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Pre Order Lottery for High Demand Items to combat scalping

Status: Acknowledged
by on ‎11-10-2020 11:14 AM

Scalping has been a big issue so I'm happy that Best Buy has been taking action so that more legitimate customers instead of bot farms have been able to purchase hardware. I think the current system may not be adequate for how advanced software has become. The random nature of release times for hardware means that places like are the only hope for regular customers.


Lottery System

In Japan they use a pre-order lottery system to sell high demand items. How this works is that customers can opt-in to a pre-order lottery. From that lottery, emails are sent out to winning tickets that allow them to make the purchase. 


How this can help combat scalping and be a better buying experience

  • Purchases will be distributed randomly instead of concentrated within a release window.
  • Even though some bots will get through, bot/scalper purchases will be limited naturally by random selection.
  • Right to purchase is determined randomly rather than speed of clicking or noticing when a button lights up, which bots are now able to do. 
  • Prevents massive server stock requests from bot farms scraping inventory. 
  • One ticket per account/per item/ per household limits physical scalping
  • Winning accounts will be flagged for purchasing, and customer will be emailed
  • Customers can then be allowed a wide window (24 hours) to purchase the item. Otherwise a new lottery winner will be chosen and that stock can go back into the general pool.
  • Reduces stress and stock tracking for customers and is more convenient based on their schedule.
  • By having a large lottery opt-in window (about an hour) more people can at least have a chance to purchase the items.
  • Lottery numbers are not chosen on the day the tickets are available, but rather later. This allows accounts to be flagged for botting or scalping.
  • The buffer for purchases created by a lottery will let Best Buy announce when new stock is received/email notifications to customers that won't be made false by rapid purchases minutes later. 

Let me know what you think. I've been trying to get a 3070 and 5600x for a while. I think a lot of people are frustrated by the current situation and would like more to be done about the situation. I wonder if something like a lottery could be tested out. 

Status: Acknowledged

Thanks for the suggestion. At this time we will not be implementing this.

by Valued Expert
on ‎11-11-2020 07:05 AM

I full agree in that I don't like it when people snatch up a new high demand item and resell it for a jacked up price.


What really drives it are the idiots that are willing to pay more than retail.  


However, as far as the RTX cards I believe it is more a matter of supply. 


And it may not all be bots. I know my local brick and mortar computer store got their hands on 10 of the new 3000 series cards.  They sent me an email asking me if I wanted to upgrade my 2070 and they had some in hand.


I don't think a lottery would work very well.  The same people that work bot farms would simply continue to create multiple accounts.  If they could prevent multiple accounts it would work better.


But then we would be hearing from all the people who didn't make the lottery claiming it was rigged and they have been a super duper mega platinum member since forever started. 

I am not an employee of Best Buy. All opinions and comments are my own




by Senior Social Media Specialist Senior Social Media Specialist
on ‎11-11-2020 12:07 PM
Status changed to: Acknowledged

Thanks for the suggestion. At this time we will not be implementing this.

on ‎11-18-2020 09:13 AM

@Allan-BBY , will Best Buy be implementing anything?  Current methods seem to only work for the bots.

by Senior Social Media Specialist Senior Social Media Specialist
on ‎11-18-2020 10:02 AM

@writesaid, at this time we will not be changing our current model.

on ‎11-18-2020 01:44 PM

That is both disappointing and unsurprising.  Thanks for answering, anyway.

by Valued Expert
on ‎08-06-2021 09:27 AM

I decided last Tuesday to get a PS5.  Got one on Friday. I wrote BOT on my mouse index finger. 


I did research for PS5 restocks.

I found several web sites that all claim to have the best knowledge. A competitor had a major restock. They were supposed to be available wed, thur, or friday.  I signed up to four twitter accounts to get a twit when they are available.


I had my browser set on that particular store. I started hitting the refresh about a half hour before expected release.  7 minutes later I was able to add one to my cart. 3 minutes later I got the first tweet saying they are availble. a minute after that I got the second one. 




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