Do not camp on your local Best Buy for Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Ti. The retailer will only sell the graphics card online this time.
On Wednesday, a customer service representative from Best Buy told PCMag that the RTX 3070 Ti will not be offered in stores, citing an internal message sent from the company. An employee of a Best Buy store in San Francisco also told us that the RTX 3070 Ti would only be available through BestBuy.com. The company’s listing for the Founders Edition card also states “online only.”
Credit: Best Buy
As a result, the upcoming launch should not be a repeat of the RTX 3080 Ti event. Last week, Best Buy decided to exclusively sell the Founders Edition card in stores, and used the practice of selling the cards only online.
The event generated massive lines at Best Buy outlets across the country at a time when GPUs have been sold out for several months. However, many of the same stores received only 64 units or less, which left hundreds of customers disappointed.
Credit: Michael Kan / PCMag
It is still unclear why Best Buy surpasses personal sales. We sent several emails and phoned Best Buy’s PR team, but have not yet heard back.
On the one hand, in-store sales for the RTX 3080 Ti gave consumers a chance to avoid battling scalp-powered robots for the GPUs. But on the flip side, it’s not fun to camp on Best Buy all night for a GPU.
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We witnessed this last week at the West Los Angeles Best Buy store. “As you can see, there is not much social distancing on the line,” said a consumer named Joseph, who camped all night for the RTX 3080 Ti. “There are no trash cans.”
If you are planning to buy RTX 3070 Ti tomorrow, we expect the Best Kay website to start selling the card some time after 9am EST. But be prepared for sales to be flooded with user traffic from other buyers.