Waiting process for a GPU


I have been going to the St Louis Park, MN location for a couple days now and the instructions given do not seem to work as intended. I have been arriving before 7 with maybe 1-2 other people there, scanning the barcode and getting the 'waitlist is currently closed' message every time. Are we expected to refresh the page for up to two hours until it is opened or is it actually not going to be open at all?

If that is the case, there does not seem to be any benefit in getting there early at all as by 7:15 there was about 10 other people there, now all reloading the site frantically on their phones trying to get on the closed waitlist.

These last couple of days there has been a sign that says 'no GPUs today' taped on the pillars outside the store. Is this confirmed before 7am, when people are arriving? I ask because I just leave after a bit assuming (because there is no one to ask) that there is not and will not be any GPUs available that day.

I just want to know what I need to do that will give me an actual chance at getting a GPU for my build.


  • MisterGuy

    I would like to add that after refreshing the page for over an hour, it did open, however it says there are over 190 people on this list and that the wait is 5.4 hours. This is definitely not first come first serve as the note you have posted says.

  • TSTDavey

    Hello @MisterGuy and thanks for posting on the Microcenter Community Forum. Some stores are no longer using the waitlist link and tracking waitlist with a different program. We'd recommend to not rely on the waitlist link and just visit the store when you are able to.

  • Tr1cky
    Another program? I drove over a half hour multiple times as well. The qr code is still being used and it says "unauthorized" at first then says too busy until finally I'm 150 on the list. Still get a text saying where I'm at in line and only however many cards. Why is it unauthorized at first then finally goes through only to be too late? 
  • MisterGuy
    Name Dropper First Comment
    edited March 2021

    @TSTDavey I have been onsite in the morning for a few days and one of the first people there, if not the first, each time. The St Louis Park, MN store is still using the waitlist link. Only after trial and error did I figure out that it is randomly opened at some time within the window of 7-9am. At the point the list is opened, people who showed up early and people who just showed up, all get the same shot at being 1-150 in line. This is a free for all, not a first come, first serve sytem as the signs say. Bots can also be used to refresh pages multiple times a second and get in first.

    At the very least, the waitlist should open exactly at 7, to let people who are actually there get a shot at being in line in the order they showed up.

    The signs posted outside have been there all week and state 'no GPUs today', even when there is a truck out back, so I have left instead of wait as that is what I am looking for. Is this sign accurate or just left up? It would make much more sense to have a sign in the window with a date listed for signs like this, so customers know whether or not they should sit for up to two hours, frantically refreshing a web page hoping to get a decent spot in line for something that may not even be there.

    I love Microcenter and I would rather make purchases here than other places, but I love it even more when things make sense and work.

  • TSKyleH

    Hello @MisterGuy I am sorry for the confusion this process has been for you. We are actively trying to work with all of our stores to unify the process so that it is the same at all of our stores. Currently the information we have been able to confirm is that vouchers are to be used for many of these limited items. Details on the vouchers can be found at https://community.microcenter.com/kb/articles/245-limited-availability-product-launch-faq. Regarding the signage I wouldn't trust that until the normal store opening time of 10am, although we do have staff arriving before we open, they may not have verified the information right away.

  • steelaw
    What a horrible system you have micro center no management skills whatsoever no directions to employees leaving customers confused and expect them to stand outside and wait for hours at the chance of purchasing a video card you have to do better
  • LettuceB
    First Comment
    edited March 2021
    The issue is Microcenter was trusting that Waitwhile could keep bots out (which it can), but the problem isn't bots.  It's local scalpers, miners and likely gamers hammering the system with login scripts and page refreshes.  While these scripts will appear bot-like, the fact they're coming from ip addresses and machines used by individuals allows them through.  There's been so much traffic it appears Waitwhile limited max  connections 3 or so weeks ago (their perogative) which has resulted in the too busy error.  I feel your pain.

    Right before the traffic was throttled there were 50 or more signups within 2 seconds.  That doesn't work for the normal bloke filling in the form by hand.

    What's funny is people refreshing the page are part of the problem.  It's self updating and the Join Wait-list button will be enabled almost immediately with zero people in line.  A refresh will slow things down.

    I sent a long winded message into Microcenter corporate this past Sunday about the issue and the fact it's impossible to get a good spot in line without abusing the system.  While an online wait-list could benefit me I'd rather see a system that benefits the end user wanting a single gpu.  The local craigslist has had several scalpers move cards from the store in the morning to craigslist that afternoon.

    It's currently 9:20am on March 24th and it appears the system is not being used today.  Someone else will need to chime in about the past two days... Hopefully they've moved on.

    As for store management, I can only empathize.  Unless they get enough feedback the system can't change, and the people that were getting GPUs were the abusers... They're not going to speak up.  I wish them luck finding a more equitable solution.
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