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24-hour waits, $2,500 bribes: The current state of RTX 3080 Ti shopping at Best Buy

Nvidia Rtx 3080 Ti Official Render
Nvidia Rtx 3080 Ti Official Render (Image credit: NVIDIA)

What you need to know

  • Graphics cards are in short supply all over the world.
  • Amid said shortages, companies such as NVIDIA are still releasing new cards in limited capacities.
  • The release of the RTX 3080 Ti saw people literally camping outside of Best Buys.

Do you like to camp in the woods amid the serenity of nature, or are you fine with doing it on concrete sidewalks surrounded by folks eager to spend thousands of dollars on graphics cards?

That's the question, and for a lot of folks, the answer is the latter. Thanks to some excellent reporting over on PCMag, we now have a microscopic look at the macroscopic problem of the global graphics card shortage. At a Best Buy in West Los Angeles, the pilgrimage to RTX salvation has been formally documented so that future generations can look back and weep at humanity's 2021 rat race for rare PC hardware.

The article exposes the lengths some people will go to secure RTX cards (in this case, the hot new RTX 3080 Ti) in the current market landscape. One man drove over an hour to reach the Best Buy in question almost 24 hours ahead of time, then plopped himself down and began a day-long wait. That same man, Edward Arciga, was quoted as saying, "people offered to buy our seats. They said, 'We'll give you whatever you want. $2,500 for a seat.'"

The reasons for such desperation are many. Some people hate the idea of giving into scalpers' inflated demands. Others don't want to ruin every day of their lives by fighting bots online. But whatever the reason that brought them to Best Buy, the end goal was the same: To claim an RTX 3080 Ti. Sadly, only 64 units were available, meaning many went home empty-handed.

There's more to the story, so definitely check out the full piece. And if you want more coverage of the graphics card shortage and how various companies are responding to it, be sure to check out our plethora of coverage right here on Windows Central.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

5 Comments
  • I've seen crazy lines for Black Friday, new iPhones, game consoles and more, so to me, the story is mostly nothing new. What is new is the amount of people willing to spend as much as possible to obtain as much as possible to resell and make profit. This has been a HUGE problem that has been getting worse over the last 4 years or so and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. Then with chip shortages and companies still building hype for products that are a pain to get doesn't make it better.... Neither does the fact that some people are willing to pay the stupidly inflated prices in the aftermarket to obtain one. I can understand a small markup for things, but not hundreds of $$$
  • Scalping isn't going away and it will get worse, until legislation is in place to prevent it. Next-gen GPUs will be the same
  • I'm already camping for the next card release whatever it may be
  • I can't think of one non-essential item I would wait in a line for. I've joined late night release parties in the 90's, but that really was a party versus waiting in line and they did not sell out. It was just a really good reason to be out at midnight with other people who shared a common interest. I budgeted for a 3080 in my rebuild and got a 3070. I'm happy, but try periodically to get a 3080 FE. If BB shifted to in store only for that like the 3080 Ti, I would give up.
  • You're still lucky to have 3070. Here I don't get 3060 or 2060 either at MSRP. Retailers selling both card 2.5x the MSRP.