Retailers are taking more steps to stop graphics card scalpers

midian182

Posts: 7,152   +63
Staff member
A hot potato: Scalpers are one of several reasons why the price and availability of graphics cards are comparable to gold right now, but several retailers are introducing measures to try and curb the practice of reselling.

A Micro Center in Dallas made headlines earlier this month after someone captured chaotic scenes of customers rushing to grab restocked Nvidia cards. The incident illustrated the unprecedented demand and desperation for products we’re experiencing right now, which has resulted in scalpers selling GPUs on eBay for two to four times their MSRP.

Many retailers are attempting to stop resellers by implementing restrictions. Reddit user cubiclewarrior50 (via Kotaku) took a photo of a notice at their local Micro Center showing the graphics card-buying rules.

“In order to assure that more customers have the opportunity to purchase video cards, Micro Center is restricting video card sales to 1 per customer every 30 days,” the sign reads.

Image credit: cubiclewarrior50

In order to enforce this policy, purchases must be completed using a driver’s license or government-issued ID. Several commentators say their local stores have the same or similar rules in place.

There are ways to circumvent such restrictions, of course, including getting friends/family members to buy extra cards for resale, but it does make the whole process of bulk buying and reselling more difficult.

In the UK, members of parliament proposed a bill that would “prohibit the automated purchase and resale of games consoles and computer components; and for connected purposes,” though it may not lead to any solid action.

There has been some recent good news for gamers looking to upgrade their PCs. ASRock says card prices are falling as a result of China’s crackdown on cryptomining, which has seen less demand for GPUs in the country. That's encouraging, seeing as 700,000 graphics cards that shipped in Q1 ended up in the hands of miners.

Our monthly look at GPU availability and pricing shows the average eBay selling price of Ampere/RDNA 2 cards fell -8% from May to June, while the Nvidia RTX 2000-series was down -14% during the same period.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,109   +2,101
I think it does work: it’s just that cards are sold by distributors or aib partners directly to miners before they even get to retail stores. The fact that distributors are now basically forcing retailers to sell bundles just adds to the list of what we know it’s going on in the background.
 

Kosmoz

Posts: 410   +736
Unfortunately this is still very very slow positive progress...

Maybe by the end of the year and when Intel launches DG2 will get noticeably better, but that's quite a lot of moths away still... I do hope they hurry up and launch this year, not the next year (as some leakers say), because DG2 next year sound too little too late... Intel needs to do it ASAP to make a difference/splash.

Come on Raja, release it already! Your engineer said it's "around the corner". I hope the corner he's referring to is not the 2021-2022 corner... 😒
 

bviktor

Posts: 493   +822
I think even 30 days is excessive. Who actually needs a new GPU every month? It's pretty clear that's also just for profit making. Make it at least 180 days, and I say it's legit.

Nevertheless, kudos to Micro Center for doing this. I'm sure they're getting a lot of hate from scalpers, but don't give in!
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,286   +6,014
Some stores mail directly to your home and disallow multiple purchases per month or 2 month period.

APPLE has the best model.

APPLE forces you to preorder, and then they check all the orders before eventually mailing them to individual buyers.

Ever since iPhone 7, apple has pretty much ended the scalping I witnessed in person with iPhone 6. So why aren't GPU and Game Console manufacturers doing this?

It's because they DON'T CARE.

Worse: it justifies them charging more.

Even worse: it guarantees their stock prices soar.

 

trparky

Posts: 957   +1,023
I was able to snag a 3060 this past week at my local Microcenter. They checked my ID, told me (obviously) that I didn't buy a card in the last thirty days, and away my card went to the front of store where I purchased it.

I've shopped at that local Microcenter before, I built my computer there two or three years ago, so I have a buying history with them. In a year when Zen 4 comes out, I'll upgrade my 8700K.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,613   +4,459
Frankly, I rather hope that when the latest generation of GPUs are finally available at reasonable prices it creates a new "gaming plateau" over the next few years during which very few people upgrade. The developers aren't going to stop dumbing down games for consoles so PC owners might as well just chill till the next generation of XB and PSX are in the pipe. And really, other than lonely porn addicts, who is honestly dying for photorealistic graphics? At that point you might as well just go outside.
 

