A hot potato: The runup to last year's holiday season shone a spotlight on scalping like never before. Everything from the new generation of consoles, to graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia, to the Ryzen 5000 processors were (and still are) disappearing as soon as they went on sale and landing on eBay for obscene prices. In the case of AMD's latest CPUs, scalpers have made almost one million dollars in profit.
The revelation comes from Michael Driscoll, whose data-scraping scripts previously showed how scalpers generated nearly $40 million in profit from the newest tech products during the last holiday season. He's now providing an update on how these goods' eBay prices have changed over the last month, starting with the Zen 3 processors.
Summarizing, Driscoll writes that 8,720 Ryzen 5000 CPUs have been sold on eBay. That works out at $5.88 million in sales, with scalpers walking away with $946,000 in profit. Sellers weren't the only ones to benefit; eBay and PayPal made $625,665 from the transactions.
Looking at individual processors, the Ryzen 5 5600X was the most popular with 3,204 units sold at a median price of $405---the CPU has a $299 MSRP. Meanwhile, the flagship Ryzen 9 5950X has a median price of $1,187 (MSRP $799) with 1,437 units sold.
Zen 3 prices on eBay have stabilized over the last month at 25 - 40 percent over MSRP. In mid-November, the Ryzen 9 5950X was going for 240 percent of its recommended price. Now, it's around 40 percent more ($1,187).
Driscoll also examined Zen 3 sales on StockX, which takes a 3 percent cut of selling fees, ten percent less than eBay's share. The more generous terms for sellers are likely factors behind the processors' lower prices on the platform (below).
If you're hoping to buy a Zen 3 processor from an official retailer anytime soon, don't hold your breath. AMD recently said supply of its CPUs and GPUs would be tight during the first half of 2021.