Nvidia’s RTX 4090 (opens in new tab) went on sale yesterday. It sold out 10 minutes later. Shortly thereafter, RTX 4090s ended up on eBay. Standard stuff. Though what’s actually surprising is that these graphics cards on eBay aren’t quite as dire in terms of pricing as you might expect them to be. Okay, they’re not cheap by any means, nor a good deal, but things could absolutely be worse. In fact, they have been worse for a very long time.
These less inflated prices are perhaps actually indicative of the supply being better for GPUs, and demand less frantic, than any other time in the past 18 months. One of a few reasons why you shouldn’t take anyone up on an RTX 4090 with an inflated price tag.
Over the previous couple of years, resellers have been making bank from selling in-demand graphics cards for well in excess of their MSRP. An RTX 3080 would fetch upwards of 220% over its original MSRP (opens in new tab) of $699 in the months after its release, and an RTX 3090 around 180% or more over asking.
Though these MSRPs wouldn’t mean much for most of the life of these graphics cards, anyways.
But today the RTX 4090 is listed at ‘only’ 30% over its MSRP, at around $2,100. That’s the cheapest I’ve found so far on eBay (opens in new tab). Though admittedly you will find Founders Editions going for quite a bit more—Nvidia’s own shroud design is the one we’re most fond of, and seems the most in demand, too.
I’m not saying rush out and buy a graphics card from a reseller on eBay—you shouldn’t be paying any more for a card that’s already extremely expensive or making reselling GPUs a worthwhile venture for those choosing to take advantage of the launch day rush. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Demand is sky-high for the RTX 4090 right now and that’s to be expected. Even before the great GPU shortages of the previous few years, stock never lasted through launch day. This is pretty normal. What we can only hope for now are swift restocks. What we’re hearing from UK retailers we’ve spoken to is that supply is expected to be steady for the RTX 4090 going forward. We’ve also heard of at least one restock on the way for a UK retailer today, October 13.
However, I’m not going to pretend it’s all rosy right now. A post on Reddit (opens in new tab) suggests one customer who snagged an RTX 4090 on launch day over at Box was later let down to hear their order had been cancelled due to insufficient stock. Box also claims it has no visibility on any further shipments of RTX 4090s.
We reached out to Box for confirmation on this situation and a spokesperson responded saying they are requesting clarity on the situation from product managers. They also mentioned this may have been an issue due to sales outpacing the system and excess sales being made before the automatic out of stock notification was able to go live.
A frustrating situation for those affected, nonetheless, especially as we had hoped for more robust sales systems in place following the previous 18 months of high GPU demand.
When we asked Newegg about how the launch went, a spokesperson responded saying “The Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card launch went well for Newegg. Demand for the 4090 was extremely strong. Newegg sold out of our first batch of inventory quickly.”
“Our expectations were exceeded, and it’s clear that customers are excited about the 4090 and the 40-series in general.”
The supply situation is not entirely clear, then—we’re certainly hearing mixed messages. The important thing to remember is that actual supply for GPUs is not as constrained on a larger scale as it once was. And the biggest drain on GPU supply for cryptocurrency mining purposes, ethereum, no longer requires GPUs (opens in new tab). We can only hope for more readily available restocks in the coming weeks and months as some retailers seem to suggest.