Tech

Best Buy makes RTX 3000 restocking exclusive to Totaltech members for $200/year

WTF?! It appears that scalpers aren’t the only ones exploiting people desperate to buy a new RTX graphics card: that’s what Best Buy is too. The retail giant had a restock of Ampere products yesterday, but the only way to buy them is by becoming a member of its $200-a-year Totaltech program.

The Totaltech program offers members several perks, including 24 months of product protection, free shipping and installation, free Geek Squad technical support, and more. It also offers “Totaltech Members Exclusive Pricing Access”, which the locked GPUs seem to fall under.

twitter user @CameronRitzwhich oversees graphics card and console restocking, noted yesterday that Best Buy is getting restocked RTX 3000 series cards, and that buying one means signing up for the Totaltech program, adding $200 on top of the price.

“I feel like Best Buy is suggesting that if you’re already spending X dollars on your GPU or PC, what’s the extra $200 for you?” @CameronRitz tweeted.

Despite having to pay tax to Totaltech, all cards sold out within about four hours, which is still longer than most Ampere products expire when they hit stores. We don’t know if this was a one-time event or if all (or most) future RTX 3000 top-ups will only be available to Totaltech members, although the latter is easy to imagine.

Retailers are already selling graphics cards for well over MSRP, and you can expect to pay twice the MSRP on reseller sites like eBay, so Best Buy probably thinks people don’t have there will be a problem with paying $200 just to buy something, even though it is cynical and exploitative. You may have a 0.001% chance of being selected in the Newegg shuffle, but at least it’s free to enter.

Image credit: Myosotis_Jade




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