It didn’t take long for Best Buy’s new $200 paywalled requirement for buying NVIDIA graphics cards to add even more grief for gamers seeking them. Some people had already commented that the retailer’s fee amounted to its own version of scalping, but things only got worse for gamers when real scalpers, and their bots, discovered flaws in the system. As the news of the Totaltech requirement made rounds across the internet, scalpers took to social media in order to brag about how it was actually helping them. At least one, which goes by the name Bipper, managed to snag a whopping 28 GPUs after spending upwards of $20,000.
It turns out that the new requirement not only freed up inventory for bots but also provided an exploit. Even though a user couldn’t purchase more than one of the same kind of card, they could, in fact, continue to add other models to their cart. Factoring in the relatively small amount of people who were logged in at the time trying to use Totaltech for GPU purchases, it then became a safe haven for bots to run amok. These circumstances ultimately culminated with multiple scalpers getting away with many of the highly sought-after cards.
You can only buy one of each sku… if you try to buy more than one it won’t let you check out.
Total Tech drastically cuts down on the number of people able to buy cards.
-Bipper (via Discord)
“I think the fact that it was Totaltech did more to help than anything else,” said Bipper.
“It really limits the number of people that can go after the cards.”
It wasn’t long after proclaiming their victory to social media that others joined in to say thanks for the tips, as they too managed their own incredulous hauls.
At the time of this writing, there has been no comment from Best Buy on if it plans to further refine the system to prevent others from exploiting it once again. PCMag reports that Best Buy in the past placed the PlayStation 5 behind the Totaltech paywall. Meanwhile, supposedly, the graphics cards purchased by Bipper will be sold to a local computer hardware shop that will, in turn, resell them at a slightly higher price.