Limited Availability Product Launch FAQ — Micro Center

Limited Availability Product Launch FAQ

Hello all!

 

We’ve seen several inquiries about the processes we have set in place for vouchers and new product releases. In a continued effort of transparency and to better serve you, we wanted to respond to these FAQs and share info about what we have implemented. If you still have questions and the answer wasn’t found here, please feel free to comment below!

 

Q. How do I get one of these products?

A. These items are only available in-store and are only available on a first-come, first-served basis. Due to its high demand, this item typically sells out within minutes of hitting our shelves. A voucher will be required to purchase a limited availability item.

 

Q. What is a voucher?

A. A voucher is a small piece of paper that allows the named holder to exchange it for the listed product. A voucher is issued when we receive an item in limited quantities. It has a security sticker that corresponds with a product available in the store.

Here is an example of what a voucher would look like.


Q. Why do you issue vouchers?

A. On occasion, Micro Center will offer promotional items with limited availability, such as graphic cards, processors, game consoles, etc. Most recently, CoVID-19 has caused issues with the production and distribution of these high-demand products for an unknown length of time. 

 

This demand, along with limited availability, has created lines outside Micro Center stores most mornings before the store opens. We’re using vouchers to increase fairness and promote a safe shopping experience to our customers while shopping for products with limited product/availability.

 

Q. What is the voucher process?

A. Customers in line will be called one at a time to get your name and phone number. We will then ask to see the text sent to you to confirm your phone number. After the text is confirmed, we will issue you a voucher to take back to our custom Build-Your-Own PC department. Once you have checked in at the podium there, you are free to shop for the rest of your items as long as you would like.

 

Q. How do I get a voucher?

A. Vouchers will be given out by our store associates or management when the store opens. Customers in line will be called one at a time to get your name and phone number.

 

Q. How long is my voucher valid?

A. Vouchers will only be valid for a specified amount of time after the store opens on the day that they are issued.

 

Q. How many vouchers will be given out?

A. We are only able to give out one voucher per product type when we have it in stock. Each voucher is tied to a specific product that has the same corresponding number on it.

 

Q. Can I get more than one voucher?

A. Vouchers are only used for limited-quantity items, which are limited to 1 Per Household. You would only be able to receive one voucher per 30-day period with an accompanying driver’s license or state I.D.* With limited availability, we want all of our customers to have a chance to be a part of this new product release.

 

Q. Once I have my voucher, what do I do?

A. After a voucher has been issued, you may go back to our Build-Your-Own PC department. Once you have checked in at the podium and redeemed your voucher, you are free to shop for the rest of your items as long as you would like.

 

Q. How early should I arrive to get a voucher?

A. This will vary from store to store. We’d strongly recommend visiting your local Micro Center to speak with our store associates or ask other customers in the community what time has worked best for them.

 

Q. Can you hold or reserve a Limited Availability item for me?

A. Due to the high demand and limited stock, we do not have enough of these items to offer this option at this time. Currently, a voucher is required to purchase these items.

 

Q. When does Micro Center restock? When are shipments received?

A. Shipments will vary by the store for these high-demand products as delivery dates and times are subject to change due to the nature of trucking schedules, the weather, etc. We recommend coming to the store and speaking with associates in our Build Your Own department. They may be able to provide an idea of when they receive shipments.

 

Q. I saw there was stock online. Why was this removed before the store opened?

A. Our locations have consistently seen customers line up every morning and throughout the day, in which any stock that comes in to be instantly claimed/sold. Our website does update with each transaction.

 

Q. Why did I see price increases for these products?

A. Our suppliers have increased prices due to semiconductor shortages, increased shipping costs, with carriers prioritizing CoVID vaccinations and tariffs.

 

Q. Can I check the website for current inventory?

A. As these items are in high demand, the only way to ensure that an item is not allocated to those in line or vouchered out is by visiting the store location. Keep in mind; these items are selling quickly upon being received!

