MSI has been put under scrutiny today following accusations (opens in new tab) that the company had enlisted eBay seller, Starlit Partner, a sales subsidiary working under MSI, to sell the RTX 30-series cards at well above asking price.
First brought to light by Mark of Average Tech Reviews (opens in new tab), is seems the cards, which should've been retailing for $759.00, were being sold by Starlit Partner for $1359—that's a 79% price hike. There has been a whole lot of internet sleuthing going down on reddit since the initial listing, but the question remains: how could something like this go undetected by the company?
An official statement (opens in new tab) is now in circulation, in which MSI explains that an investigation into the matter turned up an error which had allowed Starlit Partner access to inventory "they were not permitted to handle."
Starlit Partner, founded in 2016, is a supplier of refurbished GPUs, alongside other components, accessories, and more across eBay and Amazon.
The company is directly linked with MSI, with Starlit even being based over at the MSI headquarters. According to Gamers Nexus, however, the eBay team appears to consist of just one person.
Regarding Starlit Partner/eBay: pic.twitter.com/QqRDBNRdVaOctober 7, 2020
But, before you grab your torch and pitchfork, remember: it’s easy to demonise an individual, but at the end of the day, it often comes down to a managerial issue and MSI is now answering to this.
For its part MSI has assured the public there will be a "stricter policy to avoid situations like this" in future. It is also asking Starlit Partner to offer those who have been sold the unreasonably priced cards two options—"return the product and receive a full refund, or a partial refund of the amount paid over MSI's MSRP."
There has been a lot of controversy after Nvidia's RTX 30-series launch (opens in new tab), with dodgy resellers buying everything they could get their hands on at release and auctioning them off at exorbitant figures. And this is yet another middle finger to the average PC hardware consumer.
We just want awesome graphics so we can lockdown in leisure. Is that too much to ask? One thing’s for sure, both companies are likely to be under close observation from here on.
Times are hard all around with the RTX 30-series stock being so scarce, but don't panic! We’re keeping an eye on RTX 3080 stock (opens in new tab) for you to make it just that little bit easier.