The controversy first appeared on Reddit, where users accused MSI of scalping its own RTX 3080 graphics cards on eBay under the name Starlit Partner. Since, it’s been confirmed in a Justia Trademarks listing that Starlit Partner operates under MSI Computer Corp and was first set up in 2016.
The account sold MSI-branded RTX 3080 GPUs, which are currently sold out, at a price of $1,359 (about £1,050, AU$1,900). That's twice as much as Nvidia’s suggested retail price for this SKU, and $600 more than the retail price for this particularly MSI Gaming X model.
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Screenshots published by VideoCardz show that the card was advertised as being in "new" condition, and that four had been sold. However, the eBay page now says the product has been removed from sale “because there was an error in the listing."
MSI has also since released an official statement, in which it confirms that an error gave Starlit Partner access to inventory it was "not permitted to handle".
“Starlit Partner is an individual sales subsidiary working under MSI. They carry excess inventory and refurbished items and would not be given newly released products such as the GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards. As such, we have conducted an investigation and found that an error allowed them access to inventory they were not permitted to handle," MSI said.
"Starlit Partner has been instructed to contact the individual customers who purchased these graphic card products and offer two options - return the product and receive a full refund, or a partial refund of the amount paid over MSI’s MSRP.
"Moving forward, MSI will enforce a stricter policy to avoid situations like this happening again."
TechRadar has contacted MSI for more information on the situation, and we'll update the story with any new information we receive.
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Carly Page is a Freelance journalist, copywriter and editor specialising in Consumer/B2B technology. She has written for a range of titles including Computer Shopper, Expert Reviews, IT Pro, the Metro, PC Pro, TechRadar and Tes.