 

Q. How are lines handled at the store?

A. Our stores have dedicated areas, marked by signs, in which customers can line up for these products. Our stores will not recognize any unauthorized lists that are not provided by a store associate. Given the current pandemic, we ask that you continue to do your part in following CDC social distancing guidelines. Please visit our store for any restrictions in the line process.  

For more information on our response to CoVID-19, please follow this link:

https://www.microcenter.com/site/customer-support/coronavirus-response.aspx

 

Q. Are associates able to make purchases of high demand products?

A. As with many high-demand products at launch, employees are restricted from making purchases so we can get new products into the hands of our loyal customers. Once the restricted period is over, any associates wishing to purchase a high demand product will have to follow the same procedures that our customers follow. We do not allow the sale of these products outside of store hours, nor do we allow any holds for these items. 



*In all stores, excluding those in California and Massachusetts.

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Comments

  • When is the restriction period going to end?
  • @Azzyung just chiming in. There's currently a shortage in GPUs across the industry. Once the GPU supply can meet the demand, decisions may be made on releasing the GPU 1 per household restrictions. But until then, it may stay as 1 GPU per household.

  • I have worked in Sales, Sales Management and Marketing my entire adult life. There is ZERO chance RTX Cards sold on a first come, line up outside the store, voucher system is best for anyone other than store sales. There is ZERO chance this system of distribution was not part of some sales meeting. A meeting where it was decided those lined up will still come in even if not given a voucher that day and likely buy something. Those who get vouchers will likely buy something else too, even if just a can of dust off. Long time customers, two decades in my case, would reserve, receive notice, pickup at online counter. Might stay and buy other items, but it will be one day and one visit. You made it so we have to stand outside every Friday for six months like some rock concert because it drives the month end figures...PERIOD! Not buying any reason or excuse otherwise. This is not about fairness... Its about you... Sales... Money... Store Visits...

  • I live over 3 hours away.. Its impossible for me to drive back and forth, Trying to guess whether or not the item I'm looking for "might or might not" be on a truck.. I've searched online, and in the immediate area of the Micro Center where I'm closest to, There's a ridiculous amount of (local)scalpers who openly admit to how they take advantage of the flaws in your current system at that specific Micro Center.. I completely understand it's impossible to make everyone happy and accommodate the majority customers on limited availability products.. However.. What about your "Non-Local Customer Base"?.. The ones that choose to travel hours to your store a couple times a year because they're loyal to your company and love the MicroCenter experience, But they don't live close enough to a location to make multiple trips Weekly/Monthly on a possibility of a voucher? Is there any system in the works to accommodate them? I know this is a rough situation because scalpers will always find a way to beat the system, But is there any hope for us non local loyal MicroCenter customers?? 
  • When MicroCenter hands out a voucher for an item, the online in stock should be update to reflex one less product is in stock at the store. Customers should not be required to drive 3 hours to talk to associates to find out that vouchers have been redeemed for product that still shows in stock online.

    An associates in the Build Your Own department told me that some customers redeem their vouchers then go to work and pick up their product after they get off work.

  • LandSharkLandShark admin
    edited March 23

    @Robertou812 @EdwinJustiniano Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. This post is about the changes that we've made to make the process better, to make these limited availability items more available to more customers. It increases fairness and promotes a safe shopping experience.

    This is my opinion and does not reflect the views of Micro Center: I wouldn't want them to completely filter every purchase that is made at their store. I shouldn't have to prove my purchase based on what I'm using my item to do. I don't feel that it's fair for them to limit the purchase available to 1 per household. I also know that as long as I have been a customer at MC, that they have been a brick-and-mortar store, favoring the customer in-store, not giving preference to the online customer. (Many of their items are only available in-store.) This is one of the reasons that I've loved the store! I get to come in, see the item I want, review it in-hand, and make the final decision on my purchase. While I'm not privy to the other future projects they may have in the works, I can't imagine them making GPUs available online. Though I could be wrong, this is something that MC has never had to handle, at least to this extent, so it is possible they may be working on something like this.

    @Icanium Thanks for the feedback! The example that you gave, is true of how things have been possible previously. However, with this post and the new procedure that we've implemented in our stores, the vouchers expire after a store specified amount of time from when they are distributed.

