A few weeks have passed since NVIDIA put their new RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 GPUs up for sale to anxious PC gamers. Tight supply and unprecedented demand has left thousands of potential buyers unable to secure graphics cards using these new GPUs. Some individuals who have been able to acquire these cards immediately began scalping them online. This happens for all highly-coveted products these days, but one of NVIDIAs board partners has been caught engaging in this sleazy practice.
Warning flags were first sent up last night on the NVIDIA subreddit as the community took a closer look at an eBay reseller account who had listings for RTX 3080 graphics cards. One of the listings in question was for the MSI Trio RTX 3080 and it was on offer for nearly double its normal retail price. The seller was listed as Starlit Partner and the account was full of listings for new MSI inventory. A bit of online sleuthing showed that Starlit Partner was operating out of the same town as MSI’s North American offices and their Amazon seller page said they were part of MSI Computer Corp.
As word spread around social media into the night, several prominent PC hardware outlets such as GamersNexus and Linus Media Group mentioned that they were looking into the situation. Within hours, MSI themselves had officially responded to the controversy, confirming that Starlit Partner was in fact a subsidiary of the company and that their scalping of RTX graphics cards was uncool.
Regarding Starlit Partner/eBay: pic.twitter.com/QqRDBNRdVa— MSI Gaming USA (@msiUSA) October 7, 2020
While this will ultimately do nothing to affect tech product scalping at large, at least the chances of MSI or other NVIDIA board partners exploiting stock shortages are much less likely going forward.