How to sell a graphics card
November 29, 2021 12:51 PM   Subscribe

I'm switching back to Apple for my desktop ecosystem, to match every other device in my life. That leaves me with a gaming PC to dispose of, and I'm reliably told the graphics card (an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti) is the only piece of it anyone else would want. Seems like good graphics cards are in high demand right now. But how do I sell it?

It's been years since I last sold anything on Craigslist or eBay. I've never sold anything on Amazon. I'm not sure how I would prove to a buyer that it's a working card (it is; I've been using it for FFXIV and WoW at ultra settings with no issues since purchase).

I also don't have the box it came in. I would literally be pulling the card out of the PC and shipping it in some form of computer-part-safe-packing, I would assume. What would that look like?

How would you, an experienced buyer and/or seller of such things, proceed with this?
posted by invincible summer to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I was in a very similar situation (lockdown stopped, life got busy, stopped gaming, no longer needed a beefy graphics card and decided to cash in on the high prices) and sold mine to a friend. I got a little less for it than I might have had I put it on eBay, but the whole process was so much easier and less stressful and I knew it was going to someone who wanted it to fuck around on games, rather than yet another carbon-spewing crypto miner.

eBay might work, but the computer parts market on there is rife with questionable characters and sharp practices - people claiming things didn't arrive or didn't work, demanding refunds, even sometimes shipping a different item back to you broken and keeping your working one. (If you go this route, take a photo of any serial numbers on the card prior to shipping.) Another issue is you end up on the hook for tech support - no matter how many "it's your responsibility to check this works with your equipment and understand how to install it" warnings you put on the listing, someone will always come back to you demanding tech help.

As for packing, I didn't have the original box (I'm not sure I ever had it) so bagged it in a static-proof bag that something else (a hard drive, I think) came in, wrapped it in bubblewrap and packed it in a similar-sized cardboard box that a different purchase had come in, surrounded by balled-up newspaper. It arrived at the other end of the country just fine. The key is for it not to be shaking and rattling around in the box, it needs to be packed tightly.

Anyway, for me, selling to someone I know was the way to go even though it cost me a little bit of money. Because of the price jump, I doubled my money on it anyway, plus got 18 months of enjoyment out of it, so it wasn't a bad deal at all.
posted by indemandgirl at 1:29 PM on November 29, 2021 [1 favorite]

I had a good experience earlier this year with SellGPU. They'll ship you a mailer with a pre-paid shipping label, so you just have to put the card in the mailer and drop it off at the post office. After they verify the part is working, they send you the money. You won't sell it for as much money as you'd get if you listed it on eBay or whatever, but the convenience was definitely worth the tradeoff for me.
posted by aparrish at 2:15 PM on November 29, 2021 [2 favorites]

> SellGPU

Out of curiosity I asked SellGPU for a quote for my CPU (with integrated graphics, not a fancy GPU). They made me an offer of USD $22 for it. In ebay I can see recent sold listings for the same part in similar condition for around USD $110, excluding delivery. That's a bit of a margin, even after subtracting ebay fees. Maybe SellGPU quotes a narrower margin for higher value items.
posted by are-coral-made at 3:28 PM on November 29, 2021

I was excited with the prospect of using SellGPU over eBay. They quoted me a price of $18 for a graphics card that has recent eBay sales of $500+. The offer was so bad I assumed user error on my part, but I filled out SellGPU's form a second time and got the same estimate.
posted by phil at 5:44 PM on November 29, 2021

Response by poster: Not thread sitting, but wanted to share that I tried putting my info into SellGPU and first got an extremely low quote of $18. But when I blanked the form and redid it with exactly the same info, the quote came back at $302. Maybe they've got some kind of form glitch going on?

I'm not sure that's high enough, based on what I've seen on eBay, so I'm going to have to think about that for a bit and look at other options.
posted by invincible summer at 5:51 PM on November 29, 2021

I was curious what a 1080Ti was going for on Craigslist in my neck of the woods - good grief! It's listing for more than it's original MSRP almost 5 years ago.

I've done video cards over Craigslist. My best experience (and best bargain) was going to the seller's apartment, see it run, have him pull it out of his rig and hand it to me (Winter 2019, GTX 980 for $180 CAD, gave it away to a friend when I got an RTX 3070 the month of release [for MSRP] last Winter).

Other times, I took the risk and bought them on good faith. They were all fine.

Most local police stations have areas for people to do Craigslist transactions at.

$500-600 USD (all in) would be a "reasonable" market price, but the market is really unreasonable right now. If the market was reasonable, you might get $200 for it being a 5yo second-generation flagship tier GPU.

That 1080Ti's still a pretty nice card, depending on application (1080p gaming, no raytracing).
posted by porpoise at 6:17 PM on November 29, 2021

If you don’t want the PC at all anymore, you could try throwing it on Craigslist, GPU and all. You may be able to get as much for the whole rig locally as you’d get on ebay for the GPU, and if you weren’t going to use it anyway, that would certainly be the quickest and easiest. It’s also much easier to demonstrate a working whole PC.
posted by pocams at 7:06 PM on November 29, 2021

eBay will charge some fee, and if I have several items, I have to post one by one. Basically, it needs more work to do, such as packing well, avoiding scams, etc... It happened to me once. I sold 2x32GB ECC memory on eBay, and the buyer (scam) returned 2x16GB of bad memory and claimed the memory they received are bad...
I also dealt once with a local company, which sells used computer parts. The price is not as good as the top price on eBay, but it is much easier and saves me time.
posted by jimlucf at 8:13 PM on February 9

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