    We are still working on ways to improve this process, so I'll definitely pass along your feedback!

    Thanks again all!

  • I've been trying to get a graphics card for 4 MONTHS. I know for a fact the majority of the RTX cards bought are used for mining or scalping. People forget the true wonder of these cards which is for amazing video rendering and very nice graphics on videogames.

  • edited March 24

    Linus just put out a video about this. seems like it actually is demand that is causing the problem. Surprise surprise Jensen was telling the truth. I don't think people forgot and based on the LTT video it's just the opposite.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A4yk-P5ukY

  • Hello,
    I hope this message finds you all well, and thank you for the work you guys do.
    According to the above guidelines for limited availability items, Micro Center's policy is to limit them to 1 per household every 30 days. Meaning after a month, the same household could purchase another limited availability item.
    But I know of some Micro Center's to have abruptly changed this restriction to indefinitely, meaning once you buy, you can't buy again until the restriction period ends. 
    This was not communicated in any way, I found out after making a line for 8 hrs in the freezing cold and successfully being first in line to be told I can't buy a gpu because I had purchased one 6 weeks before. That was a terrible experience. A week later I went to another Micro Center as the store opened just to check if I would be allowed to buy a card, and was told again I could not buy a gpu because my history said I had purchased one 7 weeks ago.

    Is it being left up to the discretion of the stores what versions or modifications are done to the policies? I guess my question is, is there any way I can know ahead of time if the store I am going to is sticking to 30 days, or indefinitely, without having to go to the store on a prior day just to ask this, then go again to actually attempt to get a card? The stores don't have a number to call.

    Thank you in advance for any help you may provide and please take care!

  • I find it hilarious the comments of frustrations out there with people and these cards. Retailers are doing the best they can with what they got.. you want to claim you've been in sales and sales management blah blah blah...its 2021 with a major supply\demand issue going on. FACT: there are more new gamers than ever before due to COVID. So if you want to blame someone, blame the world leaders currently for keeping people indoors instead of making these kids go play outside. Stop crying and do the work like most of have to get one of these cards.

  • I wish there was a way to help those of us that don't live next to the store. There are scalpers, multiple, that are living right next to the store and making a living off buying under multiple id's then selling the at over double the cost online or in back allies for cash. 
  • PBWPBW DFW

    What put me over the edge was when my son saved up his money to build a new computer,(no stim money) He spent $1200 on hardware and could not complete the build because there where no GPUs in stock. one of the first excuses I was told by an sale associate, "everyone got there stim check".. I asked about the voucher and how I can get one. I was told the basic (first come first served) and said I would have to wait in line out side the building from 3 pm to the next business day, just for a chance to get a voucher. But what really floored me was what the sales associate said next. " Or you can just buy one from the scalpers" Makes you wonder if this is part of the marketing scheme !!

    I'm fortunate to live 5 min drive from Micro Center, and have spent an average $3000 to $5000 a year there for the past 15 years. I guess i will have to wait a day or two for my items now as I have lost my last reason for supporting this Big box and do my shopping on line.


    L

  • How does the system work for buying non-30-series cards? I hear there are no vouchers given for those, its best to just go before opening and join the e-waitlist to get in the store first. Then rush over to the DIY section and grab the first card you see? I imagine if there are 50 people let in at once in the morning it can be hectic. Is the e-waitlist on an app? Where can I find it?

  • Getting aggravated at any given retailer over graphics card availability is going to mean you're spending all your time being aggravated at all the retailers. Seriously, is MC's voucher system really so much worse than how your local Best Buy is handling it? And what about the NewEgg Shuffle? I clicked on that one in the first half minute during the 6700 XT launch day and I got a form email 10 hours later telling me I wasn't selected so really that's like being in the start of the line but people further down get units instead.

    Honestly, if you had absolutely no idea there's been a GPU crunch for the last 6 months then I feel sorry for you if you wandered in thinking to just buy a card, but don't let the shock of reality make you mad at MC's particular attempt to deal what's going on.

