Should You Buy Used Mining Rigs? Yes. Well maybe…. And perhaps no.
The option to buy used mining rigs is a tempting one. With the madness surrounding crypto mining and alt-coins, many people are going to look into building their own mining rigs. While this isn’t a huge undertaking for those who are quite computer savvy, what about those who aren’t? Building a mining rig yourself can be quite daunting if you don’t understand the basics of building a computer from the ground up. This would lead many to look towards eBay and Craigslist to shop for used mining rigs that other miners are trying to sell. But is it worth it?
Arguments In Favor to Buy Used Mining Rigs
Difficult to Source
Sourcing hardware for a mining rig build can be somewhat difficult. The main issue that one would encounter in acquiring the hardware for a mining rig is limitations on GPU quantities you can purchase. Many retailers, such as NewEgg.com, will have a limit of one per customer per purchase. Getting the bulk of your GPUs may be difficult, so buying a rig with all the parts sourced may be an attractive option to some.
Assembly is Complicated
Building a mining rig is also quite an undertaking in and of itself. It requires more than a working knowledge of assembling a normal desktop PC, as you’ll be required to run PCI-E USB riser cards and possibly need to daisy-chain power supplies in order to get the entire rig up and running. Buying used mining rigs with all of the assembly, troubleshooting, and OS installation and configuration done for you may be an attractive prospect.
Arguments Against Used Mining Rigs
As with any used PC, you can never be fully certain how old all the parts are or how long they will last. Additionally, people selling their mining rigs are looking to get out of the mining business altogether, so their rigs will be sold as-is. So a warranty will most often be off the table when dealing in used mining rigs. Once you drive off with it, it’s yours. When you buy used mining rigs you are taking on no small amount of risk.
Used rigs could also contain dated or aging hardware. Dated hardware means the GPUs are from previous generations, and thus offer less hashing power. Aging hardware could mean your used rig won’t mine for a long enough period of time to recoup your investment, much less turn a profit. A key talking point when speaking with the seller would be to ask how long the rig has been mining. If it’s been up and running for longer than a year, it’s probably best to not buy it – you’re on borrowed time. And if the hardware is dated, avoid it altogether. Dated hardware isn’t able to keep up with the mining difficulty to produce viable hashing power. This means it will take far longer to recoup your initial investment, if you recoup it at all.
Price is also a major consideration for buying mining rigs. Due to the nature of cryptocurrency mining, GPU prices are overly inflated, even on the used market. This was covered more in-depth in my previous article. This will lead to mining rigs being sold at above retail price for new equipment, as even used GPUs are being sold for more than MSRP. And you can bet your bottom dollar that any miner looking to get out of the cryptocurrency mining game will look to fully recoup all the money they spent on their rig, so they will sell it for the highest price that people will pay. Given the hype around crypto mining, this means seeing used mining rigs going for north of $4,000 will be the norm.
The main thing one should always do when looking to buy used is to research the price of the individual components before contacting the seller. Purchasing etiquette dictates that one should do all their research regarding pricing before they arrange to meet the seller. This will allow you room to haggle if you know what you’re buying. Plus, it’s considered rude to meet with a seller and begin research while you’re on their time.
Typical Craigslist Ads for Used Mining Rigs
My Opinion: Should You Buy Used Mining Rigs?
With the main pros and cons laid out, my professional opinion is that it can be reasonable to buy used mining rigs. If, and I stress IF, you can find a good deal where the sum of the parts is at or below MSRP, it may be worthwhile for you to buy a used rig. Since the rig will come assembled, you should expect to pay a little extra for that luxury. How much extra you find reasonable is completely subjective.
Now for my conditions:
- Condition 1: You must be comfortable replacing parts if/when they go out. I would highly recommend you only buy a used rig if you have a friend or loved one with the knowledge necessary. That, or you’ll need to be willing to spend hours pouring over how-to’s and in-depth guides on the web to figure out how to troubleshoot and replace any issues that arise with your rig.
- Condition 2: One should be able to comfortably absorb the cost of the mining rig if the entire enterprise goes belly-up. Buying used mining rigs will almost never come with a warranty or guarantee.
- Condition 3: Understand the hashing power of the rig you’re buying. It will be essential to understand just how much cryptocurrency you should expect to mine with your rig so you can plan your ROI. If the rig won’t pay for itself within a year, don’t buy it.
Given the volatility of the cryptocurrency market and the inherent dangers of investing in cryptocurrency, I must add the following disclaimer: the above article was written as my opinion, and should be taken as such. We (myself and CryptoCapers.com) are not responsible for any losses incurred by any reader investing in the cryptocurrency market, mining rigs, or ASIC mining equipment, using any advice we have published as guidance in buying used mining rigs or any other mining hardware. The cryptocurrency market is extremely risky and volatile, and our advice should only be used as part of one’s research into any crypto mining or investing. If you are in doubt, or if high risk isn’t for you, then don’t pull the trigger. But if you’re eager to take a risk in hopes of making real money in the future, then by all means, join us and the rest of the crypto pioneers and invest in mining your own cryptocurrency.