Resellers Used Bots to Dominate the RTX 3080 Launch

Nvidia’s hotly anticipated RTX 3080 video card when on sale this week, and most of the people who wanted to buy one were unable to do so. You can thank bots like the one from Bounce Alerts that help resellers vacuum up stock for big product launches. This happens all the time, but it’s all the more frustrating when a product is in short supply, as it the case with the RTX 3080. 

Those who tried to purchase Nvidia’s Founders Edition cards found the Nvidia site to be unreliable. Even when they did manage to get a GPU in their carts, they would be unable to complete the transaction. As PC gamers started to simmer over the apparently botched launch, the resellers were gloating on Twitter. 

The screenshot below shows one reseller who managed to buy 42 video cards with Bounce Alerts tools, and they’re not the only one — numerous Tweets mentioning Bounce Alerts claimed a dozen or more verified orders for the $699 video card. Bounce Alerts tells our friends at PCMag the company uses “an automated script to run basically from the product page to payment information and then to checkout.” So, while you were tediously reloading the Nvidia store and trying to click buttons, a robot was doing it much, much faster. 

The scalpers are paying Bounce Alerts $75 per month for access to its suite of tools, but the subscription pays for itself and then some. There are already listings for the 3080 on eBay for $1,200-2,000, a significant markup on the MSRP. Not only is the card in demand, but the supply has been artificially constrained by people buying 42 cards at once. Bounce Alerts says its members can rake in $25,000 in a single day by snapping up hard-to-find products. 

Nvidia claims it has a policy of limiting purchases per customer, but it would appear Bounce Alerts found a workaround. There’s no reason Nvidia should be sending 42 order confirmations to one email — that’s pretty clear evidence something is up. Nvidia says it will go through and manually confirm orders, which we can only hope will cause these resellers to lose their ill-gotten merchandise. It hasn’t been specific about what, if anything, it will do to prevent more bot orders in the future. In the meantime, don’t buy overpriced video cards from resellers. The restocks will come, and you don’t want to reward this kind of operation.

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