  • I received a voucher not just once but twice. Also I was told by an employee to be there super early got there at 3am and waited for the store to open just to have the manager hand an old gentleman a gpu that i waited in line for. Never got texted for my gpu, when voiced my concerns to the manager he was like give me your number and ill call you personally when they come in and I'll put one on the side for you, hmmmm that was 6 weeks ago. This is the store in Westmont IL. I spent tons of money building my pc and the gpu is all I need left. But to be told and passed up is crazy. Feel like the management and employees are holding them and giving them to ppl they know. 
  • For those upset with the on-site lines I'd challenge you to propose a thoughtful alternative to the process or stop complaining... It's selfish.  I'm convinced management would listen IF we are civil, the idea has merit, and it's practical to implement.  We need to stop acting entitled to product and realize life will go on without.

    The online waiting list was broken when in-use.  It was being abused by a significant percentage of people who ran scripts and constantly refreshed the pages (which wasn't necessary).  Between bots, scripts and the waitwhile service limiting concurrent connections (too busy errors) the process was a mess and a user manually entering their info could not get a decent spot.

    While an in-person line sucks for many (including me) it is more deterministic.  If you go early enough and cards come in you can virtually guarantee success.  I had a rare opportunity this morning and chose to go all-in. Instead of going at 5 or 6 am day after day until the line was short or a large drop arrived I guaranteed myself a good spot in line (#3).  I wanted to get there by midnight but didn't arrive until 2am.  I pitched a tent and slept for a bit over 4 hours.  I'd rather wait for 8 or more hours once or twice than 3 or 4 hours day after day.  With a little luck, which I had, you get a card.  

    For those running into bugs in the process all I can do is attempt to empathize and wish you the best.  As a previous poster mentioned i think we're all frustrated, but pointing fingers at MC or other retailers does little good.  Let's find solutions to the problems instead.

    As for scalpers and miners, from some of the conversations I had a majority of those in line were miners (Maybe 75%).  I ran into a few content creators and several gamers.  While I can't be 100% positive, it appeared to me the scalpers weren't willing to wait overnight... They tried to show up 2 hours or less before the store opened and arrived in groups.  It was funny seeing the flash lines form several times (after the vouchers had been handed out).

    Finally, I sound somewhat like a MC fanboy.  I have no association with MC and shop there out of necessity only... I think my reaction to this is the result of raising 4 children and would hope much of it is simple common sense.

    Good luck to all.  





  • IanIan admin

    Sorry for the delay in response. This went into effect around the time of the FAQ being posted. You should be able to purchase 1 every 30 days and it is tracked in our systems.

  • IanIan admin

    Any waitlists / lines to enter the store would be handled directly at the store. It would be first come, first serve for these cards and any other limited availability items.

  • MarkNMarkN
    edited April 5

    I have been waiting since launch day of the 3070 to finally get one. I spent a lot of money on parts from the Fairfax, VA MicroCenter to build my PC back in October. However, I have been unable to use it because I STILL don't have a GPU for it. Due to the nature of my job, I can't wait in line for hours everyday to maybe get a voucher. This means my computer has sat in the corner unusable for months. I would return all of my parts if I still could!

  • Whats the DL on St Louis Park? Are people camping or can you show up semi-early (say around 7AM) and have a shot? I've heard about the online wait list but it said it was unavailable this morning, is this still a thing? I live a few hours away and am thinking of making the drive but looking for any helpful data before I commit to the drive. Thanks in advance!

  • why did MC go through all the work to make this voucher program when they could simply just list the gpus on line? Check id's and order history at the internet checkout counter. No more lines, no more customers needing to stay in line for a day, no more risks, fights, property owners getting angry. The best solution has been readily available and they choose to reinvent the wheel.

  • if i stand in line and receive a new series 30 GPU such as a rtx 3070, am i still allowed to buy an older card (a rtx 2060) on the same day or within 30 days when available? Basically wondering if older cards like a 2060 are 1 per household per day, or if they are also 1 per 30 days?

