In this series of post I am going to share, unfortunately what has become some of the only ways to buy a graphics card at MSRP. While its important to be realistic about the time and effort it may take, it is very possible if you know where, when and how to look.
In this post I am going to share what most people consider, including myself, the best chance for obtaining a graphics card. Which is commonly referred to as "Best Buy Drops"
The Best Buy Drop is a fairly simple concept and historically has not only been for GPU's. However, the GPU shortage has created a marketplace that are new to businesses and consumers alike. Retailers have an obligation or agreement to sell products at a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).
Demand at MSRP is greater than the supply for most graphics cards, resulting in GPU's to sell very quickly. I don't want this post to get into the economic side of things to much but is helpful to understand.
Best Buy Drops have been a consumer favorite the past couple years now for a combination of reasons
Seem to have the most amount of inventory
Wide Varity of inventory (different brands)
Only somewhat realistic way to get the almighty FE (Founders Edition)
Reputable established company
Checkout process (10 minute checkout time)
Don't have bundles
Every week/every other week
Days: Random (Mon-Fri)
Time: Random (10:00AM-4:30PM EST)
Recently has been every other week on Thursday's.
*Total Tech note below
Be quick enough to add the item to your cart while their is inventory left. Inventory is based on a reginal basis and there is no way to know how little or how much is left.
I would first recommend joining a GPU stock discord with notifications. This is the only realistic way otherwise you would be stuck refreshing the page yourself... please don't. I am sure there are more than one discord notification servers out there and will link the one I use below. It also has many other resources that will be discussed in future posts, so is really some thing worth considering.
If you are completely against free discord servers for whatever reason, is also a YouTube livestream which will also be linked below. Which will alert you with audio whenever something drops.
I would highly recommend using a desktop or laptop if possible. This way you are able to have more screen real estate along with having the option for multiple tabs open. Phones will work as well.
Before the drop happens do some research. Find out what GPU or GPUs you would be interested in and that fits your needs. Also make sure it is within your budget. With this being done you can narrow the search category for easier navigation and when the time comes you are ready to pull the trigger.
Ex: I personally only look for EVGA 3060ti's along with anything Founders Edition (17 Items)
Next, understand there is no way of knowing how much inventory they have and how much is left. Speed is key as it is on a first come first serve regional basis. This why it is important to have a few cards in mind at a time.
If you have an account feel free to sign in, although shouldn't really matter as the card will be held for 10 minutes.
Just because you are in line does not guaranty you a GPU.
Founders Editions Typically sellout the quickest.
98% of the time you will not get the card you are in the que for. That is why just because you may think you are quick enough, it may not hurt to open another tab and see what else may be available.
From here, the process is pretty straight forward. You are either selected to proceed or not. BestBuy does have a great structure which allows you 10 minutes to checkout, which should be more than enough time.
I am hopeful that this information was helpful and beneficial. I am sure there are some things that I let-out and questions you may have so please feel free to leave a comment. I would also like to know if you have had success with Best Buy Drops or not or if you have any other advice!
https://discord.gg/HgFcC7hZ (Fixitfixitfixit Drops & Tech Discord)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1pUkhX4PKg&ab_channel=fixitfixitfixit (24/7 In-Stock GPU Alerts)
*Best Buy Total Tech
Best Buy Recently implemented through their Total Tech (TT) Program which costs $200 annually, access to exclusive items. On 2/10/22 they had the first ever drop for Total Tech Members only. This caused quite a bit of backlash, as it created a paywall in order to purchase any GPU. The very next day they had another drop for everyone but seemed to have limited availability.
It is likely they will have more Total Tech and non Total Tech drops in the future but remains unclear at the time. This is not a recommendation to purchase Total Tech.
*Disclaimer I am a BestBuy Shareholder