MSI has admitted that its subsidiary Starlit Partner got access to MSI’s new GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards in “error,” after it was found selling them at huge markups on eBay. After links between the two companies emerged, users on Reddit accused MSI of taking advantage of stock shortages to “scalp” customers with inflated prices via a subsidiary. MSI says that anyone who bought graphics cards over their MSRP from Starlit will be offered the choice of a full or partial refund.
In a statement posted on Twitter, MSI confirmed that Starlit Partner is an “individual sales subsidiary” under the company, and said it usually sells MSI’s “excess inventory and refurbished items.” MSI says Starlit would not normally be given new products like the GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, but “an error allowed them access to inventory they were not permitted to handle.”
Regarding Starlit Partner/eBay: pic.twitter.com/QqRDBNRdVa— MSI Gaming USA (@msiUSA) October 7, 2020
In response, MSI said that Starlit will be contacting anyone that bought a graphics card at an inflated price to offer them a choice of a full refund, or a partial refund of any amount paid over the card’s MSRP. “Moving forward, MSI will enforce a stricter policy to avoid situations like this happening again,” the company says.
Although the listing has since been removed, Starlit Partner appears to have been selling an MSI GeForce RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio graphics card for $1,359, almost $600 over its list price of $760. Screenshots of the listing published by VideoCardz show that the card was advertised as being in “new” condition, and that four had been sold. Its eBay page now says the product has been removed from sale “because there was an error in the listing.”
When contacted for comment, MSI told The Verge that the issue only affected four cards in total, and that they were removed from sale as soon as possible. MSI also said that the problem has only occurred in the US.
The news comes as Nvidia’s latest graphics cards have faced stock shortages due to their popularity. The GeForce RTX 3080 sold out almost immediately when it went on sale last month, and the cards have since popped up on eBay for hundreds or even thousands of dollars over their original asking price. Nvidia has apologized for the stock shortages, and has pushed back the launch of the more affordable RTX 3070 so there’s more stock available on launch day.
Update October 7th, 11:23AM ET: Updated with MSI’s confirmation that only four cards were affected by the issue.