Can't get hold of a shiny new Raspberry Pi? Here’s why

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Raspberry Pi)

Adafruit, an official reseller of Raspberry Pi computers, has mandated account verification and two-factor authentication in an effort to prevent bots from snapping up limited supply.

In a blog post, Adafruit explained it hopes to give customers the opportunity to purchase Raspberry Pis and other in-demand items at the going market rate, without having to compete with automated bots for stock.

“Please note! We are now requiring a verified account with two-factor authentication enabled in order to purchase certain high-demand products, such as Raspberry Pi computers, due to a large number of bot-purchasers making it difficult for Makers and Engineers to order these products,” reads a notice on Adafruit product listings.

“Please make sure you have a verified Adafruit account and enable two-factor authentication. Finally, you will need to sign out and back in to activate the account verification.”

Raspberry Pi shortage

In December, we reported on the ongoing shortage of the latest Raspberry Pi models. At the time, resellers were estimating they would be unable to ship some of the most popular SKUs until 2023.

A number of factors have combined to create the shortage, including the allocation of limited chip manufacturing capacity to larger players and shipping issues caused by supply chain bottlenecks.

However, the problem has been aggravated for regular consumers by scalpers, who are using bots to scoop up any supply that does hit the shelves, with a view to flipping it for a large profit on secondary markets.

A similar problem has made it extremely difficult to get hold of the latest graphics cards and video game consoles, some of which have been sold on at exorbitant prices by scalpers.

"Any time a product is in short supply you're going to see bots trying to grab stock to resell at a margin,” Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton told ZDNet. “This is parasitic behaviour, and it's great to see people like Adafruit taking measures to stop it."

Upton has previously said he expects supply chain challenges to continue “throughout much of 2022”, with the problem expected to grow less acute as more manufacturing capacity comes online and logistics bottlenecks are addressed.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.