The ongoing GPU shortage has created a gray market boom for scalpers, who have collectively raked in more than $15.2 million in profit, according to the latest analysis. By analyzing sales on eBay and StockX, data engineer Michael Driscoll estimated that scalpers have sold approximately 50,000 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 series cards for a total of more than $61.5 million in sales.
Driscoll reported that the cards generating the most sales volume on eBay were the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 flagship and the midrange RTX 3070 — with a combined volume of 25,750 units sold — but the pricey $1,499 RTX 3090 wasn’t too far behind at 7,775 units. Similarly, on StockX, the top card sold was the RTX 3070, followed closely by the 3080. In total, Driscoll tracked 49,680 cards that have been sold.
“In the case of all four RTX 30 series, there was a sudden surge in sales between Christmas and shortly after the new year,” Driscoll said, according to PCMag‘s reporting. Nvidia isn’t the only GPU maker to experience shortages, with the situation similarly dire for Team Red gamers hoping to pick up AMD’s latest GPUs.
The surge in demand for graphics cards and GPUs could be attributed to several reasons. PC manufacturers and GPU makers like AMD and Nvidia have attributed the demand due to more people working and playing at home as a result of the global pandemic, but a recent resurgence in interest in cryptocurrency has also created a spike in demand, with Bitcoin miners hoarding cards. It’s also been reported that AMD and Nvidia could be experiencing supply-side shortages, and low inventory of GDDR6 memory may be to blame.
Nvidia’s chief financial officer had previously stated that the shortage will last through the early part of 2022, and more recently, AMD CEO Lisa Su said that shortages for her company will likely last through the first half of this year.
With supplies low and demand high, scalpers are capitalizing on impatient gamers who don’t want to wait, and prices for the GeForce RTX 3000 series and AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 series cards have soared on the secondary market. Driscoll said prices for the RTX 3060 went as high as 210% over MSRP, but have dropped down slightly since the peak. The situation is similar with other cards across Nvidia’s lineup.
Even with scalpers out of the picture, gamers should expect to pay higher prices this year on graphics cards. Because of a 25% tariff on processors imposed by the Trump administration, building a gaming rig is now more expensive than it was in 2020.
In addition to publishing data on GPUs, PCMag reported that Driscoll intends on releasing information on how many units of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 have passed through the secondary market. Like PC graphics cards, these consoles are also in high demand. And because they rely on the same RDNA 2 graphics architecture that powers AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards, supplies for their internal silicon have also been constrained.
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