Newegg wants you to pay for its PC assembly service to buy “hot items”
Earlier this week, Newegg announced a PC assembly service for customers who use its PC builder. For users with little knowledge of building a computer, this allows them to configure their desired machine without risking damage to the components. However, Newegg will apparently force you to pay for the PC assembly service if you want certain “hot items”.
As spotted by ExtremeTech, Newegg’s support page states that in order to buy certain items, you’ll need to have the PC assembled for you. Newegg says this applies to “hot items”, or items that are seeing high demand at the time. What that means is that these items won’t always be the same and can vary throughout the day. It also means you can’t buy these parts by themselves if you’re just looking to upgrade a specific component.
Newegg doesn’t explicitly say why this is done, but it seems like it could be an attempt at fighting scalpers. Prices for the latest GPUs from NVIDIA and AMD have notably been far higher than MSRP, because many people have been driving massive quantities of them to resell above market value. This is in part due to an uptake in cryptocurrency mining, which has led to NVIDIA limiting mining hash rates on its GeForce GPUs.
However, Newegg’s move can easily be seen as a way to force consumers to pay extra for no justifiable reason. While one can argue that this will make potential scalpers hesitate to buy certain components en masse, the approach could certainly be better. Even if you add a full suite of PC components to your cart, you won’t be able to checkout unless you get the assembly service. That adds an extra $99 to your bill, which you might not want to spend if you’re familiar with building PCs.
If it weren’t for this policy regarding hot items, Newegg’s PC assembly service actually has a lot going for it. Thanks to the company’s large supply network, getting parts should be much easier and faster than other PC assembly services. We’ll have to wait and see if the retailer reconsiders its approach in the near future.