Nvidia’s RTX 3080 launch last week was a total mess, one Nvidia is still navigating the fallout from following its public apology earlier today. The aftermath of the graphics cards selling out in a matter of minutes at pretty much every major US retailer is that the limited supply that does still exist is being hawked on third-party seller sites in increasingly obnoxious fashions. That includes Amazon Marketplace sellers, which are now notifying interested buyers of available units at prices as exorbitant as $5,000 per card.
This isn’t a failure of Amazon so much as it is an act of trolling and exploitation on behalf of the third-party Amazon sellers, some of which are abusing the notification system built into the e-commerce platform. Typically, Amazon users can set alerts for certain products listed as currently unavailable by clicking the “email me” option on the product page. But if the seller happens to re-list a product, like this random seller Sports Authentics listing PNY’s version of the RTX 3080, as available even at a ridiculous price like $2,999, an Amazon email will arrive in your inbox informing you of the “deal.”
Every listing, save the PNY one, on the official Nvidia RTX 3080 product page on Amazon is listed as unavailable without any price information whatsoever. So clicking the “email me” option on any one of them is a reasonable thing for interested consumers to do, as many are likely not expecting to get emails telling them one is available from a company they’ve never head of for the price of a used car.
The situation isn’t going much better on eBay, where initial RTX 3080 orders were going for thousands of dollars following the launch sales last week. In an apparent attempt to retaliate against the scalpers, some eBay users are listing Nvidia RTX 3080 “paper editions,” which are just printed pieces of paper featuring a picture of the GPU. This ended listing here has one for $472, though it seems it never sold. And this Reddit thread here features discussion of using bots to artificially inflate the prices of scalper listings to ensure the orders can never be reliably fulfilled because the prices are all inflated to $50,000 to $80,000 by bot accounts with no legitimate payment methods attached.
Of course, there are still plenty of seemingly genuine RTX 3080 listings on eBay, many hundreds of dollars above the MSRP. It’s not clear whether these listings are proving successful, but until Nvidia remedies the situation with more retailer stock, its hot new GPU will continue to be plagued by aftermarket toxicity.