The new Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics card was released on Thursday June 3rd – and it sold out immediately. In no time at all, the GPU was gone from all the online retailers who had put it up for sale on Thursday morning. Instead of selling the card online, Best Buy decided to offer it in store. This resulted in dozens of people trying to be the first to buy it – and for some it meant waiting over 24 hours.
On Best Buy’s website, the message was clear – the card should not be offered online and customers were asked to visit the store in person. The RTX 3080 Ti had a limit of one card per customer and was priced at $ 1,199. Compared to fighting bots and scalpers, visiting Best Buy in person seems like a good idea that gives people a fair chance of getting one of the new cards. Unfortunately, everything is not as simple as it sounds.
Since it was nearly impossible to get any of the new GPUs online in previous versions, many people decided to camp outside of Best Buy to try and buy the RTX 3080 Ti before it sells out. Lines outside of a Best Buy in Los Angeles began to form on Wednesday afternoon. Many of those present came fully equipped to spend the night. Some brought folding chairs, blankets and thermo mugs filled with hot drinks.
The queue only got bigger over time and dozens of new people joined the queue. Best Buy employees announced that the store would only receive 64 units of the card. Even then, that meant that a large part of the queue had a slim chance of buying the RTX 3080 Ti. Despite the grim news, most refused to give up.
The line had grown massively on Thursday morning. Over 200 people waited outside with minimal social distancing in a long line that wrapped around the building. Desperate to get the new card, some offered to pay up to $ 2,500 for others to pass them their place. The store actually only had 64 units in stock and they sold out in no time. Dozens of people were disappointed and bitter with no chance of getting their hands on the new GPU.
Trying to buy the card online was just as disappointing. Similar to previous versions of the best graphics cards, the GPUs sold out just seconds after being offered. They were briefly spotted at Nvidia’s own store, Newegg, B&H Photo, Amazon, and other retailers.
This situation perfectly sums up the GPU shortage and the impact on the graphics card market. Unfortunately, it seems the battle could continue for the rest of 2021 as manufacturers continue to try to meet current demand.