Buying high-end gaming hardware is a pain in the ass at the moment. New Xbox Series X/S stock sells out fast. Early access to PS5 orders are pay-gated at places like Amazon and GameStop. And the graphics card market is, well, you know how it is. In this mess of timed-out shopping carts and Ebay resellers, however, a hero has risen up and beaten PC gaming tech seller Newegg at its own game.
Last week, PCMag (via PC Gamer) reported that an 11-year old Florida boy (of course) figured out a way to buy an Nvidia RTX 3090 graphics card from Newegg without playing its new lottery system or having to buy a bunch of extra crap. RTX 3000 series cards and others are in short supply and high demand, so retailers either bundle their limited stock of them with lots of other pricey parts, or raffle them off to rare winners of online lotteries like Newegg’s “Shuffle” contests.
But not in Ricardo Santana’s case. He discovered that you could actually access Newegg’s extremely limited RTX 3000 inventory by using its gaming PC builder service on the mobile app. Normally, the service requires you to buy all the parts for a finished gaming rig and then pay Newegg an assembly fee on top. On mobile, however, Santana was able to select all the parts, go to checkout, and then delete them all and purchase a $729 Nvidia RTX 3070 graphics card all by itself. Which is to say, for a brief moment the graphics card market worked as it should.
“I thought about purchasing more, but don’t want to abuse it, and would like to give other people the opportunity,” Santana’s dad told PCMag. “It’s terrible that we have to go to this extent to be able to obtain these cards.”
Then Newegg stepped in and sealed the leak. “Only a small number of GPUs were sold via this loophole and we halted all subsequent orders,” senior brand manager Andrew Choi told PC Mag. “And kudos to 11-year-old Ricardo Santana for spotting the loophole; perhaps there’s a future for him at Newegg!”
Well, it was good while it lasted.