Retailers Paywall Consoles, GPU's, Black Friday Deals Behind Expensive Annual Passes

Randall Stephens

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I'm just glad my kid is still young enough that I don't have to worry about disappointing him at Christmas (because I totally would out of principle). I mean last year he really wanted the Elf House lego set, which I already bought months prior as a "fuck it, if we're going to be under lockdown I'm spending a bit more on Christmas decorations" mindset, but other than that eh... he's young enough that he's easy to please as far as entertainment.
What other LEGO shit you buy on lockdown? I’m on my 5th modular…. I know you said you bought it for the kid but cmon who are you kidding?
 

NukeDukem

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I have a theory that my "Elite Plus" membership was the only way I was able to cart and checkout a 3090 from Best Buy.com during last year's early October drop. Of course I can't prove it and could be wrong. But I did have plenty of time in checkout to add a new CC for payment, and I do recall reading comments from other successful buyers on Nowinstock and several mentions about being Elite/Elite Plus members. Made me wonder.
 

DPI

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I have a theory that my "Elite Plus" membership was the only way I was able to cart and checkout a 3090 from Best Buy.com during last year's early October drop. Of course I can't prove it and could be wrong. But I did have plenty of time in checkout to add a new CC for payment, and I do recall reading comments from other successful buyers on Nowinstock and several mentions about being Elite/Elite Plus members. Made me wonder.
Possible but doubtful. Was a completely different game back then, if you recall, and most people weren't gunning for 3090's. That was when manual checkout of 3090s on Amazon was dead easy.

for Bestbuy, local population density also a big factor in how much checkout competition you're up against.
 

harmattan

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I recall back in the day on the Xbox and PS3 releases the way retailers did this was through bundles. Want and Xbox? Well, you need to buy one with 5 games and an extra controller. It worked in some respects (because you're effectively increasing the work for scalpers to get ROI), but I suspects scalpers still got a hold of a lot of consoles regardless.

I do like this idea, but feel it's a slippery slope. Retailers will likely make the entry cost more and more egregious to ensure loyalty and get a bump.

OCUK was running a program, similar to EVGA, where you needed to be a forum member for x-time with a large number of posts. It worked, but apparently took a lot of overhead to manage and some people still scalped cards they got.
 

KazeoHin

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Its simple, the more people sign up, the more BestBuy is justified.

Sad but true. Vote with your wallet. Nothing BB sells is necessary for life. You either cave and justify their decision or decline and let them lose your money.
 

Wade88

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I recall back in the day on the Xbox and PS3 releases the way retailers did this was through bundles. Want and Xbox? Well, you need to buy one with 5 games and an extra controller. It worked in some respects (because you're effectively increasing the work for scalpers to get ROI), but I suspects scalpers still got a hold of a lot of consoles regardless.

I do like this idea, but feel it's a slippery slope. Retailers will likely make the entry cost more and more egregious to ensure loyalty and get a bump.

OCUK was running a program, similar to EVGA, where you needed to be a forum member for x-time with a large number of posts. It worked, but apparently took a lot of overhead to manage and some people still scalped cards they got.
I preordered the ps4 and xbone from amazon in june or july of 2013 and on launch day they dropped them off at my house at 0800. No bundles.
 

harmattan

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I preordered the ps4 and xbone from amazon in june or july of 2013 and on launch day they dropped them off at my house at 0800. No bundles.
I did as well: preorderd a PS4 from Walmart which was actually delivered a day earlier than launch. There's a thread here where I posted a photo as proof as no one believed me. Then, I sent an intern down to wait in front of the Times Square Toy's R Us on launch day who was able to get us one for the office (we were all stuck in the office that weekend working on an app launch, so was a welcome break). Those who didn't preorder or wait for hours on launch day needed to buy in a bundle or pay a scalper for the first few months.

Xbox 360 and PS3's were different. Most often, it was bundles for the first few weeks (if I recall, Target, Walmart, Toys R Us were exclusively selling bundles, even on preorders). For the 360, I ended up having to get Kameo and FIFA 06 which were garbage; on the bright side, I got Condemned and Perfect Dark Zero which I probably wouldn't have otherwise played.
 

sfsuphysics

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What other LEGO shit you buy on lockdown? I’m on my 5th modular…. I know you said you bought it for the kid but cmon who are you kidding?
Honestly not much, I'm not saying I wouldn't like those modular buildings, but I really can't justify $200-300 for them, I just don't have a Lego city or anything so yeah. I did find out about the Speed Champions line, which I never really saw advertised in the Lego magazine, so got the past two years worth since they were 20% off and gotta say 2 years ago they were 6 stud wide cars, versus 1 year ago (and into the future) they're 8 studs wide and I'm hooked, they look so much more in proportion at the wider size and make some nice little shelf decorations. Plus at $16 each that is a price that I can justify.

