A hot potato: If a consumer product is difficult to find, you can almost guarantee that people will be selling it on eBay for inflated prices. Joining the many graphics cards, PlayStation 5 consoles, and Xbox Series X machines on the site are DDR5 memory kits, which are selling for up to $2,500.
Retailers were already selling DDR5 kits for high prices in the runup to Alder Lake's release last month. They sold out quickly, leaving upgraders with the option of buying a DDR4-compatible Z690 board. And as we all know, high demand combined with low supply is the dream combination for eBay scalpers.
PCMag reports on some of the obscenely priced kits on the auction site. It appears that the most expensive item right now is a Dominator Platinum RGB 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5 SDRAM 5200MHz kit that has a Buy It Now price of $2,499. Corsair lists the memory at $340 on its website, meaning the eBay seller is marking it up by 635%.
Elsewhere, we see some 16GB DDR5 RAM kits from Oloy going for around $800---a 600% markup over the $160 retail price.
eBay's own Terapeak tool shows that the average selling price of DDR5 memory over the past month is $531, while the highest selling price sits at $2,500. There has also been $86,671 in total sales.
Making the situation even worse for buyers is a shortage of power management integrated circuits (PMICs) integrated into DDR5 modules, pushing procurement time up to an estimated 35 weeks.
There certainly aren't many DDR5 kits on eBay compared to the mountain of graphics cards and consoles, but the only people who would want them right now are those with a compatible Alder Lake motherboard, so the target audience is smaller. Owners of Intel's latest chips could always opt for a DDR4-compatible Z690 mobo, though these tend to have fewer features. However, we noted in our reviews that whether you want to use a Core i5-12600K, Core i7-12700KF, or a Core i9-12900K, DDR5 doesn't bring massive performance gains over DDR4 in most tasks.