The true price of a PS5 or GPU, November 2021 edition
Sony, Microsoft, Nvidia and AMD say they’re doing everything in their power to put a console or graphics card in your hands. But judging by eBay resale prices, their best won’t be nearly good enough this holiday season. One year after the next generation of gaming was supposed to arrive (narrator: it did not) people are still forking out hundreds of dollars over MSRP for a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, and and they’re often still paying double what a new PC graphics card was originally supposed to cost.
Remember in March, when I told you how the two graphics cards in the photo above were worth a combined $2,570 on the open market? That was a shocking leap compared to the $1,660 total they could fetch in December 2020, already well above their $1,078 MSRP. But eight months later, that same photo now contains $2,605 worth of GPUs on the secondhand market. They haven’t dipped one bit.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, too, are fetching higher prices this week than they did in March — if you take the scalper route, you can expect to pay over $800 on average for what should have been a $500 game console.
Those are the key findings from our latest dive into eBay sales data, but here’s the whole set for you to scan yourself. It includes the latest street prices for every console and graphics card released this generation, after filtering out a number of fakes, bundles, freak outliers (one AMD RX 6800 allegedly sold for $8,260) and other eBay listings that muddied the data.
There are a few surprising findings on the GPU side of things, like how the RTX 3070 is currently fetching more than the 3070 Ti, despite being a little less powerful for games. (Perhaps people prefer the 3070’s reduced power consumption, smaller frame, and — in some cases — lack of cryptocurrency mining nerfs.) It’s also remarkable how much less the 3060 Ti fetches now, despite being fairly close to a 3070 in performance and well regarded for both gaming and mining from what I’ve heard.
Then again, the 3060 Ti Founders Edition is in greater demand than ever — the $400 card is now pulling down $1,447 on average, though I didn’t break it out in the chart. It’s one of the best picks out there for smaller cases, so I’m not wholly surprised.
Raw street prices don’t tell the whole story, though. Like in March, I also compiled a chart of how many consoles and components changed hands on eBay this past week, and it’s intriguing: Less than half as many Sony PS5s are moving, but now almost twice as many Nvidia graphics cards.
Lower secondhand sales numbers for consoles don’t necessarily mean weaker supply — in fact, it could easily mean the opposite. Perhaps more people are getting satisfaction outside of eBay, never needing a scalper, because the likes of Sony and Microsoft are letting more people buy those consoles at retail instead. But on the GPU side of things, we can also still see how precious few AMD graphics cards are changing hands compared to Nvidia, with the original excellent Radeon RX 6800 barely a blip.
Unfortunately, there’s no end in sight for the great GPU shortage, so you shouldn’t expect prices to settle down anytime soon. Both Nvidia and AMD expect it to linger for most of 2022, and Intel suggested last month that it likely won’t be resolved until 2023. The chip shortage is a complicated problem, and it takes time to spin up additional factories to satisfy demand.
Over the past year, using a very particular set of skills I have acquired over a long career as a dealhunter, I managed to snap up a $499 PS5 and a $399 Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti Founder’s Edition at MSRP. They’re worth roughly $2,317 today, not that I plan to sell. Here’s hoping next check-in, those prices will have gone way down.