You want to buy one of the best graphics cards or a new processor to upgrade your PC, but there’s always one loose end: Old hardware. Unless you’re going to recycle or donate your old PC parts, selling them is both financially and environmentally responsible. While marketplaces like eBay are certainly the most popular for selling used PC parts, there are actually many other options you can explore to sell your used hardware, and each option has its own pros and cons.
- eBay, Facebook, and Craigslist
- PC focused marketplaces
- PC communities and forums
- Local businesses
eBay, Facebook, and Craigslist
The best place to start is with the big three — eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist. There are many benefits to using one of these websites: There are plenty of buyers, you can dictate your own price, you can auction, and sometimes there are protections for both buyers and sellers.
Of course, there are downsides. Sometimes you might have to pay a fee for listing and selling your part(s). For example, eBay charges a 12.9% fee plus 30 cents, so hypothetically, if you were selling your old RTX 2080 for $400 (including shipping), then you would have to pay eBay about $50 which leaves you with just $350. Read our guide on how to sell on eBay for some best practices.
Selling to people you don’t know opens up the possibility that you might get scammed. Most of these websites aren’t entirely anonymous and often have a ratings feedback system, which helps mitigate the chances of selling something to a bad buyer, but it doesn’t make the possibility zero. Craigslist and Facebook are riskier than eBay, but you can settle a local deal to make sure everything is above board.
There are a few things you can do to get the most value out of selling on these websites. When you make your listing, show plenty of photos of your PC part and be honest about its condition. Check other listings to get a sense of what a fair asking price is; don’t worry about getting the price perfectly right, because you can haggle with buyers later. Ship your PC part in the smallest and safest package possible in order to cut down on the shipping fees, and try and get the buyer to cover the shipping fees too. Finally, make sure you have plenty of documentation in case the buyer tries to scam you or makes some kind of unfair complaint. As long as you’ve sold your part honestly and have good documentation of it, you should be fine.
PC focused marketplaces
There are also small- to medium-sized websites that basically do the same thing as bigger ones like eBay, but just for PC parts. On Jawa and PC Swaps, you can make a listing for free, but there are still transactional fees. Jawa has a 3% processing fee and a 3.5% platform fee, while PC Swaps has the same 3% processing fee but a higher platform fee of 5%. So, if you sold a $400 RTX 2080 on Jawa instead of eBay, you would make $374 rather than $350.
In addition to the fees being lower, the platform fees are also capped. At Jawa, this fee will never exceed $50 and at PC Swaps it will never exceed $45. This means that more expensive items like high-end CPUs and GPUs will have relatively lower fees compared to cheaper items. And for the best gaming desktops, your fees will be very low.
Websites such as SellGPU.com will buy your old PC parts (GPUs and more), and much like Gamestop, this company and others like it focus on a convenient selling experience.
Of course, if you’re familiar with Gamestop’s business practices, you would be right to suspect that these websites won’t offer you a very high price. For example, SellGPU only offers $212 for an RTX 2080 Founder’s Edition in used condition. SellGPU does cover shipping fees and even will send you a box to ship your parts in, but the overhead for convenience is very steep.
Retailers like Best Buy sometimes accept trading in old systems and/or PC parts, though your mileage will certainly vary. Like with SellGPU, the amount of money you get will probably be significantly lower than what you could potentially get from selling directly to someone, but it is more convenient.
PC communities and forums
In response to the problems that come with big marketplaces, communities and forums focused on selling PC parts have sprung up. These communities are usually run on websites like Discord and Reddit, which is where you can find r/HardwareSwap, one of the more popular marketplaces in this category. You’ll often find that these forums have higher standards for buyers and sellers alike, which can make these marketplaces more restrictive but also more trustworthy.
At least in the case of r/HardwareSwap, there are stringent requirements for listings. Before you can even make a listing, your Reddit account must be at least 50 days old or have 100 comment karma (read our guide on how to create your own subreddit for more on karma). This requirement is supposed to weed out and discourage scammers from exploiting the forum, but obviously, that also makes it difficult for legitimate buyers and sellers to participate.
r/HardwareSwap also requires sellers to provide lots of in-depth documentation. For instance, photos of listed items must also show a handwritten timestamp and the seller’s Reddit username on a piece of paper. It can be quite a bit of work to provide all the necessary documents, but that is the price of credibility and trustworthiness.
Not all communities or forums have the same rules as r/HardwareSwap, but generally, you can expect the rules to be more strict than big marketplaces. You’re still dealing with strangers, however, and Reddit doesn’t provide any buyer or seller protection so be cautious about potential scams.
Although it’s not the most obvious choice, it’s worth looking around for local businesses that might buy used PC parts. Shops that specialize in used goods like thrift stores can make lots of sense in certain cases. For example, if you’re selling a very old or low-end part for $30 or less, it’s going to be difficult to make much of a profit when shipping fees could cost $10 or more.
Local businesses generally won’t pay the best price for your PC parts, but they are convenient and usually trustworthy. It’s worth considering this option if none of the others really work out for you.