How do you stop scalpers from buying up the latest graphics cards and computer processors? Electronics retailer Newegg is responding with a lottery system that’ll dole out the in-demand products to participating consumers.
The only catch? Well, it seems you have to buy each product with a motherboard.
On Wednesday, the company briefly posted a web page for the “Newegg Shuffle” event, which users on Reddit spotted. The system works like this: during a three-hour window, consumers can enter a lottery for the in-demand product they’d like to buy. Newegg will then draw winners on the same day and notify them via email, removing the first-come-first-serve approach. The winning consumers will then have a short two-hour window to complete the purchase, or their reservation will be forfeited.
Based on the webpage, the retailer used the lottery system on Nvidia’s RTX 3080 graphics cards and AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPUs, which have been out of stock at all the major retailers. However, none of the items could be bought individually, according to internet users who viewed the site. Instead, they had to be bought through bundled deals, raising the total price.
As a result, the reaction to the lottery system has been outrage among PC builders on Reddit. “If you clicked one of the items, it gave you a selection of combos you could sign up for. You couldn’t sign up for an item by itself,” wrote one user.