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Newegg cracks down on bots and scalpers with product drawings

A tech-focused e-tailer is taking a novel approach to ensuring shoppers have a fair chance to purchase high-demand items.

Newegg recently rolled out the Newegg Shuffle, a drawing system designed to alleviate customer issues caused by demand spikes. According to Newegg, supply constraints and production shortages have caused unusually high demand for a variety of popular products, including several models of desktop processors, graphics cards, and video game systems. 

These demand spikes have led to tens of thousands of shoppers competing for limited supply the moment certain products became available, as well as bots and scalpers trying to capitalize on the situation. The Newegg Shuffle is selectively implemented to manage distribution of certain high-demand products to ensure everyone has a legitimate shot at purchasing their chosen product.

The steps customers take to enter the drawing are meant to ensure that bots and other automated methods of gaming the system are greatly reduced. Newegg has also taken steps to eliminate users with multiple accounts, as well as ban IP addresses of anyone suspected of using auto-refresh, autoload, and/or crawler software to gain an unfair advantage.

The frequency of Newegg Shuffle events varies based on a number of factors, including demand, scarcity and when inventory is received. New events can typically begin Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. PT. 

Customers who sign up for the program can choose the product(s) they want a chance at purchasing during the selection window. Newegg will draw customers at random and notify them via email so they can complete their transaction within the 3.5-hour buying window.

“Recent industry-wide scarcity of certain products illuminated the need for Newegg to take a more aggressive stance to weed out bots and place everyone on equal footing,” said Montaque Hou, Newegg CTO. “Our Newegg Shuffle is an important step forward in getting newly released, in-demand products into the hands of gamers and other end users in the most equitable way possible.”

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