Retailers take more action to stop graphics card scalpers
A hot potato: Scalpers are one of the many reasons the price and availability of graphics cards are comparable to gold right now, but several retailers are introducing measures to try to curb the practice of reselling.
A Micro Center in Dallas made headlines earlier this month after someone captured chaotic scenes of customers rushing to collect replenished Nvidia cards. The incident illustrated the unprecedented demand and desperation for the products we know today, which has led scalpers to sell GPUs on eBay for two to four times their MSRP.
Many retailers try to stop resellers by putting in place restrictions. Reddit user cubiclewarrior50 (via Kotaku) took a photo of a notice in his local Micro Center showing the rules for buying graphics cards.
“To ensure that more customers have the ability to purchase video cards, Micro Center is limiting video card sales to 1 per customer every 30 days,” the panel said.
Image Credit: cubiclewarrior50
In order to apply this policy, purchases must be made using a driver’s license or government-issued identification. Several reviewers say their local stores have the same or similar rules in place.
There are ways around these restrictions, of course, including having friends / family buy additional cards to resell, but this makes the whole buying and wholesale reselling process more difficult.
In the UK, MPs have proposed a bill that “would ban the automated purchase and resale of game consoles and computer components; and for related purposes ”, although this may not lead to solid action.
There has been some good news recently for gamers looking to upgrade their PCs. ASRock says card prices are dropping due to China’s crackdown on cryptomining, which has seen lower demand for GPUs in the country. This is encouraging, because 700,000 graphics cards delivered in the first quarter ended up in the hands of miners.
Our monthly GPU availability and price analysis shows the average eBay selling price for Ampere / RDNA 2 cards fell -8% from May to June, while the Nvidia RTX 2000 series fell -14%. during the same period.