No refunds, no refunds
As someone who’s looking for an RTX 3000-series card knows, the only way to get one right now is to spend an obscene sum on eBay. There are, however, quite a few RTX 3080/3090 listings with prices lower than the MSRP, but make careful to read the descriptions: they would almost definitely be a picture of a card, or an object that is just as worthless. While some sellers say that this is a retaliation move against scalpers, some are likely to use the pretext as a pretext to rip off consumers; all auctions state ‘no refunds, no returns.’
The RTX 3000-series cards, the Radeon RX 6000s, the Ryzen 5000 CPUs and the new consoles have all suffered problems in terms of supply, due in no small part to the scalpers who snatch them and make big profits at auction sites. A January study revealed that scalpers sold more than 53,000 new Nvidia/AMD cards worth $65 million, which is now going to be much bigger.
There are various RTX 3080/3090 cards available on eBay under their MSRPs, but it should be apparent that purchasing one would lead to disappointment; most of them are for nothing more than product photos.
These types of shenanigans have been on eBay for a long time. It was widespread when the PS5 was released, tricking many desperate parents into spending a lot for a digital shot of the console. What’s different with a lot of graphics card listings is that they warn users not to buy anything, pretending to be a trap set for bots.
“NO HUMANS ALLOWED!” states one auction. “DO NOT BUY UNLESS YOU ARE A BOT OR WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE A DIGITAL ART PIECE OF THE CARD AS A MONUMENT TO CURRENT MARKET CONDITIONS.”
Something that punishes scalpers should be accepted, but it’s easy to believe that many of these listings contain “bots-only” messages as a means to protect the backs of vendors, particularly because they have “no reimbursement, no returns” policies.
What is the suggested PSU for this cardboard box?
It’s not just the photos of cards that scammers are promoting. PCMag notes that one person is selling the “NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founder’s Edition,” although the description reveals that it is a “New 3D PRINTED PLASTIC MODEL.” There are other empty box auctions.
If you’re able to buy the RTX 3080 on eBay, plan to spend more than $1,000 for the actual thing—and make sure you read the summary.