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Study Reveals $5.88 Million in Ryzen 5000 CPU Scalping Sales

AMD Ryzen 5000 box
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Michael Driscoll, the creator of a script that scrapes sold items on eBay, has shared his latest market analysis on the Ryzen 5000 (codename Vermeer) scalping situation. Given their place on the top of our best CPUs and CPU benchmarks, it's no surprise. Although pricing has stabilized over the past month, AMD's chips are still selling for well over their MSRP.

In a quick summary, Driscoll confirmed that scalpers have sold a grand total of 8,729 Zen 3 processors on eBay alone. To put the number into perspective, it's equivalent to $5,880,472 in sales. The data showed that scalpers made up to $946,259 in earnings from flipping Zen 3 processors on eBay. Nonetheless, the scalpers weren't the only party benefiting from sales as eBay and PayPal raked in a juicy profit of $625,665 as well.

In terms of sheer volume, the Ryzen 5 5600X was the easiest Zen 3 chip to move for scalpers, thanks to the hexa-core part's lower price tag. Driscoll's numbers revealed that scalpers sold up to 3,204 pieces of Ryzen 5 5600X with a participation of 36.7% in the total number of sold processors on eBay. If we look at lucrativeness, however, the Ryzen 9 5900X is the real belle of the ball. Despite only selling 1,962 units, the Ryzen 9 5900X helped scalpers make up to $459,256, which equals to 48.5% of the total profit.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Sales at eBay

ProcessorMSRPTotal SoldMedian PricePast Week Median PriceCasual Scalper Break EvenSophisticated Scalper Break EvenTotal SalesEstimated Scalper ProfitsEstimated eBay/PayPal Profits
Ryzen 5 5600X$2993204$405$375$375$304$1,303,102$117,760$135,431
Ryzen 7 5800X$4492126$553$538$558$457$1,203,970$39,604$128,891
Ryzen 9 5900X$5491962$800$785$682$558$1,626,043$459,256$180,146
Ryzen 9 5950X$7991437$1,187$1,110$987$812$1,747,357$329,639$181,197

Driscoll noted that the pricing for Ryzen 5000 processors has improved over the course of the previous month, but it's far from returning to normal. Currently, the Ryzen 9 5950X and Ryzen 9 5900X are still 40% more expensive than their respective MSRPs. The Ryzen 7 5800X typically sells for 25% over its MSRP, while the Ryzen 5 5600X costs 30% more than its MSRP. In the case of the latter, Driscoll hightlighted a slight descend in its pricing trend.

Whether you consider scalpers as entrepreneurs or not, they have started to expand their horizons past eBay. Apparently, scalpers have taken their business to another venue, more specifically StockX. It certainly seems like an unorthodox marketplace to sell a processor since StockX is more widely known for stuff like sneakers, streetwear and bags. However, StockX only has a 3% selling fee, making it a lot more appealing than eBay that wants 13% of your profit.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Sales at StockX

ProcessorMSRPTotal SoldAverage Sales PriceLast Week Average PriceTotal Sales VolumeEstimated StockX ProfitsEstimated Scalper Profits
Ryzen 9 5900X$549507$758$749$384,306$11,529$83,496
Ryzen 9 5950X$799298$1,098$1,030$325,416$9,762$69,452

Admittedly, the sample size at StockX is still pretty small since scalpers have only sold 805 units of Zen 3 chips so far, distributed between the Ryzen 9 5900X and Ryzen 9 5950X. The general tendency remains the same though, and it's that the Ryzen 9 5900X continues to be the moneymaker for scalpers. 

Furthermore, scalpers are reselling Ryzen 5000 processors on StockX at lower prices due to the smaller fee. For comparison, the average price for the Ryzen 9 5900X on StockX is $758, while the median price for the same processor on eBay is $800.

Lamentably, the repercussions of the Ryzen 5000 scalping mess have trickled down to AMD's previous generations of Ryzen desktop processors. Driscoll discovered that Zen+ and Zen 2 processors have generally increased in price by approximately 33% and 25%, respectively. More explicitly, the Ryzen 3 3100 and Ryzen 3 3300X saw a rise in prices up to 45%. Consumers are potentially picking up cheap Ryzen processors as a stopgap solution until the Ryzen 5000 chips get back in stock at retailers. Zen pricing, on the other hand, remains unaffected.

