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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Newegg’s new return policy aims to cut down on dodgy reseller returns

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Retailers find themselves in the unenvious position of trying to fulfill orders for hardware items that are in super high demand, like the latest GPUs and CPUs, while simultaneously fending off bots and scalpers. As part of that effort, Newegg has taken to selling combo deals for the newest processors and graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia. That in and of itself is not new, but what has changed is Newegg’s return policy for such things.

Previously, if you purchased a combo deal, you could return one of the items individually for a refund on that component. And in some cases, you still can. However, as spotted by HotHardware (via Tom’s Hardware), the revised policy dictates that some combos are an all or nothing affair—if you want a refund, you have to return both items.

“Some combos are restricted from returning individual products for a refund and must be returned in their entirety. Please see combo product page for more specific information,” the revised policy reads.

I peeked at a bunch of GPU combo deals, like this Gigabyte Radeon RX 6800 XT bundled with a 750W 80 Plus Gold power supply, and each one stated in bold, red letters, “All individual products in below combo must be returned in their entirety.” Same goes for the CPU bundle deals I looked at, including this Ryzen 9 5900X packaged with a kit of Crucial Ballistix RAM.

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Bundle deals are frustrating when they are the only option, because you are being forced to absorb an extra product you may have no use for. On the flip side, they could also potentially be a deterrent to scalpers.

Whether they actually are, however, it’s hard to tell. If scalpers make enough of a profit on the CPU or GPU, it could still be worth buying these bundles, and either selling the extra parts or tossing them aside. And if that is the case, forcing combos on buyers is no deterrent at all.

It’s just a crummy situation all around, and I’m not sure there is a truly good answer. Eventually supply will catch up with demand, but for now, be aware that if you purchase a combo deal on Newegg, chances are you are stuck with the extra item.

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