Newegg Ships Some EVGA RTX 3080s Without Packaging, Damaging Boards

When you order a brand-new $700 GPU at the very microsecond at which it went on sale, and you order it from a well-known, well-regarded vendor, there are certain things you expect to happen. You’ll probably get an order confirmation email and receipt. A brown cardboard package will be involved at some point. When you open the box, the GPU you ordered will actually include packaging.

Newegg apparently forgot this last bit in the mad scramble to ship RTX 3080s after the launch inventory vanished down the throats of an army of bots. Multiple angry customers have been posting to Reddit with examples of retail-packaged GPUs they purchased that arrived without any retail packaging whatsoever. In several cases, the cards have been physically damaged in transit.

According to EVGA, a small number of RTX 3080s that were intended for bulk purchases were instead diverted into meeting retail demand. This was an unintentional mistake and Newegg is willing to work with any affected customer to make things right. Anyone who has to RMA a card may be stuck waiting for a while, though, given how tight allocations are.

The number of GPUs arriving damaged raises the question of whether Newegg employees are packaging OEM GPUs properly. There was a time when you could throw a properly-bagged video card into a small cardboard box, wrap it with a modest amount of bubble wrap, and expect the package to arrive just fine.

Modern high-end cards, however, are not exactly light. The cards shown on Reddit have exactly the kind of damage you’d expect from a card flung around way too hard inside its packaging. You don’t have to ship a modern card in a foam shell, but the only safe alternative is to swath the card in protective wrap from all angles, including front-to-back. I feel as though I shouldn’t need to say “And maybe don’t package the unboxed GPU with the 750W power supply,” except somebody rather obviously did need to say that at some point.

Image by Reddit user lsdhead

Given how heavy modern cards are, it’s really best practices to pack them thoroughly no matter what; cards can damage themselves with their own weight if allowed to move too much, and original packaging is always going to be best.

Some of the customers who received banged-up cards like this will hopefully be able to fix them with a pair of pliers and a little careful bending. Anybody with PCB or fan blade damage may be stuck waiting on a replacement, which hopefully won’t take long. All in all, it’s a remarkably on-brand event for 2020.

Feature image by Reddit user lsdhead

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