MSI Subsidiary caught selling marked up Nvidia cards on eBay

ChadD

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eh I have a hard time getting mad at companies that have been scrapping by for months now all of a sudden given a golden opportunity to make some profit. Especially when they get sent a small handful of actual product to sell.... and are probably finding it even harder to sell the stuff they do have in stock right now. Hard to blame a few employees for wanting to try and at least hit a bit of profit. Having worked in supply type companies I know most employees salaries are tied to profit in at least some way. I worked 7 or 8 years in management for a fortune 500 supply company where I was paid very handsome commissions that dropped to damn near nothing if my margin dropped under a specific point. I have a feeling these employees where ensuring their commission/bonus cheques where going to actually come at all by goosing a bit of profit out of the small hadnful of stock they could actually sell. Good on them... someone spent the money, clearly deciding the price was a fair one.

If you want to be upset with anyone be upset with Nvidia... who destroyed the market for 2000 cards.... knowing full well they didn't have anywhere close to the stock required to fill the gap. Talk about fucking over your supply chain, and possibly the worst time financially in every players history. Yes they got the scoop on AMD by a month.... and screwed over 1,000s of employees in the chain for a short lived minor marketing win. Right now with the down turn in sales... and the strain still on the supply chain, purposely setting your partners up to be dealing with insane stock shortages (knowing that their previous top margin parts would be halved in value) for 1-3 months is an asshole thing to do. Right now hard launches are the only expectable way a true partner would behave. (having said that I hope AMD has really been building stock on Ryzen and Radeon parts for a proper hard launch)
 

Aegir

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I don't think benevolent is a term you can realistically apply to any for profit business.

Gotta redefine benevolent to make it a bit looser then, huh?
In the real world, we gotta have some metric for what constitutes benevolent for-profit business vs malevolent for-profit business.

Otherwise why even have the word "benevolent" in the dictionary?
 

StaticShoes

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MSI is officially dead to me, I was going to look into the x570 Tomahawk for my zen3 board but back to the drawing board. The level of shade is something I can't support.

When I was comparing x570 boards I almost went with the Tomahawk, then looked at the Unify, but went with ASRock Taichi instead due to it having decent VRMs and the fact that many of the MSI boards had lackluster reviews. I'm not saying ASRock has never cheaped out, they had some awfully thin boards in the past. The behavior by MSI brought to light here is inexcusable in my eyes.
 

GreenOrbs

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One Redditor points out they scalped 33 cards before being found out and the listings pulled (u/theAznInvasion).

12x - $1,199 (MSRP $739) - MSI GeForce RTX 3080 VENTUS 3X 10G OC (#254727827846)
4x - $1,359-1,399 (MSRP $759) - MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO 10G (#254731359933)
6x - $2,199-2,499 (MSRP $1,549) - MSI GeForce RTX 3090 VENTUS 3X 24G OC (#143753901767)
11x - $2,399-2,599 (MSRP $1,589) - MSI GeForce RTX 3090 GAMING X TRIO 24G (#143753901768)

While this may seem like a small number, we have to keep in mind that 33 cards is more than many Microcenters and other retailers had on launch. A brief estimate shows they made an extra $35,000 profit on that. Bearing in mind that MSI typically makes a profit margin of ~5% on each card (board partners don't typically rake in huge amounts per card), a 33 card scalp makes them about as much money as selling 600 cards. I can see why it was tempting for that one MSI employee in charge of eBay listings to do this especially if he get bonuses for sales profit.
 

CVNet1

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So the scalpers in at least some cases are just subsidiaries of the AIB suppliers.

Somebody at MSI got a bonus for suggesting this consumer deception plan.
 

Aegir

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So the scalpers in at least some cases are just subsidiaries of the AIB suppliers.

Somebody at MSI got a bonus for suggesting this consumer deception plan.

Hey, I warned everyone!

I even said, "Or isss itttt?"

Regarding a certain skeptic who thought Nvidia or their partners wouldn't stoop to the stoopiest levels.
Face it. Low supply was part of the plan. It's not like you can be a serious company and NOT know how your own product launch is roughly going to play out.
 

Lakados

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When I was comparing x570 boards I almost went with the Tomahawk, then looked at the Unify, but went with ASRock Taichi instead due to it having decent VRMs and the fact that many of the MSI boards had lackluster reviews. I'm not saying ASRock has never cheaped out, they had some awfully thin boards in the past. The behavior by MSI brought to light here is inexcusable in my eyes.
I have had 2 MSI boards both utter disappointments, not gonna do that to myself again not worth the hassle. Gonna stick with Gigabyte and Asus and see how that goes, both have served we well to date, currently trying to find out the difference between the Gigabyte TRX40 Aorus Pro Wifi 1.0 and 1.1 boards, I think that will be the base for my new workstation.
 

