An American startup is aiming to do for PC upgraders what recycling firms do for smartphone buyers: offer a quick and easy way to get cash back for their old hardware.
Anyone who has purchased a smartphone in the last few years will be familiar with recycling companies offering postage-paid envelopes into which you drop your old handset, receiving cash or vouchers in exchange upon receipt. Those who upgrade their PCs, though, face other methods for recouping their original investments: reusing older hardware, well-known auction sites, classified adverts, or private sales via forums. Each comes with its own drawbacks: older hardware is typically less power-efficient than its replacement making reuse less economically tempting, auction sites take a hefty cut of the final sale price, classified adverts have a typically local and limited audience, and on internet forums nobody knows if the buyer is a dog
Ohio-based startup SellGPU
claims to have a solution: the ability to pop your old hardware into a pre-paid envelope and receive a chunk of change back, just like the smartphone recyclers. Originally launched with the vision of concentrating on graphics processors, SellGPU.com has now announced that it is branching out into CPUs. Its offers, though, are limited: only Intel Core processors from the second generation (Sandy Bridge) onwards need apply, alongside any AMD FX-branded parts. Parts must also be in full working order, and - this being perhaps the biggest restriction of all - must never have been overclocked, a requirement that will see many enthusiasts locked out of the site.
'SellGPU is attempting to revolutionise PC upgrade cycles,
' boasted company co-founder Said Hafez of his venture, formed in partnership with fellow hardware enthusiasts and gamers back in 2014. 'We are trying to bring more value to companies and individuals undergoing an upgrade process.
Prices, naturally, vary from part to part, but are considerably lower than you could expect from private or auction site sales. An Intel Core i5-2500K, for example, will fetch $55 from SellGPU while typically selling for double that on popular auction sites - a hefty markup being, of course, where SellGPU hopes to make money. For its cut, the company claims to offer less hassle than alternative options: CPUs and GPUs need only be popped in the post, and payment is made as soon as the parts have passed testing.
SellGPU's hefty markup and currently exclusivity to the US market aside, where one company has lead others will follow: if SellGPU proves there's a demand for component 'recycling,' expect rivals to pop up seeking their own slice of the pie.