The second version of the Oculus Rift VR headset is expected to start arriving this week, but actually getting your hands on one is going to be tough. Over 45,000 units had been pre-ordered as of the first of this month — and of those, only 10,000 are expected to actually ship in July. If you waited even 24 hours to get your pre-order in, you might be waiting a while.
Perhaps eBay is the answer? Surely someone is selling their spot in line there, right? Yep! And Oculus is banhammering those orders.
Take, for example, this listing for an Oculus Rift DK2 pre-ordered on the first morning of availability. The asking price? $5000 (versus the headset’s original pre-order pricetag of $350).
Oculus fans, angry at the idea of anyone buying their way into a line they’d been waiting in for months, gathered up the pitchforks. In hopes of being able to gather enough information to get the pre-order canceled, they started poking the partially-anonymous reseller for more details. Within a few hours, they knew the exact time they reseller’s order had been placed.
By this afternoon, Oculus’ community manager popped in to drop the official word:
Don’t worry guys. We found him and we cancelled his order.
Shortly thereafter, the eBay listing was cancelled.
After word started spreading that resold orders were being cancelled, users began voicing concerns that they might be framed. Many early Rift DK2 buyers had shared any and all details of their pre-orders to help each other establish a shipping timeline — now they were concerned that others might use these details against them to bump their way up the line.
Oculus’ Community Service Lead stopped in to clear things up:
Just so everyone is clear, the information provided alone was not enough to take action. We perform our own investigations with tools at our disposal to make sure that there isn’t a false positive.
Our community is awesome! Thank you for helping us make sure that we are getting kits into the hands of devs and shutting down profiteers.
Meanwhile, the company found others who seemed to have gobbled up multiple pre-orders to resell, and banned their entire orders in one fell swoop:
”Orders,” as in plural. All gone.
While Oculus’ Terms of Sale don’t seem to explicitly ban pre-order sales at this time, they do say that they can cancel orders at any time before the units are shipped. Meanwhile, this support page says that Rift DK2 resales “as they are meant for developers and are not consumer products.”
This is the second release of Oculus’ work-in-progress VR headset, but neither this unit (the DK2) nor the one that came before it (the DK1) are meant for consumers. They’re meant for developers to prep their games and apps for the day the consumerRift ships. While Oculus doesn’t make anyone jump through too many hoops to order a unit, they do make the buyer check a box acknowledging that things aren’t meant to be consumer-friendly just yet.
Of course, Oculus isn’t psychic. If someone were to play it extra safe with their pre-order details, there probably isn’t much Oculus could do about it (besides perhaps complain to eBay to try to get the listing pulled). But you certainly wouldn’t be making any friends amongst the Oculus enthusiasts that way.