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How Much are my Used Computer Parts worth?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

This is a question that is asked time and time again by people, how much money can I exactly expect to get for all my used PC hardware? We'll I have some news for you. Unfortunately, less than you think.


You see the problem with being a computer enthusiast is that we are constantly changing out our PCs hardware all the time. And every time some brand new piece of technology is released, the last-generation computer parts depreciate till they are worth nowhere near the original purchase price. This happens with every kind of consumer good from cars, TVs, phones, laptops, appliances, and of course, computers. Although computers seem to depreciate at an especially fast rate.


First to start off, why does Depreciation even happen?


Depreciation happens because almost every 1-2 years, brand new computer hardware is released onto the market so the old stuff therefore becomes "obsolete". Your last-generation parts are not truly obsolete of course and likely still work perfectly fine, it's just that those parts are no longer being sold in stores or produced by the company anymore and are therefore considered "obsolete" on paper. Now you may wonder why this happens because after all, the last-generation higher-tier computer parts usually perform just as well or better as the newer-released lower-tier computer parts and usually both end up being worth the same by the time the new parts are released. This happens because consumers in general always want to be on the current-generation, even if that means sacrificing performance. When a new computer part is released, consumers are more likely to buy the new part rather than your old part as it is likely more up-to-date. Let's me show you an example shall we?


When the GTX 660 ti was released in September of 2012, the cost was around $300. If we fast forward to 2015, you can now find GTX 660 TIs on ebay for under $100. If you only had $100 to spend on a GPU, most consumers would instead, look to something current generation. For $100, most consumers would get something like a new GTX 750 ti for roughly the same price. Yet if you check benchmarks, the GTX 660 ti performs much better than the GTX 660 ti in benchmarks:




This happens because the consumer wants something new. They would rather be on the bleeding edge of whatever technology is available today, not the stuff from last year. From a consumers perspective, that GTX 660 ti is worthless to them because it has now been superseded by the current generation, so now the old generation of video cards is worthless to them. This is exactly why hardware depreciation happens. Consumers would rather want to be on the current generation than the old generation of parts at all costs, even if that means sacrificing some overall performance in the end because the newer stuff is more up-to-date. 


Now that I have covered why computer parts even depreciate in the first place, let's get into how much your used computer hardware is likely worth now. I have actually developed an equation to help you decide about how much your computer parts are worth today. After checking some trends of how used computer parts have dropped on ebay, I have discovered that most computer parts depreciate -25% of their original price a year. Now there are two ways of determining how much your computer parts are worth (and I suggest you use both). One is to check local prices on the used product and the other is to use a fairly-accurate equation I have developed below.


Method 1: Using Math: (I know, you are actually going to have to use MATH!)


Now if you look at the equation it is actually an exponential decay equation as shown:

Y = C(3/4)^(A-B)


A = Current year

B = Year of purchase

C = Your Original purchase price of product (the price you paid)


If you are wondering what ^ means, it means to the power of. So in this example, we will be taking 3/4 to the power of A-B. The 3/4 represents that every year that passes, out computer part will only be worth 75% of what it was last year.


Here is my example. Iet's say I purchased a GTX 780 ti for $700 in 2013 and I want to resell my card in 2016. Let's set up the equation to determine how much my card is now worth:


A = 2016

B = 2013

C = $700



Y = 700(3/4)^(2016-2013)  (This is what the equation will look like after it has been set up)

Y = 700(3/4)^(3) (this is saying 2016-2013 is = 3)

Y = 700(.421875) (this is saying 3/4 to the power of 3 is equal to .421875. On a side note, if you take 1 and subtract .421875 or whatever you got, this tells you how much in percent your computers hardware depreciated)

Y = ~$295.31


Therefore, the total price my card is now worth is around $295. And if we check the price on ebay of used GTX 780 tis, this is around the price most cards are selling for:




So in this case, my equation actually worked pretty well. 


Method 2: check local prices:


This one is pretty easy, although will not give you an as straightforward answer as the equation above. For this one I recommend checking local prices for what your product seems to be going for around now. I'm going to use the GTX 780 ti again as an example:


First you are going to want to go to ebay and search for your product (my example is the GTX 780 ti of course):



From what we can see the prices are around $300. But thanks to the wonders of ebay we are going to narrow down our search results further:



From what we can see this card is selling around $250 at it's cheapest. Therefore you may want to list your card for around $250 if you really want it to sell it almost immediately.




From the data I gathered from my equation I concluded that I should sell my computer part for around $300. From what I have concluded from checking listings of the product is I should sell it for around $250. Therefore this is the range I should sell my hypothetical GTX 780 ti for.



I hope this guide helps you out in deciding how much your used PC parts are worth. Method 2 is the easiest, but you may not resell your computer part for as much as possible. Method 1 is a little more accurate, but does not account for the fact that not all computer parts depreciate at -25% per year (CPUs are a good example). This is why I recommend using both methods to get a range for how much you should sell your computer parts for. I now know I should sell my GTX 780 ti anywhere from $250-$300 thanks to me using method one and 2. 

I hope this guide helps anyone trying to sell off their older used computer parts. Let me know what you think of this guide.

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Although it's kinda flawed for old GPUs purchased recently by their price...

My HD 5830:

Original Price: 130(3/4)^(2016-2015)=97.5

Original Price from launch year: 130(3/4)^(2016-2010)=23

Purchased Price: 40(3/4)^(2016-2015)=30

My: GTX 280

Original Price: 680(3/4)^(2016-2014)=382.5

Original Price from launch year: 680(3/4)^(2016-2008)=68 

Purchased Price: 8(3/4)^(2016-2014)= 4.5

So it'd depends on the price you paid for it and the year difference.


CPU: Intel i7-7700K 5.2GHZ delidded | GPU: MSI GTX 980 Ti Lightning 1475, 1924 | Motherboard: Asus Z170-Deluxe | Cooler: Corsair H100i

RAM: 2x8GB G.Skill TridentZ 3466MHZ 15-15-15-32-2N | Storage: 2X Samsung 850 EVO 250GB, Western Digital 1TB Blue, Seagate Desktop 4TB, Intel 730 240GB | PSU: EVGA G2 850W 

Case: Corsair 750D | Keyboard: Logitech G710 (Blues) | Mouse: Logitech G502 | Monitor: Dell U2515H

FS: https://www.3dmark.com/fs/13942636


Previous cards owned: HD 5830, HD 7850, R9 270X, RX 470, R9 Fury, GTX 580


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