Have a graphics card you no longer need? Well, you better jump on selling it quickly, because due to the most recent GPU shortage, this is one of the best seller’s markets we’ve seen in years. Let’s talk about why that is, and why you should get to listing that card sooner rather than later.
Over the past few years, shortages in computer hardware have been increasingly frequent, especially when it comes to GPUs. And we’re pretty deep in a shortage right now that has a lot of moving parts.
To start with, newer cards like the NVIDIA 30 Series are infamously hard to get at this point. This is in large part due to the cards just being really good and a major step from the previous generation, but there’s more going on here than just popularity. Scalping has been a major issue, with many people purchasing every card they can, only to sell them for marked-up prices on sites like eBay.
On top of this, production lines are still being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even today, many manufacturers are playing catch-up, leading to a lack of products. This has hit many industries hard, but the tech industry as a whole has seen plenty of issues with the availability of hardware. This, naturally, affects GPUs as well and is why cards aren’t being manufactured at their usual rate. But that’s still not the whole problem, as we can see that even older, used GPUs are hard to come by for reasonable prices.
The GPU market has also been dealing with another issue for the past year or so—except that this one isn’t as new. Cryptocurrency and consequently, cryptocurrency mining has become incredibly popular in the past year. Cryptocurrency mining is a complicated beast, but all you need to know is that it requires powerful graphics cards. As cryptocurrency continues to rise in value (as inconsistent as it may be), more and more people want to mine it, who then require more GPUs. This has had a massive effect on the used graphics card market, as miners try to buy up any semi-recent cards they can get their hands on.
All of this has led to a lack of GPUs for both retailers and the used market. Which, while bad, does make this as good of a time to sell as it is.
With a shortage comes higher prices in the used market for any graphics card—new and old. Even cards that are multiple years old can fetch a decent price right now. If your card still works fine, is only a few generations out of date, and was a high-end card in its heyday, then it’s a prime candidate for the used market.
And if you need some proof of this, you only need to take a look at sites like Amazon and eBay. The only listings for Nvidia RTX 3070s, for example, are close to $2,000 when the retail price is around $500. And more powerful cards like the RTX 3090, which should be around $1,500, see their price nearly doubled, currently costing around $3,000.
As far as older cards go, while the price hikes aren’t as extreme, it’s still more than they should be. Looking at a card like the GeForce GTX 1070, it’s commonly listed and sold for more than it originally cost ($379) when it was released in 2016. Granted, the 1070 was a great card at launch and is still solid today, but it’s also nearly five years old.
But why do you need to get on this now? After all, things have been like this for a while and there are no definite signs of stopping. According to The Verge, Nvidia has stated that the shortage will likely last throughout the rest of 2021. Well, markets stabilize eventually, which naturally leads to prices lowering. While this seller’s market has lasted for a while, it will eventually end as manufacturers find ways to tackle this GPU shortage. For example, Nvidia has stated that it’s going to limit mining on normal cards and create dedicated cards for mining, which should help with the shortage.
Once more recent cards are readily available, the demand for used GPUs will drop drastically. Basically, if your goal is to maximize the amount of money you make, you want to sell that card sooner rather than later.
As far as where you can sell graphics cards, you have a few options. eBay and sites like it are the first ones that people turn to, and for good reason. GPUs aren’t that big, so they’re fairly easy to ship (Just make sure to wrap them up well.), and you have access to people all over the world looking for parts. You can also go local with sites like Craigslist, but your success there (and how much you can charge) will largely depend on the area. If it’s a competitive market, you may have to undercut other sellers, in turn lowering your price. Some computer stores purchase old parts as well, so if there are a few around where you live, it can be worth stopping by and seeing what they would give you.
No matter what’s easiest, just make sure to do some research online to see the general price that your card is going for. If you don’t know the make and model, just look for the sticker label on the card, which should, at the very least, provide a product ID that you can look up. If worst comes to worst, you can always plug the GPU back into a PC to get the information.