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Short Thought: The Rip Off "Gaming" PCs of eBay

Short Thought: The Rip Off "Gaming" PCs of eBay

Recently during the lockdown, I’ve taken to looking at ways I could do a little more in my free time to make some of that precious gold. Or, money, as it comes down to.

As I’m very much a tech geek, I tried scouring eBay for faulty PlayStation 4s or Xbox Ones that I could repair and sell on, or other such similar hustles. That’s when I thought – “hmm, maybe I could build some PCs to sell on?”

That’s when I searched for gaming PCs on eBay. WOW – what a mess. “ULTRA FAST i3, AMAZING SO QUICK BULLDOZER, IT’S FROM THE FUTURE i3-2100!!”

eBay Gaming PC

Hoping these frankly awful builds were just falling by the wayside, I switched over to “Completed Items” and I was saddened by the sheer amount of these PCs that were, and are, selling. To me, these listings are nothing more than a scam. Most of them are vastly overpriced, marketed as “ULTRA FAST”, whilst packing a CPU from nine years ago and whichever random refurbished GPU they can shove in there. Some of them even include a relatively recent and decent performing GTX 1660 with a PC costing around £400; but heavily bottlenecked by the bargain basement CPU and motherboard – by today’s standards.

Let’s take this one as an example.

For £420 at the time of writing, you’re getting a nine-year-old i7-2600 (not even the K variant so you can overclock), 16GB RAM (DDR3 memory is pretty cheap), 2TB hard drive with a 480GB SSD and a…GT 710. That particular seller allows you to choose a GTX 1660, but in more demanding titles that i7 will cause you bottlenecking, with realistically no upgrade path – short of an eight-year-old CPU instead. That, though, bumps the price up to £690! You’d be better off with a laptop.

My recent £300 build will perform better than that PC, with the 3200G APU outperforming the GT710. That also comes with a B450 motherboard so you can upgrade to AMDs upcoming Zen 3 CPUs and a power supply that doesn’t suck.

amd ryzen baseepecpic

This particular seller isn’t the only offender, as there are plenty of others all peddling the same crap. It’s no surprise who will be buying these, either; parents of kids who have no idea, or interest, in the market so these sellers have a prime market to mislead.

I wish these kinds of listings weren’t allowed and it was more obvious to people just how outdated these PCs are.

But hey, at least it comes with TeamViewer pre-installed! 

Short Thought
James Martin

James Martin

Senior Staff Writer

IT technician by trade. Probably running around turning everything on and off again.

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Steve - 10:50am, 16th September 2020

Just found this article after googling these dodge deals... after seeing loads of them on Ebay myself. What are eBay doing about it? These scammers aren’t just ripping people off. I’m 99% sure what they are doing is illegal... because they all say the pc’s include Win10 “PRO” which I believe doesn’t need activating (a dodgy copy then) and a whole list of games. Every seller has the exact list , all in the same font etc. So the sellers have bought hundred of games to pass on to customers? Not a chance. These are illegal copies, all “preinstalled” (like Windows 10 Pro) None will be genuine.

X - 09:21am, 19th February 2023

There's a reason you never (or almost) never see these types on Amazon. They shut down businesses that rip people off then said business goes somewhere to complain how 'evil' and corrrupt Amazon is when they are the ones that got caught scamming people and enough people complained so Amazon stepped in.  

I have had several instances where I got scammed or an item broke almost immediately which Amazon immediately accepted returns even if the seller did not but I always go thru the seller first which shows Amazon I went thru the proper venues instead of just going to them whining like a 3 year old.  

X - 09:24am, 19th February 2023

Best Buy back in the 2000s (not sure if they still do this) but us and our neighbors had to return several electronics because Best Buy would sell garbage and some with used parts inside. 

We usually built our own computers but decided for once to buy a 900$ PC which came with Windows ME so for the longest time Dad and I thought it was ME that was faulty until he had time to open it up and find out it was all 5 year old parts inside out of date sold AS NEW. 

We could've taken them to court actually and had a decent case as it's illegal to sell new stuff with used parts and that is serious jail time and steep fines. I'm sure other machines are that way so for every PC that got dinged the fines would quickly escalate. Especially if it's more then just that one store.  

Tommy - 11:43pm, 15th March 2023

Unfortunately I have fallen victim to this myself. My "gaming PC" that I got from eBay came with an i5 processor, 8GB of RAM (I know, WOW!) and an astonioshing GT710 graphics card. It was well over a year ago so it's far too late to do anything about it now, but I wish i'd known about these fake gaming PCs back then. 

Live and learn though eh!