While large and expensive graphics cards may be in short supply across the world; small and inexpensive computers aren’t faring any better. One reason for this, according to Raspberry Pi retailer Adafruit, is bot sales. This is why Adafruit is requiring all accounts purchasing high-demand products; including Raspberry Pi boards, when they come back into stock, to be verified and have two-factor authentication enabled.
Automated “bots” are bulk buying popular consumer electronics. We’ve seen it with GPUs, PlayStation 5 and Xbox consoles. Bought in bulk and later sold for inflated prices, these bots are causing hardship for honest buyers. “Any time a product is in short supply you’re going to see bots trying to grab stock to resell at a margin. Graphic cards are the classic recent example of this. This is parasitic behavior, and it’s great to see people like Adafruit taking measures to stop it,” Raspberry Pi Co-Founder Eben Upton told ZDNet. Upton also addressed the issue of supply when he joined us for a special episode of the Pi Cast celebrating Raspberry Pi’s tenth anniversary.
“Right now there’s a serious silicon/chip shortage which is making it hard to keep some boards like the Raspberry Pi stocked,” wrote an Adafruit representative on the company’s blog. “There’s also a lot of people who want to use Raspberry Pi’s for their products and projects!” The issue was also raised on a recent Adafruit Ask an Engineer video.
“We think there are enough RasPi’s for most people who want one,” continued Adafruit, “but they were having to compete with people who were not following the ‘1 per customer’ rule and using automated tools to purchase large quantities before most folks had a chance to check out.”