Image: NVIDIA

Bots, scalpers, busted websites, and a whole lot of frustration. Now that the GeForce RTX 3080 has officially gone down in history as one of the messiest and embarrassing GPU launches ever, NVIDIA has gone ahead and published a Q&A to answer some of your most heated questions, like what the heck went wrong, when the stock situation will improve, and what type of countermeasures are being implemented to fend off those despicable resellers.

We’ve copied the complete Q&A below, but one amusing claim is that NVIDIA had never dealt with this level of bots before. The company is working on CAPTCHA and other security upgrades to make the buying experience easier for legitimate enthusiasts. NVIDIA is also confirming orders manually before they ship.

What happened? I was really excited for the GeForce RTX 3080, but the launch has made it near impossible to find one and this is really disappointing.

The demand for the GeForce RTX 3080 was truly unprecedented. We and our partners underestimated it.

Over 50 major global retailers had inventory on the day of launch. Our retail partners reported record traffic to their sites, in many cases exceeding Black Friday. This caused crashes, delays and other issues for their customers. We knew the GeForce RTX 3080 would be popular, but none of us expected that much traffic on the first day.

What’s the overall GeForce RTX 3080 stock situation?

The GeForce RTX 3080 is in full production. We began shipping GPUs to our partners in August, and have been increasing the supply weekly. Partners are also ramping up capacity to meet the unprecedented demand. We understand that many gamers are unable to buy a GeForce RTX 3080 right now and we are doing everything we can to catch up quickly. Keep checking in with your favorite retailer to be notified of availability. You may use the GeForce RTX 3080 product finder to find available cards at local retailers.

Why does availability start with such low inventory? Why not wait until more cards are produced?

We have great supply – just not for this level of demand. It is typical for initial demand to exceed supply for our new GPUs. Our global network of partners are ramping as hard as they can to get the new GPUs to the more than 100 million GeForce gamers around the world. Our philosophy has always been to get the latest technology into the hands of gamers as fast as possible. As we race to build more GeForce RTX 3080s, we suggest not buying from opportunistic resellers who are attempting to take advantage of the current situation.

What changes are you making to the NVIDIA Store moving forward?

As with many other etailers, the NVIDIA Store was also overrun with malicious bots and resellers. To combat this challenge we have made the following changes: we moved our NVIDIA Store to a dedicated environment, with increased capacity and more bot protection. We updated the code to be more efficient on the server load. We integrated CAPTCHA to the checkout flow to help offset the use of bots. We implemented additional security protections to the store APIs. And more efforts are underway.

You said the NVIDIA store would have GeForce RTX 3080s at 6 a.m. on September 17th, why did the store immediately go from “notify me” to “out of stock”?

At 6 a.m. pacific we attempted to push the NVIDIA store live. Instantly, the NVIDIA store was inundated with over 10 times the traffic of our previous generation launch, which took our internal systems to a crawl and encountered an error preventing sales from starting properly at 6:00am pacific. We were able to resolve the issues and process orders later than planned.

I saw individuals who use bots/scripts celebrating the purchase of multiple GeForce RTX 3080 GPUs! Did bots get all of the available supply?

No. While individuals using bots may have shown images of email inboxes filled with confirmed orders, NVIDIA has cancelled hundreds of orders manually before they were able to ship.

Why did the NVIDIA Store not have any preventative measures in place to battle bots (i.e. CAPTCHA,etc)?

The NVIDIA Store had many behind-the-scenes security measures in place which proved sufficient for previous launches. This is the first time that we have seen bots at this scale and sophistication. Since launch, we have been quickly working on numerous security upgrades, including CAPTCHA. We will also continue to manually monitor purchases to help ensure cards get in the hands of legitimate consumers.

Why did NVIDIA send “Notify Me” emails knowing that RTX 3080 FE was out of stock?

We intended for “Notify Me” emails to go out at 6:00 a.m. with the targeted start of availability. Due to the extreme demand and site traffic, we were unable to properly process orders on time. The emails were held back until the errors were resolved later than morning. Still, inventory sold out very quickly, so we were sold out by time most people opened their emails. In retrospect, we should not have sent the “Notify Me” emails.

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11 Comments

  1. [QUOTE=”hubaduba, post: 18696, member: 1423″]
    P-A-P-E-R L-A-U-N-C-H
    [/QUOTE]
    “Paper launch” implies that no products are shipping, yet. People have been getting their cards as early as this past Saturday, though. Words no longer have meanings these days, I guess.

  2. It might as well have been called a paper launch. AIB’s saying it’s going to take months just to ship 10-20k units. That’s pitiful.

