The problem is that manufacturers refuse to set maximum retail prices, which is perfectly legal in the EU because it benefits customers (minimum selling prices, on the other hand, are illegal). AIB cards are usually almost always higher than MSRP, with the exception of some models. Some base models (e.g., EVGA Black) are offered at MSRP, but most models usually have a markup. Prizes of $10-$20 (e.g., EVGA XC3) or $100-$200 (e.g., Strix) may apply. This is not scalping. These are just companies that offer better cooling system and PCB design and want a return on investment. Granted, a global pandemic and greedy cryptominers haven`t helped the drain market, but there`s another invisible culprit working to make GPUs difficult to acquire online – automated scalping robots that grab every available card when they appear at a speed and efficiency that gives mortals no chance. The bill would make it illegal under the Federal Trade Commission Act for automated programs to appear as humans and online merchants scratch their inventory as soon as they appear, bypassing the security systems and access control systems (CAPTCHA, queues, etc.) of online merchants. If identified, the bot creators would be prosecuted by the FTC. The bill references the 2016 Best Online Ticket Sales Act, which was proposed by many of the same lawmakers and passed by Congress to prevent the same with online ticket sales.
Aside from annoying CAPTCHAs and rate limits, no one has suggested an easy way to stop them, and CAPTCHAs don`t work anyway. Even changing the laws around scalping will likely be difficult, Roberts says. U.S. politicians have announced a new bill — called the Stopping Grinch Bots Act, after the figure of Dr. Seuss who stole Christmas — aimed at curbing the scalping of high-demand toys and goods. Here in Britain, stories of scalpers and groups of scalpers dominating headlines (like this, this and that) have also drawn the ire of MPs. Last December, a number of politicians introduced a motion in the UK Parliament to ban the resale of consoles and PC parts that are significantly too expensive – similar to existing laws governing secondary ticket sales – while suggesting that the resale of goods purchased by robots could be made illegal. The motion has so far been supported by 35 MEPs from all parties, although it is perhaps crucial that no Conservative MEPs have signed the proposal yet. A major sign that scalping has fallen sharply is the price of graphics cards on resale sites like eBay. Over the past year, the average selling prices of Nvidia`s latest GPUs have fallen back to earth. I understand, there is a lot of frustration about the general lack of availability in the new versions of gadgets in 2020, but we should really understand what scalping is and what is not, because if everything and everyone sells on MSRP is “scalping”, then the term has completely lost its meaning.
“Yes, scalping for GPUs is gone,” said Falcodrin Stock Alerts, a GPU charging tracking service. Demand is so low in some cases that buying a graphics card from the StockX resale site (opens in a new window) can be even cheaper than buying a brand new GPU. Prices abroad, even at official resellers, almost always do not match the prices advertised in the United States. Firstly, there is the VAT situation. U.S. prices do NOT include sales tax. In addition, we also have global fluctuations in exchange rates and currencies. That said, even leaving aside currencies and currencies, there are tons of players in the supply chain who want their share of the profits to get the product to you. Distributors, retailers, importers, government, etc. etc. all want a cake of this profit. Does that count as scalping? Probably not, but again, the old adage is not clear how the law would be enforced.
Merchants should probably report suspicious behavior, and then offending users should be tracked down. This could be difficult as users associated with bots could be localized internationally. It is also unclear which forms of automated circumvention of conditional access are considered illegal. In the wake of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S shortage, users have been using browser extensions and websites that regularly check the amount of inventory available. Technically, these are automated systems that give people an edge over a regular shopper, but whether they are classified as a “bot” and therefore violate this potential law is vague. It has become one of the annoying sufferings of online shopping. A product is in demand, but no matter how many times you try it, there is never stock at the advertised price. The product exists, but someone else bought it, probably to resell it on the secondary market at an inflated price. Buyers shrug their shoulders, accepting the reality of scalping without being able to explain why it happens. The second factor contributing to the current shortage and inflation of graphics cards is robots and scalping.
The bill, which specifically targets scalpers who use robots to buy stock of in-demand items online in order to resell them at significantly higher prices, is not limited to the video game industry, but it would certainly cover items such as consoles and graphics cards — both of which have been particularly hard hit by scalping due to exacerbated supply chain issues during the pandemic. This follows a similar proposal – the Better Online Tickets Sales Act (BOTS Act) – enacted in 2016, which bans the use of automated bots to buy tickets for public events, making it illegal for scalpers to sell those tickets. The authors of the proposed legislation — backed by Consumer Reports, the Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumer League — would use similar mechanisms used in the BOTS Act to ban bots that circumvent security measures implemented by online retail sites. Others include price scraping (competitively collecting prizes), content scraping (competitive collection of data from other websites) and inventory denial attacks, or DoI, (artificially reducing supply by adding items to a cart) and sniping bots (flooding online bids in the last seconds to outbid people), which are not strictly illegal. In February, the UK`s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy also responded to a petition signed by 15,500 people calling for a change in the law to combat console scalping. The department said it had discussed the topic of “bulk purchasing of high-demand items such as graphics cards and game consoles by automated robots with trade associations such as Ukie.” A store that raises its prices for in-demand items does not change. It is only the law of supply and demand. According to security company Imperva, which recently released its latest annual report on the problem of bad bots, it`s not just about graphics cards. Anyone who has tried to buy a concert ticket when it was possible to witness something like this will experience the phenomenon of scalping. The same goes for buyers of newly launched game consoles or N95/FFP3 masks in the first few months of 2020.
“The pandemic limited the ability of robot operators to make money with concert tickets and sporting events, so suddenly you had this influx of robots scalping and using DoI on game consoles and GPUs,” commented Edward Roberts, senior director and co-author of the Imperva report. in a single call. The term scalping is heavily overused here (and lately on the Internet) and is frankly out of control. It`s time to stop. Since the onset of Covid, each of our lives has taken a significant turn. Well, the pandemic has also hit the graphics card industry pretty hard. Here are some factors that have not only reduced overall graphics card production, but have also increased global demand and, as a result, led to the current situation of graphics cards: Scalpers are struggling to sell RTX 4080 GPUs, even at the MSRP. The gamble to buy RTX 4080 at launch didn`t pay off for scalpers. One of them, which bought six RTX 4080 graphics cards, now sells each card at MSRP (actually a bit higher), but there`s a good reason for that. Retailers have enough stock of RTX 4080 cards that gamers can only pay a little more to get the full warranty. In addition, the scalper must always pay to return the cards to the retailer, not to mention any restocking fees. No one cares about all these things.
The problem is that robots buy cards to “scalp” them or resell them at a ridiculous rate. This practice motivated by greed is what makes everyone angry. OP the fact that you don`t even mention this when it`s so obvious to EVERYONE is suspicious.