Lakados

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Hey, I warned everyone!

I even said, "Or isss itttt?"

Regarding a certain skeptic who thought Nvidia or their partners wouldn't stoop to the stoopiest levels.
Face it. Low supply was part of the plan. It's not like you can be a serious company and NOT know how your own product launch is roughly going to play out.
Not sure if an intentional thing or a happy accident, but either way scalpers are getting their stock somehow, and they are proving to be more effective at getting their parts than the actual suppliers so somebody at the top of the chain is feeding them.

But regardless NVidia has some pretty low supply numbers for these but between rumors of less than great yields at Samsung and Dell, HP, Lenovo prepping new workstation launches with the new workstation chips I am not sure what is actually going on. Either way, I put in my order for a 3090 and it gets here when it gets here, my guess is around April.
 

Bowman15

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I have had 2 MSI boards both utter disappointments, not gonna do that to myself again not worth the hassle. Gonna stick with Gigabyte and Asus and see how that goes, both have served we well to date, currently trying to find out the difference between the Gigabyte TRX40 Aorus Pro Wifi 1.0 and 1.1 boards, I think that will be the base for my new workstation.

I've never been disappointed with either of those companies. MSI and Biostar on the other hand...
 

Lakados

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I've never been disappointed with either of those companies. MSI and Biostar on the other hand...
Yeah, I have had the misfortune of dealing with a LOT of Biostar boards, HP was using them for a solid 3 years as their board supplier for their desktop line. Their failure rate was what pushed us off of HP onto Dell and we haven't gone back.
 

toast0

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I mean, if NVIDIA makes board makers agree not to do this, then bad MSI. If not, then why not let the board maker auction stuff? These boards are too rich for my blood, anyway, and I wouldn't buy over MSRP when I can just wait, but if I had to have it, I'd rather overpay someone in the industry than a random middleman.

That said, the world is waiting for a coordinated pre-order system. For something like this, you tell it the model you want, the board makers you like, the retailers you like, etc; some sort of matchmaking happens, random selection of people based on the day they entered the queue, and some indication of progress. Maybe some limited ability to change preferences if the board you're holding out for has a long line, but other lines are almost empty. Strong household limitations -- yeah, you can always make straw purchases, but a coordinated system would prevent people from getting preorders at every retailer for every straw purchase they can arrange.
 

Derangel

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Hey, I warned everyone!

I even said, "Or isss itttt?"

Regarding a certain skeptic who thought Nvidia or their partners wouldn't stoop to the stoopiest levels.
Face it. Low supply was part of the plan. It's not like you can be a serious company and NOT know how your own product launch is roughly going to play out.

They're going to risk Nvidia cutting them off (and potentially also annoying AMD) over a pittance? Not to mention the MASSIVE PR debacle it would create among the tech community. If this was intentional it could sink MSI's entire GPU division. Over what amounts to fuck all for them.
 

Verado

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Me sitting sitting here with an msi motherboard, gpu and monitor.. not caring because early adopters should be aware that they are paying extra to beta-test for the rest of us.
 

Lakados

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They're going to risk Nvidia cutting them off (and potentially also annoying AMD) over a pittance? Not to mention the MASSIVE PR debacle it would create among the tech community. If this was intentional it could sink MSI's entire GPU division. Over what amounts to fuck all for them.
It's only a disaster if you get caught, otherwise, it's just 3-4 months of great sales numbers and nobodies the wiser. Their only real error was accessing the account from a work IP address if they had done a better job and simply done all this from home or an internet cafe they could have better played the plausible deniability card and probably wouldn't have been caught in the first place.
 

Eymar

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They're going to risk Nvidia cutting them off (and potentially also annoying AMD) over a pittance? Not to mention the MASSIVE PR debacle it would create among the tech community. If this was intentional it could sink MSI's entire GPU division. Over what amounts to fuck all for them.
Lol yeah, Ampere scarcity has everyone ready with pitchforks. People love controversy, being a victim, cancel culture, etc. Msi mgmt. totally could have ok'd this, but I find it unlikely as risk definitely doesn't fit the reward. Like most here interested in more facts, but I'll reserve judgement until then.
 
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Stick with EVGA folks, only company to show they give half a cent about the HW community. if every major AIB did the notification email link thing, half the issue would be over by next week.
 