I didn't realize how much of an underground economy this is though, people buy multiple copies and basically shelf them because after they retire they only go up in price, and apparently people are willing to pay these inflated prices because "they missed" or like me came into the "hobby" much later in life. Someone makes a cool creation out of another, and it's like "oh hey that's cool how do you build it?" "That'll be $20 for the instructions" WTF!?
 

Jumpem

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Its simple, the more people sign up, the more BestBuy is justified.

Sad but true. Vote with your wallet. Nothing BB sells is necessary for life. You either cave and justify their decision or decline and let them lose your money.
I prefer it this way. It rewards people that already have their services.

As far as consoles or GPUs go, it seems more fair to offer them to people who have a RedCard, TotalTech, Walmart+, etc. prior to opening them up to everyone.
 

StaticShoes

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I'm shocked that no one on the executive boards of Kroger, Meijer, or SpartanNash came up with this "pay membership fee to get into the door" during the batshit crazy rush on bath tissue and other grocery supplies. So many stories of trains of shopping carts filled with cases of bath tissue all going into one gigantic SUV, whose driver laughed about having bidets, guess which website that toilet paper was going on. All the grocery chains around us bitch and moan about how little they make per sale, maybe they ought to implement memberships and have security at the doors. Might prevent bored teens from low income housing from wandering around grocery stores picking up $70 packages of meat and stuffing them on the back of some random shelf like the baby formula section.

I realize these memberships aren't for stopping people from getting in the door at all(I guess that's just my wishful thinking). I can already hear clerks at some of these electronics stores "Do you have your PayMoarNow card or are you interested in signing up for one?"
 
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MrGuvernment

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Costco sells cheap gas though and it's only $60 a year.
Yes, that is a benefit and marketing tactic to get you to buy their memberships....Just as BestBuy and others will use early sales or discounts to make their passes seem worth it...

Not everything else in Costco is cheaper than other stores (at least here in Canada). You can bet your bottom dollar the work that went into determining their price structure and membership pricing was very very well thought out to assure they make stupid profits.
 

LukeTbk

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Yes, that is a benefit and marketing tactic to get you to buy their memberships....Just as BestBuy and others will use early sales or discounts to make their passes seem worth it...

Not everything else in Costco is cheaper than other stores (at least here in Canada). You can bet your bottom dollar the work that went into determining their price structure and membership pricing was very very well thought out to assure they make stupid profits.
Has a very long time Costco fans (Investor and member), the pricing structure tend to be that their profit is about the membership fees (i.e. overall everything sold end up about at cost) and that their whole structure system of how it work, everything is made to make the money before spending it, they only stock inventory they confident they will sell in less than 90 days and buy from people that accept to be paid 90 days or more after delivery and most customer would be worst with that membership fee money than Costco is with it, making a really good example of win-win, the price is achieved because of that ultra thigh and efficiency cash flow model.
 

1_rick

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So many stories of trains of shopping carts filled with cases of bath tissue all going into one gigantic SUV
Everyone already knew before then how to deal with that: "limit one per customer." It's insane that stores mostly waited weeks before starting.
 

Comixbooks

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There is a sale every Thursday till Black Friday starts tommorow. Some good stuff going out tommorow luckily I have off I schedule change from three years ago helped me out.
The staging of sales started last year to ease congestion.
 

StaticShoes

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Everyone already knew before then how to deal with that: "limit one per customer." It's insane that stores mostly waited weeks before starting.
For the friggin places around us it wasn't weeks it was a few months, for real. Family Fare, the same company featured in the web video of women wrestling over bath tissue. When warehouse supply was exhausted, only then was it rationed to customers, after corporations had been satisfied by enormous sales numbers. We actually have a plant in a town nearby that makes tissue for supply companies and they put out a notice they were going to have a case sale to the public. Guess what happened? The dude with the SUV from the Snickers Cruncher commercial showed up along with his friends and all took fifteen cases each, there was a line miles long and in less than half an hour it was all gone. Christ the State Police were there to prevent a riot. People wondered later why they didn't have a voucher or coupon to give people in their cars that they would turn in when picking up the tissue that limited how many cases each could get.

Bravo to Best Buy and others for finding ways to increase revenue without increasing sales.
 
