Best Buy’s Totaltech paywall stands in the way of Nvidia RTX purchases

Nvidia GeForce RTX Founders Edition Cards held behind premium membership.

Totaltech is Best Buy’s relatively new annual membership program. After launching October 5 last year, it offers US members exclusive benefits such as free two-day shipping and onsite installation, free 24-hour tech support, and, enticingly, up to 24 months of product protection on most new Best Buy purchases, including AppleCare+ on Apple products, with an active membership. All yours for $200 yearly.

For anyone who frequents Best Buy this could be worth the price of admission alone; however, to sweeten the deal the company offers exclusive deals, and one in particular has got the tech community into a frenzy. This benefit provides access to hard-to-find products exclusively to those who hold active memberships. I think you see where we’re going with this.

Image Source: Best Buy

With the GPU stock apocalypse still having plenty of steam in 2022, coupled with Best Buy being an exclusive reseller of Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Founders Edition cards in the US, the retailer has taken advantage of the current market situation and used the Totaltech service as a paywall, preventing those without membership from purchasing a card.

Even if Best Buy had good intentions and used this subscription service to prevent scalpers from buying coveted stock, it still doesn’t make sense; paywall-paying customers were allowed to purchase multiple cards as long as they weren’t the same model. Instead of solving a problem, which may have been the intent, Best Buy has created a new one, and only time will tell if this further impacts the distribution of Founders Edition cards in the US.

Do you think Best Buy had the right idea when deciding to go this route? Or do you think other retailers will take wind of this opportunity and start offering similar membership programs to lure customers? We surely hope not.