Dan_D

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I mean, if NVIDIA makes board makers agree not to do this, then bad MSI. If not, then why not let the board maker auction stuff? These boards are too rich for my blood, anyway, and I wouldn't buy over MSRP when I can just wait, but if I had to have it, I'd rather overpay someone in the industry than a random middleman.
More than likely, NVIDIA has something similar to what the Firearms Industry calls "MAP". Minimum Advertised Price. Basically, it doesn't allow the gun dealer to advertise firearms prices below a certain threshold. I won't get into the why of that sort of thing, but it exists. SIG-Sauer's is here. More than likely, there is something similar for computer hardware vendors. MSRP, may be more locked in than we generally think it is. Of course, back when I worked in computer retail, retail shops exceeded MSRP all the time. We also see this with Newegg and some Amazon sellers. It's likely that MSRP does have some sort of MAP on the AIB side and some sort of cap. Companies like ASUS and MSI can charge more for custom PCB designs with improved VRM's etc., but there might be limits on that as well.

That's all speculative, but NVIDIA must have some control over final pricing or MSI wouldn't have had to sell these on Ebay via a subsidiary to charge more for them.
 

GreenOrbs

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Minimum advertised price (MAP) is used because a hard price minimum was found to be unlawful under Federal antitrust laws in 2007. Maximum pricing is also not allowed which is why it is called a MSRP or "suggested" retail price. By law, you can always sell for whatever price you want but the manufacturer doesn't have to send you more. So legally NVIDIA couldn't stop a partner from scalping their current inventory but could stop supplying them in the future.

Q: One of my suppliers marks its products with a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Do I have to charge this price?

A: The key word is "suggested." A dealer is free to set the retail price of the products it sells. A dealer can set the price at the MSRP or at a different price, as long as the dealer comes to that decision on its own. However, the manufacturer can decide not to use distributors that do not adhere to its MSRP.
https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/com...ws/dealings-supply-chain/manufacturer-imposed
 

PhaseNoise

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Companies develop a *smell* over time.

In a competitive market, it can and will matter to consumers. We want to be *happy campers* and not deal with the nonsense from *below*. We will eventually reach a tipping point where we feel we cannot *play* and then we must *dance* with *silly cows*.
 

Lakados

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More than likely, NVIDIA has something similar to what the Firearms Industry calls "MAP". Minimum Advertised Price. Basically, it doesn't allow the gun dealer to advertise firearms prices below a certain threshold. I won't get into the why of that sort of thing, but it exists. SIG-Sauer's is here. More than likely, there is something similar for computer hardware vendors. MSRP, may be more locked in than we generally think it is. Of course, back when I worked in computer retail, retail shops exceeded MSRP all the time. We also see this with Newegg and some Amazon sellers. It's likely that MSRP does have some sort of MAP on the AIB side and some sort of cap. Companies like ASUS and MSI can charge more for custom PCB designs with improved VRM's etc., but there might be limits on that as well.

That's all speculative, but NVIDIA must have some control over final pricing or MSI wouldn't have had to sell these on Ebay via a subsidiary to charge more for them.
Well at least with reference designs NVidia has a ballpark of what the cost to manufacture the card is going to be, the AIB's can probably get a little wiggle room on those numbers because of large bulk orders for parts and what not but they won't be able to do too much. So if NVidia knows the cost will be at least X and they set MSRP at X+10% then it is on the partners to work from there. Nonreference cards they can find ways to shave costs or add features to move the cards price point and blah blah blah but generally with so many AIB's in the ring for sales they are going to ride the margins very tight and go for as much volume as they can handle. The problem is right now their chokepoint is NVidia's supply so they are probably not building at anywhere near to capacity and I would not be surprised if that is making the various AIB's a little nervous with a lot of their yearly numbers dependant on holiday sales which could be pretty bad if the supply isn't there to fuel them. So while I can't say for certain that there isn't an agreement on pricing with NVidia and the AIB's the margins are small enough that I am not sure one is required. Firearms and other low volume high margin items they are not uncommon to see so there could just be on in the contract because why not, it was probably a canned contract drawn up by some lawyers a while back and hasn't had a need to be modified since.
 

Ebernanut

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Man the mental gymnastics to explain away the sheer level of fuckary is hilarious. MSI essentially internaly moved cards to their ebay brand, then proceeds to 'scalp' them at a higher margin hoping to avoid backlash for charging so much (which they could easily have done through regular channels).

Thats some shady shit right there.
I made a comment recently that I didn't think Nvidia was quite as shady as ticketmaster and wouldn't scalp their own inventory but apparently MSI is.

I don't think benevolent is a term you can realistically apply to any for profit business.
I agree, I think any large for profit company can be expected to be slightly evil at best and sith level evil at worst. I do however take into consideration how evil a company is and prefer to give my business to companies that are less evil, partially because I don't want to reward and support that type of behavior and partially out of direct self preservation since it often correlates to how they treat customers when there's an issue.
 

Aireoth

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I made a comment recently that I didn't think Nvidia was quite as shady as ticketmaster and wouldn't scalp their own inventory but apparently MSI is.


