The Hassle of Selling Mining Rigs Online Yourself

The Hassle of Selling Mining Rigs Online Yourself

Often after receiving an offer from us to liquidate mining hardware, our clients first take a stab at selling their hardware themselves online to maximize their return. In most cases, we hear back from them approximately two weeks later, ready to move forward – because that’s about how long it takes for the hassles of selling a large number of items online to reveal themselves.

Most prospective clients determine the fair market value of their hardware with a quick search for what similar items are selling for on eBay. This is a good measuring stick, and we use it ourselves. But what you see is not what you get. Behind those prices, there are a lot of hidden costs. Let’s take a single graphics card selling for $200 with free shipping as an example.

Example sale of a GPU worth $200

  • eBay fee: 10.2% = $20.40
  • Packing materials = Strong box, anti-static bag, strong bubble wrap, label = $5
  • Shipping = $10-15 = $12.50 average

That puts our net takeaway for this one item at $162, almost 20% less than the actual selling price. And we’re just getting started.

Next, you will need to account for your time spent preparing, listing, taking photos, answering questions, packing, and dropping off at the post office.

  • Preparing = Cleaning, removing bios mods, boxing, testing = ~10 min
  • Listing = Researching price, creating a listing, taking photos = ~10 min
  • Answering questions = Per item listed you’re going to have a lot of time wasted by people lowballing, asking dumb questions = ~5 min per item on average
  • Packing, driving to post office = ~15 min + ~ .50c/mile.

Assuming your time is worth $20/hour (and it’s probably much more), that’s another $15 or so to account for, bringing our net down to $147.

But that number still might be higher than our offer, so why bother with us? Why do people come back to us 2 weeks later? Because that’s about how long it takes for returns to start coming in.

Buyer Returns

On average, 10-15% of all items are returned. No matter how good a job you did with all the above, 1 or 2 out of every 10 items you send out are coming back. Even if you state “no returns”, it doesn’t matter. The buyer will always just claim it didn’t work, eBay will immediately seize the funds, and force you to take and pay for the return. 

The best-case scenario is that it comes back just as you sent it, even if they say it didn’t work. You’ll get your selling fees back, but you still need to cover return shipping ($12.50), you’ll probably need to replace the shipping materials ($5), and most of the previous work you did was wasted and needs to be repeated ($10), and you won’t get a refund for the original shipping you paid ($12.50). That’s $40 worth of time and money burned. Assuming you have a 12.5% return rate across 10 of the same items, best-case returns reduce your net takeaway for this item by $5 per unit, bringing the average net per unit to $142.

And that was the best case.

The fine print of e-commerce buyer protections

All too often, you don’t receive the item back how you sent it. You receive it back completely broken. Buyers will carelessly drop items and claim they were damaged in shipping, try to fix what isn’t broken by replacing thermal paste and ruining the card in the process, insert the wrong CPU in the socket, and bend the pins – and inevitably, they will claim they received it that way. eBay and Amazon will always take the buyer’s side by default, so you will take the total loss here whether you like it or not. Not only will you have a worthless GPU that you can barely sell for more than the cost of shipping, but you will have to eat all the costs (shipping both ways, packing supplies, and all your wasted time.) Your net loss here is at least -$50, all on a $200 GPU. This is more frequent than people realize, by our estimation roughly 2-3% of sales turn into a total loss, and those losses can add up and take an even bigger bite out of your takeaway. There is also the insidious problem of expert-level return fraud. It’s easy to miss this for what it is and chalk it up to “shit happens”. Any scammer succeeding at return fraud has gotten extremely good at making it look like carrier error. If you do catch them, there’s a good chance their inevitable chargeback will succeed, and both your payment and item will be forfeit. Unfortunately, fraud is pervasive on these sites – look at our “wall of shame” to see some particularly egregious examples of buyer returns.

Bitpro is optimized for GPU miners selling their rigs

When they add up all the costs of selling, the potential losses, and the value of the time it takes, and the almost incalculable value of not having to deal with the frustration and uncertainty – clients find that when all is said and done, they wouldn’t net much more than our offer. In most cases, all it takes is one call and we come and do all the work making your problem ours and leaving you with a wallet nearly just as full, and then it’s our problem.

So how do we do it? As with many things, a professional can do it better, cheaper, and faster – so it doesn’t always pay to DIY. We’ve got years of experience and a whole team and facility dedicated to turning old mining hardware into quality refurbished gaming components – and that’s the kind of operation that you need to efficiently turn 50 mining rigs into 500 happy gamers. Working with us, you’ll be able to take advantage of that economy of scale, experience, and efficiency and receive a fair price for your farm without having to deal with all that frustration. It’s up to you – we’re never pushy, and we’re always ready to give another quote when you’ve become fed up with the DIY route. Over the past few years, we’ve worked with hundreds of miners and made friends all over the country, and you will have a hard time finding someone dissatisfied with our service. See for yourself:

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