Although it might be uncommon for scalpers to completely clean out entire stocks, it happened with the RTX 3080 and it happened within seconds.
How? According to reports from PC Mag, the scalpers employed a bot to do most of the dirty work for them. This made it almost effortless for a handful of scalpers to snatch up dozens of cards for themselves before gloating about it on now-deleted social media posts. One scalper was able to, reportedly, snag a total of 42 RTX 3080s with the goal of dramatically increasing their prices and selling them via marketplaces like eBay.
While scalping might not be anything new, especially not in regards to performance PC parts, having bots completely clean out the limited supply of such a cutting edge tech stings. Especially when the only purpose was to quench just a few people’s greedy thirst for some quick cash.
Examples of just how insanely priced some of these cards are can be found all over the internet, including on eBay where you can easily find cards being sold for upwards of $40,000, which upset gamers have gladly taken to sabotaging.
Following the turbulent release, Nvidia released a statement apologizing for the chaos and promised that more RTX 3080 were on their way. In their apology statement, Nvidia states, “This morning we saw unprecedented demand for the GeForce RTX 3080 at global retailers, including the NVIDIA online store. At 6 a.m. pacific we attempted to push the NVIDIA store live.” They continued by saying, “This morning we saw unprecedented demand for the GeForce RTX 3080 at global retailers, including the NVIDIA online store. At 6 a.m. pacific we attempted to push the NVIDIA store live.” They proceeded to confirm the use of bots by mentioning, “To stop bots and scalpers on the NVIDIA store, we’re doing everything humanly possible, including manually reviewing orders, to get these cards in the hands of legitimate customers.” Finally, they conclude with an affirmation, “Our NVIDIA team and partners are shipping more RTX 3080 cards every day to retailers.”
While Nvidia’s apology might not magically spawn an RTX 3080 in your PC, what it does is confirm that more are on their way… Eventually.
Considering we have yet to see the release of the RTX 3090 and the – probably more popular than RTX 3080 – RTX 3070, this news of scalpers evolving comes as troubling. It was hard enough competing with scalpers the “old fashioned” way, but when they’re using bots that can clean out entire inventories in a matter of seconds – it’s a different game altogether.
Without a direct fix or some kind of human-input, this problem will only continue to get worse as we move forward. But, those are just my thoughts. I’m interested in hearing what you have to say in the comment section below, so please let me know!