Cryptocurrency miners are selling used graphics cards at a huge markup

In case anyone was feeling sorry for Ethereum miners in light of the rising difficulty in mining the popular cryptocurrency combined with a drop in value, don't. Even forgetting for a moment that cryptocurrency mining has led to a shortage of graphics cards for gamers, there is no room for your sympathy. Not when miners are making a killing selling off their heavily used equipment on Ebay.

This is the latest in the ongoing saga involving graphics cards and mining. We have seen this situation play out before, where the mining boom and eventual bust leads to miners selling off their hardware. But in this case, the markups on used cards are still insane.

Case in point, check out this mining system that sold on Ebay this morning. It was listed at $4,895, though the seller accepted an undisclosed "best offer" price. It is a Pentium system outfitted with eight GeForce GTX 1060 cards with 6GB of GDDR5 memory. Not including the graphics cards, there is about $700 worth of hardware and software (Windows 10). Let's do the math.

$4,895 - $700 = $4,195. Divide that by 8 to account for the GeForce GTX 1060 cards, and you're looking at about $524 per card. These things are supposed to sell for $200 a pop. Granted, the system sold for less, but even if the seller accepted $4,500 for his setup, that still breaks down to $475 per graphics card. But hey, at least they were "running for just a couple of weeks," if you want to buy that as well.

We didn't have to scour the list of systems sold to find an unfavorable example, either. That was the most recent purchase (at the time of this writing). A few pegs down is a system that sold last week for $4,800 plus $63 for shipping. It contained eight AMD Radeon RX 580 graphics cards from various manufacturers. The listing doesn't specific every bit of hardware, but if we fill in the blanks with some high options, we get to $1,155. 

If we do the math on this one, that leaves leaves $3,708 for the graphics cards. Divided by 8, it comes to over $463 per card. That's about a 100 percent markup over MSRP (two of the cards in that setup are 4GB).

Give it more time and the market will eventually correct itself. For now, however, some of the sought after cards are still way overpriced, even when shopping on Ebay. You're probably better off with a card that hasn't been run hard for mining, anyway.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).