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Here's Why EVGA Charges Scalper Pricing for Advanced GPU RMA Requests

EVGA
(Image credit: EVGA)

EVGA famously ran into problems when Amazon's New World game began frying users' GPUs, but the company earned plenty of kudos for immediately offering a no-questions-asked return policy to replace the impacted GPUs. According to a report from Igor's Lab, it now appears that EVGA is charging high RMA deposit fees that are based on current scalper pricing levels, generating some criticism. However, there's a rational reason for EVGA to engage in the practice, and it is an opt-in program that leaves its customers another option (albeit a slower one) for completing the RMA process if they don't want to pay the deposit. 

According to the report, Igor filed an Advanced RMA request to get a replacement for his broken EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra graphics card, which retails for around 782 Euros (931 Euros with VAT included). However, EVGA requested a deposit equal to the current scalper pricing for that model: Instead of asking for the 931 Euro MSRP (the list price), EVGA requested a 1,728.20 Euro deposit. 

The problem stems from EVGA's Advanced RMA program, which speeds the return process after your GPU fails. The service itself is handy to have if your GPU ever breaks: You pay a deposit as collateral and EVGA immediately sends you a new GPU before it receives your damaged card. Upon receipt of the damaged GPU, EVGA then issues a full refund for the deposit. 

Of course, this would be perfect for any EVGA customer in trouble, unless the company required a huge deposit. Unfortunately, that seems to be the case, as EVGA uses the price of scalped GPUs to calculate the deposit fees. However, that's a reasonable and needed protection for EVGA, as customers could simply file an advanced RMA and pay the deposit at MSRP pricing, then scalp the card they receive from the RMA program — but without returning the original card. Sure, the customer ends up paying the MSRP price of the card, but they come out ahead through scalping and potentially delay a legitimate customer from receiving a replacement card in a timely fashion. 

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an easy answer here, either for the customer or for EVGA. Paying a high deposit based on scalper pricing, even if it will be refunded, isn't tenable for some. However, EVGA also has to protect itself from slick scammers that will just scalp the RMA'd cards, potentially denying its other customers a shot at a timely replacement GPU. 

EVGA is one of the few companies still offering Advanced RMAs, which is a big reason to buy gear from the company. Regardless of the situation, if you don't want to pay a deposit upfront, you can simply use the standard RMA process that requires EVGA to receive the card before sending a replacement.

  • Uilleam
    I avoid EVGA products.

    I buy from companies who don't require proof of purchase and go off of the serial number.

    ASUS and MSI are two that come to mind who don't require POP.

    That being said, ASUS also requires a deposit if you want advanced replacement. Not sure about MSI but I'd guess they require the same thing.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    Proof of purchase is easy. If you buy it retail, tape the receipt to the box and put it in your parts closet
    Otherwise everything will be in order history (amazon/newegg/B&HPhoto) or email

    The only people worried about POP are those who were dumb enough to buy from scalpers (sales from unauthorized vendors can results in denial of claim from some card mfg.)

    Given how desperate people are to make an unethical buck these days, EVGA's Advanced RMA policy is a reasonable one.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    Uilleam said:
    I avoid EVGA products. I buy from companies who don't require proof of purchase and go off of the serial number. ASUS and MSI are two that come to mind who don't require POP.

    I've been building PCs for nearly 25 year and in the few times I've actually had a warranty hardware failure, I've still had to provide POP along with the SN#. This was from both local mom & pop hardware computer stores to the big E-tech stores like NewEgg. As mentioned above, EVGA restricts their authorized vendors to a select few and for good reason: years ago fraudulent resellers would sell older Nvidia GPUs and brand them as a higher level and/or newer GPU. People only caught the counterfeit cards when checking GPU-Z stats.

