One of the more reliable places to obtain a current-generation NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics card -- at MSRP -- has been Best Buy. From time to time, the U.S. retailer stocks these best graphics cards for gaming for anyone to purchase. And in months past, the company has even held in-store events where anyone lined up at a brick and mortar location could purchase one card at MSRP (if they were lucky enough to receive a ticket).
That is all changing now, and it's because of Best Buy's Totaltech program (opens in new tab). The full GeForce RTX 30 range was available to purchase this afternoon (including the flagship GeForce RTX 3090) at Best Buy, but the retailer limited those sales to customers that paid an extra $199 for a Totaltech membership. The yearly membership fee entitles you to such perks as free Geek Squad tech support, free 2-day shipping, 60-day returns, and 24 months of product protection (among other benefits).
One other benefit is "Access to exclusive Totaltech member prices," which is apparently what went down with this most recent GeForce RTX 30 drop. Best Buy's shenanigans were first spotted by @CameronRitz, who tracks the in-stock status for various hot ticket items like GPUs and gaming consoles.
Four hours after Best Buy opened the floodgates for the GeForce RTX 30 cards, they're now all currently out of stock. Inventory usually evaporates very quickly during these drops, but we'd imagine that it lasted a bit longer today due to the new Totaltech prerequisite.
Okay it’s all GPUs are Total tech Lmao sheeshFebruary 10, 2022
We understand why Best Buy is trying to squeeze as much money as possible from customers with specialty programs like Totaltech. It's a business, after all, and Newegg similarly toys with gamers' emotions with its Newegg Shuffle promotion. But for enthusiasts that have been put through the wringer for well over a year with inflated GPU prices, Totaltech just pours more salt on the wounds.
Best Buy's confidence to extend the $200 Totaltech paywall to GPUs isn't surprising given that it has done the same with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X during past stock drops. In other words, buckle up folks; it's going to be a bumpy ride!
given this wont last long (the tech shortage) term they are just damaging what credibility they have and ppl will just avoid em later on.
just seems lei ka shot in foot.
Of course it fell on deaf ears as they have no control over the matter.
My local Microcenter has GPUs in stock but they are charging more for a 3080 than BB charges for a 3080ti.
Regarding Microcenter, the last I tried them, and this was late last summer when I was building my new rig, their shuffle program did not have any price gouging. Maybe that's changed now, but I do know one thing: the GPU market is getting worse, not better. My EVGA card is up $80 on NewEgg from $1.399.99 to $1,479.99, and that's just at retail price. I actually got another GPU from NewEgg on their shuffle, an ASUS Strix RTX 3070 for $799.99 by itself, for my nephew's gaming build for his birthday. So persistence does pay off if you keep plugging away. It took many weeks, nearly two months, to eventually "win" both cards to purchase each time. You will have a better chance of winning with a bundle combo on a GPU. You can always sell what you don't need. With Best Buy's BS upsell $200 "service" bundle, you cannot sell it! And who the hell needs 7x24 tech support from some contracted 3rd party by Best Buy for a GPU anyway?
Edited reason: fingers type faster than brain wants
We'll see how that goes. It has been years since I set foot in my local BB store.
Retailers in Eurore are de facto GPU scalpers now. That is why many here including me left GPU purchase/upgrade for better times or never.