Ludak021

Posts: 546   +394
They can just price the cards 100% higher and cut out the scalpers all together. No one looking or expecting msrp will buy those cards anyway but at least money from sales to *****s will not go to scalpers.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 1,109   +2,101
They can just price the cards 100% higher and cut out the scalpers all together. No one looking or expecting msrp will buy those cards anyway but at least money from sales to *****s will not go to scalpers.
That's not how it works: If there's not enough cards for all customers even after selling at 200% MSRP then guess what? Scalpers would buy at 200% and sell at 250% to 300% simply because there's still more demand for cards than supply: That's why we've seen prices as high as 300 to 400% MSRP, though it wasn't done by retailers directly: The constrained supply is the issue here and as I insist, that's because of AIBs and Distributors selling bulk directly to miners.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 17,382   +6,130
And really, other than lonely porn addicts, who is honestly dying for photorealistic graphics? At that point you might as well just go outside.
A friend of mine confided in me that you can get those with any old Intel IGP.

I was also told that the a**holes doing the photography, don't know how to focus their cameras, or calibrate their monitors.

So my friend says, anything truly worthwhile as wallpaper, has to be put through image processing software, right from the jump.

And that's not even mentioning that DSLR sensor resolutions have absolutely nothing to do with monitor resolutions or aspect ratio. (DSLR 3;2 aspect , virtually all monitors are 16:9 aspect) In other words, the majority of images simply won't work as shot. They have to be resized and cropped.

And in my personal landscape photography experience, all those statements hold true.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 988   +1,432
This is how the system should be working - not calling on the government to ban scalping or ban mining, neither of which it could actually accomplish.
 

McMurdeR

Posts: 342   +341
The GPU market is in wild west territory at the moment. I wish Nvidia and AMD could have more influence on the customer experience in relation to price, quality varience and where the products actually end up.

Admittedly I don't know how that might work - we all saw what happened to 3DFX when they tried to control the full manufacturing and distribution pipeline.
 

Austinturner

Posts: 293   +346
Some stores mail directly to your home and disallow multiple purchases per month or 2 month period.

APPLE has the best model.

APPLE forces you to preorder, and then they check all the orders before eventually mailing them to individual buyers.

Ever since iPhone 7, apple has pretty much ended the scalping I witnessed in person with iPhone 6. So why aren't GPU and Game Console manufacturers doing this?

It's because they DON'T CARE.

Worse: it justifies them charging more.

Even worse: it guarantees their stock prices soar.
I would rather buy components from the manufacturer direct, I don’t know why AMD and Nvidia can’t make more money by keeping a direct to consumer channel available. I mean they already go to the effort of building reference cards!
 

cuerdc

Posts: 244   +75
Hopefully market will flood with graphics cards from china from the many mining operations now being banned and all prices will crash to less than pre covid levels hurting all the bulk buyers
 

trparky

Posts: 957   +1,023
Hopefully market will flood with graphics cards from china from the many mining operations now being banned and all prices will crash to less than pre covid levels hurting all the bulk buyers
Yes, and I'll be laughing while they're crying. Their tears will be delicious.
 

theruck

Posts: 377   +213
Some stores mail directly to your home and disallow multiple purchases per month or 2 month period.

APPLE has the best model.

APPLE forces you to preorder, and then they check all the orders before eventually mailing them to individual buyers.

Ever since iPhone 7, apple has pretty much ended the scalping I witnessed in person with iPhone 6. So why aren't GPU and Game Console manufacturers doing this?

It's because they DON'T CARE.

Worse: it justifies them charging more.

Even worse: it guarantees their stock prices soar.
wake up
apple is manuafacturer and distributor and reseller. imagine you are manufacturing anything. how can you control the end user buying your product if you are not selling in your own shop?