Best Buy Totaltech $200 membership is great for scalpers but terrible for consumers

Jason R. Wilson

Last October, Best Buy introduced yet another membership program, filled with many customer-friendly features and locked behind a $200 a year price tag. Best Buy Totaltech allows their customers to access exclusive pricing for products, as well as 24/7 tech support and AppleCore+ service, along with a few other features. However, the exclusive pricing for members is part of the company's huge problems, but not from a profit standpoint.

Best Buy's new exclusive TotalTech premium membership program is ripe with issues and accessibility for popular electronics.

Best Buy has an exclusive contract to resell NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Founders Edition graphics cards. The company sees an opportunity to profit by selling to Totaltech members only and not limiting the quantity purchased.

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Source: Best Buy

Or, at least that is how it looks on paper.

Upon selling the RTX 30 series cards, customers could purchase several different cards, as long as each card was a different model. What was seen by several tech outlets was that the program does not repair the issue of availability for all. Scalpers purchase several cards at a lower price than a normal non-member and then turn around and sell the cards for a much higher cost on a third-party reseller site.

Source: Reddit

There was a report that one customer purchased seven different graphics cards, including custom variants. Using all seven cards in crypto mining would not make sense since certain cards yield a greater hash rate than others. So, it would stand that the cards are to be resold for astronomical prices.

The promotion that Best Buy was offering to Totaltech members may have been temporary but raises enormous issues for the future. Limiting to their premium members without a halt to the number of cards purchased will diminish any availability for affordable graphics cards on the market because they are most likely selling to scalpers needing to make a turnaround. Due to this, the market will be strained even longer because non-members will not have that same opportunity and have to potentially wait even longer to gain access to purchasing a graphics card.

In today's world, it is hard to say whether other graphics card retailers will look at this business model and attempt a similar offer or realize the effect it will have overall.

Source: BestBuyTom’sHardwareArsTechnikaReddit

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