The new Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics card was released on Thursday, June 3rd — and it sold out immediately. In the blink of an eye, the GPU was gone from all the online retailers that put it up for sale on Thursday morning. Instead of selling the card online, Best Buy chose to offer it in-store. This resulted in dozens of people trying to be the first to queue to buy it – and for some, this meant waiting more than 24 hours.
On Best Buy’s website, the message was clear — the card was not being 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 against bots and scalpers, it’s a good idea to personally go to Best Buy which gives people a fair chance to score one of the new cards. Unfortunately, all this is not as easy as it seems.
Since it was impossible to get one of the new GPUs online during previous releases, many people decided to camp outside Best Buy to try to buy the RTX 3080 Ti before selling it. Lines began to form outside Best Buy in Los Angeles early Wednesday afternoon. Many of the attendees were fully equipped to spend the night. Some of them brought folding chairs, blankets and thermal mugs filled with hot drinks.
With the passage of time the size of the line increased and dozens of new people joined the queue. Best Buy employees revealed that the store only had to receive 64 units of the card. Even at the time, this meant that a large proportion of people in the queue were less likely to buy the RTX 3080 Ti. Despite the bad news, most refused to give up.
By Thursday morning the line had grown considerably. More than 200 people waited outside with minimal social distancing in long queues wrapped around the building. Desperate to get a new card, some offered to pay others $2,500 to pass their location. The store actually only had 64 units in stock, and they sold out in the blink of an eye. Dozens were left disappointed and bitter at not getting any chance to get their hands on the new GPU.
Equally disappointing was trying to buy the card online. Like previous releases of the best graphics cards, GPUs sold out seconds after being put up for sale. He was briefly seen at Nvidia’s own stores, Newegg, B&H Photo, Amazon, and other retailers.
This situation perfectly explains the lack of GPUs and the impact it has on the graphics card market. Unfortunately, it looks like the struggle may continue for the rest of 2021 as manufacturers try to meet the current demand.