PC Graphics Card Scalping Has Died Off (For Now) – PCMag


Low demand for GPUs and razor-thin profit margins have caused many scalpers to shift away from targeting PC graphics cards and focus elsewhere.
The days of scalpers snapping up PC graphics cards seems to be over due to low demand from buyers and thin profit margins from reselling the products. 
“Everyone’s basically over GPUs,” one reseller told PCMag. 
A major sign that scalping has plummeted can be found in the pricing for graphics cards on reselling sites such as eBay. Over the last year, the average selling prices for the latest Nvidia GPUs have fallen back to Earth. 
Instead, the eBay pricing is often close to the standard pricing for the GPUs at retailers, especially if you buy a product from Amazon Warehouse(Opens in a new window), which sells open-box and pre-owned items. This means scalpers can extract little profit from buying and then reselling a new GPU at current cost levels.
At the same time, supplies for GPUs at retailers such as Newegg and Best Buy have significantly improved, giving consumers less reason to buy from resellers. Both retailers have even been offering discounts on some product models.
“Yea scalping for GPUs is gone,” said Falcodrin Stock Alerts(Opens in a new window), a GPU restock tracking service. The demand is so low in some cases, buying a graphics card on the reselling site StockX(Opens in a new window) can be even cheaper than buying a brand-new GPU.  
«You can still sell, but for much lower than current new prices. It’s making it really difficult for (cryptocurrency) miners to liquidate their cards,» Falcodrin added.
We found similar sentiments in a chat room for House of Carts(Opens in a new window), one of the many “cook groups” online that focus on reselling in-demand goods to consumers. “GPU market is fried and PS5 was only good around Xmas,” wrote one member earlier this week. 
“Rest in peace sweet sweet GPUs,” added another member. 
The one exception has been Nvidia’s Founders Edition graphics cards, particularly the RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060Ti models. These products continue to sell at the lowest prices, meaning scalpers can resell them for a higher profit margin. But the cards remain rare. Best Buy is the only retailer in the US that carries them, and restocks usually occur every month or so. 
Instead of graphics cards, some resellers have shifted to buying NFTs. One reseller, who’s still in high school, told PCMag he’s stopped trying to snatch up video game consoles to focus on trading non-fungible tokens. 
“NFTs are insane. I love them because it’s all online and lots more profit margin,” he said.
The declining interest is good news for PC builders. Vendors such as Corsair are even predicting pricing for the GPUs will dip lower than the manufacturer’s suggested retail price in the coming weeks. In addition, PC builders have been celebrating the downturn facing cryptocurrencies, which might cause many cryptocurrency miners to avoid buying more GPUs.
However, the demand for graphics cards could shoot up again later this year when Nvidia and AMD release next-generation graphics cards. So it may only be a matter of time before scalpers and bots refocus their sights on GPUs.
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I’ve been with PCMag since October 2017, covering a wide range of topics, including consumer electronics, cybersecurity, social media, networking, and gaming. Prior to working at PCMag, I was a foreign correspondent in Beijing for over five years, covering the tech scene in Asia.

I’ve been working as a journalist for about 15 years—I got my start as a schools and cities reporter in Kansas City. Amazingly I’m still here. Lately, I’ve been following SpaceX’s Starlink network, emerging online cyber threats, and the PC graphics card market (which led me to camp out in front of a Best Buy to get an RTX 3000). I’m always eager to learn more, so please jump in the comments with feedback and send me tips.
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