Do you have a graphics card that you no longer need? Well, you better sell it fast because due to the most recent GPU shortage, this is one of the bestselling markets we̵
Another GPU Shortage
In recent years, computer hardware shortages have become more common, especially when it comes to GPUs. And we are now pretty deep in a deficit with lots of moving parts.
For starters, newer cards like the NVIDIA 30 series are notoriously hard to get right now. This is in large part due to the cards being just really good and a big step up from the previous generation, but there’s more to it than just popularity. Scalping was a big deal, with many people buying every card they could, only to sell them for marked prices on sites like eBay.
In addition, production lines are still affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Even today, many manufacturers are catching up, leading to a lack of products. This has hit many industries hard, but the tech industry as a whole has seen many issues with hardware availability. Of course, this also affects GPUs, which is why cards aren’t produced at the usual pace. But that’s still not the whole problem, as we can see that even older, used GPUs are hard to come by at reasonable prices.
The GPU market has also faced another problem in the past year, except that this is not so 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 is), more and more people want to mine it, which then requires more GPUs. This has had a huge effect on the used graphics card market as miners try to buy all the 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, makes this a good time to sell as is.
Prices keep rising
With a shortage come higher prices in the used market for any graphics card – new and old. Even cards that are several years old can now get a decent price. If your card still works well, is only a few generations out of date, and was a high-end card in its heyday, then it’s a prime candidate for the second-hand market.
And if you need proof of that, all you have to do is look at sites like Amazon and eBay. For example, the only listings for Nvidia RTX 3070s are close to $2,000, while the retail price is around $500. And for more powerful cards like the RTX 3090, which should be around $1,500, their price has nearly doubled and is currently around $3,000.
As for older cards, while the price increases aren’t as extreme, it’s still more than they should be. Looking at a card like the GeForce GTX 1070, it is often 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 have to deal with this now? After all, it’s been like this for a while and there are no obvious signs of stopping. According to The Verge, Nvidia has stated that the deficit is likely to persist for the rest of 2021. Well, the markets eventually stabilize, which of course leads to price cuts. While the market of these vendors has lasted for a while, it will eventually end as manufacturers find ways to address this GPU shortfall. For example, Nvidia has stated that it will restrict mining on normal maps and create special maps for mining, which should help with the shortage.
Once more recent cards are readily available, the demand for used GPUs will drop dramatically. Basically, if your goal is to maximize the amount of money you make, you’ll want to sell that card sooner rather than later.
But where should you sell?
As for where to sell graphics cards, you have a few options. eBay and similar sites are the first places people turn to, and for good reason. GPUs aren’t that big, so they’re pretty easy to ship (just make sure you pack them properly.), 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, driving your price down. Some computer stores also buy old parts, so if there are some near where you live, it may be worth stopping by and seeing what they would give you.
Whichever is easiest, be sure to do some research online to see the general price your card is for. If you don’t know the make and model, just look for the sticker label on the card, which should at least have a product ID that you can look up. Worst case, you can always plug the GPU back into a PC to get the information.