When it is time to upgrade make sure to consider how to sell your used CPUs, as they are one of the most valuable parts of a server or computer.
We’ve put together a step by step guide to help you determine when the right time to sell your CPUs is and how to do it. What makes the most sense for you or your company is going to depend on a number of different factors about your company and your CPU usage.
While this article is going to use the plural when addressing CPUs and processors since here at Exit we normally deal with bulk, we have also included guidelines for people who may only be selling one processor.
If you are simply looking for a quote from us to sell your CPUs, servers, drives, memory, or other IT equipment, you can simply click here to jump to the bottom of the page to our form.
Without further adieu, let’s jump in to the guide.
Step 1: Make Sure It’s the Right Time to Sell Your CPUs
The processor is at the core (or hopefully cores!) of what your computer or server does, so you want to make sure that you are making the right decision when you decide to sell your processors.
Why Sell your Used CPUs (Processors)
Here’s some of the reasons that you might consider selling your CPUs or processors:
- Workloads for your computer or server are constantly being bottlenecked with a CPU running at 100%
- Could benefit substantially from increased virtualization
- Older CPUs don’t support virtualization as well
- Want greater power efficiency on a per unit basis
- Want to save space by consolidating older servers into new ones
- Have already replaced your old equipment and are no longer using the processors
Make sure to examine the details of what an upgrade in processing power will actually do for your machines. Just because a new generation of processors came out that doesn’t necessarily mean that there are going to be large performance gains. However, the jump from 7th to 8th generation Kaby Lake processors was one of those jumps, as you can see here:
Whereas this was not the case when going up from the 6th generation Intels to the 7th generation:
These numbers are for processors that typically end up in laptops and other computers, and not servers. Servers that are in constant use are generally going to be where these differences make the biggest impact.
For individual use, unless you are an intense gamer, cryptocurrency miner, or content creator, most people do not max out their computers, and even if they do it, is important that they know if they are maxing out their CPU or their GPU, as in many, if not most cases, the GPU will be the limiting factor.
You can still get performance gains even if you haven’t been maxing out your CPU, but make sure that it wouldn’t be more beneficial to upgrade somewhere else first.
Step 2: Figure out Who to Sell Your Used CPUs (Processors) to
When it comes to selling used CPUs there’s only a few options, and your situation will determine most about where it’s most appropriate for you to sell them.
The main determining factors for where you will sell your CPU(s) are:
- Are they functioning?
- How old are they?
- How many do you have?
Your CPUs are obviously going to be most valuable when they are still functioning and newer, but this needs to be balanced with how much use you got out of them, what you’ll be able to recoup in resale, and how much the newer CPUs will cost (assuming you’re replacing them).
Full disclosure: Exit Technologies is an ITAD vendor that buys used computer parts in bulk, but we recognize that we are not going to be the right fit for everyone. This article is made to guide you towards what is the best fit for your particular situation.
Small Amounts of Processors or Individual CPUs
If you only have one or a few processors your options are generally limited to:
- Hardware Swap
We do not recommend trying to sell CPUs on Craigslist or other similar sites. You can do it and sometimes it will work out well and you will get a higher margin out of it, but most of the time you will have to deal with a lot more not so serious buyers or inquiries and have a much higher potential of getting scammed one way or another, even when trying to use something like Paypal. Just keep in mind that there are people that make a living scamming people off these sites and convincing them they are a real buyer for something, so some of them are quite good at it.
Here’s the warning from Reddit’s Hardware Swap (click to enlarge):
Selling Larger Quantities of CPUs or Processors
If you have a large quantity of processors that are 6th generation Skylake processors or newer then you can contact an ITAD company (such as Exit) that will buy your whole lot of processors from you. Our minimum is about $1,000 or more in resale value; we are not sure about our competitors. That being said, if you have servers, workstations, or components such as hard drives, GPUs, RAM, you can add that into a quote to hit the minimum.
Generally the more processors you have the better for selling to an ITAD company. If you have a lot of CPUs or processors that are 4 or 5 generations back, they might be considered, but it depends on the ITAD company, the amount of processors, their model and their condition. At that point their resale value is very limited due to the vast differences between their capabilities and the current versions.
Who to Sell Damaged CPUs or Processors to
How old and damaged your processors are will have a large effect on what you can do with them. The number of processors will also clearly be a factor.
Repairing Damaged Processors
Generally speaking a processor becomes scrap metal once it is broken. If something very minor happened to it then you can take your chances with following some YouTube videos or finding a specialist, but usually this is not going to be worth spending much of any money on if you want to make any kind of ROI (return on investment).
If you get to the point you have 10-15 damaged (or just really old) processors you might be able to make money off of the scrap metal (gold, silver or copper) in the CPU. We’ve seen recommendations that it is generally good to have 10-15 processors to cash in at once.
If you have bulk amounts (50+) broken processors you can either look to sell them to recyclers for the precious metal value or you can contact Exit to see if we might be able to fix them and get you more money. We are not aware of any other ITAD companies that currently repair CPUs in bulk.
Step 3: How to Sell your CPUs or Processors
If you are selling smaller quantities and doing it on eBay or Hardware Swap you can follow the process of making a regular post. Here’s some tips:
- Do some research on similar equipment to figure out your price point. If you are going to try and sell it for the most you can get it will cost you more time, so this is a trade-off of how valuable your time is to you
- Make sure you know what you need to make to make it worthwhile. Ebay will take a cut of your sale, but it also offers extra security so you don’t get scammed.
- It will be harder to sell on Ebay if you haven’t sold anything before, so consider pricing lower if it is one of your first few sales
- If you do decide to go with Craigslist make sure to sell in a public place and only use cash. Paypal and other means of payment can be manipulated.
- Always include a picture. A picture from your cell phone is fine, even if it is not a great phone. Just make sure there’s enough light.
- If you want to get the most for your product it helps to inform people about what you have, regardless of whether you are doing it in small or large quantities.
- NEVER USE VENMO FOR A TRANSACTION WITH SOMEONE YOU DO NOT ALREADY KNOW WELL OR TRUST. Venmo is ONLY meant for transactions between friends and lacks certain user protections.
Information to publish in your post or send to your potential ITAD company:
- Model number
- Use state (new, original packaging, used, functional, broken, etc.)
- If processor is non-functional any details are potentially helpful
If you want more detail on selling on eBay, Hardware Swap or other similar options take a look at our post on the best places to sell computer parts.
Step 4: How to Pack a CPU or Processor so it’s Safe in Transport
We have a lot of issues with people not packing their computer parts properly, which means that it was working when they packed it but when it arrives it is damaged or broken. To avoid this watch this video and follow the instructions to make sure to pack your processor properly:
For individual or high value units:
- Can potentially use a jeweler’s box or other small and relatively form fitting box
- Best to wrap the CPUs in a box and put that box into a bigger one with bubble wrap or some other type of padding
- They shouldn’t have space to move around
- Plan on the box being thrown and kicked before it gets to its destination
- For larger amounts you can get trays that will fit numerous CPUs at once
- If you go this route make sure to use another one as the top!
- When you put it in the larger box make sure to bubble wrap it or ensure that it can’t move around
People lose a lot of value by shipping their CPUs and other used computer parts improperly, so make sure to take care when doing this part. Otherwise it will complicate your transaction and compromise what you make on your used CPU.
If you have bulk CPUs you’d like to get a quote on fill out the form below, or if you’re not sure if an ITAD company is right for you feel free to reach out and get in touch!
Have something to add? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!