Every year during holiday shopping, we have to be careful. This year was no different, except that GPU buyers couldn’t find a single unit. I received maybe a half dozen notifications of available new graphics cards for sale. Even when clicking instantly, they’re already sold out.

This year, thanks to the pandemic and so many retailers moving operations heavily to online, there’s a resurgence of trickery. In the past eBay and Amazon were the only online stores where we’d see huge price gouging. Not so this year. Walmart has recently begun offering 3rd-party sellers to sell through the website, so you’ll find $1,500 GeForce RTX 3070 units.  And $2,500 RTX 3090s.

Walmart isn’t the only store to have these listings. In fact, many major retailers now do it, including Target and Best Buy. So if you’re keeping an eye on those online shops to pick up new hardware, be wary of the title and the pricing. And share that info with family and friends. Thanks to similar naming between generations, it’s easy to make a mistake. And that might set you back thousands.

Even after working in this industry for 15 years I almost picked up an RTX 2070 for $800. Blame it on my dislexia or a quick trigger finger, or the desire to finally upgrade. The last thing any of us needs is to be out hundreds or thousands of dollars because of a mistaken purchase.