Chip shortage is Best Buy’s gain as GPU restock gets locked behind pricey membership – CNET

Chip shortage is Best Buy’s gain as GPU restock gets locked behind pricey membership – CNET

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Angela Lang/CNET

Like other online retailers, Best Buy has been restocking high-demand products like graphics cards that quickly sell out — but for the first time today, it only allowed paid members of its $200 Totaltech subscription service to buy GPUs.

Graphics cards have been in short supply thanks to global chip shortages, leading retailers to ration limited shipments using first-come, first-served and raffle systems. Scalpers have gotten smarter about gaming these systems to score products they can sell for greater profit later, making it even harder for ordinary individuals to buy GPUs. 

Best Buy’s Totaltech program launched last October, offering early access to limited-supply products like GPUs and PS5s, as well as unlimited access to the company’s Geek Squad tech support and special discounts. But today’s restock was the first time a Totaltech subscription was required to buy graphics cards, including several of the Nvidia RTX 3000 series, as PCMag reported earlier Thursday. 

Best Buy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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