Nvidia's Ampere (opens in new tab) milkshake has brought all the kids out to play, including scalpers. As evidenced by a now removed Reddit discussion (opens in new tab), eBay merchants are selling preorders of the GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) for extortionate prices.
In view of its specifications, the GeForce RTX 3080 is poised to be one of the fastest gaming graphics cards (opens in new tab) on the planet. Marketing-wise, Nvidia isn't holding anything back either. An Nvidia representative has assured gamers that the GeForce RTX 3080 will deliver an above 60 FPS gaming experience at 4K (opens in new tab) with maximum fidelity and ray tracing on. With such big promises, it's not difficult to imagine why everyone wants a piece of the GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab), even if it's not for personal use.
What makes the RTX 3080 so desirable? Our Ampere architecture deep dive (opens in new tab) digs into all the underlying changes that make this Nvidia's largest generational performance increase ever.
The GeForce RTX 3080 officially goes on sale on September 17, a mere three days from today. The Founders Edition sell for $699, while custom models are expected to retail for up to $900. However, opportunists on eBay (opens in new tab) are putting up GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition preorders for as high as $1,250, which is blatant price gouging.
The modus operandi is simple. The eBay seller basically purchases the GeForce RTX 3080 either directly from Nvidia or from a retailer, just like any regular customer. If successful, the seller will ship the graphics card to the buyer within an agreed period and if not, the seller offers a refund. It really is no different than paying a line stander, but it's a really expensive one at that.
Shocking as it may sound, eBay allows sellers to put up listings of products that he or she doesn't physically have under the presale policy. The platform's rules state that "Presale listings must clearly state that they are 'presale' in the title and description, and guarantee delivery within 30 days of purchase." As long as the postings abide by the indications, eBay will allow them to stay online.
That's a double whammy, then. If you buy an overpriced RTX 3080 off of eBay, there's a good chance you're just going to sit around waiting for the seller to successfully acquire the cards and then resell it to you. There's a very good chance you could buy a card directly before the eBay time window on presales closes, especially if you're willing to pay a 50% or higher markup.
We don't recommend consumers blindly purchasing a product until a proper review is out. And truth be told, unless the eBay seller has contacts at retailers or has lighting-speed reflexes to click that buy button, his or her possibility of snatching up a GeForce RTX 3080 on September 17 is pretty much the same as yours.