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Need To Find an AMD or Nvidia GPU In Stock? Raspberry Pi Can Help

RTX 30 series
(Image credit: Nvidia)

A recurring theme of 2020, pandemic aside, is a tech shortage. Brand new graphics cards like the Nvidia RTX 3080 / 3070 / 3090 and the AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT have been nearly impossible to find in stock, thanks to scalpers who use powerful bots to snap up inventory as soon as it becomes available and then resell it to consumers on eBay for twice the price.

However, with the help of a Raspberry Pi and some open-source Python code, you can create your own bot and up your chances of scoring any hard-to-find new product, including consoles like the PS5 or XBox Series X. Think of the Pi as the scrappy T800 fighting against the better-specked T1000 bots that scalpers use.

Coder Eric Marti has written Inventory Hunter, a Python app for Raspberry Pi that goes out and scrapes the web, checking to see if your desired products are back in stock. Here's shared the code and instructions on Github so you can use it yourself. You install the software using Docker, a container system used to package software into units for deployment.

Marti used his program to buy an RTX 3070 after being unable to get one, due to all the professional scalping tools that snap up inventory as soon as it becomes available.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 FE

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

"In a nutshell, inventory-hunter is a web-scraper that will notify you as soon as the product you want becomes in stock, giving you a better chance of successfully buying it," Marti explained on Reddit. "Before developing inventory-hunter, I used online inventory trackers such as NowInStock.net for this purpose. However, I found that these services are not fast enough to compete against scalpers. That is why I developed inventory-hunter." 

Marti chose the Raspberry Pi because of its " low power requirements and onboard ethernet" and he was able to run "multiple web-scrapers running 24/7 on my Raspberry Pi."

(Image credit: Eric J Marti)

Installation is a breeze, requiring that the user clones Marti's Github repository, then build a container using a pre-configured script. After that all that is needed is to create a config file which supplies the URLs to scrape data from, the frequency of scraping and the maximum price to pay.

Running the code will trigger the script to check inventory on your chosen retailers, and once a card is found it will alert you via email. This is a great Raspberry Pi project and hack which solves a problem common to many and throws Pi in the face of scalpers.

  • SyDiko
    Why do these articles always say that 'demand' is so high? Like everyone and their mother was up waiting for these cards?

    The demand isn't high, it's artificial. The percentage of stock that went to retail outlets was snatched and put on eBay at 100% market up. These bots literally bring websites down as they secure all the inventory they can in about 5 minutes. (Which is kind of suspect in itself, because they should have protection against this).

    That said, the problem isn't bots, it's major retailers not putting up real-time protection against this crappy practice. Even presale tickets are being resold. How the heck are you going to resale a presale lol? Let that soak in - the one thing put in place to make sure everyone that wants an item, gets an item is also being resold at a marked up price lol.

    I work as an Engineer for a tech company. I write code for a living and I refuse to run any type of bots. I could easily have done it, but I have self respect and ethics. Seriously, it's getting ridiculous and instead of creating an article for everyone to start botting, how about we pledge for some state and federal legislation against this crap? (Cause, it will only get worse from here if retailers aren't going to do anything.)

    I think this piece of legislation needs a push through the house - https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/7160/text
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    SyDiko said:
    How the heck are you going to resale a presale lol?
    This happens ALL of the time in the automotive industry where you just resell the allocation for a new car purchase.
    Reply
  • SyDiko
    NightHawkRMX said:
    This happens ALL of the time in the automotive industry where you just resell the allocation for a new car purchase.

    I appreciate the insight as others may not understand the practice outside certain retail aspects, but the question itself is rhetorical. Not only that, but scalpers aren't going to be buying up all the preorders on that limited edition Ferrari. These are people working with a few hundred or thousand to flip small items like the PS5. Vehicles are a much different animal.

    (I will take this opportunity to express my frustrations even more.)

    I remember when the PS5 went on presale, bots grabbed them all and these people were literally taking photos of their screens and selling the pre order confirmations on eBay. The whole point of a presale is to ensure that everyone that wants said item is accounted for. That said, retailers shouldn't run out of preorders because they haven't any stock. (Yet somehow they did).

    I personally never buy into hype of any type, but it was disgusting to see this practice hit the PS5, Xbox, and video cards. Even the new Ryzen CPUs were hit by this malicious act even after all of the original manufacturers said they'd have a defense against them. What's crazy is that if you take all the scalped stock off the secondary market - I bet everyone that wanted any of these items could get one, and they'd still have a lot to spare.
    Reply
  • jdnebelsky
    It most certainly isnt a breeze lol. I wish it were and that I knew how to code but I can't set it up for the life of me.
    Reply
  • guyver_dio
    hmm you know what this shortage situation needs? MORE BOTS!
    Reply
  • jdnebelsky
    guyver_dio said:
    hmm you know what this shortage situation needs? MORE BOTS!
    What else are honest people supposed to do? We can’t compete with bots that buy stuff within milliseconds of drops. I just want one for me. An alert bot is at least a sliver of a better chance at one 🤷‍♂️
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    jdnebelsky said:
    What else are honest people supposed to do?
    Wait
    Reply
  • jdnebelsky
    NightHawkRMX said:
    Wait
    Alternatively; no.
    Waiting months for a gpu that will be outdated by the time stock stabilizes isn’t an option.
    Reply
  • NightHawkRMX
    jdnebelsky said:
    Alternatively; no.
    Waiting months for a gpu that will be outdated by the time stock stabilizes isn’t an option.
    How is latest gen outdated?
    Reply
  • jdnebelsky
    NightHawkRMX said:
    How is latest gen outdated?
    I’m saying by the time stock stabilizes and you can get one easily they’ll have announced RTX 4000 series. Maybe nvidia should become a competent corporation and then we’d all have them
    Reply