  • mossberg
    Really wish there was a way to punish these people. Scalpers are scum.
    Reply
  • GregoryDude
    I agree! The best punishment would be to not purchase from scalpers and then let them get stuck with too much stock and have to sell at a loss.

    Sadly, human nature for consumers to "have it now" and other tendencies will continue to fuel scalpers.
    Reply
  • JamesJones44
    AMD should put requirements on their vendors to better control this situation. There is no reason AMD can't request their channel partners stick to one CPU per customer until they can keep up with demand, quality channel partners like Newegg, Amazon, Bestbuy, etc. do requests for other vendors (like what Sony and MS have done with PS5 and Xbox). Does it work flawlessly? No, but I know plenty of people who were able to get PS5's and XSX/XSS in the given stock windows provided by those channel partners offering only 1 per customer. With the Zen3 release you are basically screwed unless you are there the exact moment a notification comes in, otherwise Joe Scalper is buying the whole lot.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    JamesJones44 said:
    AMD should put requirements on their vendors to better control this situation.
    I find it truly amazing that people absolutely refuse to learn from history. There's only one way to solve a shortage -- raise the price. Nothing else works. Let me repeat that again for all the thick skulls out there: Nothing. Else. Works.

    If AMD would raise the MSRP on a temporary basis, there would be no margin for these scalpers, and no demand. They would have to raise it far less than what the scalpers are actually charging, and the extra profit they would thus make would also allow them to increase supply as well, if only slightly.
    Reply
  • PapaCrazy
    Endymio said:
    I find it truly amazing that people absolutely refuse to learn from history. There's only one way to solve a shortage -- raise the price. Nothing else works. Let me repeat that again for all the thick skulls out there: Nothing. Else. Works.

    There's only one way to fix a leaky boat -- drain the ocean. Nothing else works. Let me repeat that again for all the thick skills out there: Nothing. Else. Works.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    mossberg said:
    Really wish there was a way to punish these people. Scalpers are scum.
    It is only a few thousand chips, a few hundred wafers out of tens of thousand per month, only a few percent of total sales at most. Even if you successfully ended all scalping, availability would still be practically every bit as horrible overall.

    Endymio said:
    I find it truly amazing that people absolutely refuse to learn from history. There's only one way to solve a shortage -- raise the price.
    Ramping up production works too, only problem is that it takes about two years to bring new fab capacity online when all existing capacity is already booked.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    InvalidError said:
    Ramping up production works too, only problem is that it takes about two years to bring new fab capacity online when all existing capacity is already booked.
    True. And higher prices are the market signal to increase supply.

    And while new fabs do take years, even in the short term, higher prices can increase supply, by allowing manufacturers to run just a little more closely to full 100% capacity.
    Reply
  • JamesJones44
    If AMD would raise the MSRP on a temporary basis, there would be no margin for these scalpers, and no demand. They would have to raise it far less than what the scalpers are actually charging, and the extra profit they would thus make would also allow them to increase supply as well, if only slightly.

    I agree AMD is completely misguided for leaving all of that money on the table, clearly they could have charged more. However, I don't agree with nothing else works, the PS5 from BestBuy and XSX from Walmart in my living room beg to differ that other solutions don't work.
    Reply
  • Endymio
    JamesJones44 said:
    However, I don't agree with nothing else works, the PS5 from BestBuy and XSX from Walmart in my living room beg to differ that other solutions don't work.
    A supply shortage doesn't mean that absolutely no one gets product. It simply means that supply doesn't equal demand.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Endymio said:
    And while new fabs do take years, even in the short term, higher prices can increase supply, by allowing manufacturers to run just a little more closely to full 100% capacity.
    Most of the major players have been operating at max capacity for the last couple of years, there isn't much extra capacity left under the couches unless they discover ways to reduce the number of manufacturing steps with minor modifications to the equipment they already have.
    Reply