    BTW, thank you for making a process that allows customers to get a chance at a new gpu without paying scalpers

  • One per household huh. A friend of mine was there on release date and a husband and wife both got a card. I go in later and ask when they come in. Anytime T-F if not a good enough answer for people that have to go to work and cannot stop by there every day at 10 am. Ill prepay for a wait list for one to come in. That system would work a lot better.


  • Anyone know what time the line typically starts to form in Sharonville, OH? Its a few hour drive for me. Don't want to be late and don't want to go 12 hours before it opens if the line is not present until 8 or 9 am!

  • If you get a voucher and then go to another state to get more vouchers does the 30 day limit still apply? 
  • TSTDaveyTSTDavey admin
    edited April 12

    @2moe4u just chiming in. We are keeping track of recent limited availability item purchases. So if you go to another state get a voucher from another store, it will come up that you're not GPU eligible, because a GPU for you was purchased at another store with 30 days (X<30).

  • Does anyone know the best time to show up at the Westmont, IL location before open? 1 hour 2 hours? 3 hours? Also from what manufacturer are the most cards in stock or likely to be in stock because id like a EVGA card but obviously I can only get what they have. So id like to know if id have a chance to get a EVGA card.

  • IanIan admin

    Greetings. I am sorry we would not have an exact time to provide you. We have seen most customers are going to the store before it opens to see if we have received shipments. Most often we seem to receive shipments on the weekdays. I'm unable to promise when we'll be receiving any new shipments or offer when to expect a shipment will be delivered, but it seems that most have success going in the morning before we open.

    Voucher information and other commonly asked questions & answers can be found at https://community.microcenter.com/discussion/7909/limited-availability-product-launch-faq

  • I really just want to know, the people who are getting upset. frustrated or aggravated, are you all needing a card out of necessity? I've gotten upset in the past when seeing stock available and driving to the store only to learn the site had mysteriously updated on it's own unbeknownst to the associates at the store, and it seemed as if no one had any idea about changes to what's in stock so I get how one can be easily upset by the trouble one endures to grab one of these. But as I soon realized, there's really not much that can be done, and unlike some people who are just wanting more FPS for their recreational gaming activities, I actually need a better card like my life depended on it, at least my financial well-being does.

    I lost my job since COVID and have been on furlough for almost a year now and when my EDD ended months ago, I began doing freelance work to make ends meet by offering video editing services using my GTX 950. It's barely been able to make enough and I'm still having to dig into my savings just to make rent every month. Why? Because the higher paying jobs require either editing in 4k or the amount of special effects go beyond what my 2gb video card can handle so I'm pretty much limited on the type of work I can do, not to mention rendering takes up so much time that any small revision and I'm stuck just twiddling my thumbs and unable to do other work.

    So believe you me, I'm literally struggling in my financial career without being able to buy a newer more powerful, higher VRAM capacity, and more capable video card just to have the opportunity of finding higher paying work. And, to think that the lower end 3060 RTX with 12GB is my prized possession, it's the one all the miners are going for. So for goodness sake, if you want to talk about the policy they've set up and how it doesn't work out for you because you want or think you need a card so badly, remember that there are other options out there. I get it, I don't live as close to Microcenter as I used to either and it doesn't help that Fry's has closed down. But opposite to Microcenter, BestBuy is strictly online when it comes to video cards and I'm sure you can think of the plethora of online sites that offer ways of purchasing the cards without driving anywhere. And, in case you're more of a brick and mortar type and weren't aware, Staples and Office Max also sells the video cards too.

    So really, please just realize that by talking about a problem without offering a solution you're just complaining and you know what happens to people who complain? They never find happiness in life, including the ones who get a video card. And if you want to say you don't want to be happy, then fine, you don't need a video card since you don't want to be happy anyways so good riddance! But for those who are in similar positions where a new video card would actually create the opportunity of a better life for them that doesn't involve getting into mining or thinking that going from 80 FPS to 130 FPS is what they need to become a pro gamer, then I wish you the best and share your pain.

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