Before talking about scalping and other stuff, Through all its ups and (oh so many) downs- 2020 has still proved to be a great time for tech enthusiasts. NVIDIA released their new GPUs, which made the 2000 series cards obsolete in a single stroke. The new consoles came out, with loads of new videogames. Well, I mean, except for Cyberpunk 2020, but I don’t talk about that. The competition in the CPU sector is also booming, with AMD kicking Intel’s butt very thoroughly.
But there is one concerning trend which has been picking up a lot of steam lately- scalping. Many wanna-be buyers loaded up NVIDIA’s website a couple of minutes after the launch of the 3000 series cards, only to find them out of stock already. Similarly, the PS5 and the XBOX Series X were out of stock in only a couple of minutes. But who is buying so many SKUs of a single device? Scalper.
Scalpers use bots to bulk-buy a product, and then put them up for sale on eBay or Amazon for an inflated price. You could easily find the new Xbox and the new PS5 selling for way over 2000 dollars on the second-hand market. This way, they make a markup on their original investment, while the consumers who want to buy the product get their eyes ripped out. This practice reflects poorly on the sellers too.
Oh, and did I mention that MSI’s partner was found to be scalping too? At least they were caught red-handed and had to either refund the product and get a full refund or get a partial refund of the amount paid over MSI’s MSRP.
This practice made a few members of the community so angry that they decided to take matters in their own hands and curb this practice. A disgruntled fellow enthusiast self-admittedly wrote a bot and ran it on multiple spoof accounts so that he could push the prices of the new RTX cards so high that no one buys them. Similar behavior is being noticed with PS5s too- with some listings at over 20 thousand dollars, or maybe that person is very rich-you never know.
And How can it be resolved?
This problem of scalping can be somewhat curbed pretty easily- with a captcha, an order limit of 2, not allowing the same IP to place orders twice, and not selling the entire stock at once. In the long run, though, scalping is a problem that will be very hard to fix. I mean, how do you stop people from selling their own stuff, that they bought. People could always use VPN’s,, or maybe tear a page from the world of sneakers and get their friends to buy some extra Xbox SKUs.
Let’s be honest here- with prices so high someone could make the case that scalping is price-gouging, which is illegal in most countries. Fortunately, eBay knows this too and started banning the scalpers’ account, and all accounts connected with that account. NVIDIA too put up a whole FAQ against scalping in response. If you have an idea on how to stop scalping, be sure to share that in the comments section, or mail it to me at [email protected], and we’ll reach out to you for sure.
Anyways, at the time of writing this, the new AMD graphics card should release in a matter of hours. Let’s see how that goes.
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