Are people really offloading their GeForce RTX 2080 Ti cards on eBay?
I was wondering whether the prices of the most recent top-end (£1,100) PC graphics cards have really been cratering after the announcement of new ones. If you don’t want the pre-amble, you can skip to the cross-head “Are people really selling off their old cards at rock-bottom prices?” in the middle of the piece.
Sometimes I can’t help delving back into some tech journalism. I’ve been looking at new graphics card prices for a few months, after deciding it was time to replace the one in my ailing computer.
There’s been a lot of talk over that time about waiting for the new range of graphics cards from manufacturer Nvidia, which duly arrived on September 1, 2020. What surprised a lot of people was that the new cards appear to be significantly more powerful than the current range, even down to the lowest-end card in the new 3000-series range, the £450 GeForce RTX 3070, apparently being able to outperform the highest-end card in the previous 2000-series range, the £1,100 GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.
In this chart from Nvidia’s release presentation, you can see how the RTX 3070 outpaces the older RTX 2070, which is not a big surprise.
But here’s another chart, also from Nvidia, showing how well the 3070 is likely to perform against the 2080 Ti for some uses. It’s worth noting that as I write this, everyone who’s tested the new cards is still covered by Nvidia’s embargo, which expires tomorrow, 16 September (the first new card, the GeForce RTX 3080, arrives on sale the following day). So nobody’s been able to independently verify the performance claims.
That hasn’t stopped worried 2080 Ti owners from apparently heading to eBay in their droves to offload their expensive cards in advance of the new ones appearing. I wanted to know, though, whether that was really true, so I went to eBay (UK) and got it to output the details of the most recent 400 auctions for 2080 Ti devices. I set it to show only sales (as opposed to listings that ended without being sold), and restricted it to only items listed as “used”. This latter filter removed any brand new sales, and anything damaged, broken or being sold for parts.
Are people really selling off their old cards at rock-bottom prices?
Here’s what I found. There were 20 sales in June (though the eBay data only started on June 18), 54 in all of July, 100 in August, and 218 in the first two weeks of September (my data goes up to Tuesday 15 September). The August sales tick up from two or three sales a day in the earlier part of the month, to six being sold on 19 August, five the following day, and between two and six every day the rest of the month. The biggest day so far has been 12 September, when 25 cards were sold.
A note: I removed three listings from my data, two of which were just for parts (a fan or some other part, for example, not an actual card) and one of which was sold as damaged but not correctly marked by the seller. The sale prices of these were £10.50, £48 (for the parts) and £293 (for the damaged card).
The cards went for an average of £886 in June, £880 in July, £825 in August (which, remember, was before Nvidia announced the new cards, though people clearly knew they were coming) and a remarkable drop to £560 in September. Well done to those GeForce RTX 2080 Ti owners who sold in August or before.
Here’s what the drop looks like in a graph (the blue line is the average daily sale price, and the orange line is the number of sales recorded on each day). You can see the price start to slide across August, and then whoomph, on September 1 it drops straight away. Obviously £500 is still a large amount of money to spend on a piece of computer hardware, or to sell a piece of hardware for, but in context, the drop is a big one.
And here’s the data for August and September so you can check my work. Sorry it’s a picture — it’s still not possible in 2020 to easily upload a table, it seems. Here it is in a Google Sheet.