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Registered: ‎08-09-2021

GPU in-store Restock - my two experiences

     So as trying to get the GPU that you want or any GPU at all with the chip shortage recently has been nearly impossible. Last month I heard best buy was doing an in-store restock on October 25th i thought this would be my chance. I live in Charleston, SC and i think they try and spread the stores equally? but all of the restocks were at least two hours from my house. So me and a friend decided to go to Fayetteville, NC store and made the over 3 hour drive. We arrived later than we would have liked about 1am and when pulling in we were shocked. Not at how many people there were but how many EMPTY CHAIRS there were, especially on the front wall of the store. Not even half of them actually had people in them. On the side of the store this got better but still many identical chairs set up without people. So we set up in the back and after walking up and asking what's up with it the people by them (sitting in the same brand and color chair as the 2,3 or even in one case 5 chairs ALL EMPTY) replied they were "saving the chairs for their friends. Obviously, we weren't very pleased to hear this but we returned to the back and settled in for the over 6-hour wait.

 

     As the night rolled on the line grew behind us. a few trickled in as front with more the later it got. Then around 6-6:30 the flood gates broke loose... people started showing up and almost all of them were going to chairs in front of us. The ones their friends were "saving" for them. We went from having maybe 20-25 people in front of us to about 50-60 in a matter of an hour. So after getting there and sitting most of the night 5-6 hours in all these people that ad obviously been at home asleep came to get in front of us just because their friend brought extra chairs and set them up. We were not happy thinking we wouldn't be able to get the 3080's we wanted and sure enough they were out at 7:45 when they got back to us after handing them out to the front half of which had shown up only an hour or less before the handouts started. Not to mention these people weren't gamers. We could hear many people asking their friends which one "sells for the most" or which one they should get right in front of the best buy employees handing out tickets as they sat and contemplated. Not to mention i hate to stereotype but gamers know other gamers.. especially the ones that really intend to drop $700 on a gpu!! What could we do at that point though? So we got another card not wanting to go home empty-handed and decided to get there earlier next time. At least i ended up helping out a buddy that wanted a less powerful one and sold it to him.

 

     Round 2 October 1st, We planned to show up even earlier but again after getting off work and traffic we got there about 9:30 still much earlier than the 1am of last time. We were mad when we pulled in to see the whole front row covered in empty chairs. No exaggeration there were maybe 8 people but 30+ chairs lined up. One kid sat in the middle of black kiddie chairs and those grey fold up chairs near the front of the line "reserving" 8-10 spots by himself. The line this time was much longer than when we arrived at 1am having us back about 20 yards and behind 20-30 people at least, but so many more empty chairs. This time the empty chair count tripled or quadrupled the number of actual people We were screwed again.. but not because of the number of people currently in line. We had seen this before and knew people would pour in after us just to be in line in front of us.but this time we were in for a near 12 hour wait and not thinking we would get one at all. but we kept our cool, went to the back and waited. hardly anyone showed up behind us this time only about 7-8 people until close to 6 and again the flood gates opened. the parking lot filled up. before we knew it there went from being maybe 40 people in front of to close to 150. They continued to cut in line and hardly anyone went to the back. There was a kid a bit in front of use with 8 chairs in a circle and 8 guys walked up around 6:30 and handed the kid some cash and they all sat down in front of us. We couldn't believe it. It got so bad people started to go from farter back in the line and just start walking up straight cutting people. Once or twice a fight almost broke out. Then those 8 people that had the chairs in a circle went from the back corner of the store to the front corner. One guy freaked out and started yelling that they had passed he said "are you all going to just let this happen they just walked up and cut" the people just said "yeah we did what are you gonna do about it. He maybe had 2 friends and was outnumbered by bigger and much.. let's just say scarier-looking people he went back. The line continued in this fashion getting worse.

 

     Finally, the best buy employees showed up around 7, The guy went to tell them what had happened and pointed out some of the people that had cut. Not even the ones that had "reserved chairs". The best buy employees caught a tone and said "its not our job to police the line. Dont tell us how to do our job, in fewer words. They went back and forth saying the same thing in different ways until they just turned around and walked off. They did come back about ten mins later after going inside and told them if they had cut to go back to their spots. They eventually did. Idk what or who changed their minds that ten mins inside but these were the 8 guys that had already "reserved" chairs in front of us so it didnt help our situation. I just couldnt believe they were walking past that kid with the 10 chairs reserved in the front with those crap chairs and didn't care to say anything as they were still empty at 7am. Well 7:20 rolls around and 3 more cars carrying 10-12 people show up and the kid let them in the very front with all those reserved chairs and nothing was done about it. At 7:40 they finally came out and the manager-looking guy came to the back and said "one transaction per card, if you dont transact your own purchase you arent getting a card. Cool i thought this might stop the big groups of people most likely buying them all for one person. but nope when they got back to usa all the founders were gone. So we got an evga card again not wanting to go home empty handed but mad we got there with max 40 people in front of us and now there was closer to 160+. As we went around the corner and the line tightened we saw two different big groups blatantly passing off the same credit card coming out with 3080's those 10 chairs reserved, same card 10 3080's from one kid being there all night after they were there maybe 20-30 mins. The manager was standing at the door and 3 more people walked out to cards each in bags and walked to the back of the parking lot was a tesla model y had just pulled up. threw them all in and got some cash and all went back to their cars and left. another tesla pulled up to collect the ten cards from the other group same thing. then they pulled up to the front both of them together and walked the line giving people the cash they had obviously sent for cards. They ended up leaving with 12 cards in one and 10 in the other. only paying the people like 20-40$ each it wasnt much because i guess it was their card they used to buy them. He also had 5 ps5 in the truck of the model y so he was obviously a scalper. all this right in front of the door and manager as i watched my dream card disapear into the abyss that is ebay for 2-3x the price im sure. My friend even went and told him what was going during it all.Nothing was done. The card continued to be handed off the cards were collected at the door and carried to the teslas. all from people that hadnt been there long at all paying with the same card. Sickening to watch as i held my puny evga 3060. eventually, i figured the manager might be in on it but then i remembered him saying he doesn't care and its not his job to police the line.

 

  All this to say best buy please please do a better job with this great responsibility you carry with these gpus. 78% go to scalpers. I know they cant all be stopped but at least give gamers a chance. make it fair to the people who play by therules. What happened to tis company that said they cared about gamers and people. There are more people at these than on black friday but during that there are fences and cops. So im just asking if nothing else have someone cops or employees policing the lines! Don't let people reserve spots with chairs! Maybe even ask them a simple question at checkout like "how much vram does this card has as any gamer willing to spend 400-$1500 on a graphics card will know how much vram is on it. but do it at the register so they cant cheat or look it up beforehand. But at the very least stop this unfair reserving of double-digit spaces and the cutting of the lines. We sat there longer than 80% of the people and were in the back 20% of the line. ridiculous. please I'm begging you I just want a 3080 for my gaming rig! i dont want to pay 2k+ because some scumbag decided to scalp 20 of them from you.

 

    Thats my story and im sure its happening at every location with the slack careless attitudes of the employees i saw. I know its a little extra work but please make this right before the next restock! Nvidia trust you with teir prized founders edition cards to be a fair sale for gamers as Nvidia has said thats who they want their cards to go through. I dont want to be sending an extended story to Nvidia next time asking for their help on this. Please best buy be the store i know you can be. For teh gamers!