Online auction website eBay has imposed strict new regulations on the sales of next generation console pre-orders, while removing all existing listings for the PlayStation 3 until the new procedures are in place.
A posting in the eBay Trust & Safety forum includes a statement from the company's customer support department which indicates that "due to the high demand and limited supply of this item we are taking stronger measures to protect both buyers and sellers in the eBay community. Currently, eBay is not permitting 'Pre-Sale' of this item, and sellers who list it on eBay must have physical possession of the products at time of listing."
In order for subsequent listings to be allowed, sellers will be required to fax eBay additional confirmation of their identity, including driver's license or similar ID, credit card statements and a receipt for the console.
Following the start of pre-orders for the PlayStation 3 last week, which were quickly ended the same day as allocations were used up, listings immediately began to appear on eBay offering the console for anything up to $800,000 – with no more than a pre-order receipt as proof that the console would be supplied.
With Wii pre-orders also reportedly sold-out, despite much larger allocations compared to the PlayStation 3, eBay appear keen to avoid the significant black market that emerged alongside the launch of the Xbox 360 and which saw the console regularly selling for two or three times its suggested price while stock was still low.