I agree, I think any large for profit company can be expected to be slightly evil at best and sith level evil at worst. I do however take into consideration how evil a company is and prefer to give my business to companies that are less evil, partially because I don't want to reward and support that type of behavior and partially out of direct self preservation since it often correlates to how they treat customers when there's an issue.

I think the best you can hope for in a company is lawful evil.
 
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They're going to risk Nvidia cutting them off (and potentially also annoying AMD) over a pittance? Not to mention the MASSIVE PR debacle it would create among the tech community. If this was intentional it could sink MSI's entire GPU division. Over what amounts to fuck all for them.
nVidia isn't going to cut them off. They knew exactly how this launch would go, they planned this scarcity and scalpers were all part of the free hype plan. Is anybody actually stupid enough to think that nVidia was caught off guard by bots this time after all off the bullshit that happened after their last few launches? I mean, come on, I get that being gullible is easier than thinking but people need to at least try to keep the leg nVidia keeps pulling. nVidia is not staffed by drooling morons, they knew exactly what was coming with this launch, scarcity is one of the greatest marketing gimmicks left in the world today.

nVidia is thrilled with what MSI just got "caught" doing, look at all the free press it's generating!

Wait 'till nVidia pretends to be disappointed and pukes out a nice, juicy press release about it for a little more free press.

This doesn't amount to "fuck all" for them, this is millions and millions of dollars of free press.
 

Azrak

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this is millions and millions of dollars of free press
Even negative press is good press, right?

It's just odd that Nvidia, who knows all, would plan it so that "scalpers", who on the surface have absolutely nothing to do with Nvidia, are the ones making $500 per card in profit. I mean... why would Nvidia want randos to get "free" money for each card sold? You'd think Nvidia would want that extra money - that amount spent over "MSRP".
 

Derangel

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nVidia isn't going to cut them off. They knew exactly how this launch would go, they planned this scarcity and scalpers were all part of the free hype plan. Is anybody actually stupid enough to think that nVidia was caught off guard by bots this time after all off the bullshit that happened after their last few launches? I mean, come on, I get that being gullible is easier than thinking but people need to at least try to keep the leg nVidia keeps pulling. nVidia is not staffed by drooling morons, they knew exactly what was coming with this launch, scarcity is one of the greatest marketing gimmicks left in the world today.

nVidia is thrilled with what MSI just got "caught" doing, look at all the free press it's generating!

Wait 'till nVidia pretends to be disappointed and pukes out a nice, juicy press release about it for a little more free press.

This doesn't amount to "fuck all" for them, this is millions and millions of dollars of free press.
Man the leaps of logic some people take to justify their own insane conspiracies.
 

Lakados

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Man the leaps of logic some people take to justify their own insane conspiracies.
I know right, well all know that this is all part of the master plan for the LA Lizard people. I mean NVidia Green, Lizard people Green, Kermit the Frog Green, keeping us all inside playing games at stunning resolutions breaking our sense of reality just lets them come out of their hiding places and play in the sun.
 

Aireoth

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Man the leaps of logic some people take to justify their own insane conspiracies.

and the lengths many go to bury their head in the sand.

Even negative press is good press, right?

Particularly in an enviroment where competition is limited, with only two products to chose from and as long as nVidia can maintain the performance crown (at least the marketing crown) there really isn't anywhere else for the consumer to go.
 

Derangel

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and the lengths many go to bury their head in the sand.



Particularly in an enviroment where competition is limited, with only two products to chose from and as long as nVidia can maintain the performance crown (at least the marketing crown) there really isn't anywhere else for the consumer to go.

Prove it. And not by linking me to some random Youtuber that has no credibility.
 

Derangel

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Lol, there is ample evidence posted all over this forum, including Kyle, so why don't you just keep your head down.
Insane leaps of logic are not proof. Basing conspiracy theories on some dude with no credibility (that ended up being wrong about a lot of things as is) is not proof. Speculation is not proof. Try again.
 

Forsaken1

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Who cares what MSI does.Your either Nvidia bitch or you believe in the free market.
All Nvidia AIB need to jump a sinking ship.The king is DEAD long live the king.LOL
 

rgMekanic

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"The eBay listing reveals that the company known as Starlit Partner has sold four GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards."



Holy fuck a whopping 4 cards? Those evil sob's. MSRP is just that. A suggested retail price. Winey ass cry babies. Don't buy it if you don't like it just wait and cry until you can afford it.

That's like half the stock man
 

D-EJ915

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Wow. First the "PR department gone rogue" and now "refurbishing department gone rogue". There is something very deeply wrong with MSI.
Seems like they got some bad employees with more power than they should have than anything. Guys sell freebie Intel CPUs all the time and nobody bats an eye because they don't use the company ebay account lol.
 
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