Newegg recently rolled out its convenient Custom PC Builder service, which will employ company techs to pre-assemble your chosen computer components into your new rig for an extra $99. It’s a potentially useful add-on for the less tech-savvy among us, along with anyone facing mobility issues, but new reports suggest the convenience might hide some ingenious upselling tactics.
A closer read of Newegg’s Custom PC Builder fine print includes caveats surrounding the company’s designated “hot item” products, which fluctuate throughout any given day depending on the market and are apparently only available through the new service. “A ‘hot item’ product with limited supply can only be purchased with PC Builder Assembly Service,” reads the ENAIC information page. “To qualify for assembly service with your hot item, just add the following components to your build: CPU, Motherboard, Memory, Video Card, Case, Power Supply.”
As Tom’s Hardware notes, Newegg doesn’t explicitly specify just what will fall under its “hot item” designation, but given hardware shortages for components like next-gen graphics cards and what is consistently offered via the company’s Shuffle lottery system, it’s probably safe to say that the only way to get top-tier rig equipment will be through the company’s new service. Buyer beware.
Capitalizing on graphics card scarcity — Perhaps Newegg is aiming to make the most out of the current, widespread graphics card market drought. With Nvidia execs admitting GPU stocks won’t approach normal until at least next year and scalpers’ prices skyrocketing, Newegg is in a prime position to move what stock it has by essentially tacking on a surcharge in the form of its new $99 Custom PC Builder service fee... while also requiring customers to buy all the other parts in the process.
At face value, Newegg’s latest program could be a convenient timesaver for many PC users, but unless you’re truly jonesing for a new rig or assistance building one yourself, it’s probably best to simply practice patience. That, or finally buckle under the pressure and plop down the cash on a console. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your PC diehard friends about your fall from grace.