Last week the new Nvidia RTX 3080 cards dropped, selling out almost immediately. Scalpers quickly started flogging the graphics cards at a premium, and legitimate resellers like MSY even started scalping themselves. Now online retailer Umart has been caught out selling some of the cards with a fake discount attached.
This article was first published on September 22. It has since been updated with comment from Umart.
On September 17, Umart sold the MSI RTX 3080 Gaming X Trio 10GB video card on its site for $1,599. This is a bit above the $1,469 RRP set my MSI, but certainly isn’t as high as some of the price gouging we’ve seen out there.
The problem is Umart advertised this as a discount. At the time its site said that the RRP was $1,699, which was crossed out, positioning the $1,599 price tag as a sale.
Gizmodo was contacted by a source who provided screenshots of one of these transactions. They also confirmed with MSI online that the RRP of this card is $1,469.
“You shouldn’t be paying more than $1469,” the MSI spokesperson said in the message.
Umart has since changed the pricing on its website to $1,469, but its original pricing has been archived by customers from Reddit. Site archives also show that the TUF and Ventus 3X variants also had similar ‘discount’ prices attached.
Customers have also started commenting on Umart’s Facebook posts, pointing out the false discount. One user questioning the RRP, and another referred to the ‘discount’ as illegal behaviour.
Umart is referring to this as a ‘error’ displaying on the card.
“We discovered an error that resulted in the item to be displayed at the incorrect price,” a Umart spokesperson said in an email to Gizmodo Australia.
“In this particular instance, our Marketing Department has fixed the issue and modified the price on our website with the correct price for the GPU. If you have an order number, please let me know so we can match the current correct price on our website.”
“Despite our best efforts, due to the large number of items we advertise every day, occasionally we do have a small number of items which are advertised incorrectly.”
It’s worth noting that this ‘error’ was applied across three different RTX 3080 cards that had different price points.
When Gizmodo Australia contacted the ACCC about this matter a spokesperson said they could not comment on potential complaints or investigations. However, they did make reference to potential misleading conduct and breach of consumer law.
“Businesses cannot engage in misleading or deceptive conduct or make false or misleading representations about the price of goods displayed to consumers,” the ACCC spokesperson said in an email to Gizmodo Australia.
“If a business makes ‘savings’ or ‘discount’ statements compared to a reference price (whether the business calls it a recommended retail price (RRP), a usual price, or a market value), but the goods have never been sold at that reference price, or that reference price does not reflect a current market price, this may be misleading conduct in breach of the Australian Consumer Law.”
Australia’s consumer watchdog has charged online retailers, such as Kogan, in the past for flogging similar fake discounts.
This is certainly not the first instance of these cards being overcharged by legitimate retailers. Earlier this week we reported on MSY selling the MSI RTX 3080 on eBay through its M.SPEC Gaming subsidiary for $600 over the RRP.
With the RTX 3090 cards going on sale later tonight, it will be interesting to see how fast they sell out and how much they’ll get sold for.