EVGA's Reservation Queue For NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Series Cards Is Brilliant
You would have better luck trying to acquire a bucket of plutonium than getting your hands on a GeForce RTX 3080 or GeForce RTX 3090 graphics card right now, and it would probably be cheaper (compared to what scalpers are asking for these cards). But unless you have a flux capacitor, what are you going to do with plutonium? Get arrested, that's what. Fortunately, EVGA has come to the rescue with a way to reserve a GeForce RTX 30 series graphics card that is both fair and, to quote the old Guinness commercials, brilliant!
It is a queue-based notification system, whereby you select an out-of-stock card you want, and as more inventory comes in, EVGA will notify users in the order they requested to be alerted. And to avoid having limited stock just sit there in limbo for long periods of time, users then have a few hours to order the card, or the next person in line is notified.
Here is the explanation EVGA provided on its support forum...
We have made some changes to the checkout process for EVGA.com 30 series orders. Now we are using a queue based notification system.
To sign up, use the notification button on the product you would like to be notified for. For everyone who already used the notify button previously, you are already entered. Once product is available (and it is your turn to purchase), you will receive a secure email that will allow you to purchase the product that you received a notification for. Please note that you have 8 hours to place your order, if your order is not complete within 8 hours, the product will be released back into queue system.
Also note that your email address that was used for the notify system MUST MATCH an email that has a registered EVGA account, if an account is not available with that email, you will need to create one before you can purchase.
Also note that this system will be available for US store first and evaluating for other regions.
Brilliant! Granted, this does not solve the fact that demand is simply exceeding supply, which NVIDIA reckons will be the case into next year. But what this does accomplish is it gives interested buyers a way to get in line and simply wait, without playing the F5/refresh game that, at this point, is getting old. And of course really eager gamers can still hunt for cards at places like Newegg, Amazon, or wherever else while they wait, in hopes of getting lucky quicker.
If you would like to get in line at EVGA, just head over to its GeForce RTX 30 series landing page, find the out-of-stock card you are interested in, and click the Auto Notify button. You will be asked to provide your first and last name and email address, and verify that you are not a robot (you're not, right? RIGHT!?). Then kick back and wait. And if you had already done this sometime in the past, you are already in the queue and do not need to sign up again.
Quite frankly, this is how auto-notify systems should be handled in situations like this. While this is a first-world problem in the grand scheme of things, it is highly frustrating to get an email notifying you that a product is back in stock, only for it to be sold out immediately again. For this launch, those kinds of emails are practically worthless, because so many people are just refreshing product pages and scooping up available units the moment they come back into stock.
So, kudos to EVGA for implementing a sensible solution.