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Randall Stephens

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I didn't realize how much of an underground economy this is though, people buy multiple copies and basically shelf them because after they retire they only go up in price, and apparently people are willing to pay these inflated prices because "they missed" or like me came into the "hobby" much later in life. Someone makes a cool creation out of another, and it's like "oh hey that's cool how do you build it?" "That'll be $20 for the instructions" WTF!?
LOL. I built my own Green Grocer for ~400 by not using two discontinued pieces. Sourced from Lego directly and bricklink, 98% new pieces. Ebay you're looking at ~1200. The discontinued pieces are $500 of the sets value. I did also buy the instructions for Little Italy https://www.ebay.com/itm/283872185928 . I need to source the bricks for this, I'm guessing that'll be around $900. Kid is getting a surprise lego set for Xmas as well. It's older and used, I'll replace the faded bricks from LEGO or bricklink and she'll be stoked.
 

LukeTbk

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Everyone already knew before then how to deal with that: "limit one per customer." It's insane that stores mostly waited weeks before starting.
Could have helped a little bit, but the issue for the most part would still have been there.

There was 2 giant sector for toilet paper, commercial and residential, demand was so constant that the supply chain was nearly perfect, the industry was running 24/24, 7 days a week if the maker near me is a good indication and I think it is.

All the sudden almost all the commercial (and different product) demand is shifted toward residential one, without a way to rapidly make anymore of it, the same happened with Banana in grocery store without people hoarding much if any of it and now to many item when the shift from consuming service toward product continued longer than stock.
 

Jumpem

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For the friggin places around us it wasn't weeks it was a few months, for real. Family Fare, the same company featured in the web video of women wrestling over bath tissue. When warehouse supply was exhausted, only then was it rationed to customers, after corporations had been satisfied by enormous sales numbers. We actually have a plant in a town nearby that makes tissue for supply companies and they put out a notice they were going to have a case sale to the public. Guess what happened? The dude with the SUV from the Snickers Cruncher commercial showed up along with his friends and all took fifteen cases each, there was a line miles long and in less than half an hour it was all gone. Christ the State Police were there to prevent a riot. People wondered later why they didn't have a voucher or coupon to give people in their cars that they would turn in when picking up the tissue that limited how many cases each could get.

Bravo to Best Buy and others for finding ways to increase revenue without increasing sales.
It does increase sales for Best Buy. When I bought my TV it was cheaper to pay for TotalTech and buy the TV, than to purchase it without. You also get free two day shipping like Amazon, and lower TotalTech prices on differing products. If you like Apple products, you get free ApplCare+.

You have to look at the yearly subscription cost to see if it benefits you.
 

Wade88

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Yes, that is a benefit and marketing tactic to get you to buy their memberships....Just as BestBuy and others will use early sales or discounts to make their passes seem worth it...

Not everything else in Costco is cheaper than other stores (at least here in Canada). You can bet your bottom dollar the work that went into determining their price structure and membership pricing was very very well thought out to assure they make stupid profits.
I don't know how much gas you buy but it's always at least $.30 USD cheaper than the Shell station across the street for top tier 87 and 45-50 cents cheaper for 93. It's worth it and then some for us. It also helps that it's exactly 3 miles from my house.
 

vegeta535

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I don't know how much gas you buy but it's always at least $.30 USD cheaper than the Shell station across the street for top tier 87 and 45-50 cents cheaper for 93. It's worth it and then some for us. It also helps that it's exactly 3 miles from my house.
Shell is generally the most expensive gas by a huge margin in my area. Costco is typically 10c cheaper still have the average gas station. I don't get gas at Costco cause it is way out of the way for me to be worth it.
 

Verge

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I preordered the ps4 and xbone from amazon in june or july of 2013 and on launch day they dropped them off at my house at 0800. No bundles.
SNES, sega cd, saturn, playstation, ps2, psp, psvita, ps3, ps4, ps5... all launch day, not a single bundle. PS5 was without a doubt, the absolute worst, why they can't just queue people like Apple is beyond any sort of reason.
 

LukeTbk

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PS5 was without a doubt, the absolute worst, why they can't just queue people like Apple is beyond any sort of reason.
I feel that could be because it is a nicher scenario on apple side (versus people upgrading via their carrier) vs it would be possibly giant on the other

if this does not change:
cirp.jpg


If say 3-4% of your total sales of your product would be from people that put themselve in a pre-order list, almost all of those already have account with you, that seem more manageable than a giant list.

I feel like Sony would still have not shipped all the orders made by people before the launch to this day and that would be a terrible publicity for the company.
 

DejaWiz

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Modern day company store, complete with script (sub-script-ion). Federally unlawful since 1938.
 

