for your Xbox Series X purchase as inventory allows.
Amazon is selling both the Xbox Series X and the less expensive Series S from this product page.
GameStop has in the past touted a “very limited number of Xbox Series X and S console bundles for purchase” but is currently sold out.
Walmart does a solid job of noting availability windows for PS5 and Xbox on its Twitter feed. You might also want to visit the retailer’s Xbox landing page for both new consoles.
This is where you can purchase the Xbox Series X at Newegg when the retailer has inventory.
To be clear, we highly recommend waiting for inventory to appear at ordinary retailers, so you can buy an Xbox Series X at the regular retail price. But if you’ve decided you simply can’t wait another moment, the average Xbox Series X price on eBay is about $700.
Are you desperate by 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 you do it, either. But if you want to take that path, StockX is a reputable eBay-style site that will let you buy and sell new Xbox and PS5 models — as long as you’re willing to pay upward of $600.
This story is updated frequently with the latest Xbox Series X inventory news.
Xbox Series X and Series S offer a fine-tuned, streamlined…
Get all the latest deals delivered to your inbox.
CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.