MSI Caught Red-Handed Scalping GeForce RTX 3080/90 Cards On eBay At Exorbitant Prices

msi hero
The scarcity of NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 and RTX 3080 series cards has been a source of consternation for gaming enthusiasts and financial temptation for unscrupulous resellers. And it turns out that at least one of NVIDIA's board partners is up to no good as well. It was recently found that a subsidiary of MSI has been reselling NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series cards at huge markups through online storefronts, including eBay.

Overnight, a reddit user brought to light the practices of Starlit Partner. On eBay, Startlit Partner had listed an MSI GeForce RTX 3080 GAMING X TRIO GPU for $600 over MSRP at $1,359. Looking through its feedback, the store is rife with additional sales which indicate price gouging as well. But after it was also found that Starlit Partner was connected to MSI, any live listings were taken down.

There are trademarks, financial data, websites, and IPs that link MSI and Starlit Partners. No matter how you slice it, MSI has been caught scalping GeForce RTX 30 Series GPUs.
ebay listing

Trademarks and Financial Paperwork

Looking at the trademark records for Starlit Partner, the group filed for its name in 2016 and is currently owned by MSI Computer Corp. Combing through MSI’s 2019 annual report, we see that MSI Computer Corp is 100% owned by MSI, confirming that the Starlit Partner trademark is also in effect owned by MSI.
2019 report

Website and IPs

The Starlit Partner website is simple, dated-looking storefront, that when pinged resolves to IP address, which is the very same IP of the official MSI website. While this could be an incredible coincidence, the Starlit website has additional links to MSI as if the website designers simply copy-and-pasted some pages from an old MSI site:
  • The About Page is titled shop_AboutMSI.aspx in the URL.
  • The sitemap shows “Sitemap of shop @ MSI”
  • Their contact address is the exact same as MSI’s
901 Canada Court
City of Industry, CA 91748
MSI’s Response
According to a tweet from MSI, “Starlit Partner is an individual sales subsidiary working under MSI”  that somehow obtained access to inventory, which should not have happened. Reportedly Starlit Partner is only supposed to carry excess inventory and refurbished items. To walk back the scalping that occurred, MSI said the following:
Starlit Partner has been instructed to contact the individual customers who purchased these GPU and offer 2 options - return the product and receive a full refund, or a partial refund of the amount paid over MSI's MSRP.
It is likely, though, that Starlit Partner is more than an “individual sales subsidiary,” making MSI implicit in these actions. If a subsidiary is scalping products online, it could poison the fan base and obviously shines a bad light on MSI.

This is still a developing situation, so stay tuned to HotHardware as we wait for more information from those involved.