Jumpem

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Modern day company store, complete with script (sub-script-ion). Federally unlawful since 1938.
It is the furthest thing from a company store. You get paid in US dollars by your employer. Your employer is not one of these retailers paying you in store credit.
 

LukeTbk

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Modern day company store, complete with script (sub-script-ion). Federally unlawful since 1938.
It is the exact reverse of that ?

No one is paid in script, no one is compelled or coerce in any way, there is not even an employer-employee link with the customer here.

Walmart employee getting part of their wage (and not Christmas party game price) in vouchers for item redeemable only at Walmart would be more akin to that.
 

Eshelmen

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Bb still lists the 3070 at $499. Although it's ALWAYS SOLD OUT, I'm wondering if purchasing this program helps my chances of snagging a 3070 at that price. If so, I'll gladly pay another $200 for that, and other benefits of priority purchases I see fit too.
 

Jumpem

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Bb still lists the 3070 at $499. Although it's ALWAYS SOLD OUT, I'm wondering if purchasing this program helps my chances of snagging a 3070 at that price. If so, I'll gladly pay another $200 for that, and other benefits of priority purchases I see fit too.
I have TotalTech and that card shows sold out for me as well.
 

RanceJustice

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Bb still lists the 3070 at $499. Although it's ALWAYS SOLD OUT, I'm wondering if purchasing this program helps my chances of snagging a 3070 at that price. If so, I'll gladly pay another $200 for that, and other benefits of priority purchases I see fit too.
From someone who has a very limited experience at the "drops community" as it relates to tech, let me see if I can help a bit. First, I have no idea if TotalTech or whatever plans out there would allow you a better chance at such hardware. I'd imagine they'd say up front as a reason to justify subscriptions, so if they don't then..probably not. If they were to do it surrepticiously and get found out it would be bad for all around on their PR side, but companies do stupid things because of immediate greed. Anyway, even if it did give a better chance (or they reserved a certain amount for subscribers) then everyone of the top tier botters and the entire drops community down from that would basically buy that first of all as $200 is nothing to them, so you'd still be competing.

Now, on the "old 2020 MSRP, strangely at BestBuy" if I am correct it is demystified as so - Basically, Best Buy is the only vendor for "reference/Founder's Edition" Nvidia cards, and FE's are some of the only ones that are except from the Trump-on-the-way-out-the-door-tariff that affects GPUs, so they are still at modern MSRPs. All Nvidia AIBs from the fairly crappy and not likely better than reference to the top performance tier custom PCB/VRM types like ROG STRIX, basically already cost more than standard MSRP because of the AIB tax for custom boards and the like. This is common and goes back generations, so like in 2020 a 3090 FE was $1500, but a Asus ROG STRIX 3090 OC was in the $1700s ; a modest but reasonable enough premium given the baseline card cost. WEll, come 2021 and the tariff, now that same card is about $2100 (2200-2300+ for the white version!) I was lucky to get the one I kept the very last week in January that it was using the old prices. FE's didn't get hit this way, so they still use the old prices in the very rare - nearly exclusively BestBuy vendors. The same is sorta kinda true for AMD, but its a bit different. BestBuy DOES offer some "reference" versions of AMD cards (hint - look at the basic version on the AMD website and then, no matter the branding - Asus, XFX, MSI etc.. if it looks like the reference cooler and artwork, its a reference version along with the price) which are not found on other online vendors like Microcenter or Amazon directly. However, these are also sold directly off the AMD homepage as well as the most likely place to get them (which FINALLY got a queue system of sorts, but it is far from perfect). These reference AMD cards are like the FE NV ones, in that they use the reference coolers at standard prices (ie 6900XT is $999, 6800XT is $649 etc) but as you expect are highly desired.

Given the massive differences between "reference/FE" and "AIB" card prices, not to mention how the latter are more easily sold in more venues and are jacked up by those vendors themselves (ie Microcenter for awhile at AMD 6900XT in stock, but it was only the extremely overpriced pre-waterblocked PowerColor Red/Liquid Devil $2500 version, prices in Newegg Shuffle are high etc) its little surprise that the FE/Reference are among the most in demand and best value around, given the lower prices. Thus, even with some mitigation from BestBuy to give those who aren't botting on a massive network (though you still at least need premium alerts it seems) a chance, its hard to get a card. Crypto mining, scalpers, and those who can otherwise afford tons of money wouldn't think a second about a $200 subscription if it meant they got a "cheap" card, but it may be that even with the sub this may not help one bit.
 

Jumpem

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On the "Member Monday" page today.

Best Buy Totaltech™ exclusive access.
Hard-to-find PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch OLED consoles are available exclusively to Totaltech™ members later this morning. Check back soon.
 
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