    If you are upset that EVGA clamped down on validating your GPU and purchase with a POP for a warranty claim, then you are not the clientele they are wanting to do business with anyway. No offense. That's not the main reason I have only been buying EVGA video cards since the mid '00s after having several Nvidia AIB brand GPUs (ASUS and MSI being two of them). Their support has always been supreme over other AIB video card if something goes south...IF you play by their rules. Something nobody should be afraid of if a legitimate buyer from a legitimate vendor.
    Reply
  • urbanman2004
    Uilleam said:
    I avoid EVGA products.

    I buy from companies who don't require proof of purchase and go off of the serial number.

    ASUS and MSI are two that come to mind who don't require POP.

    That being said, ASUS also requires a deposit if you want advanced replacement. Not sure about MSI but I'd guess they require the same thing.
    Your reasoning for avoiding EVGA products is flawed... I've been buying EVGA products since 2007 and I remember there was a time when they wouldn't even offer RMAs on purchases made on eBay but they've since changed their tune around 2015, but still I know plenty of manufacturers who require the consumer to present a receipt or proof of purchase of some sort to honor a warranty... If you've never tried to RMA a CPU through Intel then your sentiment is laughable.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    Maybe I'm a lucky one, but I've never had to RMA anything from Sapphire or Asus. This is over the span of 20 years and buying non-trivial amounts of PC parts from them.

    And I'll agree with the article and general sentiment: it's unfortunate, but reasonable to request this. I wish I could say "give the clients the benefit of the doubt", but we all know better by now. This being said, this means if you can't pay it, then keep a backup GPU just in case your EVGA suddenly combusts Hindenburg style :D

    Regards.
    Reply
  • Mandark
    Uilleam said:
    I avoid EVGA products.

    I buy from companies who don't require proof of purchase and go off of the serial number.

    ASUS and MSI are two that come to mind who don't require POP.

    That being said, ASUS also requires a deposit if you want advanced replacement. Not sure about MSI but I'd guess they require the same thing.
    Why is that exactly are you a scalper yourself?
    Reply
  • Heat_Fan89
    I think this sounds reasonable especially in this environment. I would probably pass on the advanced RMA and just wait for them to receive my faulty GPU. All the GPU's I have purchased have been EVGA. I prefer to buy them from Amazon because I don't get charged shipping which EVGA does although that may have changed recently.
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    digitalgriffin said:
    Proof of purchase is easy. If you buy it retail, tape the receipt to the box and put it in your parts closet
    Otherwise everything will be in order history (amazon/newegg/B&HPhoto) or email

    The only people worried about POP are those who were dumb enough to buy from scalpers (sales from unauthorized vendors can results in denial of claim from some card mfg.)

    Given how desperate people are to make an unethical buck these days, EVGA's Advanced RMA policy is a reasonable one.
    If it's an EVGA product, you should register it immediately on their website after purchasing it. You can submit POP during that process and never worry about having to find it later.

    Scalper's price deposit sucks, but is completely justifiable given the current market environment.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    spongiemaster said:
    If it's an EVGA product, you should register it immediately on their website after purchasing it. You can submit POP during that process and never worry about having to find it later.

    I do that for every piece of hardware from any manufacturer put into a new build like the one I just finished last weekend (or home entertainment purchase like TV and stereo receiver).

    Why take any chance on making your life more difficult by not just taking care of registration/POP submittalthat takes no more than a few minutes at most? I just find it a best practice for your hard earned money should a piece of hardware go south (and if you buy enough of it over the years you will eventually draw the short straw at least once if not multiple times like me).
    Reply
  • C0BRA
    Uilleam said:
    I avoid EVGA products.

    I buy from companies who don't require proof of purchase and go off of the serial number.

    ASUS and MSI are two that come to mind who don't require POP.

    That being said, ASUS also requires a deposit if you want advanced replacement. Not sure about MSI but I'd guess they require the same thing.

    I have used EVGA since the mid to early 2,000's. I only get their cards. I have found them to be one of the best supporting hardware companies with one of the best warranties. I have been in IT for 26 plus years. They are one of the few I trust.
    Reply