  3. [QUOTE=”Riccochet, post: 18772, member: 4″]
    It might as well have been called a paper launch. AIB’s saying it’s going to take months just to ship 10-20k units. That’s pitiful.
    [/QUOTE]
    One board partner (out of 17) said it would take [B][I]one month[/I][/B] to fill 20,000 orders. How many orders are the other 16 partners currently fulfilling and how long will it take them? How many units are being sold and shipped to customers by NVIDIA, themselves? NVIDIA have already stated that new product is being shipped to partners and retailers every 2 days.

    A paper launch literally means that a company says a product is launched, but nobody can buy it. As I said, people already have cards in their hands and are gaming with them. Just because one particular person is finding it hard to order does not mean nobody anywhere has one.

    Ugh, people are making me sound like a fan boy trying to stop this FUD 🤮

  4. [QUOTE=”Armenius, post: 18778, member: 180″]
    One board partner (out of 17) said it would take [B][I]one month[/I][/B] to fill 20,000 orders. How many orders are the other 16 partners currently fulfilling and how long will it take them? How many units are being sold and shipped to customers by NVIDIA, themselves? NVIDIA have already stated that new product is being shipped to partners and retailers every 2 days.

    A paper launch literally means that a company says a product is launched, but nobody can buy it. As I said, people already have cards in their hands and are gaming with them. Just because one particular person is finding it hard to order does not mean nobody anywhere has one.

    Ugh, people are making me sound like a fan boy trying to stop this FUD 🤮
    [/QUOTE]
    I completely agree and was thinking the same yesterday but too tired to post it. I’m sure that NV has some legitimate business reasons for not wanting to post their numbers but it sure could help with a lot of the bad press and soured feelings about this event.

  5. [QUOTE=”Armenius, post: 18778, member: 180″]
    One board partner (out of 17) said it would take [B][I]one month[/I][/B] to fill 20,000 orders. How many orders are the other 16 partners currently fulfilling and how long will it take them? How many units are being sold and shipped to customers by NVIDIA, themselves? NVIDIA have already stated that new product is being shipped to partners and retailers every 2 days.

    A paper launch literally means that a company says a product is launched, but nobody can buy it. As I said, people already have cards in their hands and are gaming with them. Just because one particular person is finding it hard to order does not mean nobody anywhere has one.

    Ugh, people are making me sound like a fan boy trying to stop this FUD 🤮
    [/QUOTE]

    Yeah I know what you mean. I said this in another thread but everybody blaming Nvidia for not predicting something that not only has never happened before but also something that Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy didn’t predict either. A bunch of Nike bots wiping out the entire, worldwide stock in literally seconds.

    If anybody is to blame, it’s these pieces of human debris that spammed the bots and are now gouging with 200% markups on Ebay.

  6. Scalping video cards at launch is not a new phenomenon. Scalping was rampant during the mining boom. The 10XX and 20XX failed to come close to meeting demand at launch. Three times is a trend. Nvidia saying, “Golly, we just didn’t expect people to want to buy the 3080 at launch, and we sure didn’t expect scalpers to use bots” doesn’t fly. They get credit for great performance after the 20XX series couldn’t offer an substantial upgrade to the 1080Ti at the same price point, but (as is often the case), the marketing is so thick you need a shovel. Nvidia rushed the “launch” to beat Big Navi to market. We can debate the semantics of what constitutes a “paper launch”, but can you buy a 3080 today?

    AMD has been guilty of the same “launch” marketing tactics, but there seems to have been a change (at least on the GPU side) with the departure of Raja. I hope AMD has used the Big Navi delay to build stock. If not, they will deserve no more slack than Nvidia does now.

  7. ‘Bots’ made by a couple of cats in a basement defeated the supposed ‘AI company’ ok sure… That is more sad and pathetic than saying they let the ‘bots’ do their work.
    Yes they let the bots do their work…. Expecting articles touting such high insane demand… Instead it is mostly backfiring big time, same as with price either due to scalpers or due to partners doing higher than msrp for no reason (if the founders edition has the most expensive cooler there is no reason why partners with ‘normal’ coolers go above msrp).
    Are scalpers really ‘demand’?

    Also, AMD , are you taking notes?
    Would it benefit AMD to have a smooth launch?,.. with a system fighting bots, and with orders being human approved on realtime and so on…With a more significant stockpile that perhaps even survives initial demand? In msrp or lower?
    I think it would benefit them greatly… But not sure if this is just bs thoughts.

  8. I don’t think you can effectively fight the scalpers.

    what I do think would work:

    Don’t take pre orders, or at least if you do, leave the quantity open ended and you know where you are in the shipping queue. Better yet, Do a hard launch with product. Announce how many units are shipping.

    scalpers may still scalp, but by being transparent about it it sure takes a lot of the wind out of their sails (sales?)

  9. If companies want to stop or hinder scalpers all they have to do is launch with a reasonable stock of product. If people can readily get their hands on the product there is little or no reason for scalpers to bother.

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