VR Headset Shortage = Big Bucks On eBay for Vive, Rift & HoloLens


a1I remember way back in late 2000 as I sat in my dorm room at Rutgers University, I found a way to rake in thousands of dollars in a relatively short amount of time.  That year I managed to make enough money to pay for my entire freshman year of undergraduate studies by selling Playstation 2 consoles on eBay via arbitrage.  Back then many people didn’t quite understand how to shop around on the internet, and frankly the hype around the Playstation 2 was so fierce that most of them didn’t care. GameStop, at the time, was offering the Playstation 2 console for just $299, and had plenty of stock available.  At the same time, a perceived shortage of the device sent eBay prices soaring into the $450 to $500 range.  Immediately realizing the value of the situation I set up an affiliate website and began contacting those bidding exuberant amount on eBay auctions.  Those I contacted were ecstatic, and I made a decent chunk of change, so it worked out for all of us.

Fast forward 16 years to the launch of multiple virtual reality headsets, namely the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and thanks in part to component shortages and perhaps mismanagement, a limited number of these devices are currently available.  Sure, one could wait a few months and likely pick up either a Vive or a Rift for the actual retail price, or maybe even cheaper if willing to buy one used, but there are always those people who can’t wait a day much less 2-3 months for the next big thing. Thanks to the laws of supply and demand these individuals are driving up the price of VR and AR headsets on eBay significantly.  We thought we’d do a quick search and see what we could find.  These are all auctions which have recently ended with a winning bid or are about to end:

Microsoft HoloLens

  • Retail Price (developers kit) – $3,000
  • High Bid On eBay Currently: $8,000
  • Profit: $5,000
  • Link to Auction

Oculus Rift

  • Retail Price: $599
  • High Bid On eBay Currently: $1,656
  • Profit: $1,057
  • Link to Auction

HTC Vive

  • Retail Price: $799
  • High Bid On eBay Currently: $1,900
  • Profit: $1,101
  • Link to Auction

Now, consider this….  Amazon currently is offering the Oculus Rift in Bundle form for as cheap as $1,499.  These bundles are scheduled to ship in one week (April 23).  People are paying as much for the Rift headset alone on eBay as they could pay for the headset and an ASUS Rift-ready computer worth approximately $900 by itself.  Why?  Maybe to get the Rift a few days sooner?

Are you one of those individuals who can’t wait and are willing to overpay for these headsets?  Let us know in the eBay Virtual Reality forum on VRTalk.com.