Whenever a hot new electronics item lands, scalpers tend to gobble up stock, reselling on secondary markets to cash in on the buying rush. That appears to have been more true than usual for NVIDIA’s latest graphics cards. So when eagle-eyed eBay users spotted a subsidiary of MSI selling RTX 3080 cards for almost double the retail price, it raised eyebrows.
Such was the case with this Reddit post (aggregating an earlier Discord discussion), which saw a seller named “Starlit Partner” selling hard-to-find RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards on eBay for about $600 above their actual price. Cards were going Starlit Partner sold only MSI-branded hardware, apparently sourced from the company itself. It looked a lot like someone was getting stock from MSI…and as it turns out, that’s exactly what was happening.
Starlit Partner is a subsidiary of MSI, which sells overstock and refurbished items. Someone at Starlit got access to inventory of new GTX 3080 graphics cards and started selling them on eBay and Amazon, where the company already has direct sales of MSI hardware. Either by deliberate choice or a system that analyzes current pricing trends—MSI didn’t specify—the new items were listed at the inflated secondary market price, instead of the $700-800 retail price.
Regarding Starlit Partner/eBay: pic.twitter.com/QqRDBNRdVa
— MSI Gaming USA (@msiUSA) October 7, 2020
MSI apologized for the sales on eBay, and said it would be contacting all those who bought cards to offer either a partial refund down to the retail price, or a full refund in exchange. MSI says it will “enforce a stricter policy to avoid situations like this happening again.”