Retailer Newegg is offering a new trade-in scheme in the US, where you can get some money for an old GPU when you’re buying a new graphics card.
It works pretty much how you’d expect – find the upgrade of a graphics card you want, and then enter your existing model, and the condition of the GPU, to receive a trade-in offer.
That cash is knocked off the cost of the new GPU, and you use a prepaid shipping label to send your old graphics card to Newegg.
There are a few catches, as you might imagine, one of them notably being that only certain newer models of graphics cards can be traded in against a purchase.
The listed trade-in cards are RTX 2000 and 3000 series GPUs on the Nvidia side of the equation, and RX 5000 and 6000 models for AMD graphics cards. So, you won’t get anything for a solid older model like, say, an Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti.
Also, your trade-in has to be in what Newegg deems to be an acceptable (working) condition as described by yourself as part of the valuation process.
The final trade-in value may end up lower than estimated, and if that’s Newegg’s fault, it offers to return your item at no cost (assuming you decide not to accept the lesser value). If a valuation problem is your fault, though, then you’ll have to cover the cost of having the GPU sent back to you.
The graphics cards that Newegg buys will, of course, be resold on the site as refurbished items with a mark-up (after being cleaned up suitably, no doubt).
Analysis: A question of convenience
Naturally, you absolutely will get more for your second-hand GPU on an auction site, or by selling it yourself elsewhere. What Newegg is counting on is that it is offering a far more convenient option, with no hassles (or less chance of them anyway).
Dealing with another person as a buyer could throw up all sorts of problems, potentially, after all – including scams, or disputes as to whether hardware was working when it arrived, and other nastiness – so some folks will make the judgement that it’s worth something of a hit to the value just to work with a trusted party on a trade-in deal.
How much can you expect to get for any given GPU? Newegg lists a bunch of example trade-ins, though monetary compensation will of course vary depending on the condition of the product, as well as how far up the ranking of the best graphics cards it sits performance-wise.
At the top-end of the Nvidia scale, an RTX 3090 GPU has an estimated worth of $457, with the 3090 Ti pitched at $561. A more modest RTX 2070 will get you $120 (not much more than a 2060 Super at $110).
With AMD’s line-up of GPUs, the RX 6950 XT will bag you $375 (estimated) and further down the range, the RX 6600 XT is valued at $108. So yes, all these prices are invariably quite a lot less than what you might typically expect to get selling yourself at auction – even after sales fees are deducted – but the hassle factor is considerably less with Newegg, as already observed.
In the end, it’s always useful to have options when upgrading your graphics card, and it certainly doesn’t hurt for those in the US to have this kind of facility available when purchasing from a major retailer. For those who want a relatively no-hassle choice for upgrading, here it is, albeit with a considerable financial penalty compared to doing the sales legwork yourself.
Perhaps the trade-in ability will be offered to Newegg customers outside of the US eventually, but for now, it remains exclusively available to those in the States.