Newegg Plays Games With Return Policy, Sticks Patrons With Unwanted Product On Intense GPU Demand
In the year of preorder hell and delays, trying to snag a GPU
is a tough task. Combine that with bots, scalpers, and hundreds of thousands of other people waiting to get their hands on a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
just as you are, odds go down even further. To help combat against bots and scalpers, Newegg implemented combo deals that have GPUs in them, so you could get a GPU and some RAM or a PSU for a markup on top of the GPU. Previously, you could return the extra items if you did not need it, but Newegg is cutting that off to the ire of many Newegg customers.
In theory, adding extra items to an order to drive up the cost to reduce scalping makes sense. If Newegg
retained their old return policy, it would only be a temporary price increase on a GPU for most people as you could return the extra item from the combo deal. For scalpers and bots, that price increase could limit the number of GPUs they could buy at one time on whatever credit cards they use. In practice, it did not work out that way at all, unfortunately. GPUs are still showing up on eBay and Newegg for exorbitant prices, and the losses from Newegg doing combos do not outweigh the reward of scalping or botting. Moreover, now Newegg is stopping people from returning extra parts that are not needed or cannot be afforded in the long term.
Thanks to Reddit user HookEm2013
, we have an archive from 12/10 of the previous return policy on combos, which is compared to the new policy
in the image above. The main new difference is that “Some combos are restricted from returning individual products for a refund and must be returned in their entirety.” Oddly enough, it seems many, if not all, GPU combos state that “All individual products in below combo must be returned in their entirety.”
To put this new return policy into context, first, we should first think this through. If someone is making a GPU purchase, they already likely have nailed down their other parts, either by planning them out or already purchasing them. By the time they buy a GPU, most people do not need a motherboard, random RAM, or a power supply. If they still do, what are the odds that they need the specific motherboard or RAM that the combos come with? It just seems like a mess from the get-go, and Newegg seems to be really floundering now over their decision to offer these bundles and then enforce this policy change.
Newegg Combo Deals For NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080s
Other retailers have decent enough policies in place where people are not encountering issues. For example, Microcenter
has apparently been taking IDs and limiting how many GPUs (or CPUs) people can buy in a month. Best Buy, although a hassle, requires in-person pickups for GPU orders. While both options do not necessarily work for Newegg, they could be adapted perhaps. For example, Newegg could only allow 1 IP/ account/ ID verified account to purchase one GPU in a month. Alternatively, it could require people to buy one or more computer components over $X value to buy a GPU. Even though people could automate this, it makes life a little better for most, since there would be a higher likelihood that someone can pick out something they actually need.
Ultimately, Newegg is not handling this whole GPU shortage fiasco right for their truly loyal customers. People have been shopping at Newegg for many years, and those customers are just becoming more and more frustrated. Yes, the GPU shortage stinks for everyone, but Newegg does not need to rub salt in wounds by shoving random PC parts down the throats of GPU buyers. Then again, as an HH reader pointed out and though it's little solace, if you don't want all the parts in a bundle, don't buy the bundle. As of publication, we have reached out to Newegg for commentary, but in the meantime, it's clear something needs to change.
Does this practice change the likelihood of you shopping at Newegg in the future? Sound off in the comments below...